The Verdict: Store-affiliated credit cards are usually a bad investment. They usually come with high interest rates, and their rewards programs — if they exist — are often less than flexible, usually allowing you to cash in your rewards program only for gift certificates affiliated with the issuing retailer. The HSN Credit Card, affiliated with cable TV’s Home Shopping Network, is no exception.
Overview: This card does not come with a rewards program. That’s strike one. Strike two is the high purchase interest rate that you’ll be charged if you don’t pay your bill in full each month. And strike three? That’s the misleading, and dangerous, VIP Financing offer that comes with the card.
How This Card Works: The biggest benefit of the HSN card appears to be its VIP Financing program. Under this program, you won’t have to pay interest for nine months on consumer electronics, fitness items and mattresses of $399 or more. There is a catch, though; if you don’t pay off these purchases in full within nine months, you will be charged interest from the date of the purchase. This means that even if you pay off 90 percent of your purchase within nine months, you’ll still have to pay interest on your entire purchase because you didn’t pay off the remaining 10 percent.
Travel and Shopping Benefits: In addition to the VIP Financing program, card holders will have access to exclusive Home Shopping Network discounts and early access to merchandise.
Fees: The fee to watch out for here is the purchase interest rate, which stands at a staggering 26.99 percent. If you don’t pay your bill in full each month, your debt can rise to sky-high levels thanks to this high interest rate. This is not the card for anyone who runs up too much credit-card debt to pay off each month.
- Nine months no interest on certain purchases.
- Exclusive discounts on shopping club merchandise.
- Early access to merchandise.
- High interest rate.
- No rewards program.
- No-interest offer can backfire on cardholders.