Things to know about a Credit First credit card
If you are referring to a credit report with a ‘CFNA’ written on it, then you may be wondering what it is. CFNA is the code used by the credit reporting agencies to identify reports of those credit cards issued by the Credit First National Association. Credit First is an Ohio based bank that offers services in personal and commercial banking with around 40 store credit cards issued by them across the US. The unique thing about these cards is that they have an affiliation with several retailers in the auto industry. These affiliated automobile stores cards include the Firestone, Bridgestone and Tires Plus credit cards. CFNA offers separate credit cards exclusive for auto repairs and tire related issues which can be used at any local and national retailers of auto parts who have an affiliation with CFNA.
With a very simple application process, you can pick the most appropriate credit card for yourself based on your pattern of vehicle usage. These cards will be requiring you to make your auto parts’ purchases at specified stores only. So, you can reap the benefits only if you own multiple cars and can get all your vehicles serviced at their affiliated stores. The Firestone Complete Auto Care credit card is an easy tool for vehicle owners to finance car repairs, scheduled maintenance and new tires anywhere in the United States. This may be combined with several offers and benefits offered by the card time to time.
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If you have an account with Credit First, then you will have your name listed on all three of your major credit reports with the acronyms used alongside the name of your account in the data-reporting process. For example: “CFNA Firestone,” “CFNA Bridgestone” or “CFNA Tires Plus. But then, if you don’t have an account with CFNA and still see the code on your reports then you may be at potential risk of fraud. In that case, make sure you contact CFNA immediately so that the unknown account or unrecognized inquiry on your credit report can be handled effectively. You may be guided towards following the dispute process or even required to temporarily freeze your credit report until the issue is resolved.
What are the features of the Credit First cards?
The advantages of having a Credit First credit card are:
- CFNA offers a six-month promotional credit plan: Here, if the minimum payment is made within the payment due date of every billing cycle, and the entire principal amount is paid off within the first six months of availing of your credit card, then you will not be charged any interest or late payment fees. However, the benefits will be canceled if the minimum balance payments are not made on time.
- The consumer can request for a credit limit review: If your account is older than 6 months and your credit profile is backed with on-time payments, and a decent annual income to be able to repay higher debts, then you can request for an increase in your credit limits with CFNA. This will be treated as a soft inquiry, and denial may not affect your scores.
- Financial confidentiality is maintained: Since they offer online account management, you can either apply for one or complete the registration of your credit card at the convenience of sitting at home. This also ensures that the confidentiality of your financial details is maintained since you are the person filling the online application for yourself in the safe confines of your home, provided you have a secure network.
- Easy payment methods: CFNA offers three ways to repay their credit card balances. Firstly, payments can be made online through your account. The other option is to pay by money order, check or make a cash payment mailed to their address. Alternately, you can also use the debit payment facility by calling on their toll-free number.
- Large retailer base: These cards are accepted at over 1,600 locations and can be used for complete auto care credit. Along with no annual fee, the cardholders can also get additional benefits like periodic special pricing on tires and auto care.
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The card, however, has its own set of limitations as well. Some of them are:
- As this is a retail card, it will not be accepted at any ATMs or other non-affiliated retailers.
- There are few other competitors who offer additional benefits like free oil change etc. as compared to just the six-month of interest-free payment period.
- If any consumer is required to pay interest at any point in time, then the card will additionally carry finance charges for the cardholder.
- Late payments result in additional fees based on the balance amount range.
- CFNA, the card issuer does not have a great review among its customer base who frequently complain about lack of communication and frequent changes in credit terms.
Finally, a word of caution. Always read the fine print. Don’t overburden your financial condition by availing an additional card with the Credit First credit card which cannot be used like your other credit cards. Go for it only if you are sure you can manage so many cards well.