Store cards can be risky, if you don’t know how to use them. Many retail shops will try to allure you to use their store card to get maximum discounts on your purchase. However, these cards rarely work in favour of their customers and leave one paying higher interests. The main logic behind these cards is that the company wants you to buy things for which you do not pay immediately. And then they will charge interest on the due payment. This way, they get more money than they gave discounts. Some smart customers can still manage to pull off well with these cards and end up on the profitable side.
Benefits of Store cards:
Discount offers: Most of the stores will offer you an initial discount of up to 20%. If you have to buy expensive things, then use their offers to save some big money. Make sure you pay the full bill at the end of the month or else the interest would cost you much more than the discount.
Membership perks: By being a member you can enjoy exclusive shopping events and grab the deals they offer. You can also enjoy:
Free shipping from online stores
Reward points and vouchers
Easy return of merchandise
Discounts in cafes, restaurants and other outlets
Drawback of store cards:
Lower credit limit: Normally, the credit limit is quite low compared to other credit cards. So, if you want to make big purchases you may also have to pay higher interest on repayment.
Sky rocketing interests: Most of the stores charge high interest in the range of 25% to 30%. This is much higher than standard APR, which normally ranges between 6% and 20%. So, if you cannot do controlled shopping then the bill may be really high.
Shopping limited to one shop: You have to shop from the same store only. You cannot use the card to shop from somewhere else. Unlike credit cards, there is no flexibility in shopping from any and every store.
How companies entice you to buy store cards?
They target the young: Youngsters are the easiest prey. Normally, these are the first time card users and so, love to spend on shopping. But if they do not pay the monthly bill then they pay back much more than they saved on the discounts.
They are mis-sold: Sold by untrained staff, the company does not give full information about the consequences of using these cards and how it would cost them if they do not pay monthly bills.
Having said this, you can still be smart and enjoy the early bird offers and then return the card. You can also keep the card just to enjoy the membership benefits that come with the card. There is no need to make purchases. You can haggle with sales people for some perks and better discounts and also grab your friends and family some good gifts with the discount offers. The only thing to remember is to pay the full bill at the end of the month.
For more details on store cards and which ones are best for you, just check our website freepricecompare.com.