The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Car Repair Credit Cards of 2022

Car Repair Credit Cards

credit card advice

Adam West

Written by: Adam West

Adam West

Adam corresponds with finance experts to publish industry news coverage related to helping consumers achieve greater financial literacy and improved credit. He has more than 12 years of storytelling, editing, and design experience in print and online journalism and is most knowledgeable in the areas of credit scores, financial products and services, and the banking industry.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Car repair credit cards aren’t limited to the cards and credit lines offered by your local mechanic or body shop. Any reputable mechanic accepts credit card payments, which means that you can use just about any card to pay for your vehicle’s repairs or maintenance.

By skipping your mechanic’s branded card and opting for a card with cash or point rewards — or one with a 0% interest promotional offer — you can pay for your repairs over time and get cash back and interest-free financing along the way.

The best cards, including those listed below, will give you both of these perks with no annual fee — which may be the only good news that comes from a trip to the mechanic.

Cards With 0% Financing For Car Repairs

A 0% interest card offers you a promotional financing deal for your first six to 18 months or so with your card. The length of your purchase APR deal will vary depending on which card you choose. You’ll still be obligated to make your minimum monthly payment during this time, but your promo balance will not incur interest until the deal expires.

Chase Slate Edge℠ Review

at Chase’ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Start off strong with 0% Intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. A variable APR of 17.24% – 25.99% on balance transfers and purchases after the introductory period ends.
  • Lower your interest rate by 2% each year. Automatically be considered for an APR reduction when you pay on time, and spend at least $1000 on your card by your next account anniversary.
  • Raise your credit limit. Get an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time, and spend $500 in your first six months.
  • All for no annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Slate Edge℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health – Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 18 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 18 months
17.24% – 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Review

at Chase’ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% – 25.99%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.24% – 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99%-27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% – 27.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99% – 27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% – 27.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% – 25.99%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.24% – 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

+ See More Cards With 0% Financing

Although you won’t incur interest charges on your promotional balance with these cards, you may be charged a fee if you conduct a balance transfer or cash advance. The promotional APR typically only works for new cardholders and doesn’t offer existing cardholders interest rate deals.

4 Reasons to Be Wary of Credit Cards Offered at the Repair Shop

Few mechanics offer their own financing. Instead, these independent businesses partner with outside banks or credit card issuers to offer auto repair financing.

That’s why you have to apply for an auto repair loan or line of credit with the mechanic. The mechanic will submit your application for an auto repair credit card to its partner bank, which will instantly accept or decline your application.

While this may seem convenient, this car repair financing option has several pitfalls, including:

1. Short Promotional Terms: Most credit card issuers that partner with auto mechanics offer very short interest-free periods for your promotional purchase. In many cases, you’ll have only six months to repay your debt before your interest rate kicks in. 

2. Deferred Interest: If your lender forces you into a deferred interest deal, you may find that your car repairs cost way more than you planned. With deferred interest, your debt will continue to accrue interest during your promotional purchase time frame. If you repay the debt before your deal expires, you don’t have to worry about the financing charges. But if you don’t, the bank will pile all of that accrued interest onto your balance when the promotional period expires.

Watch for deferred interest on some co-branded credit cards.

3. High APRs After the Promotional Terms: Car repair credit cards often have very relaxed credit approval standards. You may receive credit approval if you have a bad credit score or no credit at all. While this is convenient, you’ll also find that most of these credit cards have sky-high interest rates after your promotional purchase period ends. 

4. Limited Use: While an auto repair credit card may get you out of a jam at the auto repair shop, they won’t do you much good anywhere else. In many cases, you can only use this financing option for vehicle repairs. You usually can’t use this card at the grocery store or local home improvement warehouse. But you can use a regular credit card at all of these locations and many more.

While an auto repair loan or credit card may sound like a good deal at the register, they often turn out to be more expensive options once you get back on the road. Your promo purchase period won’t last long, and your regular purchase APR will quickly get expensive if you can’t repay your debt on time.

And any repairs you make at a later date are considered non-promotional purchases — which means they’re subject to your regular account terms and won’t qualify for any promo purchase discounts.

Is There a Credit Card For Auto Repairs?

Just about every auto repair shop offers a co-branded credit card or car repair loan that’s funded through a partner bank. These options have fairly forgiving credit approval standards and will consider you even if you have a bad credit score.

Most shops offer financing options for their customers. Image source: Meineke Car Care Tiwtter.

Your local auto repair shop may tell you that this financing is a great way to save money and finance your repair work, but that’s rarely the case.

While the mechanic may offer discounts if you finance your repair work — or the bank may offer interest-free financing for a short period on your purchase balance — these promotions often pale in comparison to those offered by standard credit cards.

For example, credit issuer Synchrony partners with car repair shops including Meineke, Midas, CarCareOne, Pep Boys, and Tire Pros to offer a co-branded card that typically only offers six months of interest-free financing. 

Once your promo balance period ends, you may be subject to deferred interest if you’ve only been making the minimum monthly payment due. That’s a very expensive way to finance your vehicle repairs.

Even larger banks, including CitiBank U.S.A., the issuer of the Goodyear Credit Card, limit how you can use your card. You can use it to shop tires at Goodyear locations or for gas station purchases at Exxon™ and Mobil™ stations —  that’s it.

You can use the cards listed above at any car repair shop and at millions of other retail and service locations that accept credit cards. Even better, you’ll receive a longer interest-free period on your purchase balance and possibly even earn cash back rewards without an annual fee.

Can You Pay an Auto Mechanic With a Credit Card?

Most reputable mechanics will accept credit card payments for completed work. If a mechanic offers a co-branded credit card or a car repair loan option, the business will also accept credit cards from other issuers.

Most mechanics accept credit as a form of payment.

Using a credit card to pay for your mechanic bill may come with other perks you may not be aware of. In addition to potential interest-free financing and cash back or bonus points, your purchase may be eligible for an extended warranty on the parts used, depending on the card you use.

Your purchase may also qualify for promotional financing that may include bonus rewards or other benefits.

Which Credit Card Is Best For Paying a Body Shop?

We always recommend financing any large purchase with a 0% interest promotional credit card. If you’re a new cardholder (existing cardholders may not qualify), your single receipt qualifying purchases will receive interest-free financing for the duration of the promotion.

The length of the promo will depend on the card you apply for. In most cases, these offers range from six to as many as 21 months.

These cards allow you to cover your car repair costs with no financing charges — which can keep your emergency fund intact and take the stress out of seeing your check engine light glow on your dashboard.

What If I Can’t Afford to Fix My Car?

Visiting the auto mechanic is a stressful trip. Not only may you feel helpless without a working vehicle, but the uncertainty of the cost of repairs can drive you crazy. This is especially true if you don’t have an emergency fund or other way to pay for your repairs.

But you have options if you can’t afford your car repairs right now, including:

  • Negotiate with your mechanic: A local, independent mechanic may agree to a payment plan for your repairs. This may require some upfront money in good faith, but you won’t have to pay the entire bill at once.
  • Opt for used parts: Although a mechanic’s labor charges are quite expensive, parts are a large portion of your bill. If you go with used parts instead of new ones, you can significantly lower your bill.
  • Do it yourself: This may not be an option for everyone, but if you — or someone you know — is handy with a wrench, you may be able to complete your repairs without taking your car to a mechanic.
  • Consider a personal loan or title loan: If you can’t qualify for a credit card or car repair loan, you may be able to find a personal loan or title loan lender that’s willing to front you the money for your repairs. With this option, you can repay the debt over time through a series of monthly payments.

Just remember that you have options for getting your vehicle repaired, even if you can’t afford the total cost right now. With a payment plan or modified services, you can lower your bill and give yourself time to repay your debt.

Find the Best Car Repair Credit Cards Online

If your car is stuck at the mechanic and your wallet is running on empty, don’t settle for just any auto repair financing option. Instead of jumping on the mechanic’s branded financing offers, consider an everyday use credit card with a 0% financing offer. Unlike dedicated car repair credit cards, you can use these cards anywhere credit cards are accepted.

You may also qualify for cash back or point rewards and other perks that you won’t receive with a card or loan from a repair shop. So, whether you need some tires, an alternator, or a new timing belt, go with a credit card that will keep your financial motor humming all year long — not just while your car is under the weather.

Advertiser Disclosure

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