Is it a bad idea to use the credit card from Crate and Barrel to pay for your furniture?
Like most people, I’m a huge fan of Crate and Barrel’s furniture and accessories, but I’m always not a fan of their prices! Being that they’re an upscale store the high prices aren’t surprising, nor is it surprising that they offer their own credit card to help you pay for it.
But if you were thinking of filling out a Crate and Barrel credit card application to pay for that new leather couch or contemporary chair, here’s why you will probably want to re-consider…
First and foremost I think for most people, rewards are one of the main reasons they use credit cards (I know it is for me). Getting cash back, points or miles is especially important for big purchases… because if you’re spending hundreds of even thousands of dollars, you better be getting a little something back, am I right?
Most store cards offer rewards and I assumed the Crate and Barrel credit card did too. Much to my surprise, when I went to apply for it I saw no mention of a rewards programs.
I figured this might be an error so I called up customer support… after pressing a zillion buttons and waiting on hold, I finally got through to someone and sure enough, the guy on the other line confirmed that the Crate and Barrel card has no rewards program. This is hugely disappointing.
Ok, so this credit card doesn’t offer rewards but what about financing promotions? Well as I’m writing this, here are the Crate and Barrel card offers advertised on the website:
- On purchases of $999 or higher, there is a 6 months deferred interest promotion. If you pay off 100% of the balance before the 6 months is up then you will not be paying any interest.
But guess what happens if you don’t pay off every dollar of the purchase within the first 180 days? Well, then interest will be imposed from the date of purchase on the entire amount, at a staggering rate of 22.80%.
Be warned, this means the Crate and Barrel credit card is a risky proposition unless you can be absolutely, 100% sure that your purchases made using the promotion are paid off in full within the 180 days. If there’s even the slightest chance of that not being possible then it’s risky, since you are basically signing up for 22.80% interest from day one in the event every dollar isn’t paid off beforehand.
Should you apply?
Here’s my problem with financing offers like those from on Crate and Barrel:
- Even in the best case scenario, the no interest period is relatively short at 6 months.
- At any given time you can usually get a regular credit card that will give you 0% interest on purchases for the first 6 to 12 months, and unlike the Crate and Barrel credit card, the interest isn’t deferred. So if you don’t pay every dollar off beforehand, there’s no sweat off your back.
- The lack of rewards is also disappointing, because just about every credit card on the market these days offers between 1% to 5% in rewards. On a $2,000 purchase that’s an extra $20 or more in your pocket.
- There’s no cash signup bonus. Many major credit cards pay incentives ranging from $50 to $100 just for signing up and being approved.