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Bill Me Later,Sweetwater All Access Platinum Card or Credit Card? Use One?
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ProToolzLE
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#1
3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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Bill Me Later,Sweetwater All Access Platinum Card or Credit Card? Use One?

Hi fellow gearslutz ok I recently was just approved for a Visa Platinum Card with a credit limit of $1500.00. I also filled out the Sweetwater Musician's All Access Platinum Card and now I'm looking into the bill me later. So my question to you all have you used one of these 3? What kind of purchases did you make and what route you took? Please chime in.
Thank You
#2
3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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This isn't what you want to hear, but oh sweet Jesus, don't go into debt over gear.
I did it.
I cry myself to sleep every night.
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#3
3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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Well.. you didn't say if this is a hobby or a profession for you. If it's a hobby, I wouldn't take on any debt over it. Period. Just save up and buy gear as you can in that case. You'll enjoy it a lot more that way anyhow.
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#4
3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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Don't use a credit card to buy gear unless you can pay it off in full at the end of the month. If you can't do that then you need to either: buy less expensive gear, or save up longer to get the gear you really want.

Usually I run into a couple scenarios when buying gear:

1. I want to buy something for my home studio. Let's just say that this will not necessarily pay for itself immediately, but will help me create the sounds I want and add quality to my work. I only buy this if I have the cash available for immediate payment of the credit card in full.

2. I need to buy something for work (I'm a composer/keyboardist/conductor). In this case the gig has to pay for the gear. So the credit card gets paid at the end of the month again, but the reason for purchase is a little different.

Forget the bill me later, no payments until, 3 easy installments, etc. If you aren't buying it for a paying gig and you can't pay it off in one shot, you are in over your head.

Not what you wanted to hear, but for your own good please take heed.
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#5
3rd February 2008
Old 3rd February 2008
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Don't get into debt - I've been there and it is NO FUN AT ALL. I used to get to sleep like Matt.

And if you're really going to borrow money anyway - go to the bank - I very much doubt that VISA is the cheapest way to do it.
#6
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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I agree with all of the above

I have done the don't pay for 12-18 months from GC. I used to work there and could get great deals so I felt I had to take advantage knowing I wouldnt be there long. It pains me to pay these bills now. I would be enjoying my hobby/profession much more if I weren't in the red over it !
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#7
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Mark me down for another vote not to use debt to gear up. Just want to add another nice benefit of buying as you can afford it. You'll be able to fully understand each piece of gear and then be able to make more informed and more experienced purchases as you upgrade.
#8
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert View Post
Don't use a credit card to buy gear unless you can pay it off in full at the end of the month. If you can't do that then you need to either: buy less expensive gear, or save up longer to get the gear you really want.

<snip>

Not what you wanted to hear, but for your own good please take heed.
Words to live by!!

Also be sure to realize that with many of those "no interest for 12-18 months" deals, if you don't pay off the entire amount you charged within the no-interest period, you will then have to pay the entire amount of interest that would have accrued on the entire amount you charged (principle).

Also note that every time a credit check is run on you, for whatever reason, an angel is killed in heaven ....seriously, it puts a flag on your credit report/rating that can lower your rating.

This is the kind of stuff I had no idea about before I started reading the "fine print" ...or should I say, having someone (my wife) read it to me using small words and simple language.



-mr moon
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#9
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Credit cards & gear

Rip the card up !
Visa wants you indebt to them !!!
That 1,5000 cedit you spend add in
the 28% interest rate and compunded as well.
Your 1,500 debt can run in over 3 grand if not more by the time you ever pay it off !!

Toss the card and by with good old cash before you step into a whole shit load of trouble !!
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#10
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Wow... no one has actually answered the question yet??!!

Sometimes... this is a strange place to hang out to me...

Though I generally agree that you should try your best NOT TO GO into debt...

if you're already committed or need to go into debt to make a purchase... I think the obvious choice is to look at the two interest rates and pick the lower of the two...
Might be a decent idea to look at the two companies also and be sure that you are financing through a reputable bank/financer....
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#11
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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everything i've read about bill me later makes it sound like a scam. just google it up and you'll find plenty of horror stories.
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#12
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Yes, but this is Sweetwater, not some hole-in-the-wall online outlet. Getting their card with the "Bill me later" is no different than getting a credit card with an introductory 0% APR.

I only use mine when they run promotions that allow me no-interest transactions.
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#13
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Running up a tab on a card with 15-25% interest is not the way to go. Some music outlets will run 6-12 month no interest deals on their credit accounts or even use you own. I think these are fantastic. Even if I have all the money for a big purchase I can keep my loot in the bank/investments earning interest as I pay exactly 1/6 or 1/12 of the total amount every month. Just make sure you can afford the payments every month (and leave enough aside for rent, beer, and food )
#14
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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I use the Sweetwater card quite a bit when there is No interest No Payments for a year. That is a great deal.
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#15
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drumkideric View Post
I use the Sweetwater card quite a bit when there is No interest No Payments for a year. That is a great deal.
This is how I use my GC card. Whenever they have no payments for a year or something I'll buy something that's $300-400 bucks just because I can pay like $50 a month same as cash. It's VERY nice for when you have steady income, but not $400 laying around at one time.

How often does Sweetwater have no interest same as cash? I think I'm going to get a card there since they have about 100x the amount of things I want compared to GC.
#16
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Don't get into debt over it. Also, and more importantly IMO, don't use "Bill M e Later". It is a massive credit killer. Like you'll probably frop 100-200 points immediately. Bad idea!
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#17
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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If it makes you money, buy it, otherwise, do without until you can pay without needing credit.
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#18
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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EJW
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I'd say the best thing you could do is forget about all three. If you've just recently decided you could/became eligible for credit cards or charge cards, the last thing you want to do is use them...unless you have some great business plan that's sure to get you making all that money back quickly.
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#19
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drumkideric View Post
I use the Sweetwater card quite a bit when there is No interest No Payments for a year. That is a great deal.
Not really, and neither is the GC card. Not a good deal. These cards lock into using those dealers, who don't have the best prices on gear. I buy from the same dealer I've used for decades who beats GC, Sweetwater every time, and I mean every time. So even if you are getting no interest on your card you are still paying for it in other ways by inflated prices for the gear.

The cards are another way of locking you into buying from a particular store.

Bottom line, there's no way around it. Don't buy gear on credit unless you can pay off the card at the end of the month. Use a credit card that allows you to shop anywhere for the best deal.

GC and Sweetwater must love you guys.
#20
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert View Post
Not really, and neither is the GC card. Not a good deal. These cards lock into using those dealers, who don't have the best prices on gear. I buy from the same dealer I've used for decades who beats GC, Sweetwater every time, and I mean every time. So even if you are getting no interest on your card you are still paying for it in other ways by inflated prices for the gear.

The cards are another way of locking you into buying from a particular store.

Bottom line, there's no way around it. Don't buy gear on credit unless you can pay off the card at the end of the month. Use a credit card that allows you to shop anywhere for the best deal.

GC and Sweetwater must love you guys.
If you're smart you find the cheapest price, take it to GC or wherever and then still get a year same as cash.

I don't know how other people are doing it.
#21
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProToolzLE View Post
Hi fellow gearslutz ok I recently was just approved for a Visa Platinum Card with a credit limit of $1500.00. I also filled out the Sweetwater Musician's All Access Platinum Card and now I'm looking into the bill me later. So my question to you all have you used one of these 3? What kind of purchases did you make and what route you took? Please chime in.
Thank You
I bought a drum kit with a Sam Ash credit card once, I paid it off in three months, but as others have already noted, if you owe even one dollar over the 12 month no interest mark they add in all of the accrued interest from the previous 12 months and its not a low percentage rate, stay away!

The other thing you need to consider is what you're buying. If you put a $1000 piece of gear on your credit card and pay it off over a few years you'll likely have paid closer to $1500-$2000 for it, now consider if its a Pro Tools 003 or something, what's that worth once you pay it off? $400? Did you make any money with it and did it pay for itself? If so, then go for it.

I was just reminiscing the other day about how I sold a nice Guild acoustic to pay off an Emu ESI-32 sampler on a credit card. That Guild today would be worth more or less what I paid for it, I just sold the ESI-32 to a friend a year ago for $50, I had about $1500 into it once upon a time... so don't buy prosumer electronic gear with it. Period.

A credit card can be a good way to get things going, but if you can't pay it off quickly I would say lower your expectations and start simple, work at the basics (like song writing and arranging specifically). You're getting a lot of the same advice here from some very smart and experienced people, I hope you're taking it.
Otherwise just get something simple and have fun! (its so easy to forget that aspect of it around here).
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5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Ok let me clarify I have been approved for a Visa Platinum card with a credit line of 1500 through my bank which is Bank of America. I would uaae the card only to buy parts for my PC that I'm building and it would pay itself because of show's, and merchants, and through royalties from airplay and my 9 to 5. LOL!
#23
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Use the Visa card. It's the best way to build good credit.

If you can't pay off the card in full every month, make sure you pay as much as you can. Always pay more the the minimum.

No, you should never go into debt for gear, and you shouldn't rack up credit card bills. It's true that you will end up paying for the gear several times over if you don't pay it off quickly. But if you want to put it into perspective, compare it to your mortgage interest; if you're masochistic enough to calculate how much you will end up paying for your house, you won't sleep for a month.

If you're sensible about it, it doesn't have to be a problem. Don't want to encourage any irresponsibility, but you have to allow yourself some little indulgences in life. You've only got one.
#24
5th February 2008
Old 5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert View Post
Not really, and neither is the GC card. Not a good deal. These cards lock into using those dealers, who don't have the best prices on gear. I buy from the same dealer I've used for decades who beats GC, Sweetwater every time, and I mean every time. So even if you are getting no interest on your card you are still paying for it in other ways by inflated prices for the gear.

The cards are another way of locking you into buying from a particular store.

Bottom line, there's no way around it. Don't buy gear on credit unless you can pay off the card at the end of the month. Use a credit card that allows you to shop anywhere for the best deal.

GC and Sweetwater must love you guys.
Furthermore, they will sometimes not give you the discounts that you want. I have received some really great discounts with GC, but never when going on a card. Sweetwater--the same way--although they don't budge very much with price, which is why I don't shop there much.
#25
6th February 2008
Old 6th February 2008
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The thing about taking the cheapest price to GC is that they only honor published prices. You tell them the price you were quoted elsewhere, and they verify it. I bring in a page I printed of the competing companies web site with the price and the salesman takes that to the back, presumably to check it online.

However, if you've been offered a great deal verbally on the phone by another store, it doesn't mean anything to GC or Sweetwater--they won't match it. Trust me, I know this.

The best deals in fact are usually those that are not published, unless it's some kind of blowout.

I do agree that going with a standard VISA, Mastercard, etc. is better than a store card. If you use it responsibly you build up your credit rating, which can be a *huge* factor if you when you need a loan to buy a house. A good credit rating can make getting the loan a lot easier and shave points off your interest rate.
#26
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
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Never tried "Bill me Later".

But what I do from time to time, when I want something that is a little out of my price range (And I am only talking about a 2-3 hundred at the most that month, and I just can't wait

Is Americanmusical's "Easy Pay". If I remember right it is 3 payments up to 1k, and 5 up to like 5k or something.

They do a credit check (not sure what they base it on, never did it) for the 5 payment plan. But for the 3 it's easy enough. Just pay with your credit card (I use a Check Card, because for my gear I really just try to pay in cash). And they will take your total purchase and bill it by a 1/3rd every month for 3 months. First payment will have your shipping charges + the 3.95 "fee" that they charge to do the plan. I have used it 3 times over the past 5 years, and it works great. No problems, no questions asked etc....
#27
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truthnlife13 View Post
I have done the don't pay for 12-18 months from GC. I used to work there and could get great deals so I felt I had to take advantage knowing I wouldnt be there long. It pains me to pay these bills now. I would be enjoying my hobby/profession much more if I weren't in the red over it !
Well, isn't the key to pay before the 12-18 months is over? Did I miss something? I think the 12-18 month thing is fantastic if you can really pay for it before the interest starts.
#28
10th May 2012
Old 10th May 2012
  #28
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davidespinosa is offline
Zero-interest financing

And if you're *one day* late on a payment, the card instantly switches from 0% interest to 30% interest, *from the first day of the loan*.

I worked out the math, and it came out to about 28% on the whole amount. That is, if you finance $1000, you think you're going to pay $0 interest, but you're really going to pay $280.

After all, how do you think they make money? There's one rule in the gambling industry: the house always wins.

So I'd say:

* Please, please don't go into debt on gear (or anything else, if you can help it).

* But if you won't listen to reason, use the lowest API credit card you can find. Forget the special financing deals. That way, they'll screw you, but you'll know the terms from the beginning, and there won't be any surprises.

Don't say we didn't tell you.
#29
10th May 2012
Old 10th May 2012
  #29
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I've used a credit card for large home studio purchases before, but only so I can Prespend money I know I'll have in time to pay it off. And only for purchases I can get interest free for a certain amount of time.

A credit card is not a personal loan. Be careful.
#30
10th May 2012
Old 10th May 2012
  #30
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I bought a keyboard with a musicians friend card in 2007 for $1799. Korg Triton Extreme. Just paid it off in March 2012. Before I paid it off I had paid over $1200 in payments and still owed over $2000 due to interest.

The only way I paid it off was because I settled with my income tax refund. Trust me its not worth it. Even if you get a low interest rate stuff happens. My company got bought by a bigger company and I lost my job. Had to start working for minimum wage. Not cool.

Point is, don't do it. Credit cards are for building your score so that you can buy a house. Spend $20 a month on it and pay it off every month. Nothing else. Don't fall into the trap.

Learn from our mistakes. P.S. in this market a 3 bedroom house is cheaper than a 1 bedroom apt in Atlanta where I stay.
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