Is there ever a good reason to get a store credit card?

Where you can talk about store credit cards, like gas station cards, department store cards, etc.
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Is there ever a good reason to get a store credit card?

Postby otter » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:42 pm

I'm not talking about a card which is run on a major card's network (like the Walmart/Sam's Discover or the Macy's Amex)... I'm talking about store cards which only work at that particular store (or affiliated stores- I know you can use the Sears card at K-Mart).

I've seen some on this forum (and other forums) who have a great line-up of cards and then you see a $500 Target card in their signature mixed with a bunch of cards with 5 digit CL's. Is it really worth it for the 5% discount?
In my Wallet:
  • Amex PRG NPSL[3-14, bd 91]
  • Sallie Mae MC $8000[1-14]
  • Chase Freedom $4700[1-14]
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  • BoA UCF Alumni Cash Rewards $5000 [3-15]
Sometimes in my Wallet:
  • GM BuyPower WEMC $5000[9-14]
  • Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex $7000[4-14]
  • Barclaycard Arrival WEMC $7000[3-14]
  • BoA Better Balance $3000[2-15]
In my sockdrawer: Amex BCE $1000[10-13, bd 91], OCCU Duck $10000 [11-13], The Sportsman's Guide Visa $8000[8-14], Chase Slate $4000 [9-14]Delta Gold Amex $2000 [2-15 bd 91], Diners Club MC $20000 [10-14] Commerce Bank Visa $2000 [3-15] Citi Double Cash $1000 [3-15]
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Postby keno » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:27 pm

I think it depends on how much you shop there. Kohl's consistently offers 15-30% off with their card. That may not be much on their inflated clothes prices, but it can be significant for small appliances, shoes, etc.
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Postby djrez4 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:15 pm

Banana Republic is another example. Great discounts you only get as a card holder
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Postby dickey1331 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:33 pm

I shop at Target a lot so it's worth it to me.

As for Zales and Best Buy I dont use them as much but Ive also had them for 6+ years and dont want to cancel them.
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Postby linuxmachine » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:45 am

djrez4 wrote:Banana Republic is another example. Great discounts you only get as a card holder

I used to be a luxe member. The discounts were ok. 5% base and the typically did special 10% promos for card holders on a weekly basis. The free alterations were cool, but I don't know... it's an ok card. I don't shop there as much nowadays, so maybe that's what it really is.

The amazon store card is a great deal if you get the 5% statement credit option. As long as you pay in full every month, you get 5% of your balance back as statement credit. Much better than Chase Amazon rewards where you cant even get 3% back if you buy via amazon marketplace.

I would say the best buy card is alright too. If anything, the best part is when they randomly offer free $10~20 reward certificates throughout the year. I lost my status this year though... so no bueno for me

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Postby rockyrock » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:43 am

Although I don't currently have any, throughout the years I have had several store cards like Best Buy, Sears, Walmart, etc. Many offer great promos and deals you can't get anywhere else. When I bought my wife's ring I used a card for the specific store and got 0% for six months which helped me out a lot. I haven't used the card since and just recently canceled it, but it was a very large purchase so spreading it out for six months was great. At the time I had no other cards that could offer me something like that without a BT fee. Of course I got no points for that portion but I did put $5k on my Amex so I did get some MR points.

The trick with ALL store cards is you must PIF every month or you will get raked over the coals by the APR.
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Postby takeshi » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:56 am

otter wrote:Is it really worth it for the 5% discount?

As always, worth (and "good reason") is subjective. It's up to each to decide if X store card is worth it to them. Really no different than it is with credit cards. Neither are one-size-fits-all matters. I have no use for any store cards but others certainly do. To use your example, if one shops a lot at Target then the 5% (generally considered an excellent cash back rate) could certainly add up.

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Postby nismoZtuner » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:56 pm

The first time i applied for a credit card was at SEARS- which they denied me in seconds. 4 months later I applied for the Blue cash from Amex and Guess What!?

-They approved me with a $2k limit. Screw sears and their crappy store card..
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Postby JoDa » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:53 pm

I keep my Target Visa for the 5% off/free shipping and because I've had it for over a decade now. I don't shop there a ton, but I do buy household basics (trash bags, dryer sheets, deodorant, face wash, etc.) there, as well as baby and wedding shower and wedding gifts (tons of my friends register there). Plus, it's actually the Visa, which I understand they've stopped issuing, but it gives me the option to keep it active by just charging a small amount elsewhere if it's been a while since/until I'll shop at Target.

Not sure I'd app for it today, especially given they've eliminated the Visa option, but I don't see any reason to ditch it. There's no fee and I save $50-100/year using it for the above-mentioned purchases...

Edit to say that part of the reason why I shop for household basics there is that a bunch of their Up & Up brand stuff is made in the USA. I do what I can to buy American-made products, and these products are an affordable and convenient option.
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Postby Vattené » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:38 am

That's basically how I got introduced into the world of credit - it was a viable option for me to start establishing a history. I didn't know about secured cards or other starter options at the time, but I can't see a reason to get those.

Most of the store cards I've opened got me a 15% discount at time of purchase. If you have a big enough purchase, that is well worth it in my opinion. Even just $100 would get you $15 off, which is much better than the equivalent of any rewards programs of which I'm aware.

I also think the Banana Republic is a good one, as djrez4 pointed out a while ago. The best I have by far is Macy's, though (not the Amex version). You get advanced notice of sales plus just using your card at check out often gets you a discount (like 15%) automatically. You get "star passes" mailed to you, which are basically coupons for $X or Y% off just about anything that are good for a large window of time.

I also have the Walmart card (again, not the Discover version), which offers special 0% financing terms on big-ticket purchases. I've never used it, but it would be a great perk you couldn't get with a major card.
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