If you plan to finance your next Ashley furniture purchase, the Ashley Advantage™ credit card may be worth considering. The card is issued by Synchrony Bank and can be used at Ashley HomeStore's website, participating retail locations and clearance outlets.
Ashley Advantage Card Benefits
The Ashley Advantage credit card card offers a host of enticing benefits to patrons of its namesake furniture brand, all without an annual fee.
Interest-free financing offers are available with the Ashley Advantage credit card. The financing offer and corresponding credit limit you receive will depend on the minimum purchase amount (if applicable) and quality of your credit application. Offers may include:
No interest for 6 months
No interest for 12 months
No interest for 24 months (minimum purchase of $1,499 required)
No interest for 36 months (minimum purchase of $1,999 required)
No interest for 48 months (minimum purchase of $2,499 required)
A review on PissedConsumer.com emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the minimum purchase requirement. The reviewer indicates that she ended up owing quite a bit of interest because she was not aware that she had to spend above a certain dollar amount to qualify for interest-free financing.
As a cardholder, you'll have access to exclusive offers not available to other customers. You will also get coupons that can be applied to in-store and online purchase. Credit Panda cites these incentives as a major selling point for the Ashley Advantage credit card.
Zero Down Payment Financing
Unlike many furniture stores, including Rooms To Go, that require that you pay at least shipping and taxes up-front, Ashley furniture offers financing without a down payment via the credit card. This means that you can start enjoying your furniture a few weeks before you have to make the first payment.
Cardholders who enroll in the Card Security program can have a peace of mind if an eligible emergency arises that prevents them from making payments for an extended period of time. Eligible events include unemployment, leave of absence, hospitalization, nursing home stays, disability and death. A $1.66 monthly fee per $100 of the monthly ending balance applies.
In praise of this program, CompareCards.com states, "We like that they prominently display the option for new card members to sign up for card security. This is good to have in place in case an 'event' comes up."
Online Account Management
You can manage your Ashley Advantage credit card account directly from your smart phone or laptop if you're always on the go. Cardholders can also opt to receive e-bill statements, check their balance, and schedule payments online using their checking account in lieu of mailing in a check or money order.
Drawbacks of the Card
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of before applying for the Ashley Advantage credit card.
Cardholders are subject to an exorbitant APR of 29.99 percent once the special financing period has lapsed. However, if you remit payment in full within the 23-day grace period, or the timeframe between the statement closing date and due date, you can avoid paying interest altogether.
Deferred Interest Charges
It's not difficult to lose the interest-free benefits of this card. All it takes is one missed or late payment during the special financing period for the standard APR of 29.99 percent to be retroactively applied to the entire purchase cost - not just the outstanding balance at that time. A forum contributor on myFICO.com reports having to pay over $500 in finance charges after being ten days late on one payment. CompareCards.com cites this as a "major downside" of the Ashley Advantage credit card.
A review on Credit Card Blog World mentions that it is difficult it is to locate the exact terms and conditions of the card and suggests that cardholders enroll in auto pay to avoid missing a payment and having to fork over cash for deferred interest.
High Late Payment Penalty
You also have to worry about late payment fees, which are either $27 or $37, if you remit payment after the due date. Credit Panda indicates that the late penalty fees on this credit card are quite excessive compared to other credit cards on the market.
Customer reviews from ConsumerAffairs mentioned discrepancies between actual transaction amounts and what appeared on some customers' statements. In some instances, cardholders incurred duplicate charges for items that were refunded, and it took several phone conversations for the issue to be resolved.
Synchrony Bank does not disclose the minimum qualification criteria for this account, but Credit Karma reviews indicate that stellar credit may not be necessary to qualify. In fact, a Credit Karma reviewer with a FICO score of 634 was approved for an Ashley Advantage account.
How to Apply
If you want to be considered for this credit card, you will need to apply online or fill out an application at any Ashley HomeStore retail location. Upon submitting your application, their system will analyze its contents and issue a response on the spot.
Credit Card Catalog suggests waiting to apply until you are certain you will make a purchase from Ashley Furniture HomeStore since the card can't be used elsewhere.
Making Your Decision
If you frequently purchase Ashley furniture and prefer to finance your purchases so you'll have more time pay, this card may be right for you. However, it may only be in your best interest to apply if you can pay the outstanding balance in full before the introductory period ends. Otherwise, you may be better off with a non-store branded card with an enticing introductory offer that offers rewards and can be used worldwide. If you decide to apply, be sure to read the fine print before making a purchase.