The spending frenzy is well on its way. And, retailers are going out of their way to make their special offers more enticing. The question is, will they convince you to shop like there is no tomorrow?
Are you going to give retailers and marketers satisfaction? Or, will you be more responsible and protect your savings? One way retailers will try to convince you to overspend during the holiday season is by offering you store credit cards that come with special rewards and convenient benefits, but also have many hidden tricks that lead to overspending and debt.
As a smart consumer, you have to be financially responsible and beware of the tricks retailers use when trying to convince you to sign up for their credit cards. Let’s take a look at some of these.
1. Zero interest in the promotional period
You can use the cards within a period of 6 to 12 months without being charged extra. However, you have to make the payments on time every month if you zero interest.
2. Spend today and pay next year
Some retailers will entice you with perks of only starting to pay for your Christmas shopping in March.
3. Many discounts
Some stores offer a certain percentage off any in-store purchase, while others provide free shipping, gift wrapping, or rewards. As appealing as all this sounds, you need to stay focused on the big picture and avoid buying things you don’t really need.
If you decide to get a store credit card this holiday season, take note of the following prior to opting for retail credit cards.
They may require that you spend a certain amount
It’s important to check to see if the retailer has set a minimum spending requirement.
Interest rates may be higher
Compared to regular credit cards, retail cards charge higher interest rates.
There may be special conditions to fulfill and grace periods you need to consider
If you miss payments or fail to pay before the grace period ends, you will end up paying much more for regular purchases.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not to use store credit cards for holiday shopping, but if you have the habit of missing payments or overspending, then you’re probably better off paying by cash.