LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — How many times this holiday season has this happened to you? You finish your shopping at a store, and the clerk offers you extra savings if you sign up for a store’s credit card.
Chances are — at least a few times.
Whether you are new to credit cards or a seasoned cardholder, the experts say the store counter is not where you want to be making a big decision, like opening a new card.
Most retail store credit cards tend to have higher annual percentage rates (APR). If you’re paying off your balance every month, that’s not going to matter, but if you’re considering a larger purchase that will take a few months to pay off, it may not be worth it.
Also, there’s a big difference between deferred interest and a 0% introductory rate.
8 News Now caught up with Nathan Grant of Credit Card Insider, where you can learn all about these things, in addition to how to build credit and the top five credit cards.
Security is another thing to keep in mind while online shopping. A credit card, in general, offers better protection against fraud, compared to a debit card.
Mobile and digital wallets offer another layer of security.
“Those are things like Google Pay, Apple Pay and PayPal for shopping online,” Grant explained. “If any of the retailers you are shopping at this holiday offer up that as an option for payment, that’s even more secure. What those apps do is you will preload your credit card or debit card onto those apps. But what happens is something called ‘tokenization.’ The number that’s actually used isn’t even your actual number; it provides another level of security.”
He adds if there is a credit card that you’ve paid off and are not using, you might be tempted to close it. But if it doesn’t have an annual fee, the age of your credit account goes into your credit score. So, the longer you have established credit, the better. You will want to keep that account open.