Is It Smart To Open A Store Credit Card On Black Friday?

Black Friday has become known for terrific sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. If you visit some stores this Black Friday, a store clerk will likely ask you, "Would you like to save X% by opening a credit card account?"

Typically, stores offer 10% to 15% off your first purchase when you open a new credit card account. But on Black Friday, some retailers could offer as much as 20% off your initial purchase. Some stores designate special "fast checkout" lines to customers willing to open a new store credit card. While these immediate savings may sound tempting, they may not be the best financial decision for the long term.

Regardless of whether you are approved for the account, any new credit card application is considered a "hard inquiry" on your credit which can drag down your credit score. Depending on your personal financial situation, opening a new credit card or two may not drastically hurt your credit score, but this type of financial decision isn't one that should be made in the hectic line at your favorite retailer. This should take place after careful research into the terms, restrictions and fees associated with the offer.

Store credit cards generally have much higher interest rates, since the stores have to pay for that discount in some way. Even if you plan to pay off the purchase immediately, there are two concerns:

  1. Store credit cards typically have low credit limits. So just making a few purchases can max out your credit limit or give you a high debt:credit ratio which can further harm your credit profile.
  2. When you open numerous store cards, it can become difficult to keep track of all the different due dates and terms of each card; this may cause someone to miss payments and do further damage to their credit score. 

There may be times when it pays to open a store credit card account--if it is a store where you shop regularly or you are making an extremely large purchase.

The most important factor in this decision is to do your due diligence before entering that checkout line. Make sure your choice to open that store card is one that has been thoroughly researched.

This entry was posted in Consumer Tips and tagged , , , by Sarah Hefner. Bookmark the permalink.
The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 20, 2012. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.
Editorial Disclosure is an independent, for-profit web site. participates in the Affiliate Network, and receives compensation from most of the credit card issuers whose offers appear on the site. This compensation helps support our website and enables us to write insightful articles to help you manage your credit card accounts. This compensation, as well as the likelihood of applicants’ credit approval and our own proprietary website guidelines, may impact how and where the cards appear on our site. does not include all credit card companies or every available credit card offer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information, however credit card offers change frequently. After you click on an offer you will be directed to the credit card issuer’s secure web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your offer.

About Sarah Hefner

Sarah Hefner has written for several publications as well as serving as an editor to various writers. She graduated from the School of Communications & Journalism at Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations.