Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Are Merging: What Their Credit Cardholders Need to Know

Bass-Pro-Shops-&-Cabela's

Whether your choice of outdoor activities involves a fishing pole and waders or sporting clays and shotgun shells, you may want to take note of this outdoor retailer news — Bass Pro Shops is set to acquire Cabela’s, according to a press release issued Monday.

This approximately $5.5 billion deal will merge Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and White River Marine Group, a boating company that is part of Bass Pro Shops.

But don’t rush out to use your rewards or certificates just yet. For the most part, this buyout isn’t expected to affect how you shop or the rewards you get for doing so.

According to the merger announcement, “All Cabela’s CLUB points and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction.” The press release also noted that the loyalty programs at both stores will remain the same, but said there is “potential over time to expand the program in the combined company.”

Part of the announcement included news that Bass Pro Shops is launching a credit card partnership with Capital One. An email from a Capital One spokesperson said “the Capital One transaction isn’t expected to close until the first half of 2017 and is subject to the concurrent closing of Bass Pro Shops’ acquisition of Cabela’s,” however.

The spokesperson also noted that “it’s business as usual for Cabela’s customers.” So, whether you’re looking to add some lures to your tackle box or get a new camo duck blind, you should have the experiences at both Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops that you’re accustomed to.

Getting a Store Credit Card

No matter what gear you need for your next outdoor adventure, it’s important to remember that applying for a store credit card is an important financial decision and shouldn’t be made lightly. If you are a frequent shopper at either (or both) of these stores, it’s a good idea to look at their reward offerings that accompany the card and see if it’s worth signing up for one, or if you could get better perks with a standard rewards credit card.

Either way, it’s a good idea to review your credit before applying for new plastic (you can see a free snapshot of your credit report, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com) so you have an idea of the terms and conditions you’re eligible for.

At publishing time, Capital One products are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

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.

Image: Susan Washinski

The post Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Are Merging: What Their Credit Cardholders Need to Know appeared first on Credit.com.

How to Use Your Shopping Addiction to Build Credit

shopping-addiction-store-credit-card

If you love to shop, it’s possible to use your fashion sense to help improve your financial sense by building, or even rebuilding, your credit. Here’s how.

Store-branded credit cards are some of the easiest cards to qualify for and are often extended to those who even have bad credit because they have lower criteria than traditional credit cards. Using them, especially if you’re loyal to a particular store and shop there all the time, can bring card rewards, discounts and, if you pay your card off every month, better credit.

Immediate Savings

In most cases, when you apply for a card, the retailer will offer you a discount on that day’s purchases. Sometimes the new account discount will be extended for purchases made within a short time period (24 hours, for example), as an incentive to get you to spend more. The risk here is that instead of saving money, you end up spending more than you had planned, so it’s good to be wary.

Watch Your Credit Scores

When you open your new credit card, you may see a dip in your credit scores for two reasons: One is the inquiry that is created when the issuer checks your credit score. This inquiry may cause your scores to drop, though usually not more than a few points. In addition, a new account with a balance is often seen as a risk factor. But as long as you pay on time and keep your balances below 30% of your credit line, ideally 10%, you could eventually see a slight rise because you’ll have a positive new credit reference which can prove beneficial if you are trying to build or rebuild credit.

As you use your new card, you can track how your usage and payments are affecting your credit by signing up for Credit.com’s free credit report summary. In addition to getting two free credit scores, you’ll get your very own credit report card that tells you how you’re doing in the five key areas that are included on your credit report and determine your credit score – payment history, debt usage, credit age, account mix and inquiries.

Be Aware of the APR

Interest rates for department store credit cards are almost always on the high side, often 19% – 22% or more. If you carry a balance, the interest you pay will likely exceed the amount you saved with the discount. This means carrying a balance could hamper your goals, especially if you fail to make on-time payments.

Given store credit cards’ high APRs, you won’t want to go on a shopping spree with them, nor will you want to put more purchases on the card than your budget can handle. (For tips on cutting back without feeling deprived, you can go here.)

That said, making a couple of small purchases a month, say, on home essentials or groceries, and paying them off quickly (and on time) will likely beef up your credit.

Before You Apply 

Before you fill out an application, you’ll want to know where your credit stands so you have a good sense of what APR you might qualify for. Knowing your score will also inform your decision to apply for a card in general, as inquiries on your credit report can cause your score to take an unnecessary hit.

More on Credit Reports & Credit Scores:

Image: diego_cervo

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What You Need to Know About Jewelry Store Credit Cards

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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.

The post What You Need to Know About Jewelry Store Credit Cards appeared first on Credit.com.