Executive Summary -
In this section, we look at the pros and cons of this card before we arrive at our verdict. Given that this is a niche retail store, only those who shop frequent should consider this card.
Before we give our verdict on this card, I would like to dispel a myth about "retail store" cards and also look at the pros and cons of this card.
First the myth. If you search the internet enough, you'll find lots of articles telling you why cards from retail stores may not be such a good idea. Reasons given include high interest rates and limited rewards. I disagree with that line of argument because I do not carry a balance and there are times when you will shop at a particular store a lot and it makes sense to get their card. My wife (Mrs Credit Card) has the GAP and LL Bean Visa. And having those cards gave us a huge one time savings from the purchases we made and we also get regular discount coupons (which we use).
What I like about this card - There are many things that I like about this card. It lets you earn reward points when you buy things from them. As a bonus, if you decide to use them as your registry, you find you can also earn more points!
The other thing that I really like about this card is that the more you spend on the card, the more 10% discount coupons you can get. Very few "retail" affinity cards have such features. The only downside to this feature is that you have to use the coupons within 90 days!
One of the really cool features that new members should take advantage is the free shipping for one year perk as a Reserve member. This perk is even more valuable now because as of September 2011, Williams Sonoma now require reserve members to make a purchase of at least $45 (together with a coupon code) to get free shipping. But if you get this card, you will get the free shipping with no such requirements.
Things I do not like about this card - There is not much to criticize this card. Perhaps the only real issue I have is that the points expire in 5 years. But 5 years is long enough for most people and you should really use your points way before that.
Verdict - Having bought a few items at Williams-Sonoma before, I can understand why people would keep coming back to the store. The staff know their products well and they always have book signings and cooking demonstrations. A chef enthusiast would simply love shopping here.
If you are always buying products from here, you might just want to consider getting this card because you can earn points and use them to get gift cards or even statement credits. If you spend enough a month, you'll get a couple of 10% discount coupons (which means more visit to the store!). If the above describes you, this card may be a good addition in your wallet.
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