You’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to credit cards, and whether it’s your first credit card or you’ve been using credit cards for years, you may have considered opening up a department store credit card. Every credit decision should be thought about carefully, so before you apply for a store credit card, consider some of the pros and cons. First, let’s think about the possible advantages:
Easier to qualify for
Want to open up a credit card, but you have bad credit or new credit? You may have better luck with a store credit card, as these types of credit cards are usually easier to qualify for. With that being said, getting turned down for a store credit card can sometimes mean your credit score has really hit an all-time low and maybe you should give the plastic a rest for a while.
You’ve probably been chased down by a sales associate at least once trying to convince you to open up a store credit card because you’ll save money on whatever you buy that day. These discounts will usually range anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, but can vary from store to store. The discount could be worth it if you’re making a big purchase and will be saving a significant amount of money.
Early access to sales and exclusive savings
Not only do you usually receive a sign-on discount when you get your store credit card, but as a cardholder, you’ll frequently receive access to other perks as well. One benefit that is commonly offered is sale prices and discounts that other customers can’t receive, or access to sales before everyone else. Well, before the non-cardholders, that is.
Maybe that is enough to sell you on store credit cards, but not so fast. You’ll also need to think about some possible disadvantages:
If this is going to be your only credit card for a while and you don’t make a lot of cash purchases, you might find that you’re getting sick of shopping at the same store after a while, but also feel that you have no choice if your store card also doesn’t double as a Visa or MasterCard. Even your favorite store can get a little old after a while, and you might end up spending a lot more there than you really want to.
There’s a reason why store credit cards are some of the easiest to qualify for: their APRs are usually higher than most credit cards. Unless you plan on always paying your balances off completely, you may end up having to pay a lot of money in interest.
Low credit limits
Interest rates tend to be high, and credit limits tend to be low, unless you’ve got pretty good credit. This means you might have enough money to just buy a pair of pants, for example.
If you’ve thought about applying for a store credit card because your credit is only so-so, you may want to explore your other options, such as prepaid cards. At J.G. Wentworth, we offer prepaid cards regardless of the applicant’s credit score, and they can be used anywhere that traditional credit cards are accepted. Contact J.G. Wentworth today to learn more about our prepaid card program!
Nothing contained herein is intended to be, and you should not consider anything contained herein to be, investment, accounting, tax, or legal advice. If you would like investment, accounting, tax, or legal advice, you should consult with your own financial advisors, accountants or attorneys regarding your individual circumstances and needs.