How Do Choose and Charge Accounts for Online Shopping Work?

Online shopping with choose and charge accounts offer a potential way to order today and pay later in the future if you qualify.

These merchant services extend credit for products such as clothing apparel, electronics, toys, home decor, bedding, furniture and many other items you may need to buy.

These accounts allow you to get the item you need and just set up on a payment plan, without a credit card. The company you are purchasing through handles the credit, and you would need to apply and qualify with them.


Many choose and charge accounts online work like a regular credit card. You shop now, adding items to your shopping cart, and then check out. At the check out, the merchant service may do a credit check to find out if you qualify for their order today pay later plan.

There are many online website catalogs that offer these plans. Some of the better known choose and charge companies are Ginny’s, Swiss Colony, Seventh Avenue, Midnight Velvet, Montgomery Ward, among many others.

All these merchants service those who may not have a credit card or may have bad credit. Each is a little different about how they extend credit. For example, LutherSales bases the amount on your work history, not your credit score. This makes it important to read the terms and conditions of the merchant you are thinking of shopping with.

How merchants who offer choose n charge credit work

Generally, though, the merchant will offer a small amount of credit you can setup a deferred billing plan on. Many merchants, such as Seventh Avenue, offer low monthly payments, depending on how much online shopping you have done on your choose and charge account.

As you do more shopping, though, and pay your balance on time, you may get an increase in your credit limit. This will allow you to make more expensive purchases, and you will be able to use the online catalog website, getting items you may need now and paying later.


If you do choose to use an order now pay later site, make sure you understand that you will need to make monthly payments. You will not get the item free. You will have to pay for it. And probably pay extra fees and interest.

If you choose not to make monthly payments, you may be reported to the credit bureaus, which may make your credit score drop — eventually you will end up with poor or bad credit. That’s not good.

You also want to make sure that you can afford being setup on a deferred billing plan. There will be additional charges and fees associated with a shop now pay later program; they will include interest and charges for using the program. It’s important to read and understand the terms and conditions before considering one of these programs.

Despite the additional fees, a choose and charge account may be a good way to shop online if you don’t have a credit card.

A good plan of action for using one of these accounts that offer goods upfront is that you start by ordering one or two items from these merchant services, then pay the balance off.

The merchant will develop a sense of trust. They will see that you are buying items and paying them off. After time, they will extend more credit to you and will see that you are a good customer. The benefit is you will be able to pay for more expensive items that were currently out of your reach.

However, it does a raise a problem: When you are buying more expensive items, do you really need them? Or, are you just stuck in a web of consumerism — working to pay for things you don’t need?

A better solution may be to improve your credit score by using a secured credit card. These allow you to take, for example, a 640 credit score and build it higher because they will report your on-time payments to a credit bureau.

I hope this article about merchant services who offer choose and charge accounts for online shopping has been helpful to you.