Was the Microcenter credit card a big mistake?

Q: I purchased an ASUS Essentio CPU and 24” LED monitor from microcenter.com for about $1,300. Since I spent over a thousand I qualified for the no interest for 12 months. But now I just found out that the “no interest” deal actually charges interest retroactively if it’s not paid off in time. I can’t do that, did I just make a huge mistake?

A: Yep, that’s right. The credit card from Microcenter doesn’t operate like a normal 0% offer you would get on a Visa or MasterCard.

Conveniently for them, they explain this in that itty-bitty font at the bottom of the page:

payment terms on Microcenter account

Microcenter's standard APR for card

In plain English, you will owe back interest – which will be calculated on the full $1,300 – if you still owe even just a small fraction of that after the 12 months. And that can brutally painful of the APR that Wells Fargo charges on that particular card. It’s 24.74% + Prime (3.25%) = 27.99%.
Was it a mistake? Well obviously there’s nothing you can do about the past – you already used their card to buy your computer. So no point in dwelling on the past. (But if it makes you feel any better… admittedly the card’s black color with binary code along the border and microprocessor is a pretty sweet design).

But you can do something about the future – if you transfer the debt before that 365 days are up, then you won’t get hit with the back interest.

That’s what I would recommend doing if you aren’t able to pay off your Microcenter credit card in time.

Since  their card is issued by Wells Fargo, you won’t be able to do the transfer to another Wells Fargo card (banks don’t allow internal transfers). So just make sure you
choose an offer from a different bank to do it.

This post was written or last updated August 26, 2013

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