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GE Capital Retail Bank Brandsmart Credit Card – Outrageous Interest Rate Worth the Trouble?


The Brandsmart credit card, offered by GE Capital Retail Bank, claims to be among the best ranked 0% credit cards. What exactly is it? Basically, the Brandsmart credit card is a Brandsmart store card that offers individuals with lower incomes the opportunity to not only shop for, but to finance purchases made at Brandsmart department stores. While the Brandsmart credit card is relatively easy to apply for and comes with a high rate of approvals, even for fixed income or low-wage earners, always be aware of what you’re getting. We’ll provide a brief overview of the benefits, as well as the terms and conditions, fees and interest rates attached to this card.

Brandsmart Credit Card Basics

No doubt that the annual percentage rate attached to the Brandsmart credit card may rank as one of the highest in the industry, but that’s most likely because just about anyone can be approved for it. The card, because of its relative ease in applying and acceptance, appeals – and is geared toward – those with limited income options. For this reason alone, do be cautious and don’t get ahead of yourself when it comes to imagining how much stuff you can buy with it.

It’s important to be aware that the balance on your card must be paid in full or you have a zero balance in order to avoid the interest charges – and those interest charges can definitely make a dent in your wallet. Credit card management is important when using cards such as the Brandsmart credit card, because it is the interest charges that will get you in the end. Be careful and thorough when reading the fine print and don’t throw away those terms and conditions without reading through them.

Cardholders can use their Brandsmart credit card inside any Brandsmart or GE retail store. Cardholders will receive periodic notifications of customer specials, as well as the ability to earn 1% on purchases when you use the card at Brandsmart USA.

While the Brandsmart credit card may certainly help those with lower incomes to purchase and finance items for home or office space, it is also a relatively acceptable card for first-time cardholders such as college students desiring to learn how to manage their spending. Do the math when it comes to determining how much interest is being paid on purchases as well as minimum monthly payments that can be expected for certain large purchases.

Cardholders can use their Brandsmart credit card for a variety of purchases and products available at Brandsmart stores, including kitchen, air conditioning and heating, electronics, furniture, and more. Services also include custom installations. While Brandsmart USA is certainly known for its low prices, financing options for larger purchases are certainly attractive to consumers. However, when determining whether financing offers a better option than saving money for an overall purchase, only you can decide.

Terms and Conditions

In order to take a closer look at the Brandsmart credit card, consumers need to log onto the Brandsmart USA website and then click on the Apply button. Doing so will enable you to access details attached to the card.

Right off the bat, the Brandsmart credit card comes with an APR 29 .99%. That’s extremely high, but, if you’re careful with your shopping and limit your expenditures to the point where you’re able to pay your balance in full at the end of every billing cycle, you won’t accrue these high rates.

The Brandsmart credit card does not charge an annual fee, and because it’s not a traditional credit card, does not offer balance transfers or cash advances, so you won’t pay any cash advance rates or fees for those. You will, however, pay a $35 late fee if your payment is not received in time.

There is not a wide variety of information regarding specific benefits that you can receive using your Brandsmart credit card. However, because the card is offered by GE Capital Retail Bank, consumers must also be aware that they need to abide by the terms, conditions, stipulations and limitations of GE Capital Bank usage.

As a one of the highest APR “department” store credit cards out there, the Brandsmart credit card is not highly recommended for most consumers, especially those keeping an eye on every penny or those with bad spending habits. The ability to earn 1% on purchases made at Brandsmart USA is a not enough of a perk overall to make this card better than others.

The application process for the Brandsmart credit card is easy, but you will be asked for your monthly and net income, how much you pay on housing, as well as how much you are expecting for an initial purchase amount.  Be advised that when applying for the Brandsmart credit card through the GE Retail Bank, you also have the option for applying for additional credit card security; up to $10,000 and protection in the event of certain unexpected events such as unemployment, disability, hospitalization and so forth.  You can expect to pay $1.66 for every hundred dollars of your ending monthly balance for this added card security. Remember – read the terms and specifications regarding the card security debt cancellation program attached to that offer.

Bottom Line

The outrageously high 29.99% annual percentage rate on the GE Capital Retail Bank Brandsmart credit card is a definite turn-off for many. Those seeking to build credit, to make a purchase, or to have options may find the card attractive and shrug off the interest rate. Do so at your own risk. To determine whether this card is even close to being worth your time and trouble, check out the website, determine the cost of what you’re looking to buy, figure what your interest rate will be on those purchases, and then decide.

However, because of the high APR, we don’t recommend this card to those seeking high priced items, as you’ll definitely end up paying more in interest than you would if you purchased such items elsewhere after you’ve saved up the money. When it comes right down to it, the Brandsmart credit card is definitely not one of the best.

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