We love those store credit cards, right? You get discounts when you sign up, and for many you can accumulate points or get free shipping along with a lot of other benefits. There are some new twists in the market that you ought to be aware of—not all of them good.
A lot of retailers, like Amazon, Apple, best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe’s, offer 0 percent financing on big purchases if you use their cards. So for six months to a year (and for some even more), you’re interest-free on big, expensive purchases. And that’s a great deal if you want to smooth out your budget. But be aware that if you don’t pay the whole thing off by the end of the interest-free period, you might be on the hook for a huge chunk of change, as the interest will be charged retroactively. OUCH!
In our May issue, on newsstands now, we go over the risks and rewards of store cards, plus we check out nine of our top picks and show you which cards are best for cash back options, which have the best extra perks (think high-end stores!), and which are best for discount shoppers.
And P.S., don’t bother with prepaid cards! We’ll tell you why we think you’re better off without them.