[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed 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 17% to 26.99%, 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 17% to 26.99% 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 17% to 26.99% 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 17% to 26.99% is a pretty high go-to rate, particularly for a card that doesn’t carry rewards.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 17% to 26.99%, 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.
Why We Picked it: The Simplicity card currently carries the longest 0% introductory APR period on the market — cardholders get 0%* for 21 months on purchases* and balance transfers*. After that, the purchase and balance transfer APRs will be 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable), based on creditworthiness. Plus, the Simplicity has no late fees and no penalty APR. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Annual Fee: $0*
APR: 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable), after the introductory period expires.
Why We Picked it: The Discover it — Cashback Match (see full review here) is currently offering a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. After that, the variable APR on balance transfers and purchases will be 11.99% to 23.99%, 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. So, for instance, from April to June of 2017, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at home improvement stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Then, from July to September 2017, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at restaurants and 1% cash back everywhere else. From October to December 2017, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at Amazon.com and more, then 1% cash back everywhere else … and so on and so forth. You can check Discover’s Cashback Match 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: Variable 11.99% to 23.99%, after the introductory period expires.
At publishing time, the Citi Simplicty and Discover it — Cashback Match 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.