Money Talks News: Department store credit cards

Money Talks News: Department store credit cards

(Money Talks News) - When you're out doing that holiday shopping, you're not going to miss the offers for store credit cards.

They promise a one-time discount, sometimes coupons, maybe rewards.

Sure looks tempting. Who wouldn't want 15 percent off today's purchase just for taking on one more piece of plastic?

Whether it's a good idea depends on who you are and how you spend.

Let's look at the pros:

First, the obvious: signing up means saving money.

Next, flexibility: some store cards are co-branded with a major credit company like American Express, Visa or MasterCard, so this might get you a card you can use elsewhere.

Finally, new credit used responsibility can help your credit history and credit score

But there are some potential flies in the ointment.

For example, why do you think these guys want you to carry their credit cards? So you'll spend more money, including maybe money you don't have.

These cards tend to have very high interest rates. Don't even think about one if you can't pay it off. Next, they might only be usable in that store and have a low limit. Finally, while diverse sources of credit can be good for your credit, applying too often can be bad.

One more thing to think about: If you're only going to apply for one or two cards, how does this compare? For example, you might be able to get an airline credit card and get a free flight. That could be better than getting 15 percent off one day's shopping.

Bottom line – you've got to compare the pros and cons, and we're prepared to help you do just that.

Go to and do a search for "credit cards."

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