Better options out there: Fingerhut Credit Account Issued by WebBank review
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Fingerhut Credit Account Overview
A Fingerhut Credit Account by WebBank is advertised as a way for online shoppers to build credit while paying off shopping purchases over time. You won’t earn any rewards on your purchases, you can only use the account with Fingerhut and the interest rates are less than favorable. All in all, there are much better options out there, even for beginners. Card Rating*: ⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been doing a lot more online shopping lately. Between new books, closet storage and organization solutions, home decor and new clothes for summer, I’ve racked up quite a few points (and cardboard boxes) over the past couple of months.
During one of my recent online searches, I came across a new (well, new to me — the service itself was founded back in 1948) online shopping catalog called Fingerhut. It’s a shopping magazine website that lets you open a line of credit to use specifically on catalog purchases so you can pay off your shopping habits over time.
Unsurprisingly, this line of credit isn’t a good option — especially if you’re hoping to earn rewards on your purchases. Let’s dive into the details and discuss other card accounts that could be a better fit for anyone who may be considering a Fingerhut account.
The information for the Fingerhut Credit Account by WeBank has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
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Who is this credit account for?
The account is marketed toward shoppers who want to finance their Fingerhut purchases with low monthly payments. Your payment activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus, and the Fingerhut website claims that it’s a good option for those who have had credit challenges in the past.
I’ll be honest, though — I can’t think of a single scenario where a Fingerhut credit account would be a great idea. Even if you don’t have a good enough credit score to get one of the top rewards credit cards, there are plenty of options out there to help you build credit or finance larger purchases.
Sign up bonus
Right now, you can get $25 off your order of $100 or more when you apply online and are approved for an account. Needless to say, a one-time $25 discount isn’t an offer to write home about — especially considering there are cards out there offering bonuses worth more than $1,000 in value.
Why this account isn’t worth it
Unfortunately, there isn’t really any benefit to having this account open. Here are a few of the reasons why:
It encourages racking up debt
At TPG, we recommend paying off your credit cards each month in order to avoid interest rates. While I recognize that some people need help making ends meet (especially for those who are furloughed right now because of the coronavirus), a Fingerhut account won’t help you pay bills or groceries. This credit account encourages people to take on debt to buy electronics or other nonessential goods. (These are things that, to be frank, you probably shouldn’t buy if you don’t have the money to pay for them.)
There are some larger-ticket items available that some people may be interested in financing. But keep in mind that you’ll have to pay high interest rates on those purchases. According to Fingerhut’s website, you could be paying a variable APR of 24.90% to 29.99%. There are many credit cards that offer a lower APR on purchases, and many of those cards also offer an introductory APR period where you can finance larger purchases or balance transfers for 0% APR for a certain number of months.
Prices are higher
I compared prices on the site to other options, including brand sites, department stores and Amazon. Prices on Fingerhut were almost always inflated.
For example, a pair of Apple AirPods Pro headphones are listed at $349 (originally $449.99) on Fingerhut, where customers would end up paying $32.99 per month. But you could get a set of AirPods Pro with a free engraving straight from Apple for just $249. That’s a $100 difference in price, on top of the fact that Apple will personalize the product for you and you could earn bonus points and miles by using a shopping portal when you buy through Apple.
A Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Fan is listed at $699.99 (or $46.99 per month) on Fingerhut, but you can find the exact same fan on Best Buy for $399.99. A Char-Broil Duo Gas/Charcoal Grill is listed at $549.99 on Fingerhut (or $46.99 per month), but you can find the same grill for just $395.99 at Tractor Supply Company.
You won’t earn any rewards
Last, but not least, this credit account offers no loyalty rewards. You won’t earn points, miles or cash back with this account.
While FingerHut is listed on a few shopping portals, the rewards are subpar. At the time of writing, you could earn 1x through Amtrak Guest Rewards and Spirit Online Mall, .5x through Wyndham Rewards Shopping and Virgin Atlantic Shops Away, or .2x through ANA Global Mall.
Related reading: The weirdest things people have done to earn points and miles
Other credit options
Fortunately, there are a lot of great options out there for those who want to build credit, earn rewards on online shopping purchases or finance a larger shopping purchase (such as a new grill for backyard grilling or a new TV since we’re all cooking at home and watching way more Netflix and Hulu these days).
If your goal is to build credit, check out our guide to the top first credit cards. Cards such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card are both on the easier side to be approved for even if you don’t have a long credit history (they also both earn rewards and don’t charge an annual fee). If you have credit history but a not-so-hot credit score, you could start rebuilding your credit with a secured credit card until your score improves enough to switch to a different card that earns rewards.
For those looking to maximize rewards on online shopping, I’d recommend getting a card that earns across a variety of merchants rather than settling for a line of credit that can only be used at one place. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a solid choice if you want to earn cash back since it lets you choose your bonus category (one of which is online shopping). If you are a fan of Amazon, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is another option to consider, since it earns 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods.
Finally, those hoping to take advantage of a line of credit to finance larger purchases should check out cards that offer a 0% APR introductory period. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is just one option, giving you 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 15 months (see rates and fees). After that introductory period is over, the standard variable APR is 13.99% – 23.99% (see rates and fees), which is still lower than Fingerhut.
The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related reading: How to choose the right credit card for you
It can be tempting to take advantage of offers that let you pay over time when you’re online shopping, but doing so is almost never a good idea. While there are ways you can finance larger purchases with the right budget and a good 0% APR credit card offer, Fingerhut’s credit account through WebBank just doesn’t fit the bill.
With so many actual credit card options out there (many of which earn great rewards that can help you save money or redeem for amazing travel experiences), and other online shopping sites offering better prices on the products Fingerhut sells, it just doesn’t make sense to consider the Fingerhut Credit Account.
For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, click here.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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