NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It's an enticing offer we've all heard at the check-out counter: save an extra 10-20% percent on your purchase by signing up for a store credit card.
But before you sign up, here's why you should pump the brakes on this plastic.
"They say, 'Do you have Bloomie's, Macy's, etc?'" one shopper told 7 On Your Side. "I say, 'No, I have AmEx.'"
"You never opened one?" we asked another shopper.
"No store credit cards," she replied."The 20% off, that's how they get you!"
Mother knows best, it seems. More than 1 in 3 people regret those store credit card sign-ups.
According to Lending Tree, shoppers will lean on them heavily this year.
"With inflation rising with and interest so high, this is what people lean towards to help them with their holiday shopping budget," said Lending Tree's Matt Schultz.
Schultz says if you are the kind of person that shops at a certain store regularly and pays off balances every month store credit cards have their perks.
Some pros are: you'll get discounts not offered to most shoppers; rewards; free online shipping; and exclusive early access to sales.
The major con: sky-high interest rates pushing over a whopping 26.6% on average.
Interest rates on store credit cards are usually higher than on regular credit cards.
"If you carry a balance regularly, just avoid store cards that aren't for you," said Schultz. "It's not worth it. The math doesn't work in your favor."
So if you need one, do the math.
Look for store cards which pay you back with sign-up bonuses and cash back from a retailer where you intend to shop a lot.
For instance, the Amazon Prime Visa card offers 5% cash back if you shop at Amazon and Whole Foods.
And it comes with a $150 gift card.
"That's a really big deal and return, especially considering how much people will be spending at Amazon this holiday season," said Schultz.
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