Almost 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…
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.