Are store credit cards worth the discount?

Click play to watch the report from Action News' Amy Buckman
March 11, 2014 6:26:05 AM PDT
While shopping, many of us have been asked whether we'd like to open a store credit card to get a discount.

And according to CreditKarma.com, over the past two years, about 21 percent of American shoppers have taken advantage of those offers.

But -- nearly half never consider the price they could end up paying -- in terms of their credit ratings -- for opening those store accounts.

Bethy Hardeman of CreditKarma says if you'll use the card regularly and pay it off each month, store cards can be great.

"If you make responsible payments on time, you pay off your statement balance so that you're not getting charged interest," she says, "You're going to build your credit and save money at the same time."

But, if you have trouble paying off your credit cards and you try to open a lot of store accounts, that can have a negative impact on your credit rating.

She explains, "If you have inquiry after inquiry after inquiry and you create a pattern of that, then lenders will look at your credit and they'll say maybe you're desperate for credit and really need to get credit."

Bottom line, you should only apply for store credit cards when you know that you'll be approved and that you'll use them often.

"You can get your truly free credit score at CreditKarma.com," Hardeman says. "We'll also show you what credit cards you're likely to get approved for based on all of our approval data, and for people who are really just starting out with credit that's really going to be your best avenue."

Click here for a summary of CreditKarma's report on store credit cards.


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