The Benefits of Department Store Issued Credit Cards

Credit cards issued from department stores (also sometimes called retail credit cards) can be applied for through the store in question, through advertisements sent to you in the mail and online. It is also a common practice for cashiers in department stores to offer their customers the opportunity to apply for a credit card when they are making a purchase.

Here we look at the benefits that are offered by department store issued credit cards:

  • The department store wants your business. In turn the store wants to make the offer as attractive as possible for you. Often times if you apply for a credit card from a retailer you are offered a certain percentage off of your first purchase. For instance it may be 10 percent or 15 percent off the first credit card purchase or it may be $10 off. This is a benefit that many people like very much.
  • For some customers a percentage back upon the first use of the department store issued credit card is an attractive offer. The discount will be applied as soon as you receive your approval for the credit card.
  • To keep you coming back to the store and using your department credit card the store is likely to offer you ongoing savings. You will receive special offers when your bill is sent to you as well as other offers in-store and through the mail or Internet.
  • Customers who are loyal are often rewarded by the retail store and are privy to offers and discounts that those who are not credit card holders would not be offered to take advantage of. For instance, many retail stores offer very generous reward programs to their card members. An example of this would be a six percent rebate on purchases made in the store. There might also be web-only specials that are offered to you as a card member.
  • Another benefit of department store issued credit cards is that they tend to be easier to be approved for in comparison with bank issued credit cards such as MasterCard or Visa. If you do not have any credit at the present time or if you have experienced credit problems in the past and need to rebuild your credit then applying for a retail credit card is a smart way to get back on the credit bandwagon. Of course you should only apply for a credit card if you know that you will be able to use it in a responsible manner and will pay it back in a timely fashion and not have to deal with interest charges.

If you like credit cards that come with reward programs then many of the department store issued credit cards are worth a closer look. The rewards programs they offer, as previously mentioned, are usually very good. For example you might earn five to six points or more for every dollar that you spend when you shop at the store. In order to qualify for the greatest number of rewards however, you would have to spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars at the store on an annual basis. The rewards you accumulate can then be turned into gift certificates that can be used to buy merchandise. This is something that would come in handy during the holiday season!

Many retail credit cards offer free shipping to customers and in some cases free alterations. This however is usually reserved for the card holders that spend the largest percentage of money on a yearly basis.

Some retail credit cards are no longer just for the store but have teamed up with MasterCard or Visa to offer their customers a combination retail credit card and bank credit card in one. While the stores will encourage you to use the credit card at their store to make purchases you can also use it anywhere that MasterCard or Visa are accepted.

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