As Valentine’s Day approaches, many people may be looking to buy something special for that special someone in their life. This quest often leads people to their local jewelry store, where they may be presented with financing offers or applications for store credit cards. But you need to review the terms and conditions of any credit offer carefully before you go ahead and apply.
Here are some key things to know about the financing offers available at four major jewelry retailers.
1. Jared Credit
Jared offers its own store charge card along with two special financing offers. The Diamond Plan offers 12 months of interest free financing so long as the balance is paid in full within that time period and no payments are more than 60 days late. This plan is available only for purchases of $1,000 or more and requires a 20% down payment.
The Platinum Plan, on the other hand, offers no interest for 12 months if you make the minimum payments required. After a year, the interest rate on the financing will increase to 9.9% for six months, before jumping up to a 24.99% annual percentage rate. This plan is only available for purchases of $5,000 or more and requires a 20% down payment.
Jared’s regular card credit offers interests rates between 17% and 24.99% depending on your creditworthiness. There is no annual fee for the card.
2. Kay Credit
Kay Jewelers is owned by Sterling Jewelers, which is also the parent company of Jared. It offers customers two financing plans: The 12 month plan offers no interest on purchases paid in full within that time period. This plan requires a $500 minimum purchase and a 20% down payment. The regular card credit offers interest rates between 17% and 24.99% depending on creditworthiness. There is no annual fee for this card.
3. The Shane Co. Credit Card
The Shane Company offers a store credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Financial National Bank. The standard interest rate for purchases is 28.99%, but it offers special financing terms of 24, 36, 48, and 60 months with interest rates of 9.99%, 10.99%, 11.99%, and 12.99% respectively. Cardholders are required to make equal payments each month. There is no annual fee for this card.
4. Zales Credit Card
Zales offers a credit card issued by Comenity Capital Bank. This card offers a variety of financing options with promotional rates for between six and 36 months. Customers also can receive $50 off any purchase of $200 on their birthday, free standard shipping on all orders, and 10% off any repair service. The standard interest rate for purchases is 28.99% and there is no annual fee for this card.
Assessing All Your Options
Jewelry store credit cards offer the ease of in-store financing, but you may pay a price for the convenience. These credit cards generally carry higher interest rates and you may be able to find more competitive promotional financing offers from a bank or major credit card issuer. For instance, a jewelry store may be offering so-called deferred interest financing — which means interest rates will jump up on the entire balance if it is not paid in full by the end of the promotional period — while a major credit card issuer may offer true interest free promotional financing, meaning interest only begins to accrue on remaining balances after the promotional financing period expires.
Keep in mind, too, jewelry store cards generally do not offer any kind of spending rewards and also may not be part of any major payment network (meaning the credit or card can only be used for store purchases.) You can research and compare what cards might be right for you here.
Finally, any financing you take on will likely affect your credit so you should may want to see where you stand before you apply. You can check your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and see your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.