NEW YORK (AP) — Special financing for the next six months!
Those are the magic words Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping will get customers to spend happily with its branded credit cards this holiday season. But shoppers should check the list of conditions twice before applying for the card or racking up charges.
For the next six months, the company says both new and existing Walmart credit card holders can enjoy no interest on purchases made in November and December. That applies to purchases made in stores or online. There’s no cap on eligible purchases.
The offer is good for both Walmart Discover cards, which can be used anywhere that Discover cards are accepted, and Walmart credit cards, which can only be used at the retailer.
THE FINE PRINT
The offer isn’t a free ride on payments until next summer. Customers still have to make minimum monthly payments; they also have to pay off their purchases within six months. Otherwise, they’ll be charged the interest retroactively from the date of the purchase.
If the purchases are being made in-store, customers also have to print a coupon from the retailer’s website and have it scanned at the register.
You could also still pay interest charges before the six months ends. That’s because any balances you incur after December will accrue interest. Any balance you incurred before November will also continue to accrue interest. Any minimum payments you make could also be applied to your pre-exisiting balance.
For those considering applying for a card, keep in mind that the interest rates on store credit cards tend to be higher than those for bank-issued cards. The interest rate on the Walmart cards range between 17 percent and 23 percent, depending on the applicant’s credit profile.