Sear’s launched Searsvacation.com last Tuesday with the opportunity for consumers to layaway their vacations! I initially thought this would be a great idea! For growing up in a double-wide ttrailer, I remember most large ticket items we bought growing up were placed on layaway for a few months before we actually brought them home (TVs, VCR, computers, etc). However, now this same option is the first of its kind in the travel industry and something that many never thought they would see. However as the economy has been slow to recover, many people cannot afford to travel due to costs and credit cards are harder to get than ever before for those with less than perfect credit. So Sears is trying to cash in on the vacation craze, giving you the ability to layaway your vacation. Although many stores have done away with layaway, over the past year layaway options have been springing up around the country. Even Walmart brought back layaway last Christmas after terminating it 5 years earlier.
Searsvacation.com launched with 100 vacation for $399 or less (many are short cruises and domestic US trips—airfare not included). Although all of these can be placed on layaway I would not recommend it. There is little to NO information about the layaway program on the site, so instead one has to call to receive information on layaway options. From what I could gather there are NO booking fees for ANY vacation that is booked online or via the phone unless airfare is included. Furthermore from what I was told, layaway vacations accrue a $9 a month fee and can be financed for up to 12 months. However, since I was not interested in booking, I couldn’t gather any more details about requirements, late fees or cancellation fees. Yet simple math tells me that $399 financed over 12 months would cost 33.25 a month + $9 fee and bring your total for your vacation to $507, a 27% increase! So before placing your vacations on layaway consider the costs, fees, and know what you’re getting into! Also most credit cards have less than a 27% interest rate, so plastic may still be a better option (unless you can’t get a credit card due to bad credit).
Additionally, to help celebrate the launch of searsvacation.com, once you sign up for a membership (required to see the site) you will be emailed a coupon code for $50 off any hotel booking made through searsvacation.com that is $300 or greater!
So my question for you is, would you layaway a vacation?
Note: I have no affiliation with searsvacations.com, Sears Vacations is managed, hosted and operated by International Cruise & Excursions (ICE), Inc., a licensed business partner of Sears Holdings Corporation.