What is the Difference Between Store Cards and Credit Cards?

There can be a bit of confusion when it comes to store cards and credit cards and which might be the best to take out and to use. It is therefore good to have a clear understanding of what the differences are and then you will be able to choose carefully when you are thinking about getting one.


The cost of all cards will vary but it is generally the case that store cards will be more expensive than credit cards. This will only be an issue if you get charged interest though. Both types of card will normally be free if you repay them in full before the date stated on the statement. You can even set up an automatic payment so that the card gets repaid in full when it needs to be. Some cards will an annual fee or other charges though and so will need to check for this to see whether you will be expected to pay anything additionally. If you do intend to not repay the cards in full then you should be comparing the interest rates on the cards to see which might be cheaper for you.


Store cards tend to offer some sort of incentive or reward to the card holders. This could be money off or some sort of loyalty points or it could be preview sale events and things like this. What they offer will very much depend on the store itself. You will therefore need to check. Make sure that you check what the long term offers will be as well as the initial ones. This is because they will tend to have really attractive initial offers to try to get you really interested and then will have others possibly and you will need to see what they are. You need to make sure that it is worth your while. With a credit card you may be able to get a rewards card which will give you some offers too. You might get some cashback on purchases; air miles or other sorts of rewards and it is good to take a look at these to see whether it is worth going for a card like this. They will tend to be more expensive though and so probably only recommended for those people that intend on repaying the full balance each month as they will generally pay no fees anyway.


It is worth bearing in mind that when you have a store card you will normally only be able to use it in branches of that particular store and maybe any other stores owned by the same company. Whereas with a credit card you will be able to use it in a lot of stores. Not every store will accept a credit card and some brands of credit card are more widely accepted than others, but you will be able to use it in more places than a store card.

As you can see from the differences between the cars, there could be good reasons for getting either of the types of cards. It is therefore worth thinking about what might work the best for you or you may even decide that you should get both. Although this could be advantageous, it can be risky having access to so much credit. If you are the type of person that might see it as a good reason to go out and spend a lot of money, then this could be a problem, so make sure that you think things through first and decide whether it will work for you.

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