Pros and cons of applying for store brand credit cards

You can almost count on a store asking if you want to apply for their credit card at checkout. Our friends at Money Talks News show us some pros and cons of store credit cards.

When you're out shopping, you're not going to miss the offers for store credit cards. They promise a one-time discount, sometimes coupons and maybe even rewards.

Sure looks tempting: who wouldn't want 15 percent off today's purchases just for one more card. But whether it's a good idea depends on who you are and how you spend.

Let's look at the pros. First, the obvious: signing up means saving money.

Next, flexibility: Some store cards are co-branded with a major credit company like American Express, Visa or Mastercard, so this might get you a card you can use elsewhere.

Finally, new credit used responsibly can help your credit history and credit score.

But there are some potential flies in the ointment. For example, why do you think stores want you to carry their credit cards? They want you to spend more money, including maybe money you don't have.

These cards tend to have very high interest rates. Don't do it if you can't pay it off.

Next, they might only be usable in that store, and have a low limit.

Finally, while diverse sources of credit can be good for your credit, applying too often can be bad.

One more thing to think about. If you're only going to apply for one or two cards, how does it compare?

For example, you might be able to get an airline credit card and get a free flight, that could be better than just getting 15 percent off one day's shopping.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.