• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Store credit cards carry high interest

November 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A store credit card with an instant discount can be tempting, especially as you start your holiday shopping, but those immediate savings could cost you in the long run.As the holiday season approaches, some gifts might be worth turning down.

"You must always beware of retailers with credit cards pushing gifts," said Adam Levin of Credit.com.

The 10, 15 or 20 percent discount that comes with opening a store credit card can be tempting, but consider the long-term effects of having that card in your wallet.

"They typically have low credit limits, and they have high interest rates. So if you're going to revolve a balance, they're not the best credit cards to use," explained Leslie McFadden of Bankrate.com.

If you're looking to build credit history, a card that's accepted at just one Store, may not be the way to go.

"Store cards are not really where you want to be. You want general purpose credit cards that are aggressively priced so that you get the best possible rate deal," said Levin.

Opening up a handful of accounts can still do damage, even if you pay in full And close them right away.

Closing those cards again will drop that overall available credit that you have, and that can drive up your debt-to-credit limit ratio, and that can hurt your score.

So if you really want to take advantage, do research online and prepare for That offer before you step up to the register.