From my experience, most tire stores allow you to negotiate the price to some degree. If they’re a big chain they might not discount the price of the actual tires, but sometimes you can talk them into throwing in something for free, like a wheel alignment or tire rotation.
But first, they’ll probably mention the credit card…
Every single time I try and hustle the price, I first get bombarded with a pitch to apply for a credit card. They tell me that’s the best way to save money… but is it really?
Here’s a look at the Discount Tire credit card issued by GE Capital Bank (formerly known as GE Money).
The truth behind the 0% offers on DiscountTire.com. It says this on the credit card application page:
“NO INTEREST* terms are available on ALL purchases at every Discount Tire/America’s Tire location.”
So you can use it for anything, not just tires. The length of the offer depends on how much you spend:
Discount Tire credit card financing plans
|Purchase amount||Interest-free period|
|$300 - $999.99||6 Months on Purchases|
|$1,000 - $1,499.99||9 Months on Purchases|
|$1,500 or greater||12 months on Purchases|
The “if paid in full within” part is what makes it different from a traditional credit card. Why? Because you only get “no interest” if you do the following:
This is the main reason why store credit cards can be so dangerous. As long as you pay off their 0% promotions on-time, everything is A-OK. But if you don’t, it can be shocking when you open up the next bill to discover those deferred finance charges on your account.
Is it worth the risk?
Usually not, but sometimes yes.
It’s a no-no if you have respectable credit. Don’t apply for the Discount Tire credit card just because the application is conveniently available to you at their store. Because if your credit doesn’t suck, then you can get a credit card deal with 0% on purchases that (a) might have longer zero interest, and (b) won’t pull the “if paid in full” shenanigan. Not to mention, there is no rewards program on this card so you will be missing out on earning cash back, airline miles, etc.
It’s worth considering though if your credit is toxic and there’s no chance you can get approved for an unsecured Visa or MasterCard. So, if that’s the case, the Discount Tire card might be the only option. Their website even touts it as “Easy Credit” so you know their requirements must be, well, easy! But I urge you to use it with caution because the anguish of not doing so won’t be easy on your wallet.
Oh, and if your credit is truly aweful then check out my post about credit building credit cards (tips + offers that even bad credit qualifies for).
This review was written or last updated in August 2015