Are store cards a good way to shop?

It seems that a huge number of retailers now offer their own store cards that work similarly to a credit card but can usually only be used with that one retailer or certain retailers within a group. Very often when we approach the checkout we are asked if we would like to save money by opening a store card. These offers vary from retailer to retailer but often include a percentage off your first shop or next shop, interest free periods and discounts throughout the year.

Before opting in for store cards it is important to check that you will be able to afford the monthly payments and ideally to pay off the balance before the interest hits. If you were going to be putting your shopping on a credit card then it may be worth taking out a store card as long as the interest is not too high. If you were going to be paying cash, then unless you were going to be saving a lot on the money off they were offering, then you may be better to stay away.

If you have good credit you may be able to get store cards to get the discounts that you may be offered but then transfer the balances over on to a longer zero percentage credit card to allow you to pay it off in time.