Nearly every time you step into a store, it seems like a team member recommends that you apply for a proprietary store credit card. It will save you money on today’s purchase and offer long-term rewards not available to other shoppers.
But is this really the case? Do you benefit at all from signing up for store credit cards?
The answer: sometimes.
Some store credit cards are better than others, providing substantial benefits to shoppers. Others simply deliver yet another way to rack up debt. It takes a discerning consumer to know which is which.
If you’re considering applying for a store credit card or two, keep these four cards on your radar. Among the best store credit cards, they offer the greatest potential rewards with the fewest repercussions for spenders.
Best Store Credit Card #1: Amazon Prime Store Card
For those who are regular Amazon shoppers, Amazon Prime is a lifeline. It saves you money, and it speeds up delivery times.
But if you want more out of your relationship with Amazon, consider applying for the Amazon Prime Store Card. While the APR (26.24%) isn’t great, you’ll qualify for special financing, helping you beat interest payments, and you’ll earn 5% back on all Amazon purchases. Not a bad deal for site addicts.
Best Store Credit Card #2: My Best Buy Visa Card
Similar to the Amazon Prime Store Card, you’ll get 5% back on all Best Buy purchases if you use the My Best Buy Visa Card for in-store purchases.
But for many shoppers, this isn’t even the best part of the deal.
Rather, many Best Buy purchases — computers, smartphones, and appliances – are quite expensive and typically qualify for card-specific financing deals. This can be a real lifeline for your budget.
Another bonus that comes with the Best Buy card: The store occasionally boosts their percentage back to 10%. This happens at select times throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled.
Best Store Credit Card #3: Target REDcard
Target’s credit card department may not have the best reputation when it comes to service, but we all know that Target itself is prime one-stop shopping territory. From groceries to furniture and electronics, you really can get it all, which makes the flat 5% savings on this card well worth it.
Unlike many store credit cards pegged to brands where shoppers don’t spend enough annually to make the card worthwhile, we all know someone who could benefit from the Target REDCard.
Best Store Credit Card #4: Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card
Finally, for all the weekend warriors out there, the Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card can make the home improvement process a much more affordable one.
Like Target and Amazon, the Lowe’s card offers 5% percent off all Lowe’s purchases, but it also provides another valuable option. On purchases of $300 or more, you can trade your rebate for six months of 0% financing, perfect for big construction purchases or appliances.
The most important thing to remember about store credit cards is that you have them. So many people apply for the cards and then let them lie fallow in their wallets or, worse, forget to pay them.
Next time, before you apply, consider the benefits of a store credit card. You may be served by just charging your purchase to a card you already have.