A Hard Look at America’s Tire Credit Card | Unbiased Analysis
Recommended in specific cases. Use the America’s Tire Credit Card very cautiously. Requires special attention to on-time payments to avoid very high APR and/or fees. If you need to pay for a large auto repair or maintenance bill right now, but don’t have another way to pay, this can provide a stop gap.
Pros and Cons: America’s Tire Credit Card (aka Discount Tire Credit Card)
Effectively a temporary 0% interest loan for auto repair if used correctly (make monthly minimum payments and payoff full balance during the promo period. 6 months promotional 0% financing for purchase $199-$999, 9 months for $1,000-$1,499, and 12 months for $1,500+
No Annual fee
They claim they will give a credit approval decision within minutes
Reputable issuer (Synchrony Bank)
Very high APR – 29.99%+ – like most store co-brand cards. Be careful to pay off your bill fully each month
Only works in the U.S.
- This card does not offer rewards
- 29.99% APR – this is extremely high, but not uncommon for store co-brand cards
- No annual fee – $0 annual fee.
- Applications are subject to credit approval
- While they will take into account your total application, we recommend a credit score of at least 520 to be likely for approval
- Be 18 years old (or the age of majority in your state or territory)
- Have a government issued photo ID and tax identification number (for example a social security number)
- Be willing to provide a non-PO Box mailing address
- 5% off purchases of $399 or more made at America’s Tire or Discount Tire locations
America’s Tire Credit Card Executive Summary: Only use in a car repair emergency
America’s Tire, also known as Discount Tire in some regions, is a chain of automotive shops that offers tires, wheels, and “famous customer service.” Since tires can be a large expense for many people, they offer a credit card that you can apply for in-store. Once approved, you’ll be able to use it immediately for your purchase.
America’s Tire store credit card is issued by Synchrony Bank. Here are some of the important features of this card:
- Very high Variable APR: 29.99%
- Likely credit score range needed for approval: 520 – 850
- Annual Fee: $0
If you’re thinking about applying for this store credit card to purchase your tires, check out this review to see if it’s the right card for you.
Let’s get into all the details ⏩
What is the America's Tire Credit Card?
Let’s check it out
Here are the main takeaways about America’s Tire store credit card:
|Interest-free promotional period||Very high purchase APR|
|No annual fee||No offers for card rewards or cashback|
|Good for those with lower credit scores||Not every in-store purchase earns rewards|
|Zero fraud liability protection||No sign-up bonus|
Details About America’s Tire Store Credit Card
You’ve seen the breakdown of the pros and cons, but what about the fine print? Here’s an in-depth guide about the key features of this card.
If you tend to carry a balance on your credit cards then steer well clear of this card. The 29.99% APR means that you’ll end up paying much more for the balance you carry month to month, making your purchase significantly more expensive in the long run.
Interest-Free Promotional Period
That being said, America’s Tire offers promotional financing on qualifying purchases. You won’t have to pay any interest if the balance is paid in full within six, nine, or twelve months. The interest-free promotional period depends on how much you spend on qualifying purchases with your new card:
- 6 Months: purchases of $199 – $999.99
- 9 Months: $1,000 – $1,499.99
- 12 Months: $1,500 or greater
The fine print states that qualifying purchases must be made in one transaction. Note that that means any additional purchases are still subject to interest payments. Another point is that minimum monthly payments are still required during the promotional period. The specific amount of the minimum monthly payment will vary depending on how large of a purchase you make and how big your total balance is.
The one thing to keep in mind is that you will be charged for all of the interest owed if your balance is not paid in full by the end of the promotional period. Staying on top of your payments will ensure that you won’t have to pay more than you have to. Remember that if this happens, interest will be charged from the date of purchase, not from the end of the promotional period, making it potentially very high.
America’s Tire has calculated the monthly payments you’ll need to make to have your balance paid off by the end of the promotional period (note that the figures below are taken directly from their site, we are unable to independently verify since they do not share their exactly monthly minimum payment formula):
|Total Amount Financed||Estimated Promotional Period (months)||Monthly Payments|
These are only estimates, though, so you’ll want to sit down and make sure that your numbers match up. If you think you’ll have trouble making payments and paying off the balance in full, you’ll probably want to skip this card. A purchase of $1,000 that isn’t paid within the 9-month promotional period will accrue $113 of interest that you’ll have to pay.
America’s Tire Store Credit Card Rewards and Cashback Offers
The America’s Tire credit card doesn’t offer much in terms of rewards and cashback offers. They advertise 5% of instant savings when you use the card in-store, but only on total purchases of $399 and above. The additional promotional offers tend to come and go, make sure you double check that it’s currently being offered before applying if you’re counting on it.
Other than that, there are no rewards or cash back offered, even for gas. For a credit card offered by an automotive parts store, that’s pretty unfortunate.
Building Your Credit Score With America’s Tire Credit Card
America’s Tire will report your payment history and account activity to multiple credit reporting agencies, including the three main bureaus:
The different credit bureaus will assess your history of making regular and on-time payments on your card. This display of financial responsibility could potentially raise your credit score. Since America’s Tire reports to multiple bureaus, there’s a better chance that on-time payments will improve your credit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you still unsure if Discount Tire credit card is the right choice for you? Here are some frequently asked questions about it for more information.
How Do You Apply for America’s Tire Store Credit Card?
You can apply for America’s Tire store credit card in-store before making a purchase. If you’re approved, you’ll be able to use it immediately and take advantage of the interest-free promotional period. You can also apply on America’s Tire website. The quick application usually only takes only a few seconds to determine whether or not you’re approved (but that’s not guaranteed). As soon as you are approved you’ll be able to go to any America’s Tire location and use your card.
Can You Pay America’s Tire Credit Card Online?
There are three options for paying your America’s Tire credit card balance:
- Download the mobile app and make payments via the app
- Make an account on Synchrony and pay online through the banking website
- Through the mailing address found here
How Much Is the Late Payment Fee for America’s Tire Credit Card?
Here are the fees associated with the America’s Tire store credit card:
|Returned Payment Fee||$28|
|Late Payment Fee||Up to $39|
How to Contact America’s Tire Credit Card Customer Support?
The America’s Tire website offers a customer support chat that you can utilize anytime for issues regarding your credit card. You can also email them at [email protected].
Conclusion on the America's Tire Credit Card
Overall, the America’s Tire store credit card is a decent store card for those with fair credit. The fast and easy application process is convenient for making tire purchases in-store. Additionally, the interest-free promotional period plus a $0 annual fee makes it good for anyone who wants to save money.
Its weak points are the high 29.99% APR, along with the lack of rewards or cashback offers. However, if you’re willing to overlook these issues, you can potentially increase your credit score while spreading out payments on your next tire purchase.
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