Looking at Store Credit Cards? You’ll Likely Get More Value Out of These Cards

A regular rewards credit card is usually a better overall value than a store credit card, with more options for earning and redeeming rewards.

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Perhaps you've been shopping at the same store for years. You know where everything is, its prices fit your budget, and it carries the products you want.

When the cashier offers you a store credit card application, you might think, why not?

But in most cases, store credit cards are a better deal for the store than they are for the customer. Store cards tend to have:

In most cases, a regular rewards credit card is a better overall value than a store card. You'll almost always get a higher credit limit and a lower interest rate. Better yet, you earn rewards everywhere you shop. Try these great cards for shoppers.

It's pretty hard to beat the  if you like to shop. This card pays 5% back on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter in bonus categories that you activate and 1% back on all other purchases. The annual fee is . This card is especially useful during the holidays, since fourth-quarter bonus categories have historically included Amazon.com and department stores — perfect places to buy gifts. Most department store cards can't hold a candle to the introductory APR of the : . Here are the current bonus categories:

Tip: The  works well when paired with another great rotating bonus category card, the . Strategic shopping allows you to maximize both cards' bonus categories.

Many of the things you buy are one-time or occasional purchases. But you have to eat every day. If you spend a lot at the supermarket, the  is a great addition to almost any wallet. It pays 6% rewards on up to $6,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets. A family of foodies might exceed that spending limit, but you'll still get 1% back at the supermarket once past the limit. The card also pays 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms apply (see ). It has an annual fee of . You'll offset the annual fee if you spend just $31 a week at the supermarket. This card also offers a welcome bonus that could make a sizable dent in your shopping bills:

If you don't want to mess with bonus categories or using different cards for different types of purchases, a flat-rate card is a good way to keep things simple. The  pays 2% back on every purchase: 1% when you buy something and another 1% when you pay it off.

The is well-loved because of its generous sign-up bonus and high rewards rate — especially on travel and dining purchases. Many people eat at restaurants more often than they shop at one specific store, so a card that offers great rewards on restaurant purchases may have more day-to-day value than a store card. You'll earn 5 points per $1 spent on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3 points per $1 spent on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout); 3 points per $1 spent on select streaming services; 3 points per $1 spent on online grocery purchases (not including Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2 points per $1 spent on travel not purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The annual fee is .

Tip: To earn a flat 2 miles per $1 spent on everything, take a look at the . Its miles can be redeemed for credit against any travel purchase at a rate of 1 cent per mile.

Store cards are sometimes more forgiving if your credit isn't perfect. But the is available to people with average credit, defined as anyone with FICO scores in the 630 to 689 range. It has an annual fee of  and pays a flat 1.5% on all purchases. Capital One may increase your credit limit if you pay on time for as little as six months. .

Store credit cards are not all bad. Far from it. If you check out the APR before carrying a balance, make sure there isn't a general card that would be better for you, and shop at the same store often enough to make it worth it, applying for a store card could make sense. See .

To view rates and fees of the , see .

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