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Store cards- the argument for closing

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Frequent Contributor

Store cards- the argument for closing

A friend told me that he "outgrew" retail store cards and closed all of them (he had 4). He now exclusively has Amex and Citi (Double Cash, Gold and Hilton Aspire). 

 

What is everyone's thoughts around saying no to store branded retail cards?

NFCU 20K | Comneity IKEA 6k | Barclays AA 4K |Dell 3K| Amex HH 2K | CFNA Firestone 1K |Citi Home Depot 500 | NFCU LOC 2.5K|PenFed LOC 2K |
FICO8 SCORES - 673 TU , 640 EQ , 655 EX , AAOA 4 years 6 months. | Util 70%
Message 1 of 29
28 REPLIES 28
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Moderator

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

If growing up means getting fewer rewards at stores I shop at anyway, then I don't wanna grow up.  (And since I'm paraphrasing a toy store commercial from the 80s, I'm probably grown up anyway.)

 

If one has unused store cards from building/rebuilding their credit profile, then usually no problem with closing unused cards.  But if a consumer regularly shops at those stores, the rewards and/or promotional financing are generally hard to beat by non-store cards.  Chase Sapphire Reserve may be a "grown up card," but it's generally going to give me less in rewards than my 5% Amazon card, less of a discount than my Kohl's card often will (up to 30%), less than 5% off at Target, etc.

Message 2 of 29
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Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

I don't believe in keepping cards that aren't being used. Except if it happens to be your oldest card. Sometimes stores go in a direction we no longer like, or were in a different life phase. I certainly wouldn't keep them. Why manage them when they serve no purpose.

I have a Target RedCard which switched to MC and a Best Buy Visa. Stores I shop often, but cards are useful other places. I really wouldn't consider a store card without additional value.

Message 3 of 29
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Super Contributor

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

I closed my Brooks Brothers card when I moved and went from two nearby stores to zero. The card's value was focused on in-person shopping.

 

At some retailers a store card is somewhat mandatory if you shop often. It can be less about "rewarding loyalty" and more about the illusion of savings or fleecing infrequent customers.

 

I like to shop at Costco as much as possible, where the "original" price is generally an attractive one and the promotions represent real discounts.

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Message 4 of 29
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New Contributor

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

I agree sometimes the value of a store card is additional % off (Amazon Prime card or Lowe's 5% off everyday, or they offer 0% promo financing).   It might give some AZEO folks heartburn but I will put a refrigerator on my Lowe's card for 12 or 18 months with 0% or if I have the cash in the bank, I'll put it on there to deduct an additonal 5% off at the register.  

I have a Shell gas card, I used it for several reasons, the first was 5 cents off a gallon when you used it, secondly for pay at the pump skimmers, the main reaon is becasue there is a Shell station down the road from my house and I buy most of my gas there.  My thought was about the skimmer, there isn't much they are going to be able to do with a closed-loop Shell credit card number if they did end up stealing it.   However, I've since got cards with better cash back than 5cents, so I don't use it except when I fill up my gas can for the lawn mower just to keep it open.   I'm a credit card hoarder I guess.    


Message 5 of 29
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Mega Contributor

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

I think the store card vs bank card distinction can be overstated here, partly because rebuilding tends to go from cards you can get but aren't useful to you (Fingerhut, some shopping cart trick cards) and, once profile improves, to "real" cards such as those from the big banks, so the latter feel better and you have "progressed"

 

To me, the question for each card is whether it is useful (and as good or better than alternatives) for my spend.    So, the only place store cards are worse is if the store stops meeting your needs (the store changes, your needs change, you move away from the store area etc) and the card becomes useless, whereas a  bank card can continue to be used.   However, it's not much of a distinction.   I use my US Bank REI card at (wait for it) REI.   If for any of the above reasons I stopped buying at REI, while I COULD use the card elsewhere, I probably wouldn't, as I have better cards for any non-REI purchase!

Message 6 of 29
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Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

Why say no when saying yes feels so good?Smiley Wink

Message 7 of 29
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Valued Contributor

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

I closed my one and only store card (well it was a MC store card) a few years ago because I moved and there was no stores near where I moved to. 

My personal view on store cards are if they give you good benefits/rewards at a place you normally shop than they are good for you, when you no longer get  good benefits/rewards from them you should close them just like any other card that is not useful for your spend. 

Scores hover around 800
Haven't been AZEO in over a year
Rome was not built in a day, neither is a good credit profile
Message 8 of 29
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Established Contributor

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

I have 3 store cards VS, Express, and Kay's. The only thing I don't like about them is they can report kind of random. I use the cards, pay them off as soon as the balance shows in the account, and they still report the balance like I never paid it. Other than that they are low limit cards that haven't grown for me. I was actually just contemplating closing them. The VS and Express card, are both $250. I figured I could just app for one good bank card that would replace both of those cards. 



Starting Fico Scores:November 2019

Current Fico Scores: September 2, 2020
Goal Scores: 700 across all three
Message 9 of 29
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Regular Contributor

Re: Store cards- the argument for closing

If the card has value to you, I don't see why there would be a need to close it.  I also never saw the point in collecting store cards from every store I've shipped at, ever.  But I definitely have use for, or value for, my Amazon, Target, and Walmart store cards.  I can't beat 5% back any time with any major credit card.  But there are too many store cards that offer little to nothing, or, outside a single purchase, would see no use.

TFCU Plat Visa $12,500 | PenFed Platinum Rewards $10,000 | Synchrony Premier MC $8,000 | NFCU MoreRewards $1,000 | Purdue FCU $5,000 | Capital One BuyPower $750 | Capital One QuickSilverOne $600 | Capital One QuickSilver $1,000 | Merrick Bank $2,700 | Credit One $1,200 | Amazon Prime Card $5,000 | Walmart Store Card $1,400 | B&H Payboo Card $7,500 | Shell Gas Card $1,200 | Overstock Store Card $3,850 | Kohl's Store Card $1,500 | Comenity MasterCard $1,180 | Target RedCard $2,000
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