The Firestone Complete Auto Care credit card offers customers a method to finance car repairs, scheduled maintenance and new tires at Firestone locations across the United States. The card offers several benefits above and beyond a traditional credit card. However, the fine print spells out a few stipulations that potential cardholders should be aware of before applying.
How the Card Works
The Firestone Complete Auto Care card is a credit card designed for use specifically at Firestone locations. Firestone offers the card through a third-party finance company, Credit First National Association (CFNA). Because this is a retail card, it is not accepted at ATMs or retailers other than Firestone. Interested customers can apply for the card online or in person. A credit decision usually takes only minutes.
Once the card is active, the cardholder may use it at Firestone the same way as any other credit card. The customer can charge the cost of tires, car repairs and other purchases on the card and avoid interest charges by paying off the balance each month. Any balance that carries over to the following month accrues interest at an annual percentage rate (APR) of 22.8%, as of July 2016.
The Firestone Complete Auto Care credit card is accepted at over 1,600 Firestone locations nationwide and carries no annual fee.
Rewards and Benefits
The signature reward of this credit card is a zero-interest offer on major purchases of $299 or higher. The only stipulations are that the cardholder must make the minimum payment on time each month and pay the full purchase off within six months. Failure to do so results in fees and the cancellation of the zero-interest provision.
Additional benefits include periodic special pricing on tires and auto care. Firestone offers these deals exclusively to cardholders. The billing is paperless, and customers receive email notifications about upcoming due dates and other important account information.
Who Benefits the Most?
Since the card's biggest benefits come from making frequent purchases at Firestone, in particular purchases of several hundred dollars or more, customers with multiple cars who purchase tires and get their vehicles serviced exclusively at Firestone benefit most.
Customers who only conduct business at Firestone sparingly and pay up front for tires and auto repairs will benefit less from the card. For these customers, the occasional cardholder savings might not be enough to justify having another credit card payment to juggle.
Several competitors offer cards comparable to the Firestone Complete Auto Care credit card. Discount Tire's zero-interest promotion is similar to Firestone's, but offers even more favorable terms to big spenders. Cardholders who spend over $1,000 at Discount Tire have nine months to repay with no interest, and those who spend over $1,500 have a full year. Only $199 is required, rather than the $299 required by Firestone, to receive six months of no interest.
The Goodyear Credit Card, offered by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT), offers six months of no interest on purchases of $250 and 12 months on purchases of $500. Paying for an oil change with the Goodyear Credit Card results in $5 off, and cardholders receive double the money on mail-in rebate promotions.
The Fine Print
The Firestone Complete Auto Care credit card's APR was 22.8%, as of July 2016, but the fine print indicates this rate is subject to change at any time. The card also carries a $1 minimum finance charge for any cardholder who is charged interest. Paying late results in a $15 fee for balances under $100 and a $35 fee for balances of $100 or greater.
CFNA, the third-party lender that administers the card, has received negative to mixed customer reviews. Lack of communication and constantly changing credit terms represent two of the most common complaints made about CFNA.