I love our dog. Her name is Sophie, and that’s her picture above. One thing we’ve learned the hard way over the past two years, however, is just how expensive a pet can be.
Regular trips to the vet can quickly put a dent in our bank accounts, not to mention the unforeseen costs that can take place if an emergency occurs. If you’re like my mom and have more than one furry friend, then your costs can double or even triple before you know it. She has two dogs and is temporarily fostering a third. Just over the last week an unplanned trip to the vet cost her $400. One option that I have recently found that can make these costs a bit more manageable is Care Credit.
Care Credit is a personal line of credit that can be used for your pet care and your health care expenses. It works just like a credit card, but can only be used for health care services. The great thing is that it can be used for all members of the family, even the four legged ones.
The card offers a no interest option on every purchase you make. All you have to do is pay your minimum monthly payment and pay off the balance by the end of the promotional period. Not all health care providers take Care Credit, however, so be sure to check first.
Below are the two interest options Care Credit offers its card members. The no interest option is a deferred interest plan, which means the accumulating interest will be charged to you if you don’t pay the balance off in the agreed upon time frame or if you are late on the monthly minimum payment.
Important: Because terms and conditions can and do change frequently, be sure to check with Care Credit before applying for a card.
No Interest Option
The Care Credit Card offers no interest on your purchases if paid within 3, 6, 12, 18 or 24 months. A $300 minimum purchase amount is required for plans longer than 3 months on the CareCredit account. A monthly payment is required, but no Finance Charges will be assessed if you meet the following restrictions: On promo purchase balance, monthly payments required, but no Finance Charges will be assessed if (1) promo purchase balance paid in full in 3, 6, 12, 18 or 24 months, (2) all minimum monthly payments on account paid when due, and (3) account balance does not exceed credit limit. Otherwise, the promo may be terminated & Finance Charges assessed from purchase date.
On promotions requiring a minimum payment, payments over the minimum will usually be applied to those promo balances before non-promo and other balances. If you have a non-promo balance, this may reduce the benefit from the promo.
Extended Payment Plans
This option is valid on purchases of $1000 or more (24, 36, 48 months) or $2500 or more (60 months) made on the CareCredit account. On promo purchase, fixed monthly payments equal to 4.7966% for 24 months, 3.4129% for 36 months, 2.7276% for 48 months, or 2.3216% for 60 months required, but finance charges will be applied to promo balance at the reduced daily periodic rate of .03808% (ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE 13.90%) if (1) promo purchase paid in full in 24, 36, 48 or 60 months, (2) any minimum monthly payments on account paid when due, and (3) account balance does not exceed credit limit. Otherwise, promo may be terminated.
I have read both favorable and unfavorable reviews on Care Credit. All the unfavorable reviews stem from the deferred interest part of the card. It is important to understand that in this case the No Interest option is a deferred interest rate. This means that if you don’t pay the balance off in the required amount of time, then the accumulated interest will be added to the balance of your card. In the event that this happens, it could add hundreds of dollars onto your balance.
There are several very good interest free cards that may make a good alternative to Care Credit.