The Swedish retailer Ikea has successfully introduced its Ikea stores in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, always gaining popularity wherever it opens, with reasonable prices and great home choices. The retailer offers its own Ikea credit cards in some countries but not all, and in the UK its credit card has been replaced with finance agreements.
In the USA the Ikea credit card is offered by G.E. money bank which produces many store credit cards including the Walmart Discover card, which has just hiked its APR for new customers. The Ikea credit card is rather misleadingly advertised as having no annual fee, as it actually levies a monthly fee of $1.99 which equates to an annual fee of $23.88, an expensive addition for a store card. The APR is currently 25.99%, with a penalty APR is 29.99%. Late payment penalty fees are up to $35, and there is a 23 day grace period on card payments.
Ikea advertises that if card holders request it at the time of purchase they can receive a lower APR on in store purchases of over $1000, but it neglects to mention what the actual lower APR will be. Cardholders can also benefit from special payment promotions throughout the year. A current promotion offers six months interest free terms on single receipt purchases over $299, providing the balance of the purchase price is cleared in full within six months. In the interim minimum card payments need to be maintained.
The terms and conditions attached to the American IKEA credit card allow for G.E.M.B. to contact cardholders regarding their account, even if it means cardholders paying for the calls.
Meanwhile in the UK Ikea no longer offers store credit cards to new customers. Instead interest free credit promotions change throughout the year, highlighting different department purchases. The credit agreements are provided by Ikano financial services.
A current interest free promotion offers kitchens and accessories on purchases of over £1,500 at 12 months interest free, and on purchases of over £3,000 at 24 months interest free, both representing a good deal. Customers can also choose to sign up as Ikea Family members and receive additional discounts.
Gift cards which can be purchased from Ikea in the UK can be used in all Ikea stores worldwide. They have no expiration date and may be purchased up to a value of £250 and used until the balance is zero.
The UK interest free credit agreements represent a great deal for shoppers. However the Ikea credit card in America does not represent a good deal when the monthly fee is considered. Even if one used the card to obtain the 6 months interest free credit deals the benefit would be negated by the credit card fee. For US shoppers debit cards or low interest credit cards are a better option than the Ikea store card.
Sources: Ikea and G.E.Money