Radio Shack Credit Card Review: Ripoff In 2013?

Posted by CreditCardGuru

radio shack storeAlmost every time I buy something at this store they ask if I would like to apply for the Radio Shack credit card. In fact, just a couple weeks ago I was there buying a digital radio scanner and the sales rep kept trying to peddle me their credit card, acting as if it was the best thing since sliced bread… but is it really?

What does it offer you? Not much…

Store-Use Only: It’s not a part of MasterCard, Discover, etc. so it can only be used at Radio Shack stores.

Battery Discount: The card gives a 15% discount on store-stocked batteries. This is a nice perk, but unfortunately I have found that Radio Shack batteries are overpriced to begin with, so I don’t know how useful this benefit actually is (I just buy elsewhere). Furthermore, according to online reviews reportedly the discount isn’t always automatic – you have to ask for it unless the cashier remembers to do it.

Very High APR: The interest rate is completely out of control. At the time of this review, the Radio Shack credit card application listed a 28.99% APR. This is one of the very highest, if not the all time highest, base level APR we have seen on a credit card… ever!

Financing Offers: This credit card offers promotions for financing – i.e. on purchases of $199 or more there is no interest if paid in full within 12 months. But do you know what “no interest if paid in full” means? It’s bad news…

financing offers terms and conditions

Due to the lack of benefits and rewards, there really is no reason to apply for the Radio Shack card except for the financing offers, however those can be a trap. For example, the “no interest if paid in full within 12 months” means that if you don’t pay off the entire balance before the 12 months is up, you will be slapped with interest charges going back all the way to the date of purchase. At nearly a 29% APR that’s highway robbery.

Questionable Customer Service: After doing a little research, I came across many online complaints about the Radio Shack credit card customer service. There were all kinds of rants where customers were infuriated with how they were treated. So reportedly the customer service on this credit card sucks big time.

First-Purchase Promo Exclusions: Like most store cards, in the past they used to give 10% off the first purchase made with the card (however I haven’t seen that offer in a long time so my guess is they stopped doing it). If they bring this back, be aware that in the past they had plenty of exclusions hidden in the fine print that didn’t qualify for the discount.

What’s the best way to pay for your electronics?

Due to the deferred interest and lack of benefits, I can’t see why anyone would go with “The Shack” card. If you want to, go ahead. But as an alternative, here are three good ones to consider.


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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

4 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Nate March 17, 2014 at 4:59PM

    I was tricked into a RS card on Black Friday 2013, “Big Cash Savings” on my Black Friday purchase, and was unaware of the interest charges going back all the way to the date of purchase if balance was not paid in full, in fact was told different by the sales associate. I found out the hard way when over $300 was added to my balance, and I only had $78 left to pay. I called customer support to explain the lie\scam I was tricked into to no avail.
    Cut up card same day.

  2. crystal hupp December 4, 2013 at 9:19PM

    ok, so I was reading, and I didn’t know any of this. So, I was wandering how do I cancel it?

  3. Debra Mitchells January 22, 2012 at 12:11PM

    Can you apply for the card online or is it store-only?

  4. Joe Sckryzhe November 23, 2011 at 2:01PM

    Love Radio Shack but not so sure about their credit card…

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