There are lots of stores which will offer store cards, particularly large chains. You may have some or be contemplating getting some. IT is good to make sure that you know about them and have a think about which might be the best ones. Like all financial products it is not possible to say which will be the best for you. There is not one product that will be best for everyone because all of us have different needs. However, there are things that we can all consider when deciding about whether to get a store card and think about them from our own point of view.
Store card work in a similar way to credit cards. This means that you are able to use them in shops instead of cash and you will be able to delay paying for the items that you are buying until you get a statement. The statement will give you the option to pay for everything at once and not be charged or to repay a minimum and be charged interest. You will also be able to pay any amount between the two, although most people usually only repay it all or the minimum amount. When you pay the minimum you will be charged and it is good to note how much this charge will be if you are intending on not repaying the full balance each time. You will find that the charge could be pretty high – the percentage of interest of these cards can be quite high you see. If you intend to always repay the balance in full, then you will find that the interest rate will be less relevant to you. However, it is sensible to always bear it in mind anyway because you never know when you might not be able to afford to repay the card in full.
Often with a store card there will be some benefits to having it. It could be that you will sometime gets deals and discounts. You might get first look at sale items or things like this. If you have a card for a shop that you use a lot, then this could really advantage you. You could end up being able to save money on the things that you buy regularly. The benefits that are available though, will change depending on the store card that you get. Therefore, it can be a good idea to find out what they will be before you sign up and think about whether they are benefits that you will take advantage of or things that you are not interested in.
There are things that you should think about though. It is a good idea, for example, to compare the store cards with credit cards. These work in a very similar way, but they might be cheaper and you can use them anywhere, but they will not have the benefits associated with the specific shops like store cards will. However, there are credit cards that do have rewards though and so these could be worth thinking about.
It is also worth thinking about whether having a store card might tempt you to spend more money in the store than normal. You might decide that you will shop there more often than you normally do, for example. You might also find that you don’t compare prices between stores, but buy things from the store that you have the card for and end up paying more than necessary for things. So be careful. Also make sure that you do not buy lots more things because you have a card and do not have to pay for them immediately as this will end up costing you a lot more money.