An old high school buddy of mine from Michigan is getting married. He was telling me about what was planned, including buying the ring and where she’s getting the dress.
Apparently she found a good deal at the David’s Bridal store in Toledo, OH. How is it being paid for? Well he thought the Davids Bridal credit card application would be the solution, but I had to explain the drawbacks to take into account if he goes that route (I’ve updated this list for 2013).
Drawback #1: The “no interest” promotions
If you apply for a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AmEx) and there is a promotion for 0% on purchases for 12 months, then unless you really mess up and start doing things like making multiple late payments or missing payments altogether, generally the no interest offer is as described… there will be no interest for the advertised amount of time.
On the other hand what the David’s Bridal card (and most stores) use is a deferred interest scheme that is only “no interest” if the balance is paid down entirely, within the promotional period. So for the example pictured, if you paid everything over 11 months (before the 12 month ended) then there would have been no interest charges.
But guess what happens if it takes 18 months, 17 months, or even 12 months and 1 day to pay it all? Then when that happens, the interest is tallied on the account for the full purchase, at the standard APR, from day one when the promotion started.
Not to beat up on the Davids Bridal credit card because most stores do the same thing, but regardless, it’s still important to understand the “no interest if paid in full” promos, regardless of where you use them.
Drawback #2: Steep APR is an understatement
To call 26.99% steep wouldn’t quite be fitting, in my personal opinion. I think a better description like “an outrageously high APR that costs a fortune” would be more accurate, don’t you agree?
According to The Knot the average cost of a wedding is $27,800. Now keep in mind that’s an average, so I’m sure it’s skewed upwards by the people who spend insane amounts. But either way, there’s no denying a wedding costs an arm and a leg. The last thing you want is to grow your expenses even more, by paying an APR of nearly 27%.
So if you use their credit card to buy some fancy-schmancy $1,200 Vera Wang dress, please just make sure you pay it off before the 0% promotion ends. Because if not, 26.99% on $1,200 would be over $300 in finance charges just for one year’s worth.
Drawback #3: Perhaps the most useless card in existence
Store cards are of little use, since generally they can only be used at one store. But what makes the credit card from David’s Bridal even worse is that the occasion – your marriage – is something that is a one-time thing or at least it certainly should be.
So what are you going to do with their credit card? I suppose if you had to buy yourself an outfit for someone else’s wedding you were participating in, it could be of use to you again. But my guess is that for most people, there will be little need to have this credit card after their big day, am I right?
David’s Bridal is a great place to buy dresses, but not the greatest place to get a credit card. If you have decent credit and your motivation is getting the card to finance your purchase, then a major credit card instead would at least give you true 0% for a period of time, no matter how long you take to pay it down.
Review last updated for 2013