The Office Depot ad says “choose from 3 smart credit options for your personal or business needs” but that statement is far from accurate. Here’s why the Office Depot card is definitely not a “smart” option…
Here’s a brief overview of the 3 account types offered in 2013:
- Office Depot personal card – as the name implies, this is a personal credit account
- Office Depot business card – a “no thrills” business credit card that can only be used for Office Depot purchases only
- Office Depot business card with full balance due – this is essentially a charge card since balances are due in full, unfortunately it has minimum usage requirements
The interest rate problem
All of the the Office Depot credit cards have an astronomically high interest rate. How high? Well at the time of writing their business credit card has a standard APR of 23.99%. As if that’s not high enough, it may shoot up to the default rate of 29.99% if…
- you don’t make the minimum payment is not made when it is due
- you exceed your credit line
Now if you think that’s bad, the personal version of the Office Depot card is worse yet! A standard APR of 27.99%.
The financing promotion’s fine print
On purchases that total $299 or higher, there’s no interest if paid in full within 6 months (this offer applies to the personal Office Depot card only).
But then in the fine print it says interest will be charged going back all the way to the date of purchase if it’s not completely paid off within the 6 months. A deferred interest plan like this is a nightmare, because if you don’t pay off every single dollar of the purchase before the promo period, you will get smacked with a big hefty interest charge for the full purchase price. At 27.99% obviously that is a very steep price to pay!
Is there a credit card rewards program?
As you have seen, so far these cards have no redeeming qualities. So there must be a reward program that makes it worthwhile, right? Nope!
There is an Office Depot rewards program called “Worklife Rewards” but you do NOT need to get their credit card to get it. Anyone can signup for free at an Office Depot location for this rewards program. At this time there is no separate rewards program for their credit card holders.
Outrageously high interest rates and no rewards program? There’s clearly no good reason to apply for the Office Depot business or personal credit card. Now interest would be avoided with the charge card version, but you are still getting no rewards and there are minimum purchase requirements.
Here’s a better option: There are a few business credit cards on the market that will give you up to 5% cash back at office supply stores (like Office Depot and Staples) plus odds are you will get an APR a heck of a lot better. Most of these cards are available to both business owners and well as professionals: