Express Oil Change Credit Card | 5 minute review – only apply if desperate
Recommended in limited cases. Use the Express Oil Change Credit Card very cautiously. Requires special attention to on-time payments to avoid very high APR and/or fees. If you must pay for a large auto repair or maintenance bill right now, this is a way to do that, but recommend trying to find another way.
Pros and Cons: Express Oil Change Credit Card
You can use to create a small 0% interest loan for yourself to pay automotive related bills (assuming you make all payments on time)
No annual fee
Likely easier credit approval than most cards
Reliable credit card issuer and servicer – Synchrony Bank
Extremely high APR – 29.99%!
Limited functionality – cannot use for purchases at any other store besides Synchrony Car Care Card locations
No additional perks or special offers for card holders
Express Oil Change Credit Card – executive summary
There’s a very narrow window where getting this credit card is a good idea. The window is if you need to get an emergency car repair or service and have no other way to pay. Alternatively, if you need to make a large purchase and know you can pay back the full amount during the promotional period, you could use this card to spread out payments.
Ultimately, though, unless you’re in one of the two above situations, we don’t think adding a credit account with a 30% interest rate is worth the trouble for tire or oil change service.
If you forget to make timely payments, including required minimum monthly payments during the promotional period, you might find the 30% interest rate kicking in and that tire or oil change ends up much more expensive!
Quick note: Most express oil change tire locations are co-located with Tire Engineers locations and they are the same company, so this can also be thought of as the Tire Engineers Credit Card. In fact, it’s co-branded as both, so we’ll use the terms interchangeably.
Ok lets get into the details ⏩
What are the benefits and rewards?
There’s really only one benefit – the promotional financing. You can get:
6 months 0% interest on purchases from $199-$749.99
12 months 0% interest on purchases over $750
We can’t stress enough that this doesn’t mean NO payments during those 6 to 12 months. You will still have required monthly minimum payments along the way. The amount of those will depend on how big of a purchase or service you put on the card.
Ultimately, this is not a strong offer for the vast majority of people who have other means of paying. For example, you could put this on a cash back or travel rewards credit card and get a little bit of your money back.
Another ‘potential perk’ you can create for yourself is that getting this card and making all payments on time might help you build credit. Since Synchrony Bank reports to the credit agencies, like Experian and Transunion, making consistent on time payment will likely help your credit score. This probably isn’t even worth considering unless you have really bad credit. If you do have bad credit, this card might be easier to be approved for than many other cards.
Drawbacks and why you might want to avoid
The biggest drawback is the nearly ~30% APR. If you fail to make all your payments on time and/or if you don’t pay back the full promotional balance before the end of the promotional period, that interest rate will kick in. That means you will have to make much more than just the minimum monthly payments in order to avoid paying any interest at all.
Remember that the rate kicks in from the date of purchase! Not from when the bill was actually due. So it might be more than you expect.
There’s a ‘hidden cost’ here too of having an extra credit account to manage and remember to pay, likely for what’s ultimately a small expense.
The card also has pretty standard fees:
$41 late payment fee
$30 returned payment fee
$2 minimum interest charge
Last word on the Express Oil Change Credit Card / Tire Engineers Credit Card
Most people should probably pay for car services and purchases with a points or rewards card instead.
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