Q: Do you recommend the card from Zales? My longtime girlfriend likes their pink diamond engagement rings and I was thinking of finally popping the question. Think I should apply for a Zales card to get it?
A: First all of all, congrats on the relationship! I think Zales is a great jewelry store – they make some great stuff at somewhat reasonable prices. However I’m not a fan of the Zales card. Here’s why…
Extremely high interest rate
The Zales credit card has some of the most brutal APRs on the market. For example, at the time of writing, the card application listed a 28.99% APR for purchases! That’s not just high, that’s really high! Of course interest rates can change at any time, but I can never recall a time when their credit card had what I would consider to be reasonable rates.
Unattractive financing offers
At the time of writing, the promos were for no monthly interest if paid in full within 6 months on a purchase of $300 or more. For a purchase of $1,000 or more, there’s no monthly interest if paid in full within 12 months.
Why is is this a bad deal? Well, if you don’t pay for the entire balance in full before the promo period is up (either 6 or 12 months) then interested will be charged to your Zales credit card going all the way back to the purchase date! That’s a lot of money considering that their crazy APR! A lot of people don’t realize that’s how these deferred interest gimmicks work.
The Zales card is not associated with any major payment network (like Visa, Discover, etc.) so you can only use it at their stores and website.
Customer service complaints
On our affiliate’s site, there are a number of Zales credit card reviews which have been posted by purported customers over the last several years. The vast majority of the reviews are extremely negative and many of them are about the service. One customer describes it as “Their customer service is pretty much non existent.” Now to give Zales the benefit of the doubt, maybe those disgruntled customers are just a small minority. But usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Do you really need that jewelry?
Their credit card aside, the real question you should be asking is how important a piece of jewelry is? Our culture these days equates material things with love. Well if someone really loves you, they will understand if you can’t afford the best engagement ring right now. Is it something that’s worth going into debt for? I do know this… most arguments and disputes in relationships center around debt and money related issues, so keep that in mind!
What are the best credit cards for financing purchases?
If you absolutely insist on financing a purchase, store cards are rarely the way to go. If you have good credit, there are plenty of major credit cards on the market that have promotions such as “0% on purchases for the first 6 months” but unlike the Zales credit card, there won’t be any “deferred interest” involved if it takes you longer than 6 months to pay it off. To see the best deals, check out our sponsored list of the best low interest credit cards for purchases.