The last time I replaced all 4 tires at once was on a Mercury Sable several years ago. Lo and behold, a couple months later the car was giving me non-stop electrical problems so I trade it in and get a measly $1,500 for it (meanwhile the 4 new tires alone had cost half that amount).
The lesson? Think twice before you “invest” money into your older car.
This especially holds true with tires, because they’re such a freakin’ ripoff nowadays. Some junk made in China rubber costs upwards of $600 to $800 for a set of 4.
Or go with a name brand like Bridgestone and you could easily be spending $1,000+ on them.
As if that’s not costly enough, if you apply for their credit card, it may end up costing you a lot more than that if you don’t understand the sketchy way it works.
What does “no interest if paid in full” really mean?
Many people hear the “no interest if paid in full” and are led to believe it means there is no interest for a specified amount of time… not quite.
Contrary to what the sales rep might have told you, these types of financing deals are NOT zero percent. This is how they operate:
- Interest begins accumulating from the first day of your purchase.
- During the promotional period, you won’t see this interest on your Bridgestone credit card statements.
- If you pay off the purchase during the promotional period, the interest will never appear.
- If you DON’T pay it offer during the promo period, then the accrued interest will appear afterward (on the 7th month, if you had a 6 month offer).
See how sneaky that is? If you pay it off in time, it’s all gravy. But if you just make the minimum payments, then you’ll still be stuck paying the finance charges for the entire time.
Many customers don’t realize this, because they’re not used to it (and they shouldn’t be, because major banks will never do this – they give a true 0%).
Semi-awful when compared to competitors
As much as this sucks, the credit card from Bridgestone is only semi-awful, in comparison to other tire stores. With this one, you will pay a 22.80% interest rate for 2013 (at least that’s what they listed when I last checked the application).
Is that high? Absolutely. But it’s not as high as the 28.99% that I have seen on competing tire store cards.
I think the reason they get away with the high APR + deferred interest is because often times, someone buying tires didn’t plan for it in advance. So there you are, at the tire store needing to pay, without the spare cash to do so. That’s why these cards stay in business, despite the rotten deal.
If you have the time to plan things out, I would advise you go for bank-issued card instead that doesn’t charge deferred interest. If you already have the Bridgestone card, pay it off as fast as possible or transfer the balance before the 6 months ends.