- Centurion Member
- Posts: 138
- Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:38 am
- Location: Atlanta, GA
I remember the days of store-issued credit cards. Most people carried things like:
- Sears Charge (credit card but called a Sears Charge Card)
- JC Penny
- specific gas station cards (Exxon, Amoco, Shell, etc.)
The idea was that Visa and MasterCard and, less so, American Express, may be accepted by a retailer but you knew your Sears Charge was going to be taken by Sears.
I remember when that's all Sears took. American Express was more for travel and dining than everyday purposes.
In the 1980s Visa and MasterCard gained more of a foothold in retail and became commonplace. So much so that most stores switched to being co-branded cards in the early 1990s. You may have a Sears Visa or a JC Penny MasterCard. Gas station branded cards went the same route so you'd have your Shell MasterCard or Exxon Visa.
At the same time each of these establishments went to just accepting Visa and MasterCard and, maybe, American Express.
When that happened I remember thinking how it didn't make sense to have a Sears, Exxon, etc. card and just to have regular Visa and MasterCards issued from a bank. The co-branded cards always had the higher interest rates and it wasn't like I was getting any special service from them or anything.
At this point I'd say that, unless you're trying to build credit and this is the only way to go for you (surely some bank will give you a Visa or MasterCard, though), or unless you love the store and there are some perks/discounts with the store-branded card, I'd just skip it and get a normal Visa or MasterCard.
One of the current branded cards that makes little to no sense to me is the Disney Visa card. With this card:
- you earn 1% in Disney Dollars (can only be spent at their resorts or at a Disney Store)
- you get a card of your choosing with a character or castle or something similar on it
- there are some special meet-and-greets with the characters that you can get into with the card but, really, these are fairly limited and you can meet-and-greet characters just about anywhere.
My thought, and I've had this argument with people on a Disney forum before, is: Why not just get a normal Visa with 1% cash back which you could certainly put towards your Disney vacation, if that's your choosing OR you still have 1% which you could put towards anything else? The argument back: BUT IT'S DISNEY!!!
- It makes no sense to me.