Q: When I applied for their card at the Jersey Gardens Mall, I didn’t realize how high the APR was! With a 24.99% interest rate do you think it’s worth keeping or am I getting ripped off with the payments? I shop at Mandee stores at least once or twice a month.
A: Most store cards have outrageous rates, so this is no surprise. The biggest benefit of the Mandee credit card is the 20% coupon you get when you open the account.
After that, it’s not very useful. Many other stores like Banana Republic give cardholders useful perks such as free basic alterations and no charge shipping for online orders. With Mandee, you’re not getting anything special like that.
So should you keep it or not? Ask yourself these three questions…
1. Can you qualify for something better?
Even if you have little or no credit history, you should still be able to get a “real” credit card that you can use everywhere, instead of at just one store.
One of my favorites is the Discover it for students that gives you 5% cash back. It has no annual fee and a lot of valuable free benefits like purchase protection – up to $500 in coverage on eligible purchases if they’re accidentally damaged or stolen during the first 90 days (good for when you buy new clothes and accidentally tear them or ruin them in the wash!).
2. Do you pay your bill in full or carry a balance?
You mentioned you don’t pay the full amount, which means the credit card from Mandee is a horrible choice due to its high APR.
If you go with a major card from a bank, you have good chance at getting a Visa or MasterCard with a rate that is at least 5% lower, possibly even lower than that.
3. Do you ever make late payments?
Something I hate about store cards is that they’re one more bill you have to remember each month. That can be really annoying if you have more than one of them.
This is why I prefer Visa/MC/AmEx/Discover instead… it simplifies my finances by only having one card to keep track of.
If you have a busy life, be aware that Mandee gives you a 25 day grace period but after that, you’ll be hit with a hefty late fee, pictured right.
It’s your decision…
Ask yourself those 3 questions and you should have the answer.
Another solution is to keep your card open so you stay on their mailing list for sales and other offers, but instead use a different card to pay for your purchases. That’s a smart idea if you already have an account from Mandee.
This article was written or last updated May 2013