Best Alternatives To Store Credit Cards

Best Alternatives To Store Credit Cards

July 10, 2017         Written By Jason Steele

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It’s almost as predictable as death and taxes. When you go to check out of nearly any store in the mall, the cashier will ask if you’d like to apply for their store credit card. And typically, the offer is accompanied by a one-time savings on your purchases that day. Often, they even phrase it like, “Would you like to save 10% on your purchases today by applying for our store credit card?”

There’s no doubt that these store credit cards are successful, as who wouldn’t want to save money? But before you interrupt your shopping trip to fill out a credit card application, there are a few things you should know about store credit cards.

The disadvantages of store credit cards
Although they may offer you a small discount, there are many downsides to store credit cards. First, they tend to have very high standard interest rates. While the average credit card interest rate in America is about 15% APR, most store credit cards have rates between 20% and 30%.

Another problem is the promotional financing offers found on store credit cards. Many store credit cards have something called deferred interest financing. This means that you will owe interest from the date of purchase if you fail to pay off your entire balance before the promotional financing period ends. In contrast, when other types of promotional financing ends, you only begin to incur interest charges on the remaining balance, from that date forward.

And while many store credit cards offer some type of rewards, they’re generally not competitive with other cards. For example, they may only offer you rewards in the form of store credit, rather than cash back that can be used anywhere. Also, many store cards aren’t part of a larger payment network, so you can only use them in that particular store.

Finally, there’s the issue of the one time savings. Let’s say that you’re offered a 10% discount on your purchase of $500. This equates to a sign-up bonus of just $50. While significant, there are many more attractive sign-up bonuses available from other credit cards.

Here are some of the best alternatives to store credit cards:

1. Citi Double Cash

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Earn more rewards than a store card, and receive an outstanding promotional financing offer. The Citi Double Cash card offers you 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases, for a total of 2% cash back. You can earn these rewards on any purchase, and there’s no limit. It also features 18 months of 0% APR promotional financing on balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. There is no annual fee for this card

2. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Unlike many store credit cards, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card gives you the opportunity to earn a great sign-up bonus and competitive rewards. New applicants can earn a $150 cash bonus after using their card to spend $500 on new purchases within three months of account opening. You also earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no limits. This card also features 15 months of 0% APR promotional financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. Finally, you can use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018. There is no annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees imposed on charges processed outside of the United States.

3. The Simmons First Visa Platinum Rewards Card

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If you are looking for a rewards card with a low standard interest rate, than you need to consider the Simmons First Visa Platinum Rewards Card. It offers a standard interest rate of 11.25% Variable, which is far lower than you’ll ever find on most store credit cards. It also has no balance transfer fee, so you can consolidate several outstanding balances onto this card, and save money on interest charges. It also has a rewards program that offers you one point per dollar spent on all purchases, with no limits. Points can be redeemed for reservations on airlines, cruises, vacation packages, and other travel. There is no annual fee for this card.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 10, 2017. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a freelance journalist and an expert on the credit card industry. He contributes to several of the top personal finance sites, and his work is syndicated to mainstream outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider.
View all posts by Jason Steele
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