Savvy Consumer: What Credit Card Works for You?
As you head to the stores to shop for the holidays, it's almost guaranteed they'll offer you a credit card. However, you could pay a price for that split second decision at the counter. But which is the best - major credit or a store card.
Either way you go, there are some things you need to think about before signing on the dotted line. While more Americans carry major credit cards, we talked to shoppers in Wisconsin who say - store cards are their favorite.
"Kohl's, Home Depot, Menard's. You get a lot of perks with them. Especially with Kohl's, one of the best around, you get a lot of coupons and stuff like that," says Maryann Fechhlem
"JC Penny's, Boston Store and Kohl's. Boston store has the bonus buys. They usually have the best sales," says Donna Klepfar.
They may be popular but financial experts say store credit cards are riskier than your ordinary ones.
"Even putting all your personal information out there to another source is increasing your risk," says Jim Temmer with the Better Business Bureau of Milwaukee.
"Financial expert generally your Visa, Master Card or Discover cards are going to have a lower interest rate than store cards," says Kathryn Crumpton with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Milwaukee.
The comparison service "www.Creditcards.com" says store cards tack on an average of 23.23 percent. While major cards - average out to nearly 10 percent less than that.
"When you buy something on sale, you get the sale price, but if you don't pay it off then you actually are adding interest onto that sale price. You may not have saved yourself that much money in the first place," says Crumpton.
During the holidays, when stores throw the deals out to reel you in, what's the best thing to do?
"Instead of saying a quick yes or no they should have the information, what the annual percentage rate. Are there any other fees, how is this going to affect my credit rating. Get information before you sign up for that card," says Temmer.
Remember - every time you apply for a card - whether it goes through or not, an inquiry goes onto your credit report, and your score could go down.
"Best thing to do if you're going to take advantage of that offer is pay that credit card right off when the bill comes," says Crumpton.
Now here are the store cards nerd wallet says are the best to get.
Best for fast shipping: Amazon prime store card
Best for everyday items: Target redcard
Best for clothes: Gap inc. Visa card
Best for home improvement: Lowe's consumer credit card
Best for discounts: Tjx rewards credit card