Review: Emporium Credit Card

Emporium is a “buy now, pay later” catalog credit card aimed at people with bad credit. Actually it’s not a credit card at all, though you’d be excused if you were under the impression that it was. Is there a reason to check it out? Our overview / review is below:

Emporium checks off all the boxes that a person with bad credit may want to hear: instant approval, no credit needed, early payoff discount, etc. And that is fine. But you need to understand what you are getting into here. This is not a credit card but instead a rent-to-own situation. (Emporium actually defines it as a lease.)

Well, what’s the difference, right? You’re still getting something today without having to pay for it all at once.

The difference is in the price. Because Emporium is leasing you the item instead of financing it, they can charge you enormously inflated prices without worrying about laws again exorbitant interest rates. Many of their items are priced over 30% higher than other retailers, and some are even double. And that’s if you paid for the complete purchase today instead of doing the lease deal. If you lease an item and take a year or more to pay it off, you will likely pay double Emporium’s already inflated prices.

Just as an example, we saw a gas grill that was selling elsewhere online for $100 priced at $199 on Emporium. If you lease that grill, though, you’re going to pay even more. If you make payments for a year or more, you’d end up paying over $450 for a $100 grill! You don’t want to do that! (You can choose to pay off items earlier than the full lease term, but in most cases you’ll still pay more than the already-inflated listed price.)

Don’t believe us? Compare the prices against other retailers yourself. And, look for the “Early Payoff Discount” link listed with each Emporium item to see how much higher the full cost of the item is going to be if you lease it.

If we haven’t made it clear, our advice is to stay away from this one.