Review: Emporium Card

The Emporium Card is an instant approval catalog credit card of the bad credit, “buy now pay later” variety. What does that mean? Well, it means that you are being offered credit to purchase items only from the Emporium catalog, not from any other retailer. And it means that you are likely to be approved even with poor credit.

The downside to this is twofold. First, the prices on most Emporium merchandise are much higher than you would pay elsewhere for the same merchandise.So, even if you bought them without credit, you’d be paying more.

Second, this card is not really a credit card but is instead offering “rent-to-own” financing agreements at higher costs than you would likely incur with any standard credit card. So, in most cases, you will start out with a higher purchase price than you’d pay elsewhere, and if you agree to a lease agreement of more than a few months, you could end up paying another 50% of the purchase price before you finally own the merchandise outright.

(On most purchases, if you pay the full price within the first 3 months, you won’t be charged anything beyond the regular price. Remember, however, that the “regular” price is much higher than you’d pay elsewhere.)

The bottom line for us is this: If you have bad credit and can’t qualify for any sort of regular card, even a high-interest credit card from a retail store, that’s when you might want to consider Emporium. But almost any other credit card available today is going to give you better terms than this.