Outside of the benefits for using the card and getting shopping benefits (i.e. coupons for using an Old Navy credit card) is there a real benefit to getting a store credit card?
All four of my cards (AMEX, CSP, CS and BofA) are prime cards but I was thinking of getting a store card for coupon sake.
Will approval be pretty easy if I have all prime cards?
Do some people start with store cards to get prime cards?
I'm 24 and just started my credit journey two years ago and I'm curious as to how store cards work.
IMO store cards are great for:
-Padding your overall util. if you have low limits (helps you carry balances if need be)
-Deferred interest deals on big ticket items they offer
-Most are no AF
-If the store card is from GECRB they are very fast to grow and SP CLI's
Store cards are very easy to get. All u need is 600-700 score minimum at least for most cases. It's so easy to get only because they want you to buy stuff from their store, not their competitors, since store cards (without amex/visa/mastercard) only works in their own store.
however, store cards often have very high apr. it is still 1 hard inquiry on your report. the rewards are usually terrible.
So it is entirely up to you. if you do shop at a certain store a lot, and need that extra line of credit, then you can consider applying for it.
another suggestion though: why not just apply for another prime card? you already have a few. getting another prime card won't be an issue.
Lots of store cards offer 0% financing for 6-24 months depending on the size of the purchase. It's the biggest benefit to most, IMO, and is why I have the Amazon SC even if the limit is too low to use in such a way and I rarely use it, as I have the money to pay outright... but for store cards with higher limits, if you want to finance something, they're great, having essentially pre-approved flexible financing for whatever up to a certain amount, which looks way better than "actual" financing of stuff like furniture (lenders of last resort with a maxed out line of credit) on your credit report.
The drawbacks are two and are severe:
1. No rewards
2. Exorbitantly high usurious interest rates even for prime customers, which can't be even partially offset by rewards (but you shouldn't be doing the points game if you can't afford to PIF).
They're good for financing, and, if you get coupons or special offers, for that, but for daily use in the store, since they offer no rewards and usurious rates, they're not advantageous to use.
Another "fringe benefit" for some may be that store cards are generally very easy to get approved for if you have crappy credit.
(Local) Credit union cards suck, IMO - they tend to have mediocre limits and horrible (often no) rewards, but pretty good to ridiculously good interest rates. (The local CU has one card with no rewards and one card that gives 1% cash back only, but has fixed APRs as low as 6.25% and as high as 12.5%.)
The big national military CUs that work like banks (Navy Federal, Pentagon Federal, USAA etc.), but which many people can't qualify for (I think anyone can qualify for Pentagon Fed now by making a donation to the military or some kinds of charities of like $50, but I'm not sure) are a horse of a different color. If you can qualify to join any of the three above, all tend to offer cards with good-to-excellent rewards, high CLs, and reasonable APRs, unlike most local CUs.
Local CUs are sometimes of use to people for rebuilding credit (some are harder to get a card from than most banks), but not much beyond that. The national military CUs are a different story.
CUs - local ones - can often be really good for signature loans and sometimes for collateralized loans like mortgages and auto notes, with excellent interest rates, but they're often pretty hard to qualify for (and we're talking about credit cards). My local CU offers 2.2% on signature loans, five year peiod, up to $100k depending on income. They don't have signature loans with higher interest rates, so they're hard to qualify for. Often for auto notes the best deals are from dealer-secured financing if you're a "well-qualified buyer" (read: excellent credit), as they'll give you 0% and all types of perks and discounts that banks and CUs won't.
I was just wondering at some people had store cards versus getting cards like mind but I see why now. I'm really liking what I'm seeing about the Chase Freedom (which I will product change to once my regular Chase Sapphire ages) and the Discover IT.
I wish I could get in with USAA. Should I think about a CU next?
I would definitely start up a relationship with a local CU. They give very nice CL's to customers with good/excellent credit.