Ford Credit Card: 5 Reasons To Avoid It

credit card programMy first new car was a Ford Mustang GT 5.0. What a car that was. I even worked for a division of Ford (which allowed me to buy the Mustang at below invoice price) but didn’t realize they a credit card until seeing it mentioned on a tv commercial.

This is not the same as Ford Credit. If you finance or lease a vehicle through your Ford dealer, that goes through Ford Motor Credit Company LLC (aka Ford Credit). However their credit card is through a large bank with which Ford has contracted on the back end.

Right now Citi is the issuer for the Ford credit card. This is a recent change that took place back in 2012. For many years up to that point, GE Money was the issuer.
But should you get it? Um, no. What follows are 5 reasons why almost everyone should avoid it.

1. It can’t be used everywhere

This isn’t a Visa, MasterCard, Discover or AmEx. You can only use the card at one place – Ford dealers – for the following things:

  • Service
  • Parts
  • Tires
  • Accessories
  • Body Shop Repairs and Deductibles
  • Extended Service Plans
  • Rentals

2. It can be an expensive way to pay

On certain purchases, often times there will be a 0% offer that’s good for 6 or 12 months. That’s not bad, but what is bad is carrying a balance beyond that period or when there’s not a 0% offer… because then you may pay upwards of a 28% APR! This is typical of most closed-loop store card interest rates and is the chief reason why you never, ever want to carry a balance on such a card.

That means the only reason to apply for a Ford credit card is if your credit sucks and its the only thing you can get. If your credit is potentially average, then apply for one of these major credit cards with 0% on purchases. That way you may be able to get a better 0% offer and possibly earn rewards, depending on the card you choose.

3.There are no rewards [almost]

And to make it even more useless, the Ford Service credit card doesn’t have a rewards program; you don’t earn points or cash. However, on some purchases (like tires) using the card will score you a higher mail-in-rebate when they’re running a promotion like this…

Ford card promotion

The bottom line? With the exception of something like the above, you would be better off paying with one of these cards that give 2% everywhere (including at your Ford dealer).

4. It can’t be applied for online

I can’t find an application on the website. Instead it says “see participating dealership for details” so I assume that’s the only place you can apply.

I think this is one of those “captive audience” gimmicks. Ford knows you will be more likely to get the card when you’re at a dealership, because that’s the only card they will offer you! Plus they have an army of commission-based sales people who no doubt get a bonus for every card they hawk on unsuspecting customers. If you compare it side-by-side to other credit cards online, the Ford would be at the bottom of anyone’s list. That’s probably why they peddle it through the dealer network. It requires higher pressure tactics to make the sale.

5. It doesn’t come with a signup bonus

As if you needed one more reason NOT to apply for it, you will NOT get any kind of signup bonus. Let’s see, that means the Ford card is a failure for 3 of the most important things…

Rewards program? Nope.
Low interest rate? Nada.
Signup promotion? Zippo.

There are plenty of Visa/MasterCards that will give you a 0% intro APR and a signup bonus. Go with one of them instead of the blue oval. If you’re interested in amassing rewards for a new car of another brand then you might consider the Capital One BuyPower MasterCard. It can allow you to apply rewards (5% on the first $5,000 in spend and 2% on all other spending) toward the purchase or lease of any new GM vehicle.

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.

THIS IS A GREAT CREDIT TOOL FOR ONE CIRCUMSTANCE: 12 months 0% interest on every bill over $400 I run a non-profit and we have several diesel trucks that regularly run up $2-3,000 repairs. we don’t have the cash flow to pay that on the spot and don’t want to pay interest. we can smooth our cash flow demands by paying these large repairs over 12 months. The guy with the daughter with the $3500 repair would do well with it. His daughter gets a 12 month 0% $3500 loan ($292/month) to pay off the big repair – probably more affordable than coming up with $3500….

What does your credit need to be minimum in order to apply for this card?

I use a Firestone card like this and have grown tired of general mechanics there not knowing what is specific to the brand. Alot of things they say go to the dealer for and I have a card that will not work at the dealer. So I am killing the Firestone and going Ford because unless you can shell out the cash for every problem on older cars your best bet is to have this and pay it off religiously. I know some do not have that issue because you have money but I do not but I have good credit. One way I got it was keeping a car around longer than most because i can do a lot of the work myself. The other reason why this is good, is because with an open card you get an itch like I did when I was younger and run it up on shit you did not need and then have no room for say a car repair. good back up if you have an older car and can trust your dealer more than local other chain mechanics.

My daughter just found out from the dealer, she needs $3500. engine repair. After taking so long to pay off her student loan, her credit’s terrible. So, I thought if I (her mom) filled out the app in my name to get her car fixed, it may be worth the headache. But after reading these comments, I’m not so sure. I only came to the site cuz I thought I could apply online, but you guys killed that idea. I really don’t feel like going all the way to town to apply in person just to be told no. I presently have 14 active accounts (paid on time monthly without fail) but what if that’s not good enough. She really needs her car for work. I can’t give her mine.

I will not put my private info on the internet, the only way you can get this card is by going to the dealership and have them hand it too you, I guess they get a kickback for doing this, want to get new tires, and take advantage of their other deals, am disabled and not going to take the trouble to go into Sam Galloway Ford, Ft. Myers, Fl. just to get the “stinking” card. they do not have a 800 number to apply for the ford service credit card, what is up with that!

I just got mine yesterday and I’ve read all of the comments. I’ve done this plenty of times with other companies and as long as I pay off the balance there is no down side.

Jonathan Lackman

If you know you are facing a large repair bill, it might be worth getting just to get the associated discount. For example, I know I’m going to have a repair > $250.00 so I got the card just to get the $25.00 off, then I paid the entire bill anyhow. Agreed, it’s not a substitute for a “real” card but it can save a few bucks at times if you work it right.

I have a Ford CC and have yet to use it. It is ONLY for emergency use whenever I’m on the road and my Escape needs service. So really, it is NOT a bad CC to have when you have an on the road emergency + having it gives you a peace of mind if you don’t have the cash or another CC to pay for any service.

I have the card, surprised I have the card because my credit is poor. Yes the interest rate is high, but that only comes into play when I run out of time on the promotional 0% on the larger repairs. Would recommend this card if a person needs it for repairs.


Can you get this card with not so good credit?

Great response from Bill and Mike. I’m a Service Manager at a Ford Dealership. The credit card offfer is a great offer you get rebates on tires the more then exceed a 2% bonus rebates on ourchase of $250.00 is currently at $25.00 thats 10%
plus the owner advantage they talk about another 5% into a Dealership account for the customer for future service work. Pay on time pay by the end of the program 0% great offer.

Don’t apply for this card if you can qualify for anything else! I applied for one because there was a $140 dollar rebate AND zero percent interest on Michelin tires if you used this service. What they do is apply $70 dollars at the time of sale and another $70 rebate to be mailed later. After waiting several weeks, I got a letter stating they needed a copy of the work order to honor the rebate. After faxing the work order I was told it would take 6-10 weeks to see the rebate. When I called the credit card company for not recieving a statement after 30-days, I could only speak with a person in the Phillipines. At this point I decided to pay the bill in full with a debit card and cancel the Ford Service credit card. When that flag went up they transfered my call back state side to a rep from Citibank. (After I was disconnected and called back) After an hour on hold I finally recieved a confirmation to cancel my card. Guess what?!? They charged me a $25 dollar service fee. Here is the bottom line. It will cost you $25 dollars just to open the account even if you paid the amount in full within 30-days. By the way, it has been over 10-weeks and I haven’t received the 2nd half of my rebate. Save yourself the pain and aggrevation and look elsewhere.

Great card. this is only for the people who are responsible with their credit.
I use these type of cards quite often. Haven’t paid any interest in about five years.

Can I pay my auto loan with this card.

1. “Rebate” is NOT in the form of a check but one of their debit cards.
2. Their “no interest” is true, however, they told me via phone that minimum payments were due or it would affect my credit rating.
I think this is “bait and switch” operation so beware.

It’s not a bait and switch operation. The person that signed you up didn’t do their job. I’m a service advisor at a Ford dealership, and I make sure my customers know exactly what they’re getting into. I stress that the interest is high, so pay it off in those 6 or 12 months. Your advisor should have also given you the booklet with all of the details in it, which you should always read when you sign something dealing with credit. I have the card myself, and I’ve used it several times. I haven’t paid any interest, and I keep getting rebates. I like it. :)

I’m a service advisor at a Ford/Quick Lane location and I believe this card is great. Not only do they offer the double rebate on tires(currently) but anything over 199.00 before tax gets you 0% for 6 months…anything over 250 before tax gets you a 50.00 mail in rebate! Plus they run promotions all the time. This is that service only card most people try to do with a visa or mastercard but end up buying something on it that it wasn’t intended for.

Exactly. I’m a service advisor as well, and I love this card. I HATE credit cards, normally. I like this one FOR the fact that I can’t be tempted to use it elsewhere! Not to mention the rebates. :)

My husband’s 2008 F250 is going into the shop tomorrow and I have no idea what the estimate’s going to be…..July is already going to be tight financially and we were both nearly freaking out because he needs his truck for his job…So when the lady in the shop told me about this card, it was a tremendous relief !…I only use my debit card nowdays so this one only being good only for Ford service is fine with me…That’s what credit cards should be for anyway…emergencies.

I agree with Bill, this card gave me a $70 rebate on tires. I plan to pay it off well in advance of the 0% APR window. Plus, buying tires through the dealer gave me Owner Advantage points that for such a large purchase basically converts into a free oil change next time I come in. Just make sure to pay off the card immediately. You have to be a regular Quick Lane customer to realistically benefit, though, and have a need for their pricier oil changes and service versus and independent shop to benefit from this card. The Goodyear card and especially the Discount Tire card seems useless by comparison- they tend to specialize on tires.

Let’s see 2% reward on $500. purchase equals $10.00- Ford card rebate $50.00 or more. Makes choice obvious to me.