Store Credit Cards

Updated 24 September 2019

A store credit card is a card issued by a particular retail chain or department store, offering certain features and benefits as an incentive to cardholders who regularly shop there. Some store credit cards may offer a loyalty rewards programme, allowing cardholders to earn rewards points on their card spending, or cashback on their spending within the store or with partner retailers.

Store Credit Cards That Offer Rewards

Working in much the same way as any other type of rewards card, a store credit card that offers rewards simply focuses its rewards points earning and redemption on that particular store. You may earn more points from spending at that store, and the rewards you earn may allow you to redeem items that you might otherwise buy instore.

Store Credit Cards That Offer Cashback

Again, these tend to work like other cashback credit cards, but focus on providing cashback on spending at the store in question. Using the card at the branded store may provide a certain percentage in cashback, which can be spent instore on future visits.

Store Credit Card Features

Features offered on store credit cards will vary according to the provider and the type of card on offer. You may find cards with higher annual fees offer more in the way of features. If this is the case, make sure that higher annual fee is worth paying for the value you get from those features.

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Types of Store Credit Cards

In order to decide whether a store credit card would work for you, it’s a good idea to find out more about the different types of store credit cards available and some of the features they may offer.

Why Choose A Store Credit Card?

While store credit cards may not be a particularly popular concept in New Zealand, there are some options to choose from. So, why should you choose a store credit card? Here are some of the benefits of choosing a store credit card, so you can decide whether this type of credit card would work well for you.

You Shop Regularly At This Store

The main reason to choose a store credit card offered by a particular store is that you shop there regularly. If you spend a lot of money in one store it only makes sense that you should get some benefit from those transactions. With the right store credit card, you could be rewarded not only for your spending, but your loyalty.

You Shop Regularly At Partner Retailers

Some store credit cards feature partner retailers, which are typically stores owned by the same parent company. By checking out the small print on your store credit card, you may find that you will be rewarded not just for shopping at the store named on your card, but also for any spending you do at partner retailers.

You Want To Earn Something Back On Your Spending

If you’re going to be spending at a certain store anyway, why not earn something back? As long as you are getting more back than you are paying out in annual fees or account fees on the card, this can be an easy way to enjoy more value on the spending you do day-to-day.

You Want Access To Credit

While it’s easy to get carried away with the various fancy features and rewards on offer, above all a credit card is a tool for accessing credit. It allows you to pay for the things you need today, to then pay them back at the end of the month. As long as you use your credit card correctly, you can enjoy access to credit when you need it, keeping outgoing costs to a minimum by clearing your balance by the due date.

What Should You Be Aware Of When Choosing A Store Credit Card?

Choosing the right store credit card means comparing the options, while checking a few important factors. Here are some things to keep in mind when comparing store credit cards to ensure you choose the right one for you.

Annual Fee

The annual fee or account fee is the fee you pay to keep the card in use. You will pay this fee every six months or every year, according to the terms provided. Before applying for a store credit card, think about how much you will pay in annual fees each year, and compare that to the value of the features and rewards on offer. What you get back should always be more than you pay out.

Interest

The purchase rate on your credit card indicates the amount of interest that will be applied to your balance if you don’t pay it all off by the due date each statement period. Store credit cards typically don’t offer low interest options, so paying off your balance each month is a must. If you don’t, the interest you pay is likely to outweigh the value of the benefits on offer. If you tend to carry a balance, a low rate card may be a better option.

Suitability

Store credit cards reward loyal shoppers. Think about how often you shop at that particular store (and its partners, if applicable) to work out how much value it will actually offer. If you spend big at that store, or you are a regular shopper throughout the year, the rewards on offer may indeed offer value. If you don’t shop there that often, a card with a more flexible rewards programme could be worth looking in to.

Time to compare store credit cards? See what a store credit card could offer you by comparing the options and reading our handy reviews. Once you find the card for you, online application is only a few clicks away. It’s that easy!

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