Category: Store Cards

Store Cards

Is Having Lots of Store Cards a Wise Idea?

Store cards are issued by many big department stores. These are not the loyalty cards, but they are cards that you can use to pay for items in store. They are like credit cards but you are limited to only being able to use them in those specific shops.

There are some great advantages to having these cards. You can buy things in the store and then you do not have to pay for them immediately. You will get a monthly bill and you can then pay for everything you owe and you will get the advantage of having interest free credit for that period of time or you can just pay a minimum amount and pay interest on it but not have to pay it all off at once. The store may offer their cardholders some special offers. Sometimes they will give a discount to new card holders, let them have early access to sales or even have special evenings where card holders can buy things and maybe have free gifts.

Each store will have their own deals for card holders and offer advantages to using their cards rather than just using a credit card. This means that it is likely that customers will not only have one store card but they will have them for all of the stores that they shop at regularly; which can be a lot. Some stores are in the same parent chain and you may be able to use the cards across several stores but this will be limited and therefore you will need to have lots of them if you shop at many different stores.

Store cards have the some financial disadvantages and advantages as credit cards. The fact that you can delay paying for items can be a useful way to manage your money. However, if you do not pay when billed, you will be charged interest. The interest on store cards tends to be higher than that on credit cards and therefore this could mean that you will end up paying a lot more for the items that you have bought. It is worth thinking about how much interest you are being charged and how many months of not paying it will take until you are paying 10% more for the item or 50% more or even double. It can be surprising how quickly it can build up to large amounts. As you pay the interest off monthly, it is harder to calculate how much you are paying in total. If you have a lot of cards you will be at risk of not keeping track of your spending. You might be spending through the month on various cards and not checking how much. Then you might find that when you get all of the bills they are much higher than you expect and you find that you cannot pay them all.

Whether you choose to have lots of store cards is obviously up to you. If you want to take advantage of all of the deals available from the various stores, do not mind carrying lots of plastic and pay the cards off immediately or quickly, then you could be at a great advantage in having them. However, if you are getting into debt as a result of the cards or shopping in specific stores because you want to use the card, rather than looking for the best deals, then you may need to assess whether you really should have the cards. Think about how well you are managing to pay them off and whether you are keeping good control over your spending on the card. Only you know whether you are taking advantage of the cards and not letting them take advantage of you. Make sure that you are only buying things that you really want and not just buying things because you have the card and therefore do not have to pay for them immediately out of brand loyalty. It may seem like a lot to think about, but it is important to make sure that you feel in control of your spending and do not get into debt which can otherwise be avoided by keeping a check on your spending.