Review: Discount Tire Credit Card From GE

changing tireFrom 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 amountInterest-free period
$300 - $999.996 Months on Purchases
$1,000 - $1,499.999 Months on Purchases
$1,500 or greater12 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:

rules for no interest offer

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

 
Comments
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

i desperately needed tires, and was instantly approved for 500.00 credit line paid off the total balance of the tires 325.00 plus received 35.00 dollar rebate visa too. if you pay off the balance in the promotional period, then it works, also can use for gas. and can be used again for promotional deals which is good to have and easy to manage too. so yes if your good for paying your monthly payments before they;re due and pay on line as which i did. you will have no problem, just my opinion

Its worth it if you have a guaranteed job to pay them off within 6 months..i did and suddenly got laid off..was a little late on some payments and missed 2 but managed to pay them off. I had no credit history before that

The tone of this review seems to be that in-store (or private label) credit cards are a scam. These promotions ARE a good option if you don’t have hundreds of dollars readily available to fork out for new tires (which are often bought in a pinch), AND if the purchaser is disciplined enough to pay off that balance within the established time – the latter being key. Here are a couple of suggestions BEFORE filling out the credit card application:

1) Read the summarized terms of the deal. These disclosures are often in small print with the form. They MUST disclose the interest rate you will be charged for exceeding the promotion term and carrying a balance.

2) Ask others. Friends, family, co-workers, etc. are likely to have taken advantage of these promotions. Ask and determine if they offer a reasonable account of their experience.

I whole-heartedly agree that the extreme interest rates on these cards (if you carry a balance) are ridiculous — but that is the market with most private label cards, and not just ones issued by GE Capital. Banks and companies are in business to make money. SURPRISE!

Tip of the day: Spending more than you make = trouble. If you have a hard time managing credit card balances (ANY credit card), please do not apply…and close the accounts you have (save one, for an emergency only).

So if i have no credit, would this be a good way to get credit? also the balance on that card must be paid for before the interest start right? (well so you won’t get screwed over)