Whether you're shopping for blue jeans or building supplies, chances are you can pay for it with a store credit card. If you're trying to get out of debt, signing up for store credit cards is probably not the way to go. But there are some circumstances when store credit cards can be a good idea.
You're Making a Major Purchase Many stores offer percentage discounts when you sign up for a new credit card. If you're making a major purchase-- like an appliance, mattress or TV-- this can add up to significant savings. If you're just buying a tee shirt or a pair of shoes it's probably not worth the hassle or the financial risk.
They're Offering Interest-Free Financing
Furniture stores and home improvement big box retailers often offer shoppers zero percent financing when they open a new store credit card. If you're facing a pricy emergency, like replacing your ancient hot water heater, this could be the ideal opportunity to take advantage of interest-free financing. Just make sure you pay off the item before the regular interest rate kicks in.
You're a Frequent Shopper
Certain stores offer continual discounts for shoppers who pay for purchases with a store credit card. For instance, at Target when you shop with your REDcard you earn 5 percent off purchases and free shipping online. Keep in mind that studies show cardholders actually end up spending far more than those who pay cash so that 5 percent discount may actually end up costing you.
The Card is Co-Branded
Some retailers offer cards that carry the American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa logo. That means those cards can be used at other stores and they may have better rewards programs. One example is the True Earnings Card from Costco and American Express. Cardholders earn 3 percent cash back at gas stations, 2 percent cash back on restaurant and travel purchases and one percent cash back on other purchases. Plus there's no annual fee with a paid Costco membership.
You Plan to Pay Monthly
There are definitely cons to store cards-- they can have high interest rates and low credit limits. But if you're responsible enough to pay off the balance each month, they can also offer a key to unlocking more savings.
By Alison Storm
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It's all treats and no tricks at many retailers this Halloween. Here you'll find a list of stores and restaurants we've comprised that are offering up special deals and maybe even a freebie or two to celebrate the spooky holiday. Keep checking back, we'll be adding new ones as we find them!
Barnes & Noble - Free Halloween storytime on 10/31/2014. Contact local stores for times.
Bass Pro Shops - Free 4x6 photos & Halloween activities for kids from now through 10/31/2014.
Chipolte - Participating restaurants are offering a $3 "boorito" to those that arrive in a costume. Offer valid from 5PM to close on 10/31/2014.
IHOP - Free Scary Face Pancake for kids 12 & under on 10/31/2014 only from 7AM to 10PM.
Krispy Kreme - Free doughnut to customers in full costume. Only on 10/31/2014 at participating restaurants.
LEGO Stores - Free Halloween sticker for kids in costume on 10/31/2014.
Outback Steakhouse - Free kids meals w/purchase of adult meal. Limited to kids 10 & under and 2 free kids meals in a visit. Participating restaurants on 10/31/2014 only.
Sonic - 50 Cent corn dogs all day on 10/31/2014.
Wendy's - Halloween coupon booklets are only $1. This book contains coupons good for free Jr. Frostys. Of special note: 90 cents of the purchase price goes to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Offer's ending is unknown.
Stores: 20x200, 6pm, Amazon, Apple Store, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Best Buy, Buy.com, Dell, Eastbay, eBags, Eddie Bauer, Endless.com, Home Depot, H&R Block, Kohl's, Macy's, Old Navy, Restaurant.com, Sandals, Shoes.com, Target, Tommy Hilfiger, Toys 'R' Us, Urban Outfitters, Wal-Mart (See more)
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