I have a Target Red Card and a Lowes card. Both cards I get a 5% discount when I pay the their credit card. I prefer the 5% now rather than later.
I see people here always touting Walmart, Home Depot, Macy's, JCP, etc.
Why would you use a store card over just a Visa, MC, Discover or AMEX? Do they give a discount with each purchase? Coupons?
Because they can't get the credit cards from the prime-lenders. Or because they tend to shop there often and picking up one of those cards would help them save more money than if they just paid with cash.
Oh yeah, duh, I forgot about the promotions too. 0% APR for 6 months to buy a new laptop is a pretty good deal if you're short on cash and need it for college/work.
Store cards have benefits for me....some will give me extra savings like old navy and Kohls plus the opportunity to earn dollar off discounts.....I'm going to shop there anyway so why wouldn't I want a discount to use another time
They might not serve a purpose to some but I ball on a budget....I like coupons and savings. I'm frugal
also, PIF and avoid interest. Although I carry a balance from time to time...interest ain't 10.00 extra dollars...I think 2.00 is the most I've ever gotten because I ain't charging racks on racks of money onto any card
I get a ton of cardholder discounts with my BR Visa (it used to just be a BR store card), and get 5% rewards on all BR, Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta purchases too. My BR account with an initial $300 limit has grown to a BR Visa with a $5300 limit. Very happy with it.
Here is maybe a good reason for a particular store card.... Von Maur dept store has an AF free, interest-free (always!) card with free gift wrap (always!) and free FedEx shipping (always!). Cool, right?
From the website: The Von Maur Charge Card is FREE of fees, offers the freedom of flexible payment schedules and, of course, is always interest FREE. Von Maur believes that you shouldn’t have to pay, to pay.
Every store card has its own set of benefits, but to disparage them all is to miss out on a lot of potential gains.
- private sales A lot of the high-end department store cards (e.g. Neiman Marcus) entitle the holders to private, unadvertised sales in the store and online. Granted, NM has the nickname Needless Markup for good reason and you could probably find better marked prices online than in their store. But in a lot of cities like mine, they are the only place in town that carries certain brands. So these private sales enable you to get the same price or better than what you could find online, AND you actually get to try the clothes on.
- everyday discounts The Wal-Mart card currently has a 15-cent discount per gallon of gas. In my neighborhood, that's an effective 4-5% discount on what is already the best gas price in town. Other store cards can offer high percentage discounts on purchases that far exceed what you get from a more general-use rewards card.
- targeted offers - One of the big reasons stores offer their own cards is because it enables them to track your spending. e.g. I've received targeted-offer coupons from Best Buy that were not one of their regular advertised offers.
- loyalty reward programs - The argument that these are often used to entice you into paying more than the best price just to get the rewards is correct. Frequent flyer programs work on the same principle. But just like FF programs, they can be great when used wisely. With loyalty shopper programs the strategy is the same as with FF programs: join the program for every place where you shop/fly regularly. Pay the best price, but don't miss out on the rewards. I use my BestBuy card to buy things that are already cheaper at Best Buy than anywhere else. This is particularly easy to do with their price match guarantee.
- zero-interest financing - For those of us who PIF, a useless benefit. But for those who do not, a valuable one. Plus, many stores give extra rewards when you finance the purchase
- sign up bonuses - Usually you get a large discount on your first purchase. This is the least valuable benefit and certainly one I would not personally consider worth getting a card for unless the card also had some of the longer-term benefits above. There are quite a few store cards out there whose sole benefit is this signing bonus, after which they're just a high-APR no-rewards card. I suspect these are the ones drawing a lot of the anti-store-card sentiment in this thread. And I share that sentiment with respect to these particular cards. But there are also many cards with the more lucrative benefits above, instead of or in addition to the sign up bonus.
If you can't see the value in any of these, then so be it. I certainly make some similar arbitrary judgements. I run most of my purchases through reward cards of some sort but I still pay my rent with a check and I'm not going to do some elaborate scheme to be able to pay my rent on credit card just for 1% or 2% in rewards. The hassle of that particular scheme isn't worth the reward...to me. And really, "to me" are the operative words there.
To insist that store cards are useless is blind ignorance. Most have at least one of the benefits above, and have their uses for some people in some situations. If that person isn't you, it's no skin off your nose, or mine.
To insist, on the other hand, that particular store cards are useless to you, that's a valid and reasonable opinion. We all have different situations, different needs, different spending habits, different credit behavior. One man's junk is another man's treasure. Call it junk if it's junk to you, but if you believe in civil discourse then stop short of calling another man a fool just because he sees it as treasure.
I use store cards for the rewards, the coupons, etc. I have quite a few store cards-Macy's, Old Navy, Target (debit), TJMaxx/Homegoods, etc and have just opened up Kohls, Sams Club, & JCPenney. I use them wisely and always have the money to pay off the card when I use it.
I use PC Richard for stuff that I know i'll have paid off within the 6 month 0% period and cabelas for the club deals