Emporium Card

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Picture of Emporium Preferred Account
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By : Mr Credit Card
Review Date : Apr/10/2016
Last Update : Apr/10/2016

This is a shopping site with over 100,000 brands and is also a great way for those with bad credit to establish a credit line and rebuild their credit.

Introduction
Introduction

Emporium.com is an online shopping site which sells branded goods and allows you to "buy now" and "pay over time" with no interest. It allows those with challenged credit who could not get a credit card to purchase goods and items online (without a credit card, that is almost impossible). There are many similar online shopping sites around that will give their customers credit, but they normally come laden with fees, but Emporium.com is a little different. Here are the highlights and key features of their credit account.

Key Features
Key Features

Here are the key features of the Emporium.com shopping site and their credit lines.

You could get up to $5,000 in spending limits (though you may be started off at $300). In contrast, many subprime cards start you off with a $300 initial credit.

There are over 100,000 brand name products like Apple, Samsung.

To get their credit line, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a checking account and have a verifiable source of income. Income from Social Security will suffice as well.

Reports to all three credit bureau. I found this out by chatting to a representative.

Early Payment Option (EPO) - When you make a purchase, you can exercise an EPO (or Early Option Payment). Here is how it works. If you choose an EPO within 120 days, then the final price you pay will be the Cash Price less all lease payments you have made (not including any taxes or fees) plus tax. If you choose an EPO after 120 days of your purchase, then your EPO will be 50% of the difference between the Total of Payments in your lease agreement and the sum of all lease payments you have made (not including any taxes or fees)

The interest rate depends on the length of your payment terms. They tend to range from 12, 18, 24 and 36 months. The interest rate for 36 months is about 37% while it is about 100% for 12 months. Hence, you are better off paying off over 36 months. You can pay lower interest. Nowhere on the website do they state the interest you are going to pay. But they do have a table that shows the a list of the possible price of product, the length of you pay period, and the total amount you will end up paying. And that was how I calculated the interest rate.

Fine Prints
Fine Prints

There are a few things that you have to be aware of when you shop at Emporium.com.

When you make a purchase and finance it, you are essentially entering into a consumer lease transaction (or in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania a lease-purchase transaction) between youself and Pacific Credit Group, LLC. One thing to note is that because it is a lease, you will not own the Property (i.e. what you have bought) until you make all the scheduled payments or you take advantage of the Early Purchase Option. If you want to purchase this or similar merchandise immediately, you should consider cash or credit terms that may be available to you (like a regular credit card). Once you have finished your payments, you will own the product that you have bought.

Peer Comparison
Peer Comparison

Card Details
Emporium No Fees
Reports to 3 Major Bureaus
$300 to $5,000 line
Fingerhut No Fees
24.90% Rate
Reports to 3 Major Bureaus
Gettington No Fees
24.90% Rate
Reports to 3 Major Bureaus
Horizon Gold $24.95/m Fee
0% Rate
No Credit Checks
1 Major Bureau
$500 line
Net First Platinum $24.95/m Fee
0% Rate
No Credit Checks
1 Major Bureau
$500 line
Freedom Gold $24.95/m Fee
0% Rate
No Credit Checks
1 Major Bureau
$500 line
Group One Freedom $24.95/m Fee
0% Rate
No Credit Checks
1 Major Bureau
$500 line
Unique Platinum $19.95/m Fee
$29.95 App Fee
0% Rate
No Credit Checks
$1,000 line
Next Millennium $19.95/m Fee
$29.95 App Fee
0% Rate
No Credit Checks
$1,000 line
Vast Platinum $19.95/m Fee
$29.95 App Fee
0% Rate
No Credit Checks
$1,000 line


As you can see from the above table, there are quite a few commerce websites that offer credit lines to their customers and they each have their pros and cons. The emporium.com website and credit account is quite similar to Fingerhut and Gettington in that there are no fees, monthly or annual subscription fees to get a credit account from these folks. Emporium.com does a soft pull and does require proof of income.

Then there are others like Horizon Gold for example that do not perform any credit checks and do not charge any interest on their products. But they do have hefty monthly fees which add up to a couple of hundred bucks a year. The cost of those annual fees will be offset by the 0% interest rate.

Opinion and Verdict
Opinion and Verdict

Before I give my opinion on this credit account (card), I think it is important that we take a step back and consider how you should rebuild your credit (because to be honest, you probably would not be looking at this if your credit is good because you'll probably be shopping on amazon.com).

The typical route to rebuilding your credit involves starting with a secured credit card because the annual fees are pretty reasonable. One of our favorites happen to be Primor which does not do any credit checks and will approve you if your income exceeds your credit limit by $100. Once you have a secured card (and use it responsibly), your credit score should increase and most folks would try getting an unsecured credit card. Some might be lucky and get approved for a no annual fee card like the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard. Other might have to settle for annual fee cards like Credit One.

Once you get an unsecured card like Credit One (which only starts off with a $300 limit typically), most folks would want to add more cards in their wallet to increase their overall line of credit while maintaining a low utilization rate. But fees are an issue because most sub prime cards have hefty fees. This is where a credit line from an online website might come in handy. As you can see from the comparisons above, not all online shopping sites are the same. Some charge monthly fees just to be a member. But there are others like emporium.com that do not charge any fees and allows to "buy now and pay later" (though technically you are leasing until you pay in full) and yet do not charge any fees for being a member. You are simply charged an interest.

So if you already have a sub prime card that has fee and your credit still has issues that are preventing you from getting a no annual fee card, then this might be something to consider because there is no membership fee to join and it gives you another credit line. And it also reports to all three credit bureaus.