Helzberg Credit Card: Should You Really Be Using It?

Is the Helzberg Diamonds credit card really the best way to pay for your jewelry? You need to take a closer look…

gold rings from Helzberg storeThanks to the surging prices of gold, silver and platinum during the past several years, being able to afford jewelry is now more difficult than ever. Because of this, you may be thinking about using a credit card. Well, here’s why you will want to think twice about the Helzberg Diamonds card…

The interest rate shocker

For starters, I want to point out that this card has an extremely high interest rate. At the time of this review, the Helzberg credit card application listed the standard APR at 24.9% and the penalty APR at 28.9%.

The financing promotion gimmick

Without a doubt, this is what sparked your interest in the card. However many people don’t understand how these no interest promos really work. It’s very important that you read what I’m about to say…

At any given time, the Helzberg credit card will run promotions that are no interest if paid in full within X number of months. As of January 2011 these were the two offers they featured:

On purchases of $749 or above, no interest if paid in full within 12 months

If your purchase is less than that amount, then you can get this…

On any purchase, no interest if paid in full within 6 months

These sound like good deals, right? Well, not necessarily. Here’s why…

These are deferred interest promotions. That means if you don’t pay off every dollar of the entire purchase price before the promo period is up, you will be charged interest going back to the date of purchase on the full price you paid!

So let’s say you spent $3,000 on engagement rings using your Helzberg credit card. There would be no interest charged if all $3,000 was paid off BEFORE the 12 months was up. But if you were only able to pay off $2,500, after the 12 month mark you would get socked with interest charges on the entire purchase price going back all the way to the date of purchase. And when you consider their astronomically high interest rates, that will be a small fortune in interest charges!

Should You Have The Card?

To be honest, I can think of only two scenarios where the Helzberg credit card might make sense. Everyone else should avoid it like the plague.

Scenario A: You are 100% positive that you will be able to pay off the full amount before the promotional period ends. However the problem is, who can honestly be 100% sure in today’s economy? Layoffs, pay-cuts, car repairs, medical bills, and other unforeseen circumstances may change your financial situation a few months from now.

Scenario B: The Helzberg Diamonds credit card is purportedly easier to get approved for than a traditional credit card. So if you have bad credit and can’t qualify for anything better, then applying for the Helzberg card would probably make sense.

What to do if you currently have the card?

If you currently have this credit card and are approaching the end of your deferred interest promotion, then you should definitely consider doing a balance transfer so you can pay it off before the deferred interest kicks in.

What to do if you’re thinking about applying?

As mentioned above, I would only recommend this credit card to those with bad credit who can’t qualify for something better. For everyone else, I would recommend a major credit card instead. Why? Because when they offer 0% promotions on purchases, the interest is not deferred. So if it ends up taking you longer than the promo period to pay, you won’t be smacked with the back interest. Here’s a sponsored ranking:

best 0% credit cards for balance transfers and purchases.

 
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.

My husband and I were blind to this gimmick as well.

After the 12 months was up, we were hit by astronomical fees.

The worst part is that we have paid off our balance down to $500, after 4 years of faithful payments. Now, they have decreased my credit limit from $2500 to $900. This is screwing with my debt/credit limit ratio and lowering my credit score.

I talked with them over the phone and they did nothing.

Don’t get the card.

You do know that they offer layaway. Free.

Leslie Pettit

I never received a statement in the mail that I owed anything from Helzburg. Always keep your paperwork if your going to get a credit card from them. If you don’t then you will owe 2xs as much as you expected. Thank you for not giving me any statements in the mail and then sending me to a collections agency. I will never do business with Hellsburg again.

Ive purchased over 8k worth of jewelry from helzberg on the card and haven’t paid a dime in interest. Simple math folks. take what you owe divide it by the promo period and pay that amount, its going to be more than the min due.

Bottom line. Pay your bills.if you don’t understand how credit works. Ask

I have this credit card and it’s been fabuous as far as the 0% APR for 12 months. Had no problem with paying the card off in full before the promo APR period ended and because I have the card I qualify for lots of special promos and offers throughout the year. If you are responsible with your spending then you have no need to fear the ridiculously high APR outside of the promo periods.

Also the promotion is from the date of purchase so if you bought an item on 3/3/13 and your payment is due on 3/10/13 if you don’t have the balance paid by the 3rd you will be charged the entire years interest

Jason Is 100% correct. I got taken by this gimmick, I owe $1,150.94 for a ring I have been paying $30.00 a month on for two years that the original cost was $950.00 Go figure that one out!

Lyons family, I tend to agree with Jason!!! Im sorry, but he is right, every major company out there uses HSBC, and every single statement you receive from HSBC says you must pay of by such a date or interest will be applied. And to single out Helzberg Diamonds is just plain ridiculous. This is a company that is owned by Warren Buffet and the ONLY national chain jewelry store that was invited to be members of the American Gen Society. Shame on you for pointing the blame.

My husband is blind and got taken advantage of with this gimmick. No one explained the details to him, no one made a note on the account about his disability, and when they slapped us with $500 interest from the last year, they said it was in the fine print and he should have known. They had advised us to use my credit since I had better credit at the time. They used this against us by saying that since I was the primary cardholder I should have read all the fine print to him. He wanted to buy my ring with out me knowing the cost, so I hadn’t seen any of the paperwork.

We tried to explain it to them, but they basically said since they had no record of the disability it was our fault and we had to pay more in interest than we even owed on the ring!! Basically the misinformation of the Helzberg employees, along with the sh*tty business practices of HSBC have caused us to be in debt after the wedding, and we cannot afford a house until we get this paid off. My advice would be to never EVER buy anything from Helzberg, because they will not take care of you as a valued customer or guest, but take you for every penny you have. If you must do business here, do NOT use the card. It is unfair the way they set it up and don’t tell you about the specific terms of everything. They expect you to read every term, even if you cannot see to read. Bad, bad business if you ask me.

I am a Human Resources Manager (Business degree) and I am shocked and appalled by the bad ethics of these two companies. As for Jason’s comment…I can guarantee you he probably works for Helzberg. Every other company I have done business with or worked at clearly explains the credit terms to you, they don’t mislead you then tell you “you should have read the fine print.” I hate that we got taken by this scam, and hope I can save others from this by sharing our story.

I don’t understand how you can single out the Helzberg Diamond card in this instance. This is a common practice among most store name offered cards. I have purchased many items on this type of plan at many reputable locations, including Best Buy, City Furniture, Dell, Sam’s Club, and yes, Helzberg. The terms are in the agreement for the applicant to see. If you didn’t read one of your agreements and got slapped with the interest, is that really Helzberg’s fault?