A retail store credit card is something that almost all of us have been saddled with at least once in our lifetime. You’re wrapping up your monthly (or weekly) shopping spree and you finally reach the payment counter, and somehow, by the time you’re done, you have the store credit card in hand that gave you an overall discount of maybe 12-15% on your total bill.
So, what do you do with it? Most of us would go home and cut up the card. It’s probably the easiest way out, but is that the way you really want to take? Surprisingly, if you just approach this problem slightly differently, you can turn it around and get a few benefits out of that store credit card. Let’s find out how.
What is a Retail store Credit Card?
In the simplest of terms, a is intended to transform you from a seldom shopper to a full time shopaholic. It comes with numerous discounts, benefits, and reward points, making it almost impossible to say no when the cashier inquires if you need one. However, from a more logistical point of view, retail credit cards are great for establishing credit since their credit requirements are comparatively less strict. But, as with any beneficial scheme, it’s important to read through the terms and conditions so you can use it to your benefit.
Clearly there are some ways of using store credit cards to maximise your benefit. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when you simply cannot stop racking up cards from different retailers, and ultimately ridding yourself of the ones you don’t need.
Research and Awareness
More than anything, it’s important to not have a hundred retail credit cards lying around, and applying for a new one wherever you go. Don’t simply give in to the pressure of applying for a store credit card, especially if it’s a store you will never visit again! This brings us to the next step. Focusing on stores you shop at the most; and searching up the store credit options they have that will best suit your purchases. Once you’ve decided that, go ahead and apply for the same. A great way to maximise profit is to apply on the day you make a huge purchase.
Regular usage and Payment Patterns
Regularly using your retail credit card can actually benefit you if it’s done responsibly. You can have a positive credit history with the new line of credit through timely payments, which will ultimately lift your credit score and may benefit you in the long run. More than anything else, a store credit that’s regularly used will ensure that you get the best discounts and offers from the retailer. Some even give you the status of silver, or diamond membership and this will get you rewards and surprises from the points you collect up.
However, it’s equally important to remember that should you fault in payments, a store credit card, although not a complete reflection of your repayment patterns can negatively affect your credit score and may reflect badly on your accounts. Responsible usage will ensure you get benefits on both sides; your credit history, and the best of all discounts.
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