Recently, I was pricing out an elliptical at Dicks Sporting Goods. The sales guy made great effort to get me to sign up for the Dick’s credit card as a way to finance it. I shut the salesman down immediately, telling him I would would never use their card and here’s why…
Problem #1: The rewards are very confusing
- Store Card = 1 point per $1 spent at Dicks Sporting Goods
- MasterCard = Same as above. And outside their stores, you only get 1 point per $3 spent.
Every 300 pts = $10 off coupon. That means you’re earning way less than 1% on the bulk of your shopping but once you’ve amassed 300 points they’re worth 3.3 cents each.
But the real shocker is that you don’t need the credit card from Dick’s Sporting Goods to be earning rewards there! You can signup for the Dicks Scorecard (which is NOT a credit card, it’s just a customer loyalty program). With it, you will earn the same 1 point per dollar at their stores, even if you don’t use their credit card to pay.
This means you would be much better off with a almost any rewards credit card and using it in addition to Dick’s program. If you have fair/average/limited credit, then here’s a nice rewards card:
Problem #2: You’re not able to choose which Dick’s card you get
There are 2 different versions of the Dick’s credit card. One is a closed loop private label, store-use only, the other is a general-use MasterCard that can be used anywhere.
But guess what? There’s only one application. When you apply, the version you get depends on your credit quality and you don’t know what their approval process is. So you have to endure a hard credit pull with no assurance that you will get the general use version of their credit card or just a measly store card.
Problem #3: Very few benefits
Signup Promotion? 10% off your first in-store purchase. This will only be worth it if you are making a big time purchase where the bonus would amount to a few hundred dollars or more.
For example, if you spend $2,000 on a new elliptical or set of golf clubs, that saves $200. But if you’re only spending a couple hundred bucks, the 10% will be miniscule. You would be better off simply getting a signup bonus of $100 on a different credit.
Birthday Bonus? Most store cards will mail out a gift card or coupon for your birthday, with no strings attached. On the other hand, the Dick’s Sporting Goods credit card gives 3x points during your birthday month.
Translation: They’re not giving you any freebies. Instead, you have to spend more to earn anything extra. While 3x points is nice, keep in mind the exclusions that come with their rewards program:
Problem #4: GE Capital issues/manages the accounts
Why is this a problem? Because GE Capital Retail Bank has one of the worst reputations among store credit card issuers in terms of customer service.
GE manages credit cards for dozens of different stores. The vast majority of reviews I see about them are extremely negative. So if you want good customer service, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Problem #5: The 26.99% interest rate
The APR is 26.99% on both of the Dick’s credit cards. Excessive? I’d say so!
It’s true that most retail store credit cards cards have above-average rates, but the APR that Dick’s is charging is even high by those standards at 26.99%.
Written or last edited on January 19, 2016