Aaron's Vs. Rent-A-Center: Which Rent-To-Own Company Is Best? (2024)

Rent-to-own stores like Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center allow consumers to rent furniture, appliances, electronics, and other household items with the option to buy. These companies appeal to people who may not qualify for credit or can’t afford to pay full retail prices upfront.

While they provide similar services, Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center have key differences that consumers should consider.

A Brief Comparison Table

AspectsAaron’sRent-A-Center
Company OverviewFounded in 1955, 1,500+ stores in US and CanadaFounded in 1986, 2,000+ stores in US, Mexico and Puerto Rico
SloganLease It, Try It, Buy It, Own ItGet It Today, No Credit Needed
Rental Terms12-24 months18-24 months
Pricing1.25-1.5 times retail price1.7-2 times retail price
Early Ownership DiscountUp to 50% off remaining balance after 3 monthly paymentsNo early payoff discount
BrandsSamsung, LG, Whirlpool, AshleyFrigidaire, GE, HP, Ashley
Selection300,000+ items across storesMore limited in-store selection
Customer Service24/7 support, repair/replacement servicesSupport online and in stores, some delivery
FeesLower late fees and returned payment feesStricter policies around late/missed payments
PromotionsMore frequent discountsLess frequent sales
Locations~1,500 US stores~500 US stores

Overview Of Aaron’s

Founded in 1955 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Aaron’s has over 1,500 company-owned and franchised stores across the United States and Canada. Their slogan “Lease It, Try It, Buy It, Own It” summarizes their rent-to-own process:

  • Lease It – Customers select items and agree to a lease term, usually 12-24 months. Aaron’s owns the merchandise.
  • Try It – Customers take home and use the items, with Aaron’s handling delivery, set-up, repairs, and replacements.
  • Buy It – At any time, customers can choose to purchase the items to gain ownership. A portion of each rental payment goes toward the purchase price.
  • Own It – When the full purchase price has been paid through rentals, customers own the items free and clear.

Aaron’s carries furniture, mattresses, appliances, electronics, and accessories from brands like Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, and Ashley Furniture. Their inventory rotates frequently to offer new items.

Pros

Aaron's Vs. Rent-A-Center: Which Rent-To-Own Company Is Best? (1)
  • No credit check required
  • Flexible lease terms
  • Option to buy at any time
  • Free delivery, set-up, repairs
  • Frequent inventory updates
  • Name brand products

Cons

  • More expensive than cash purchases
  • Limited selection in smaller stores
  • No early purchase discounts
  • Extra fees for late/missed payments
  • No option to return if unsatisfied

Overview Of Rent-A-Center

Founded in 1986 with headquarters in Plano, Texas, Rent-A-Center pioneered the rent-to-own industry. They now operate over 2,000 stores in the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Their slogan “Get It Today, No Credit Needed” highlights the convenience Rent-A-Center offers:

  • Get It Today – Products are available immediately without waiting for credit approvals or delivery. Stores display floor models to view and test.
  • No Credit Needed – No credit check or long-term contract required. Customers need valid ID, checking account, and steady income.
  • Make Payments – Customers pay weekly, bi-weekly or monthly rental fees until the total cost is reached. Rentals last 18-24 months typically.
  • Own It – After the final rental payment, customers own the products with no remaining balances.

Rent-A-Center stocks appliances, electronics, furniture, wheels, and accessories with brands like Frigidaire, LG, Ashley Furniture, and more. Stores receive new inventory regularly.

Aaron's Vs. Rent-A-Center: Which Rent-To-Own Company Is Best? (2)

Pros

  • Instant product availability
  • No credit check
  • Flexible payment schedules
  • Low weekly/monthly payments
  • In-store customer service
  • Frequent new inventory

Cons

  • More expensive than retail purchases
  • Limited item selection in-store
  • Strict payment policies
  • No discounts for early payoffs
  • No returns if unsatisfied
  • Extra fees for account issues

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center work, let’s compare the key factors shoppers should consider when deciding between them.

Product Selection

Both companies offer similar categories of rent-to-own merchandise – furniture, appliances, electronics, and accessories. However, Aaron’s tends to have a larger selection with over 300,000 unique items across their stores. Rent-A-Center’s in-store inventory is more limited, but they can transfer items between locations upon request.

Aaron’s has more furniture and bedding choices, including brands like Simmons Beautyrest while Rent-A-Center focuses more on appliances. Shoppers looking for the latest gadgets may prefer Aaron’s larger electronics assortment. Those needing a washer/dryer can browse both for models.

Ultimately, visiting local showrooms is the best way to evaluate available products. Inventory varies based on location.

Also Read: Choose Between Conn’s And Aaron’s.

Brand Names

Shoppers will find many of the same household brands at both Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center. Some popular names stocked include:

  • Electronics: Samsung, LG, Sony, HP
  • Appliances: Whirlpool, GE, Frigidaire, Kenmore
  • Furniture: Ashley, Lane, Simmons, Sealy

While Aaron’s advertises brands more prominently, Rent-A-Center also carries quality name-brand merchandise. The companies buy inventory from leading manufacturers. Both receive frequent shipments to keep showrooms updated.

Price

As rent-to-own providers, Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center charge more for items than traditional retailers. Customers pay for the convenience of getting products immediately without credit checks or large down payments.

However, Aaron’s pricing model is slightly more affordable:

  • Aaron’s – Customers make equal monthly payments over 12-24 months that add up to 1.25 to 1.5 times the retail price.
  • Rent-A-Center – Weekly or monthly payments over 18-24 months equal 1.7 to 2 times the retail cost.

For example, at Aaron’s a $1000 laptop may cost $1250 to $1500 over time. At Rent-A-Center, it would be $1700 to $2000. While expensive, frequent promotions at both can help cut costs.

Ownership Terms

Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center give customers flexibility in how they progress toward full ownership:

  • Aaron’s – Customers can buy items at any time after making 3 monthly payments. Early purchases receive up to a 50% discount off the remaining balance.
  • Rent-A-Center – Customers must complete the full rental term to acquire ownership. There are no discounts for finishing payments early.

So while Aaron’s has greater long-term affordability, Rent-A-Center offers customers full use of products during their rental period.

Customer Service

Both companies aim to provide quality customer service:

  • Aaron’s – Offers 24/7 support via phone, online chat, and social media. Stores handle repairs/replacements. Home service is available for some markets.
  • Rent-A-Center – Customers can contact support online or by phone. In-store associates manage exchanges, repairs, and account issues. Some locations offer delivery.

However, Rent-A-Center enforces stricter policies around late/missed payments, which some customers view negatively. Aaron’s works with shoppers facing financial hardships.

Ultimately, visiting local stores and reading online reviews can give the best sense of service quality. Both brands strive for excellence but execution can vary.

Additional Considerations

Here are a few other factors that may sway renters towards Aaron’s or Rent-A-Center:

  • Insurance – Both offer optional liability waivers but Aaron’s includes a free 2-day grace period for late payments.
  • Fees – Aaron’s has lower returned payment and late fees than Rent-A-Center.
  • Discounts – Aaron’s provides more frequent percentage-off promotions than Rent-A-Center.
  • Referrals – Rent-A-Center gives $25 for customer referrals versus $10 at Aaron’s.
  • Locations – Aaron’s has nearly 1,000 more U.S. stores than Rent-A-Center.

Weighing preferences across these areas will help identify the best provider for each shopper’s needs and budget.

Also Read: Is Conn’s Better Than Rent-A-Center?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Rent-A-Center same company as Aarons?

No, Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center are two separate rent-to-own companies. They are competitors in the lease-purchase industry.

Why do people rent from Aaron’s?

The top reasons shoppers choose Aaron’s for rent-to-own furniture, appliances, electronics, and accessories include:
Get items immediately without large down payments
Avoid credit checks and long-term contracts
Low weekly or monthly rental payments
Try out products at home before buying
Early purchase discounts to acquire ownership faster
Free delivery, set-up, repairs, and replacements
Flexible options if facing financial challenges

Does Aaron’s affect your credit?

Aaron’s does not require credit checks or report to credit bureaus. Renting from them has no impact on customers’ credit scores as long as payments are made on time. However, if an account is delinquent, Aaron’s can pursue legal action that may affect creditworthiness.

Why do people buy from Rent-A-Center?

Common reasons customers select Rent-A-Center for rent-to-own include:
Immediate availability of items in-store
Alternative to credit for instant financing, Low weekly/monthly payments for 18-24 months, Try before you buy with no long-term obligation, Use products while making payments, No credit check required.
Nationwide chain with predictable policies

Also watch this video about Rent-A-Center!

Conclusion

When evaluating Aaron’s Vs. Rent-A-Center, key factors to compare include available merchandise, brand selection, pricing, ownership terms, customer service, fees, discounts, locations, and credit impact.

While the companies have similar offerings, Aaron’s pricing model is generally more affordable over time while Rent-A-Center provides products instantly without waiting. By weighing individual needs, shoppers can determine which rent-to-own provider best fits their situation.

Both Aaron’s and Rent-A-Center provide unique benefits that appeal to different consumers. Considering the pros, cons and key differences highlighted here will help renters make the best choice to get quality items for their home at the right price point.

Aaron's Vs. Rent-A-Center: Which Rent-To-Own Company Is Best? (2024)

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