When you’re out shopping, it’s almost inevitable: a store clerk is going to ask if you’d like to open a store credit card. And as an added incentive, you’ll get a percentage off today’s purchase if you do.

Discover It Card

Earn big‑time cash back that never expires.

Sponsored

Earn big‑time cash back that never expires with Discover it®.

Sponsored

Get the credit card that's got it all: Discover it®.

Discover it® gives you big‑time cash rewards with 100% U.S.‑based customer service.

Discover it® Card

Sponsored

Get the credit card that's got it all: Discover it® 

Discover it® gives you big‑time cash rewards with 100% U.S.‑based customer service.  

Sponsored

Earn big‑time cash back that never expires with Discover it®

Earn big-time cash back that never expires with Discover it. See Rewards

Before you take them up on their offer, though, you should understand more about store credit cards. How are they different from cards that aren’t tied to one retailer? What effect can they have on your credit score? Should you listen to that store clerk, or is what they’re pitching not such a good deal after all?

The Upsides

By using your store credit card responsibly — paying your bills in full and on time, and not maxing out the card — you can help build your credit score over time.

Another benefit to store credit cards is the frequent discounts you could receive on purchases. You’ll often receive notifications of sales and deep discounts available only to cardholders, and if you do most of your shopping in a certain store, it can pay to get a credit card there.

The Downsides

Store credit cards can come with high interest rates (20% or more). If you know you’ll carry a balance, a high-interest credit card is going to cost you. You might be better off choosing a card with a lower interest rate, or even seeking out offers for 0% introductory APR credit cards.

And all those emails and mailings you’ll get telling you of upcoming sales for cardholders? They might show you a great deal, but you might not want to be convinced to shop for items just because they’re on sale.

Is a Store Credit Card Right for You?

It depends. If you’re a loyal customer of a certain store and know that you’ll spend a lot of money there, a store credit card grants you access to frequent sales and special discounts. This could help you save money over time, provided you aren’t making impulse purchases you’d later regret.

However, if you’re not loyal to any particular store, you might be better off applying for a more general rewards card. You’ll earn rewards on your everyday spending, and you can redeem your rewards in a wider variety of ways.

If you know you’re at risk for taking on credit card debt, a store card’s higher interest rate could make it more difficult for you to repay your debt (especially with all of those enticing sales). Look for a card with a lower interest rate, and try not to impulse buy.

Discover it® Chrome Student Card

Get cash back on gas and restaurants with Discover it® Chrome.

Sponsored

Get Cash Back on Gas and Restaurants with Discover it® Chrome.

Sponsored

Get Cash Back on Gas and Restaurants with Discover it® Chrome.

Earn 2% at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.

Our Student Credit Card

Sponsored

Get Cash Back on Gas and Restaurants with Discover it® Chrome 

Earn 2% at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 

Sponsored

Get Cash Back on Gas and Restaurants with Discover it® Chrome

Get cash back on gas and restaurants with Discover it Chrome for students. Go for it.

A store credit card can be a great option for you. Just be sure to know yourself and your purchasing habits before the next friendly clerk invites you to open a store credit card.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

Up Next  

Should I Get a Second Credit Card?

Explore More Topics:

You Might Also Like...

Get a Discover it Card tailored just for you. Find my offer.