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You can now buy Super Bowl tickets on a payment plan

StubHub is teaming with Affirm to offer football fans a berth in the big game via high-interest loans


StubHub is teaming up with Affirm, a provider of installment loans, to enable U.S. buyers to pay for tickets to this year’s Super Bowl over time. But while these plans allow you several months to pay off your ticket purchase, the interest rates are as high as 30%.

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Ticket broker StubHub is throwing a financial Hail Mary to football fans.

It’s offering three-, six- and 12-month payment plans for buyers of tickets to the Super Bowl, along with a slew of other events.

But there’s a big catch – and not the kind you’d see on the field. The interest rate for the financing deal ranges from 10% to 30%. Given the double-digit interest rate, experts suggest punting StubHub’s offer.

See related: Buy now, pay later with installment payment services

StubHub teams with Affirm on ticket purchase loans

StubHub announced Jan. 21 it had teamed up with Affirm, a provider of installment loans, to enable U.S. buyers to pay for ticket purchases over time. Of course, you can’t borrow the money unless Affirm approves your loan application.

“Whether it’s dancing in the front row of your favorite band’s show or cheering on your team at the championship game, these experiences can create lifelong memories,” Silvija Martincevic, chief commercial officer at Affirm, said in a news release.

The news release cites the results of an Affirm-commissioned survey conducted Jan. 6-7 indicating 76% of U.S. adults have never attended a Super Bowl. The survey named sky-high ticket prices as the main obstacle.

With the StubHub-Affirm financing, though, you can make a ticket purchase of up to $17,500 and pay it off over three, six or 12 months. The 10% to 30% interest rate for the Affirm loans compares with the average credit card APR of 17.3 percent as of Jan. 22.

See related: Apple Card launches interest-free installment payments for iPhone

This year’s Super Bowl will be the most expensive ever

Experts say tickets to this year’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs are the most expensive ever for a Super Bowl. By one estimate, the average ticket to the upcoming Super Bowl – set for Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida – is priced at roughly $5,000.

Another estimate pegs the average ticket price at just a shade over $6,000. Some tickets are selling for as much as $17,500 each.

So, how do you cover the cost of a big-ticket item like a Super Bowl ticket? According to the Affirm survey, 59% of U.S. adults say they avoid using their credit cards to pay for tickets to sporting events. So that leaves them fewer payment options.

See related: A hobby turned home-run business venture

Avoid this offer like a third-down blitz

Ted Rossman, industry analyst for CreditCards.com, recommends buyers of Super Bowl tickets avoid the StubHub offer, just like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will try to avoid tacklers when they square off in the big game.

“I think the only ‘correct’ answer for Super Bowl tickets is to pay with money you already have. Ideally, a rewards credit card that you will pay in full; otherwise, a debit card or cash,” Rossman says.

An alternative, he says, would be to buy Super Bowl tickets with a credit card extending a 0% intro APR. But Rossman believes heading down that route is too risky.

“Buying now and hoping you’ll have the money to pay later could be a recipe for disaster,” Rossman says.

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