Everything You Need to Know About the Sweetwater Credit Card

When used the right way, credit cards aren’t just a way to buy things you can’t afford at the time, they can be powerful financial tools that allow you to pay for the things you want (and need) on your terms. Sweetwater, as one of the nation’s largest music retailers, offers their own store credit card that can be used to finance any of the thousands of items they have for sale.

In this KillerGuitarRigs guide, we’ll be taking an in depth look at the Sweetwater credit card to learn whether or not you should think about applying.

We’ll be covering:

  • Can I prequalify for a Sweetwater credit card without impacting my credit score?
  • What credit score do I need for a Sweetwater credit card?
  • Does the Sweetwater credit card have any introductory rates?
  • Which credit card provider processes Sweetwater credit cards?
  • Does the Sweetwater credit card have any annual fees?
  • Can I use a Sweetwater credit card at other stores?
  • And much more!

Can I Prequalify for a Sweetwater Credit Card Without Impacting My Credit Score?

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As the credit bureaus deem excessive inquiries to be a risk factor, hard credit checks will usually have a small negative effect on your credit score, however, with a Sweetwater credit card, you are able to prequalify without any impact to your score.

To do this, they perform a soft check, whereby they only access a small amount of your credit report to get the information they need about your creditworthiness. By sharing a few details via the convenient prequalification link on their website, you’ll know in minutes whether or not you’re approved, and for how much, without any impact to your credit score!

The best part is, after pre qualifying, there’s no commitment to proceed with a full application. If you don’t like the terms, you’re free to walk away. But, if all goes well, you can proceed with the full application, confident that you’ll be approved for the amount you need to get the gear you want today.

What Credit Score Do I Need for a Sweetwater Credit Card?

Being a store card, the credit score requirement for a Sweetwater card is lower than the score that would typically be required by a bank or other external creditor.

The score needed to gain access to Sweetwater credit is usually 630. This is not an exact science however, and other factors relating to your credit profile will impact your qualification. You may still qualify with a lower score, and this is why the zero impact prequalification is such a great feature.

Does the Sweetwater Credit Card Have Any Introductory Rates?

There aren’t any introductory rates per se, but the positive news is that you don’t need to be a new customer to get the best deals with a Sweetwater card.

The Sweetwater credit card, when used correctly, can have significantly better rates than a card from a big bank or credit card provider. On qualifying purchases, Sweetwater offers up to 48 months at 0% APR – so provided you’re able to pay off the item within 4 years, you won’t pay a cent in interest.

Of course, this offer isn’t available on all products. There is a comprehensive list of qualifying brands and products on the Sweetwater website.

If the items you’re looking to finance aren’t on the list, then don’t worry – all products bought with a Sweetwater credit card are interest free if paid off in full within 6 months of purchase. 

If for some reason you miss a minimum monthly payment, or don’t pay off your balance in full within the allotted time for the 0% deal, interest will rise to 29.99%, which can sharply increase the amount you pay month to month, and also increase the length of time it takes to pay off your purchase.

Which Credit Card Provider Processes Sweetwater Credit Cards?

Why I Buy From Sweetwater Instead of Guitar Center

Sweetwater themselves aren’t the lender when it comes to their store cards. The bank in question is Synchrony.

Synchrony is one of the largest providers of store cards in the country. They are an FDIC insured online bank, so you won’t find any physical locations, but they do offer excellent customer service, and have dedicated phone lines and customer service representatives for Sweetwater customers.

By partnering with Synchrony, Sweetwater is able to reassure their credit card customers that their data is safe, with zero liability for any fraudulent activity, and they even have available identity theft protection.

Synchrony runs a transparent operation and makes it easy for customers to pay their bills online, or over the phone.

Does the Sweetwater Credit Card Have Any Annual Fees?

Some credit card providers charge an annual fee for their products. Sweetwater does not currently charge any kind of annual fee to their card holders – once you have the card, there are no charges unless you make a purchase.

It is worth noting that if you open a Sweetwater credit card and fail to make any purchases, Synchrony may close your account due to inactivity. The amount of time it takes before the account is shut down varies from person to person, but it can happen.

Can I Use a Sweetwater Card at Other Stores?

Unfortunately, it is not possible at this time to make purchases anywhere other than Sweetwater with this credit card.

In fact, it’s better to think of the Sweetwater card as a revolving loan rather than a traditional credit card. You are preapproved for an amount, and when you’ve paid it off, you have your full balance available again to make further purchases, but you can’t use the same card to pay for your groceries, or even online at other music retailers like Guitar Center (who also offer their own credit card).

Final Thoughts on the Sweetwater Credit Card

Whether you’re in a bind and need a piece of gear now, or you’re in a position whereby you can comfortably afford to make payments and take advantage of up to 4 years interest free financing, a Sweetwater credit card can make great sense. The application process is smooth, the customer service is excellent, and there are flexible options for making those monthly payments.

Please note that nothing in this guide constitutes financial advice, and that all offers and details were accurate at the time of writing, but are subject to change at the discretion of the card provider and Sweetwater.

Simon Morgan

Simon is an Orlando based musician, but originally hails from Newcastle, England. He started playing bass and guitar in 1998, and and played the local scene throughout his teen years before life got in the way. Favorite Genres: Blues, Classic Rock, and he’s not ashamed to admit - Emo

Simon Morgan has 109 posts and counting. See all posts by Simon Morgan