If you have a favorite retailer, or you constantly find yourself out at the mall making purchases, you may want to explore the benefits of retail rewards credit cards. Retail credit cards give you various rewards for making purchases of retail goods. Sometimes those rewards are tied to specific stores, companies or online merchants such as Amazon.com, Victoria’s Secret or Disney. Others apply to certain general categories, such as sporting goods and outdoor camping gear, but are redeemable at a variety of merchants. These sorts of offers bring business to the stores and if you are in the habit of making a lot of purchases at a particular retail location, they might offer you benefits, rebates, or coupons you would not have otherwise received.
While these sorts of offers may look good on the surface, it pays to look closely at your credit card rewards program to see just how rewarding it really is. It’s a question more consumers might want to ask themselves, since in the last analysis, the reward value of a point may be far less than the dollar value, or real value, which you could be able to purchase with the equivalent amount of money. Additionally, if you carry a balance on your card, the amount of interest you end up paying can often exceed the value of whatever reward you are getting.
If you are looking for ways to benefit from your retail purchases, retail credit cards may be a good option for your financial situation and shopping patterns. With all the different interest rates, reward programs and fees available to you, it pays to understand the difference between different rewards programs and shop around before committing to a card, to determine which type of reward program is best for you and your lifestyle.
Photo credit: Håkan Dahlström