Advantages Option to pay over 6 months interest free on orders over £125
Disadvantages High APR on other purchases
Nearly every time you go into a national chain store they offer you one of their store cards. Some of them offer good discounts and perks to being a member, and others are just a rip off designed to make you have even more credit in this society that has managed to build up a huge national debt. The Argos card is somewhere in between.I don't generally agree with store cards. They can offer one to anyone over 18 and they regularly do. I think store cards are a bad idea because they are so easy to get and use and thereofre build uphuge debts. Offering them to every person that comes in is wrong I think. Having them available for people to ask about is fair enough, but I think offering them to everyone is irresponsible as it puts the idea in the head of people that alreadyhave huge debts. This isn't good for our consumer society. I personally don't have any debts on any of my cards as I pay them off as soon as I use them, only using them to get points, or cashback, and as an alternative to cash.
I used to work for Argos and I was there when the Argos card scheme began. There were a few reasons for Argos having their own card, apart from the obvious benefits they have of a riduculously high APR of 25.9% that earns them lots of money. One was that the premier points scheme that used to be in conjunction with BP petrol stations was superceded by Nectar. So because Argos still had to give goods in exchange for points they had to find another way. Previously you couldn't earn points in store, only spend them, but with the new card you earn 5 points for every £1 spent, but there's a catch to this that I'll come back to later.Another reason was that previously when someone wanted to spread the cost over 6 months interest free, Argos staff had to arrange a credit agreement with HFC bank (which I have to say was even worse APR of 29.9% if you went over the 6 month period). This was a long process and the HFC often refused people for unknown reasons even if they didn't have credit problems to their knowledge and once someone was refused that was it, they couldn't apply again for another 6 months and had to go away disappointed. Argos are part of the GUS group and now have their own financial services which deal with the Argos card and its a lot easier to get credit with them than HFC bank. Also Argos didn't benefit from the earnings if the amount borrowed wasn't paid off in six months, the bank did. So Argos card was created to earn money, solve the points problem and make 6 months interest free buying a lot easier.
Having been the only person on a weekend able to do the HFC I was the obvious choice to be trained on Argos card applications. The application form itself is very simple and self explantory and doesn't ask too many awkward questions. It's a standard credit agreement and has to be phoned through to do the credit check. Ypu also have to show either a drivers licence or two other forms of ID with your picture and signature on. As you may already be aware from other op's you have a choice of the type of card picture, being plain blue, with dolphins or a yellow duck.
|Competitiveness of APR|
|Quality of Customer Service|
|Security and Privacy|
|Ease of Application|
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