Kay Jewelers Credit Card Review

Buy the perfect engagement ring without having to worry about paying the full price upfront with a Kay Jewelers credit card. Get approved for this store-only card even if you have a lower credit score. Take 6, 12, or 18 months to pay for the jewelry item of your dreams with 0% APR.

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The Verdict

The Kay Jewelers credit card only works if you can pay your big jewelry purchases off within 12 months

If you're ready to get engaged, you shouldn't have to wait.

But many expect to spend the equivalent of one to three months' salary on an engagement ring.

Saving to pay upfront for the full price of a ring could take years.

Years you should be enjoying as a married couple.

Kay can finance your ring purchase with its credit card. Whether it's buying an engagement ring or purchasing a special necklace or bracelet for an anniversary, you can finance it by getting a Kay Jewelers credit card.

There's just one thing: You need to think of the card as a loan, not as a typical credit card.

When you make a big-ticket purchase on a Kay Jewelers card, you'll be given a certain amount of time to pay it back (minus any required down payment) with no interest.

Fixed monthly payments for a set period. Like a loan, you'll pay it back in equal monthly installments and should have it all paid off before the maturity date (in 6, 12, or 18 months, depending on the purchase price).

There's a catch involving the interest. If you are unable to pay in full by the end of the zero-interest period, you'll be charged full interest retroactively on the full amount borrowed.

High-deferred interest if you can't pay. With a regular APR of 27.49%, you'd suddenly be hit with a huge interest bill on a high-priced engagement ring purchase.

Here's the bottom line. If you need to make an important jewelry purchase and you're very confident you'll be able to pay it off within a fixed number of months, it's worth taking the time to check this card out.How Much Do Affluent Americans Spend on Fine Jewelry?

But if you're not sure you can pay off the debt within the no-interest period, it's not worth the risk of getting hit with the full interest all at once, especially on such a costly purchase.

What Makes the Kay Jewelers Credit Card So Special?

Customers with not-so-great credit scores can get approved and pay no interest within a fixed period

The Kay Jewelers store credit card offers the rare chance for people with credit scores dipping into the "Poor" and "Fair" range (600–699) to get credit at 0% interest.

When your credit score is that low, it usually means you'll get declined for credit.

And even if you do get approved, you'll likely be charged the highest possible interest.

A card for lower credit score customers. Rejections and high-interest rates are not the norms with the Kay Jewelers credit card … at least until the deferred-interest period expires.

As long as you can come up with a 20% down payment on your purchase (over $500) and have a credit score of 600 or higher, you'll be able to get the jewelry you need.

Ask yourself a few questions before applying. Do you absolutely need to buy a ring or other high-end jewelry item but don't have the funds to make the purchase?

Are you bringing in enough income to afford the monthly payments that can stretch over periods of 6, 12, or 18 months?

Does your credit score act as a barrier to accessing a regular credit card or loan?

If you're answering "yes" to these questions, a Kay Jewelers credit card could be the right pick for you.

Why People Love the Kay Jewelers Credit Card

Being able to stretch payments for a big purchase over months makes buying the perfect ring possible

When it comes to making a super-important purchase like a diamond engagement ring, the price shouldn't be the deciding factor.

Rather than worrying about whether or not you can afford to buy a ring in cash upfront, it's much less stressful to figure out what jewelry you can afford in terms of monthly payments.

6-month 0% APR repayment periods for purchases from $200–$499. If you buy an item of jewelry costing between $200–$499, you can get approved for a 6-month repayment plan.

You won't be charged interest over the 6-month period after your purchase date, and you don't even have to put down a down payment.

If you bought, for example, a $300 bracelet using the card, you'd pay $50 a month over the next six months, and no interest would be charged.

12-month 0% APR repayment period for purchases between $500–$2,999. For purchases above $500 and less than $3,000, a 12-month repayment schedule is set up, with no interest charged for a whole year.

You just need to put down a 20% down payment to qualify for these terms.

Let's say you wanted to put a $2,500 diamond engagement ring on your Kay Jewelers credit card.

You would have to put $750 down as your 20% down payment, and then you'd pay fixed monthly installments of $145.83 over the next 12 months.

18-month repayment periods at 0% interest for purchases over $3,000. If you're dropping more than $3,000 on your purchase, you'll get 18 months to pay back the full amount (minus the 20% deposit), interest-free.

To buy a $4,000 ring, you'd need to put an $800 deposit down, then you'd be set up with $177.78 monthly payments for the next year and a half.

No down payment? No problem. If you want to buy something with a price tag of $3,000 or higher, you can stretch your payments over 36 months at a lower APR than the regular rate.

36 fixed payments will also cover an additional 14.99% APR charged over the three-year loan term.

In the case of the $4,000 ring, you'd pay $138.70 each month for 36 months.

At the end of the three years, the ring will be paid off, including $993.20 in total interest.

What Are the Downfalls with the Kay Jewelers Credit Card?

Deferred interest charged at a sky-high APR can give customers an unpleasant surprise

When you look up customer reviews and complaints about the Kay Jewelers card, you get a lesson in what "deferred interest" means.

Many didn't realize they'd be charged full interest on the full amount they originally borrowed if they weren't able to pay within the agreed-upon period.

Here's how deferred interest works. Let's go back to our example of the $4,000 engagement ring with the 18-month 0% APR repayment plan.

You paid your $800 down payment and have paid $177.78 in fixed monthly payments for the last 17 months.

Now, let's say for some reason you can't make the final $177.78 payment.

Even though you've paid off $3,822.22 of the $4,000 price tag, you will suddenly be charged an additional $740.98 in interest charges.

That's because the $3,200 you borrowed would have been charged $740.98 in interest at the full APR rate of 27.49% over the 18 months.

Interest was only waived over the 18-month term if you kept up with payments and finished paying within those 18 months.

Ouch. It's like walking a tightrope—any slip-up is costly. If for any reason you fail to pay in full within the 18 months, you're automatically charged the full APR on the full amount borrowed over the full term.

The Competition

Zales offers similar promotional periods but has a higher regular APR and charges transaction fees

Zales is another huge jewelry retailer offering customers a credit card to finance purchases over 6-, 12-, and 18-month periods interest-free.U.S. Jewelry Stores Ad Spend from 2010-2017

Like the Kay credit card, Zales also charges deferred interest if customers aren't able to pay the amount they borrowed in full within the promo zero-interest period.

The main difference is the regular purchase APR Zales charges is 29.99%, which is even higher than the 27.49% charged by the Kay card.

Zales also charges $9.95 per transaction for purchases made on the card under a 12- or 18-month deferred-interest plan.

How the Kay Jewelers credit card compares to the Zales credit card

Kay Jewelers credit cardZales credit card
How high of a credit score do you need?>600>660
Average APR?27.49%29.99%
Annual fee?$0$0
How big of a sign-up bonus do you get?N/AN/A
How much do you need to spend to get the bonus?N/AN/A
How many points do you get for every dollar?N/AN/A
Any restrictions?Can only be used at Kay JewelersCan only be used at Zales $9.95 transaction fee for purchases made on 12- and 18-month 0% promo plans
If you spent $100 on the card, then how much would the points be worth in dollars?$0$0
How much would you need to spend on the card to make up for the fees (excluding APR/rates)?$0$0

Here are two more credit cards with 0% APR intro periods to consider

If you need to stretch your payments over time at no interest, you can do so with a regular credit card offering a 0% purchase APR intro period.

No deferred interest. With these cards, if you can't pay back in full by the end of the 0% interest promo period, you're not charged retroactive interest on the full original amount.

You'll just be charged a regular APR on whatever balance you carry beyond the promo period.

Get 0% APR and cash back with Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom credit card offers 0% intro APR for the first 15 months after you open your account.

You can also earn up to 5% cash back on some purchases and get a $150 bonus if you sign up and spend $500 in the first three months (which you will if you buy a nice ring!).

If you do need to carry a balance past the 15-month 0% APR period, the regular APR is between 16.49%–25.24%.

The Capital One Quicksilver Visa offers almost identical terms. The features the Capital One Quicksilver card shares with Chase Freedom include a 15-month intro period with 0% interest on all purchases.

You earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits, and you get a $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

The regular APR for purchases made past the 15-month 0% intro period is between 14.49%–24.49%.

No annual fees across the board. Like the Kay Jewelers card and the Zales card, both of these credit cards have a $0 annual fee.

The Question Everyone's Asking About the Kay Jewelers Credit Card

Can you make more than one purchase with a 0% APR rate?

It's great customers can finance a big-ticket jewelry purchase at a 0% interest rate for 6, 12, or 18 months, but people want to know if this is just a one-off intro offer.

Fortunately, the Kay Jewelers credit card continues to offer the chance to purchase items from $200 to $3,000+ at a 0% rate over a fixed term for the life of the card.

Different due dates for different purchases. Each purchase will have its own timeline for repayment and fixed monthly payment amounts.

Let's say you were approved for a credit limit of $5,000 and bought a $2,000 ring to be paid back (minus deposit) over 12 months at 0% APR.

Anytime you want (days, weeks, or months later), you'd be able to buy a $1,000 watch with its own 12-month 0% APR term starting from its own date of purchase.

How It All Works

A credit card with no interest on big purchases (as long as you pay on time)

As we mentioned earlier, it's best to think of the Kay Jewelers card as an in-house lending system for a personal loan rather than a regular credit card.

You can't earn travel rewards or cash back on the Kay credit card, or even points toward in-store purchases.

The card also can't be used outside of Kay Jewelers' stores or website.Total Sales of Kay Jewelers from 2013-2017

Anniversary and birthday benefits are just special sale offers. A couple of benefits the Kay card does provide are "special offers" on a cardholder's birthday or on the anniversary of their account.

Don't get a "special offer" confused with a free gift—it's just an item specially priced for cardholders to purchase specifically on these important days.

Get your jewelry cleaned for free. Another benefit Kay Jewelers cardholders are entitled to is free cleaning and inspection of their jewelry.

They also get advance notice from Kay when there are sales, events, or promotions.

Manage your Kay Jewelers credit card online or with an app

It's pretty much standard these days for a credit card to let cardholders access their accounts through their browser or a dedicated app, and the Kay credit card is no exception.

No need to go to a bank or store. You can use the app or online banking portal to pay your bill, view your statements, update your account and personal information, and more.

    FAQ

  • How do I get started?

    There are two ways to apply for a Kay Jewelers credit card.

    The first is in-person at a Kay Jewelers store: you can fill out an application, and 80% of the time you will be approved on-the-spot after a quick credit check is processed.

    The second way to apply is online: after submitting an online application, 80% of applicants are approved instantly.

  • What happens if I don't get approved immediately?

    If you don't get approved immediately, you'll receive a letter in the near future requesting more information about your creditworthiness.

    Based on your responses to the letter, you will either be approved or finally declined.

  • Can I use my Kay Jewelers card immediately after I'm approved?

    Yes. You'll receive a credit card account number when you get your approval online or in the store.

    If you apply online, it's a good idea to either save a screenshot of the approval confirmation message or take a photo of your account number on your approval page so you don't lose or forget it.

    You can then use your account number to either shop online on the Kay Jewelers website or in the store.

  • How long does it take to get my card after I'm approved?

    No, down payments on items purchased through the card cannot be charged to the card, and must be paid either in cash, debit, or a regular credit card.

  • How long does it take to get my card after I'm approved?

    It takes approximately two weeks before you receive the actual card in the mail.

  • How can I submit payments?

    You need to call Customer Care at 855-506-2499 or you can send a message through the Kay Jewelers credit card website's Secure Message Center.

  • How do I stop my Kay Jewelers credit card?

    You need to call Customer Care at 855-506-2499 or you can send a message through the Kay Jewelers credit card website's Secure Message Center.

  • What banks issue Kay Jewelers credit cards?

    Kay Jewelers credit cards are issued by either Comenity Bank or Genesis.

  • How do I speak to a human being about Kay Jewelers credit cards?

    If your card is issued by Comenity Bank, the Customer Care line for Kay Jewelers credit cards is 855-506-2499.

    Genesis cardholders can call 866-875-0891 to talk to a customer care representative about their Kay Jewelers credit card.

  • Do Kay Jewelers credit cards report to credit bureaus?

    Yes, which means it can be a good card for rebuilding credit.

  • Where can I use my Kay Jewelers credit card?

    You can use your Kay Jewelers card to purchase Kay products online through the store's website, or in their stores.

  • Does the Kay Jewelers credit card charge late fees?

    Yes, you can be charged from $27–$38 dollars for payments made after 8 pm on the payment due date.

Kay Jewelers credit card works best if you think of it as a short-term loan

You shouldn't have to wait to buy an engagement ring just because you can't afford to buy one with cash.

You also shouldn't be denied the perfect ring because your credit score isn't perfect.

For people with not-great credit scores who need to stretch out payments for an engagement ring (or other high-end jewelry purchase), the Kay card can be for you.

Go ahead, put a ring on that finger and let the wedding planning begin!

But if you can't guarantee you can pay the whole thing off in 6, 12, or 18 months, don't bother.

You'll pay dearly when the deferred interest is charged and hits you all at once.

No couple should start married life with a gloomy cloud of unexpected debt above their heads.

Do you use the Kay Jewelers credit card?

How has the card worked for you?

Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?

Let us know in the comments below.

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