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Why the store card may not be worth it

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: When you're out shopping and the cashier offers you a big discount if you'll open a store credit card, it is tempting, but maybe not such a good deal. Here's Marketplace's Ashley Milne-Tyte.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: Stores want to nab customers who'll shop there again, now more than ever.

Paco Underhill is CEO of Envirosell:

Paco Underhill And the store credit card is one distinct way of identifying who that customer is and providing them the incentives to come back.

But some people sign up simply because of the 10 [percent] to 20 percent discount they get off their first purchase. That's particularly attractive to a lot of shoppers this year.

Leslie McFadden is with Bankrate.com. She says then there's the added incentive of paying the card off at zero percent interest for a set period of time.

Leslie McFadden: And what's tricky about it is if you don't pay off the balance within that promotional period, then you're probably gonna be facing a very high interest rate -- around 20 percent.

Or more at many stores, from Bloomingdale's to Gap, so it's easy to obliterate any initial savings. Also, she says, store cards tend to have low credit limits so before you know it you've maxed out.

I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

About the author

Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast about women in the workplace called The Broad Experience.

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