Pass Up Retail Cards in Favor of a CU Credit Card
With the beginning of the holiday shopping season, there is one phrase we hear almost as often as "Happy Holidays"... and that's "Would you like to earn a discount on your purchase today by applying for a store credit card?"
One or two retail cards can be handy if you’re trying to establish your credit history. But, for the most part, you’re better off saying “no thanks” when a clerk offers you 15% off your store purchase if you sign up for the retailer’s card. Here’s why:
♦♦ You could jeopardize a carefully built credit reputation for a fleeting benefit. In general, you want to minimize credit inquiries; they show up on your credit history for 12 months after they’re made.
♦♦ Credit score evaluations view store card carriers as somewhat riskier, so inquiries nick your score. A trip through the mall, accepting retail cards at several stops, could hit your score by 60 points or more; that can do serious damage to your ability to borrow at a reasonable cost in the near future.
If you revolve a balance, you’re paying in the range of 20% interest or more for the privilege of saving on today’s purchase. That’s no bargain. You often can reap many of the promotion and sale benefits of a retail card just by signing up for the store's e-mail newsletter.
Retail cards feature limited acceptance. While major credit cards are widely accepted, store cards may only be used to make purchases from that retailer.
Instead of accepting those store cards, you may be much better off using a Coosa Pines FCU Visa® Credit Card with UChoose Rewards, or a short-term credit union personal loan or line of credit. Both offer low interest rates and convenient terms. Feel free to contact a Coosa Pines FCU loan officer for help in sizing up your options and preparing for the Christmas shopping season!
View More on Coosa Pines FCU Loans View the CPFCU Visa Credit Card with UChoose Rewards