Should You Even Bother with an Avenue Credit Card?

When shopping for a credit card regardless of your credit score, you will be comparing the benefits each card offers with other contenders. Rewards points are a commonly desired perk as well as a 1 or 2 percent cashback reward on every purchase. One turn off is an annual fee for the card, which ends up actually increasing your APR by the end of the year. The Avenue Credit Card does not have an annual card fee.

What it does have is a financially back breaking 26.74% APR, with no apparent consideration for your credit score or stellar credit history. As a simple example of how this APR can turn into a short term nightmare, let’s say you have a $100 credit limit that you can never seem to get down due to constantly using the card or the painfully high APR. At the end of the first year your initial $100 credit limit would still be $100, but $26.74 or so would be just from the interest charges. That means your credit limit has been reduced by $26.74 to $73.26. This happened without you doing anything more than using your card.

When you go to their website you have to crawl through their Terms and Conditions window to read the finer print. Some of it is really weird, as you will see in a bit. If they are trying to discourage you from reading the agreement before applying, they are doing a great job.

One of the first things you encounter is the part where it says you cannot use the card for business or commercial purposes. Maybe I can see why (the co-mingling of funds thing) but I don’t remember ever seeing this fine print on another credit card application before.

Then there is the issue of when your account will be determined to be in default. If you die, your account will be in default. They use the gentler term “pass away” but this seems over the top. I doubt anyone will be concerned about their Avenue credit card when they’re dead, so it seems to be designed to get as much money as they can after you die. Between health and death there is becoming incompetent, which also violates the agreement. Also, you are in violation of the agreement if you file for bankruptcy, which seems equally strange. The whole point of bankruptcy is that you can’t pay anything anyway, so why does the agreement matter at all? This must be another legal thing about trying to get a few dollars more.

There are several other conditions that will launch you into default, but if the above hasn’t discouraged you I doubt piling on will make any difference.

As for the benefits, they list sending you a monthly statement as a benefit on their website. The reason is that there really are no benefits to the card. They offer two levels of cards – Gold and Platinum. You get the Platinum card after spending $200 in a 12 month period. That’s the requirement. It seems you either are going to have a very hard time getting any meaningful credit limit or they should just do away with the Platinum card.

A Gold member gets a 40% discount on any one item when you are approved. This would mean that any half off sale exceeds the new member benefit. Then you can open an online account to pay your bill. You do get a $10 Gold Reward Certificate as well, but you can’t combine it with the 40% discount.

Moving up to Platinum reaps a $20 Platinum Reward Certificate and can begin to earn Rewards Points – 1 point for every $1 spent. Every 200 points gets you a $10 Rewards Certificate. The math says your benefit ends up being a 5% discount after spending $200.

To answer the question of whether it is worth getting an Avenue credit card at all requires knowing your level of desperation to get credit. Using the card on a regular basis means having to deal with the spine injuring 26% APR. The benefits do not help to offset this in any way. Nothing on their website does anything to try and convince you their card actually offers anything meaningful in terms of benefits.

If you still are considering applying for a card, please have someone who is sober beside you who you will listen to. That is all.

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