My first two cars were Fords (well one of them was a Mercury, same thing). I never knew about their credit card until seeing it mentioned on a recent commercial.
This is not the same as Ford Credit. If you finance or lease a vehicle thru your Ford dealer, that goes thru Ford Motor Credit Company LLC (aka Ford Credit). However their credit card is thru someone else.
Right now Citi is the issuer for the Ford credit card. This is a recent change that just took place in 2012. For many years up to that point, GE Money was the issuer.
But should you get it? Hardly. 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:
- Body Shop Repairs and Deductibles
- Extended Service Plans
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!
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 aveage, 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. It has 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…
The takeaway? 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! On the other hand if you were comparing it side-by-side to other credit cards online, I think Ford would be at the bottom of anyone’s list. That’s probably why they peddle it thru the dealer.
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? Fail.
Low interest rate? Fail.
Signup promotion? Fail.
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.
Written or last updated for 2013