Retail is becoming a game of cat and mouse. Tight-pursed shoppers must keep up with the rising costs of everyday goods on a small budget, and stores need to manage their bottom line while also making a profit. Consumers don’t want to spend their money, but stores require their business to stay alive. Enter store credit cards.
“Retailers are upping their rewards game in an effort to entice customers to sign up for their high interest credit offerings,” Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com senior industry analyst, warns readers. “The average retail card rate is so absurdly high that folks who will carry a balance should look elsewhere. Even if you get a 10% or 15% discount on what you’re buying with that card, the math can work against you in a hurry if you don’t pay your bill in full at the end of the month.”
The average overall credit card APR currently sits at 16.15% according to CreditCards.com‘s retail card survey. For store credit cards, that number is much higher — a whopping 24.99%. High APRs are often the sturdiest nail in the coffin that cause every day Americans to get behind on payments while playing a never-ending cycle of catch-up.
Worst store credit cards
Over three-quarters of the store credit cards surveyed in 2016 raised rates beyond 0.75% since December 2016. Belk, however, jacked its rewards card up even higher to 25.49%, increasing a full percentage point in total.
As you begin to embark on your serious yearly spender bender, you’ll want to look out for the most dangerous — or most beneficial — retail cards. We’ll start off with a warning. Ranked by interest rate, these are the nine worst store credit cards for your money.
Next: First up, a popular electronics retailers