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Store credit cards usually have a bad reputation in the credit card world; they have high interest rates, short grace periods and are often used simply as an easy way to get a discount on a purchase. The truth is, responsible credit users do have a lot to gain with department store credit cards.
Store credit cards are a great way to build, or rebuilt, a credit history.
Even people that have gone through a bankruptcy can often get a department store credit card, giving them a means of reestablishing their credit. Store cards, along with gas cards, are the most easily available credit and may be the only option for many people.
After you’ve used your store card to establish your credit, try reaching out and applying for a card with a major issuer.
Department store credit cards are great at saving money on a one-time purchase.
While this isn’t a good idea if you’re only going to save a few bucks, consider applying for a store credit card when you’re making a major purchase, such as at a home improvement or furniture store. Saving 10-15% on a purchase that’s over thousands of dollars can be a great reason to get a card.
If you take this route make sure you won’t be hurt by the short-term drop in your credit that comes with applying for a credit card.
Store credit cards are great for people that shop at the store frequently.
On top of the one-time discount you can usually expect regular coupons and sales for cardholders. If it’s a store that you shop at anyway, these extra savings can be worth the application. Some stores even give free options to cardholders like alterations and gift wrapping.
In addition to the extra savings, many department stores offer interest-free financing for many purchases. This perk can be well worth it on large purchases, allowing you on average six months of 0% interest.
Credit cards issued by department stores have one of the worst reputations because they’re seen as an irresponsible decision.
As you can see, this isn’t always the case. Responsible credit users can often benefit from getting a store credit card at a store they frequently visit. They’re also one of the easiest and cheapest ways to rebuilt credit, particularly after a bankruptcy.