April 2019: When Is A Retail Credit Card A Good Idea?

Should You Get A Retail Credit Card?

Credit cards can be a great way to increase your credit score when used responsibly. But before you open that department store credit card to save 15% on your purchase, consider if it’s the best option for your circumstances.


When to say NO

  • The interest rate is abnormally high and the credit limit is low.
  • You’ve recently opened other lines of credit.
  • There’s a major temptation to overspend.

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When to say YES

  • Your credit score is in good shape, and you can keep up with an additional bill.
  • The discount is significant, which is often the case with larger purchases, like appliances or furniture.
  • You frequent the retailer and believe you will use the card reasonably.


[quote] Pro Tip: Make sure you pay your bills on time and keep your balance low. Your credit score will be affected by your debt-to-credit ratio. [/quote]

Some major retailers let you pay the credit card bill in store.
Let’s say you charge a purchase in the store on the credit card to earn points or rewards. Immediately following the transaction, you can opt to pay that bill with your debit card either at the register or at guest services. Participating retailers include:

  • Target
  • Macy’s
  • Nordstrom
  • Kohl’s