The HHGregg credit card application is peddled as way to save money, but will it really do that in 2014?
For starters, I would just like to say I’m a huge fan of HHGregg. There are now 139 HHGregg stores with many more to follow… I think over the next decade we will definitely see them give Best Buy a run for their money (and they need some healthy competition now that Circuit City is gone!).
What is the interest rate?
I called up their customer service to inquire about the APR. I could barely understand the rep I was talking to (had to ask her to repeat the answer multiple times) but I finally found it on their website…
The interest rate on this card is absolutely outrageous – 29.99 percent. I’ve written a lot of credit card reviews and trust me, to the best of my knowledge this is the worst I have ever seen. I mean for crying out loud, the APR is almost 30 percent? That’s highway robbery!
Can you apply online?
At this time you cannot apply for a HHGregg card online. You have to go to their retail store to get an application.
Who issues this credit card?
This is not a major credit card (like a Visa, Discover, etc). It can only be used for purchases at HHGregg locations and on their website, so it is a private label store credit card only. The issuer is GE Capital Retail Bank.
Is there a rewards program?
Unfortunately, the HHGregg card doesn’t offer any points, cash back, miles, etc. on most purchases. However on eligible “major appliance purchases” of $499+ there is a 5% discount. That is nice, but I wonder what kind of exclusions go along with it? Like most store credit cards, the primary benefit is usually a one-time discount at the point of sale for whatever you’re buying with your first card purchase.
Are the finance promotions any good?
Okay, so we have already established the HHGregg card doesn’t provide rewards on most items and it has an insanely high interest rate… so that leaves us with the financing offers. Are they worth it or not? Well take a closer look…
- The card offers deferred interest promotions
- The duration of the promotion can vary depending on what you’re buying and where you’re buying it at. For example, some purchases may be eligible for 6 months, others for 12 months, etc.
- I only found one page on the site that talks about the credit card and it says “90 Days Same-as-Cash on any purchase” is one of the benefits, but I’m not sure if that page is up-to-date because there was also info about the interest rate which was clearly outdated.
Here’s my beef with these promotions, you need to be warned:
All of their financing promotions are 0% deferred financing. So if you don’t pay off every single penny of the purchase before the promotion is up, then interest will be charged to your HHGregg credit card account on the full purchase price, going back all the way to the date of purchase.
On the other hand, regular (major) credit cards don’t do engage in this retroactive-interest practice. If they advertise 0% for 12 months, you won’t get slapped with back interest if it takes you longer than 12 months to pay off the purchase. You’ll simply start paying interest from that date forward on any remaining balances.
I personally would never apply for this card, because it’s so risky. Even if you think you will be able to pay off the purchase in full before the promotion is up, you never know what life has in store for you. If you lost your job or had unexpected expenses come up, suddenly you may no longer be able to pay it off in time… and that would mean getting hit with the deferred interest on the full purchase at an insanely high rate.
A Better Alternative?
If you have really, really bad credit, the financing from HHGregg unfortunately may be your only option. However most people, even those with somewhat impaired or less than perfect credit can qualify for much better options than this.
Written or last updated June 5, 2014