Consumer Payment Card News

Beware: Store Charge Cards

Store charge cards can make shopping at certain merchants more enticing due to built-in deals when you use your store card. Most retailers offer 10% or 15% off your first purchase when you sign up for their store charge card. This offer becomes especially enticing when you are planning to buy large ticket items like furniture or electronics, or even if you are doing much of your holiday shopping in that store.

Store charge cards can save you some money on your purchases, but they can also cost you. You might be more likely to go back to that store more frequently than usual once you are a cardholder. Also, store charges see a lot of customers forgetting to pay their bills, or sending in late payments, often resulting in added fees on their accounts. If you plan to pay off your store charge card balance in full and on time every time, this type of charge card might work for you. If you plan to carry a balance from time to time, beware the high interest fees that often result. Remember, when you sign up for a credit card a hard inquiry on your credit report will be pulled.

Some benefits to store charge cards include the initial discount and various perks offered to card members, such as free shipping on purchases a couple times a year and secret discounts or cash back rewards on your purchases each year. Use your best judgment to determine if a store charge card is right for you!

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