I now live in SoCal but I grew up in S.E. Michigan (Lenawee County) and am very familiar with Gardner White furniture! I even remember how they used to sing their name in the TV commercials when I was a kid.
Do they have good prices on furniture? Yep. Is the credit card from Gardner White the best way to pay for it? That depends…
I called up the store in Southfield to get the 411 on their financing offers which were currently available. Here’s the lowdown on the good, bad and ugly that come with them…
No interest = deferred interest
Depending on the amount you spend, their credit card offers “no interest” for 12, 24, or 36 months.
Be aware, this does not operate like a 0% offer you would get on a Visa or MasterCard from a bank.
With the Gardner White card, you get deferred interest. What does that mean? That you will be charged the interest retroactively if you don’t pay off the purchase in time.
For example, if they gave you “no interest for 12 months” on a living room set, in order to avoid interest you will have to make payments for 100% of the debt – paying it back in full – within that 12 month window. If you don’t, then on the 13th month they will tack on interest charges going back retroactively to day 1 of when you bought it.
In their defense, this is how pretty much all furniture stores operate their credit cards, so it’s nothing surprising. I just want to make sure you understand because a lot of people grab an application and sign on the line without reading the fine print.
High interest rate
Again, this is no shocker since it’s a store card. But that doesn’t change the fact that this would be a brutal APR to pay, especially on big ticket items like bedroom sets, mattresses, and all that stuff.
Some retailers offer credit cards that are Visa/MasterCards so you can use them everywhere. Not this baby. It’s a one trick pony issued by Comenity for use at Gardner White and that’s it.
Electronics Might Be Excluded
Some of their locations sell electronics (like their Novi and Bloomfield Hills stores which are in Best Buy).
But if you were thinking of using one of the no interest plans to score a nice 60” Samsung TV… sorry but it’s probably not going to happen.
The rep I spoke to said that the higher dollar promotions (those that require a minimum spend of $3,999 or $4,999 etc.) have an exclusion for electronics. You can only use that financing to buy furniture
However the lower dollar credit card deals (like no interest for 12 months on $999+ purchase) can be used for electronics, or at least, she never told me you couldn’t.
Easy To Qualify For
Really the only good thing about the Gardner White credit card is that it’s easy to get approved for. They don’t tell you the exact requirements, but let’s not kid ourselves… all store cards are pretty easy to qualify for!
If your credit score is really bad, they do have a different financing option with no credit check. But the interest rates and payment terms on that one are awful so I wouldn’t recommend it. That version doesn’t have the same no interest incentives with it.
Or if you already have the Gardner White card and can’t pay off your balance before the “no interest” offer expires, then transfer the balance to another card like this one that offers true 0%: