Review: Ford Credit Card – Here's Why It's a Bad Idea
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Even if you own a Ford, you may not have realized they actually offer a credit card until you saw a commercial for it. The Ford credit card is different than Ford Credit, or the Ford Motor Credit Company LLC that finances and leases vehicles, as the card is currently offered through Citi. Thinking about applying? Here are some things that may make you reconsider.
The Ford Card Can’t Be Used Everywhere
The Ford credit card is much like those retail credit cards that you can only use at the store. It isn’t an American Express, Discover, Visa or Mastercard and you can only use it at Ford dealerships. This card is basically just a way to finance things like service for your Ford vehicle, parts, tires, accessories, body shop repairs, service plans, and even rentals.
Very Expensive Financing
The Ford credit card comes with a very high APR over 28%, which should be a huge red flag. While you can get 0% financing for six months, this can get very expensive if you carry a balance through the promotional period. While you only need average credit to qualify for the Ford Service card, you’re better off getting a major credit card with a 0% introductory period to enjoy a lower interest rate and more universal acceptance.
Near Worthless Rewards Program
Yes, the Ford credit card does have a rewards program, but it’s not like anything you’re familiar with from a credit card. Rather than earning points or cashback, some purchases with your Ford card will get you a better main-in rebate when they’re running special promotions.
As an example, you may receive an extra $60 mail-in rebate when you buy four tires from select brands with your credit card during the promotion period.
Given that this is just a credit card to use at one place only, it should come as no surprise that you won’t get any kind of sign-up bonus. If you have excellent credit, you could be qualifying for a credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with a $400 sign-up bonus and a much more affordable interest rate, which would make better sense if you plan to finance spending at a Ford dealership.
The Bottom Line
The Ford Service card fails on every front. The interest rate is abysmal, there is no promotion when you sign up and the rewards program doesn’t really have much to offer. To top it off, you can’t even apply for the Ford card online — you need to apply at a participating dealership to even learn the real details.
Do yourself a favor and skip the Ford card if you want to finance new tires or repair work and go with a Visa or Mastercard that offers a better 0% intro APR and a more reasonable APR afterward.
Credit Shout is a community of personal finance experts dedicated to helping you save money and make smart financial decisions. Learn how to master your credit card rewards, improve your credit score and start eliminating your debt.