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As most people know store credit cards are often a bad idea because they charge high interest and offer little benefit. Retail stores today, however, are branching out into a new market: rewards credit cards. A number of stores are actually offering credit cards that earn rewards that can be redeemed for in-store merchandise, discounts and more. This change is good news for consumers because it gives them a chance to be rewarded for store loyalty.
While some of these retail rewards cards can only be used and earn points at the chain of stores they’re issued by many stores are offering cards on major payment networks like Visa and Mastercard, allowing the cardholder to earn rewards anywhere. Kroger, Barnes & Noble and Toys R Us all offer credit cards that can be accepted at any virtually any merchant.
New retail rewards cards still give that famous one-time discount when you first open the account. On top of that, however, cardholders are encouraged to keep spending at the store with long-term rewards and cash back, as well as regular discounts.
So where are some of these new retail rewards cards popping up? Here’s a look at a few.
7-Eleven, a popular convenience store, now offers a credit card through Visa that comes with an APR between 11.99% and 19.99%. For the first 60 days with this card you’ll get back 10% of all purchases at 7-Eleven and 2% everywhere else. After that point you’ll earn 3% back at 7-Eleven and 1% elsewhere. All rebates are redeemable for 7-Eleven Rewards cards.
Barnes & Noble also offers a rewards card that earns points toward Barnes & Noble gift cards. For every one dollar you spend on your card you earn one point. 2,500 points is equal to a $25 gift card. You can also receive a 5% discount on purchases made online when you use your credit card.
The Kroger credit card through Mastercard has an APR between 9.74% and 18.74%. This card has an introductory APR of 0% on balance transfers for 12 months and earns 3 points per dollar spent on Kroger products, 2 points per dollar spent at any Kroger-owned store and 1 point per dollar anywhere else. This credit card can be a real money saver for many people, particularly large families. Every time you reach 1,000 points you can redeem it for free groceries.
Meijer is yet another grocery chain that offers a credit card through Mastercard. Meijer’s credit card gets you 10% off your first entire purchase at Meijer, cents off every gallon of gas purchased at Meijer, and rewards earned on purchases.
If you’re thinking about getting a credit card at a store or chain you shop at frequently now may be a better time than any thanks to the new incentives many stores are giving out to cardholders. Many grocery store chains, department stores and even convenience stores are venturing out into the market of rewarding customers for loyalty. The same rules still apply to these cards as to any other, however. Make sure you pay your balance in full each month to avoid cancelling out your savings. You should also avoid the temptation to buy things you wouldn’t normally just because you’ll earn cash back.