Menard’s stores are quite well known for their home improvement stores across the Midwest and especially in Wisconsin. Unfortunately their credit card – the Menards Big Card – isn’t such a good deal. Here’s why…
Sneaky Financing Offers
Most consumers are probably unaware that the promotional financing offers on the Menard’s card are structured as deferred interest. This means that if you fail to pay the entire balance prior the promotional period ending, you will experience retroactive interest on the full balance going all the way to the date of purchase… and that could entail quite a bit of money if your purchase was substantial with an APR of 24.99%.
So let’s say your financing offer with the Menards Big card was 0% if paid in full within 6 months. Well if you don’t pay it in full, you are left paying a small fortune in back interest! So if you’re carrying a balance, transfer it to a different card like this that does NOT use deferred interest:
Obscenely High APR
The Menards credit card has one of the highest APRs around. At the time of writing, the interest rate on the Menards card was 24.99% (that’s 21.74% plus the prime rate, which is 3.25%). And, when you stop to think that the bank’s cost of funds is at most .25% (and they usually get their funds at 0% from the Fed) they are really ripping people off at 24.99%. Even though the prime rate has been stuck at that level for several years there are signs that it’s going to go up sometime later this year or next year, meaning cards like this will be charging some really eye-popping interest rates. Accounting for the fact that its a private label credit card, this is still extremely high and you almost can certainly do better with just about any off the shelf general use major credit card.
Small Signup Bonus
The Menard store credit card application currently shows a $10 in-store certificate after charging a $100 purchase on a new Menards Big card. Sure, something’s better than nothing, but there are many other credit cards on the market that give you a signup bonus worth 10x as much – $100!
Not The Best Rewards
Many store credit cards on the market give up to 5% in rewards when shopping at their stores. The Menards card only gives 2% rebate on an annual basis. With such low rewards it’s not the most compelling selling offer to get you to apply for a Menards credit card.
Although it’s a great home improvement store, the Menards Big Card leaves a lot to be desired. The only people I would recommend this card to are those with bad credit, because comments/reviews online have said they seem to be lenient to applicants with poor credit.
The main piece of advice I can give is to never, ever carry a balance on Menards card because their interest rates are so high you would be doing your pocket book some incredible harm.
How To Save 5% At All Home Improvement Stores?
Did you know there’s a free credit card that gives a 5% rebate in rotating categories, including home improvement stores? Find out how to save 5% for free by reading my Discover it review (a new version for 2013).
How To Finance a Big Purchase & Save The Most Money?
If the primary reason you were interested in the Menards Big Card was for its financing offers, then you would be better offer using a normal bank-issued general use credit card (like a Visa or MasterCard) that gives a promotional 0% rate on purchases. Why? Because normal credit cards don’t use deferred interest. So if it takes you longer than the 0% period to pay it off in full, you won’t have to worry about being charged back interest. For the best current offers, check out our 0% credit cards for purchases and transfers
Last updated August 21, 2015