What you need to know about in-store finance

Information verified correct on April 27th, 2017

Thinking about in-store finance? Know what you're getting yourself into first.

In-store finance options are designed to give you the flexibility to buy what you want, when you want or need it. This type of finance is usually offered directly through the store or company you're making a purchase with. But there are also some credit cards that may provide you with specific in-store finance options, such as the Gem Visa, GO MasterCard and the range of HSBC credit cards.

Unlike credit cards that feature 0% interest for a promotional period or interest-free days when you meet payment requirements, these in-store finance agreements are offered by specific stores and can be available for longer periods of time. Here, we look at specific cards that offer in-store finance deals and the key terms and conditions so that you can decide if in-store finance with a credit card is right for you.

Which credit cards offer in-store finance?

There are a select number of credit cards that regularly provide in-store finance options and benefits. These vary depending on the card and the issuer.

For example, HSBC provides all credit card customers with in-store finance offers ranging from 3 to 60 months, with over 1,000 participating retailers. Most other credit card issuers offer in-store finance for specific cards, including the following options:

Keep in mind that both the David Jones and Myer cards only offer in-store finance options at their respective department stores. While one of these cards could be ideal if you're a regular shopper with either brand, you may be limited if you want in-store finance elsewhere.

How to compare credit cards based on in-store finance options

As well as looking at the ongoing credit card features, such as interest rates, annual fees and interest-free days, there are specific features you'll need to consider when you want to take advantage of in-store finance options with your credit card. We've outlined the key details to compare below, and also provide comparison examples using the popular Gem Visa and HSBC in-store finance programs.

Participating retailers

If you're considering a credit card that includes in-store finance options, it's important to also look at the range of participating retailers. This will allow you to choose a card that offers the most convenience and flexibility for you.

When it comes to variety, the Gem Visa has the largest number of participating stores, boasting thousands of options available online and in stores across Australia. The Gem Visa website includes a search option, where you can browse based on category, state or by specific offers, which could include everything from laptops and televisions to beds, fridges, jewellery and even dentists. Some of the leading retailers include:

  • The Good Guys
  • JB Hi-Fi
  • Michael Hill
  • Super Amart
  • Webjet

In comparison, the HSBC program has fewer categories to choose from but still includes a range of major retailers. Some major brands include:

  • Forty Winks
  • JB Hi-Fi
  • IKEA (WA and SA only)
  • Wallace Bishop
  • Super Amart

Although there are some retailers that participate in both of these card programs, it's important to look at specific details for each option before choosing a credit card that offers in-store finance. The last thing you want is to sign up for a card only to find out that they do not support interest-free promotions with the retailer you would like to shop at.

Interest-free terms

The interest-free options available on these cards also vary depending on what you buy and where you buy it. Some may offer "buy now, pay later" deals, others may offer a specific number of months interest-free when you make purchases over a certain amount, and a few cards only have in-store finance deals at key times, such as Christmas.

When it comes to the Gem Visa and HSBC credit card options, the Gem is unique in offering 6 months interest-free for purchases over $250 everywhere Visa is accepted. You are eligible for this offer as long as you’re making a purchase and not a cash advance on the card. For terms longer than six months, the Gem Visa also offers a "Buy Now, Pay Later" extended interest-free period at participating locations, but to be eligible, you will need to get approval first.

In comparison, HSBC in-store payment options vary based on specific offers provided by the participating retailers. The two main options are:

  1. Interest-free periods that require minimum monthly repayments
  2. Interest-free periods that offer deferred payment until the end of the promotion

With HSBC offers, you will have anywhere from 3 to 60 months to pay off the purchase but, once again, that varies depending on your purchases. HSBC in-store finance offers also have to be made in an actual store, while some Gem offers can be claimed online.

In-store finance requirements

It's also worth noting that most credit cards offering in-store finance will require some additional details from you at the time of the transaction. For starters, you will have to pay with the card that gives you access to these offers. Beyond that, you usually have to provide identification information, such as:

  • A copy of your driver's licence
  • A utility bill in your name
  • A copy of a payslip to prove employment

Repayment options

Repayments will depend on the specific offer you've taken advantage of with your credit card. Below, we've outlined the details for the Gem Visa and HSBC credit cards to give you an idea of what may be required.


Important information

Any interest-free balance which is not paid off by the end of the interest-free promotion will be charged at the cash advance rate of interest.

  • Interest Free purchases. Minimum monthly payments are required. The exact amount will appear on your statement.
  • Instalment Interest Free purchases. Equal monthly payments are required throughout the in-store finance period.
  • Buy Now, Pay Pater purchases. No payments are required upfront. Instead, the full amount must be repaid at the end of the promotion period.
  • Up to 55 days interest-free. If you also want to take advantage of up to 55 days interest-free on your other card purchases, you will have to stick to a specific payment schedule that factors in both your in-store finance and regular purchases.

Example transactions:

Your transactions:$450
Your closing balance:$2,500
Unexpired interest-free purchases:$1,000
Unexpired Buy Now, Pay Later purchases:$800

To receive interest free days, the calculation would be:

a) the total unexpired interest free promotions ($1,000) x 3% = $30 +

b) the closing balance minus any unexpired promotions ($2,500 - [$1,000+$800]) = $700

$730 must be paid by the due date on your statement each month to continue receiving up to 55 days interest free on other card purchases. If these requirements were not met, you would pay interest at the standard variable purchase rate for the card for all regular transactions.


Important information

Any interest-free balance which is not paid off by the end of the interest-free promotion will be charged at the cash advance rate of interest.

Cardholders who take out HSBC in-store finance generally have to make the minimum repayment each month. The minimum repayment is the greater of $30 or 3% of the outstanding balance each month.

If you have an interest-free payment deferred finance option, you won't need to make any repayments for the deferred period for the specified purchase. However, payments will be required once the promotional term has expired, and interest charges may apply if you continue to carry a balance.

How do in-store finance cards compare to 0% purchase credit cards?

If you're interested in making purchases without any interest charges, another option is to look at a credit card that offers a promotional 0% interest rate during the introductory period. Some of these cards could offer anywhere from 3-12 months interest-free, with no restrictions on where you use them as long as they are eligible purchases.

While most everyday transactions and major purchases are considered "eligible" for this type of 0% interest offer, common exclusions include:

Find out more about the benefits 0% purchase credit cards here 

Credit cards that offer in-store finance can be a great way to buy what you want and still enjoy some cash flow flexibility. These cards often give you ongoing access to long interest-free periods, but may have strict conditions or limited offers. So make sure you weigh up the features of in-store finance offers and consider a range of other cards to help you decide on the right option for you.

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Jacob Joseph

Jacob is a writer and video journalist with Credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts are his bread and butter, and he likes nothing more helping people understand the sometimes overly complex world of personal finance.

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