Firestone Credit Card – Complete Auto Care
An unforeseen vehicle repair job can put financial strain on your already stretched budget. The scenario becomes extra stressful for people who depend on their vehicle to go to their jobs. Wouldn’t be nice to have an extra credit cushion when faced with a non-negotiable expenditure?
Firestone, a leader in tires and complete auto care, offers a services card credit card designed precisely for this demographic.
With a minimum purchase requirement of $299, and an offer of 0% interest if the payment is made in full within 6 months from the purchase date, the Firestone credit card looks like an attractive deal for most of us. But is there all that is to it? Does the fine print sour the deal?
The Firestone Credit Cards Offer
The Firestone Complete Auto Care credit card is issued by the Credit First National Association or CFNA for short. CFNA has been in business for over 35 years and holds a high reputation among premier consumer finance lenders. They have the backing of being a bank unlike other credit card issuers such as the Elan credit card.
- No imposition of an annual fee
- Hassle free payment options including online billing
- Top notch security
- Competitive APR.
The first benefit of the Firestone card is that you don’t have to wait for it to come in the mail. You can usually fill out an application in store and begin using it right away. It just takes a few minutes to process your information.
The waiver of interest for payments made within six months of purchase is obviously the chief selling point of Firestone credit cards. In other words, you can use this card to buy new tires that your car badly needs, pay the full amount within the next 6 months, and you would not be required to pay any interest over the initial purchase amount. That could save a lot of people from feeling the financial pinch of an unexpected and inflated car repair bill.
However, the so called waiver of interest for six months is revoked if you fail to make a firestone credit card payment within the stipulated time period. In other words, the interest waiver is actually a deferral of the same. The total interest liability for an individual who fails to make the complete payment within 6 months starts accruing from the date of purchase.
Besides the deferral of interest, Firestone credit card holders can take advantage of other benefits like promotional discounts on repairs and purchase of automotive parts. The credit card is also known for its rather generous credit limits. This services credit card is especially helpful for individuals who do not have a stellar credit record as Firestone seemingly does not insist on a faultless and impeccable credit history.
Lastly, while Firestone credit cards are welcomed at well over 6000 stores across US, its restricted usage (tires, repairs, and auto parts and components) means there is little chance of an individual accumulating debt beyond his or her means.
Disadvantages & The Fine Print
As should be abundantly clear by now, the interest deferral system that comes with Firestone credit cards can be a double edged sword. With its current APR of 22.8%, this card can prove to be a fairly expensive proposition if you fail to manage to pay the full amount within 6 months. During our research we found that a large majority of customers have complained about lack of clarity about the amount on which interest is levied in case of late payments.
Aside from that, owing to its minimum purchase requirement, this card would not be of use for people who are not going to spend $299 on their car repair or purchase of tires and other auto parts.
Their website lacks a system to process automatic payments. Automatic payments are a great way for customers to make sure they are not late with payments. Lack of this option which is universally available with other major credit cards could lead to outrageous late fees.
How To Apply
Do you meet the Firestone credit card eligibility criteria? If you are a US citizen, minimum 18 years of age, possess a valid social security number, and government issued photo identification then you are all set to apply for this credit card.
Once you have confirmed your eligibility, you would be required to follow the steps explained below.
1) Personal information: This is the first of the three stage online application process. You would be required to furnish the following information before you can proceed to the next stage.
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Residential address
- Previous residential address
- Mailing address if it is different from your current residential address
- Email address and phone number
- Social security number
- Driver’s license number
- Annual income
- Residential status. That is whether you live in a rented accommodation or own your house.
3) Consent to Terms and Conditions: The third and final stage takes you through their terms and conditions that will regulate your usage of the credit card. Many people tend to overlook it but it is advisable that you read it carefully. The terms and conditions section include details such as:
- Applicable annual interest percentage rate
- Due dates
- Minimum interest charges
- Penalty fees
How To Register Online
The registration and logging in procedure is straightforward even though the web interface is rather cumbersome. Once you are on the log-in page, you simply fill in your details, and the website will take you through a 2 stage process to activate your credit card. Visit the registration page to get started.
Stage One: You would be required to furnish the following information.
- Your credit card number
- Social security number
- Username of your choice
- Password of your choice
- Email ID
- Security question and answer
Once you finish both these steps successfully, you would not only have activated your credit card but also create a personalized customer space on their site. You will be able to view your personal information as well as payments made and balance due.
Firestone Credit Card Login
You can log in to your account any time with the secure login. Ensure that the page you are logging in to begins with HTTPS://.
You are then ready to get started, enter your username and click the “Sign In” button. You will then be prompted to enter your username. You may be prompted with some security questions to help verify your identity.
Forgot Username? If you forgot your username you can have it emailed to you.
Forgot Password? You should pick a password that you will remember but be difficult for others to guess.
Firestone Credit Card Payment
While you are currently unable to make a payment to your credit card within a Firestone store location, there are 3 ways to make payments.
- Online – After logging in to your account, click the link that says “View Payments”. You can then select a date and amount to pay. The following fields will allow you to enter your banking information to complete the payment. Finally, click “submit” and then confirm to have your payment details processed.
- Mail – Payment by check is possible through the mail. Be sure to include your credit card account number written on it in the notes section of your check. The check should be made out to CFNA and sent to:
- Phone – The number to make a payment by phone call 1-800-321-3950. You will need to have all of your banking details with you to complete a payment. The same number is used for customer service, should you need assistance.
You should always leave enough room for your payment to process or you could end up with late fees and unwelcome interest charges.
Final Review & Overview
Here is a brief look at the top customer complaints:
- Customer service is lacking
- Limited use and services
- Charged for late payment even though payment was sent on time
It is always a good idea to inquire about the experience of existing customers before you fully commit yourself to a credit card. Thankfully, this is not so difficult with credible websites like Credit Karma about who allows personal and anonymous reviews of credit services.
As mentioned above, lack of an automated payment system leaves customers vulnerable to late payment charges. On top of that, a lot of customers complained about being slapped with a late payment charge even when they made payments at the service center before the due date and time. Lack of a responsive customer care service is another perennial complaint against this company.
However, there are also a lot of positive experiences narrated by Firestone credit card holders. Most of them suggest that there is no risk of being slapped with nasty surprises like late fee charges if users are meticulous enough with their payments. Most importantly, there are a lot of users simply grateful to have been issued this card despite their less than perfect credit history.