[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
The jewelry store whose tag line, “Every kiss begins with Kay,” makes getting (and giving) those kisses a little easier through the Kay Jewelers credit card. And it’s available to customers who might not have the greatest credit. Here’s what else you need to know.
Despite the name, the Kay Jewelers credit card isn’t really a credit card, but a retail card. You can use it only at Kay and it allows you to carry a balance up to a pre-set limit for purchases made at the jeweler, and then pay it off over time.
The card can be used for purchases online at Kay.com or in any Kay Jewelers store, and you can have additional cards made for authorized users. There’s no annual fee, and the card comes with a variable annual percentage rate (APR) of 27.74%, based on your state and creditworthiness. Late payment fees vary by state, but can be as much as $37.
Keep in mind that, unlike some retail cards that offer perks and incentives to cardholders, the Kay card is pretty basic. What the jeweler does offer is special deals with 0% APR financing that could help you pay for that swanky engagement ring. As of writing this, there was one special financing offer listed on Kay’s website. Cardholders are eligible for 12-months of 0% interest on purchases. After that, the standard variable purchase APR of 27.74% will apply. The offer’s available only for purchases of $500 or more and a 20% down payment is required.
While in-store promotional financing can be convenient, given you can apply for it right at the point of sale, it’s important to note that Kay’s Jewelers, like many retailers extending promotional credit, charges retroactive interest if you don’t pay the promotional purchase off in full by the time the offer expires. In other words, you’ll have to pay 27.74% interest on that $1,000 wedding band, even if you did manage to pay $500 of it off during that 12 months.
The Kay Jewelers card, offered through Sterling Jewelers Inc. Credit Cards, is just like a traditional credit card, however, in that it may be reported to the major credit bureaus. That means it can help you establish or improve your credit if you manage the account well, making your payments on time and not letting your balance get too high.
Cardholders can manage their accounts online, including making monthly payments. Here’s a recap of the card’s major details.
Kay Jewelers Credit Card
Pros: That in-store 0% financing offer can be convenient for cardholders who know they’re going to pay that balance off in full; Consumers don’t need stellar credit to qualify and Kay says it may report to the credit bureaus, so the card could conceivably help you build credit.
Cons: You’ll pay retroactive interest on your promotional purchase if you can’t pay it all off before the special financing offer expires — and 27.74% is a pretty high go-to rate, particularly for a card that doesn’t carry rewards.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 27.74%, after a 12-month 0% APR introductory offer expires
Getting a Kay Jewelers Credit Card
While you might not need outstanding credit to qualify for this card, it’s important to consider where your credit score stands before applying for a new credit card for several reasons. For starters, a good credit score generally helps you get approved for a lower interest rate. Also, your Kay Jewelers credit card application, like any credit card application, can generate a hard inquiry, which can ding your score, so you don’t want to apply if you won’t qualify. You can check your free credit scores on Credit.com to see where you stand.
Alternatives to the Kay Jewelers Credit Card
If you’re looking to make a big purchase and you need a longer window to pay if off, you may want to look into a traditional credit card touting a 0% introductory rate. Many of these cards don’t charge retroactive interest and their go-to rates can be lower, given store credit cards in general tend to feature APRs on the higher side. Here are two alternate credit cards to consider.
Discover it® Cash Back
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
- Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
- Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- No annual fee.
Card Details +
Why We Picked it: The Discover it® Cash Back (see full review here) is currently offering a 0% for 14 months on purchases. After that, 13.99% - 24.99% Variable on purchases & balance transfers, based on creditworthiness.
Bonus: The card offers rewards. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on purchases in revolving categories each quarter and 1% on all other purchases. Note: You have to enroll each quarter to start earning that 5% cash back (again, on up to $1,500 on purchases) in the designated category. You can check Discover’s cash back calendar online for quarterly bonus category updates. On top of the base rewards, Discover is currently offering a signup bonus that matches all the cash back new cardholders earn in the first year at the end of that year. Just be sure the rewards don’t encourage you to overspend — otherwise, you’ll lose all your cash back to interest.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 13.99% - 24.99% Variable on purchases & balance transfers, after the introductory period expires.
At publishing time, the Citi Simplicty and Discover it Cash Back credit cards 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. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
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.
This article was last updated on June 5, 2017.