5 Things to Know About the Big Lots Credit Card
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From furniture, mattresses, and home essentials to cosmetics, clothes and even groceries, Big Lots is a fan favorite among many for a wide variety of inexpensive goods. Like most retail stores these days, Big Lots offers its own store credit card with a few notable perks.
The Big Lots credit card, though, doesn't offer big value. Issued by Comenity Bank, the card offers little in the way of discounts, incentives or ongoing rewards. But if you’re planning a large purchase with the retailer, the card’s special financing offers may be tempting.
Here are the five biggest things you need to know about the Big Lots credit card.
1. It only works for Big Lots purchases
The Big Lots credit card is a closed-loop card, meaning it only works at Big Lots retail locations and online at BigLots.com. You won’t see a Visa or Mastercard logo on your physical card, and you can’t use the card for purchases with other retailers.
2. Cardholder rewards and discounts run small
If you’re not taking cautious advantage of a special financing offer (details below), there are no real advantages to opening a Big Lots credit card. Unlike the best store credit cards, which offer up to 5% back in rewards, the Big Lots credit card offers no ongoing rewards program at all.
The Big Lots website does advertise a “welcome coupon” and “special exclusives” for credit cardholders, but representatives for both Big Lots and Comenity Bank did not respond in time for publication regarding the details of those offers.
3. Special financing terms are a big risk
Since the Big Lots credit card offers little in the way of rewards, the card’s only real benefits are its special financing offers. As of February 2023, they offer:
6 months deferred interest financing for purchases of $250 or more.
12 months deferred interest financing for purchases of $750 or more.
As with most store credit cards, the words “special financing” are code for deferred interest, a tricky financing term that can end up costing huge sums for unsuspecting borrowers.
Unlike a true 0% APR offer in which interest is waived completely, the Big Lots credit card’s special financing terms put interest charges on hold for the duration of the promotional period. In the background, though, interest is still accumulating from the date of purchase.
If you have any balance remaining on the purchase when the promotional period ends—yes, even 1 cent —you’ll be charged retroactive interest on the full purchase amount for the entire promotional period.
Alternate Pick: A true (and lengthy) 0% intro APR
To finance a large purchase over time without accumulating deferred interest, consider the BankAmericard® credit card.
It offers 0% intro APR on Purchases for 21 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 21 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74%-25.74% Variable APR.
4. Carrying a balance is a big expense
When making purchases that don’t qualify for special financing, you won’t want to carry a balance on your Big Lots credit card. The card charges an ongoing interest rate of 29.99% APR (as of February 2023), which is well above average, even among store credit cards.
By comparison, the average interest rate for credit cards that incurred interest in 2022 was 20.40%, according to data from the Federal Reserve.
5. The free rewards program is the bigger win
There’s no denying that when it comes to rewards and discounts, the Big Lots credit card is a big disappointment. Fortunately, there’s another Big Lots card for your wallet that really will offer big savings.
Big Lots’ free-to-join Big Rewards program offers huge value in the way of discounts, bonuses, and special perks. Some of the most notable include:
15% off one-time joining bonus for new members.
$5 reward after every 3 purchases.
$10 bonus for every $200 spent on furniture.
10% off everyday discount for active military and veterans.
You don’t need to be a Big Lots credit cardholder to obtain rewards through the Big Rewards program, and being a credit cardholder doesn’t increase the value of your rewards.
To maximize your savings, we recommend stacking the discounts and rewards available through Big Lots’ Big Rewards program with a general purpose cash back credit card. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off.
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