The offer might seem tempting, especially when your cart is loaded down with expensive holiday gifts: Sign up for a credit card at the cash register and receive a discount off the entire purchase.
But in exchange for saving a few bucks up front, you could lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the road thanks to crazily high interest rates and hidden costs that come with many in-store credit cards.
Stores ranging from Saks Fifth Avenue to Costco offer their own credit cards. And many will try to lure you this holiday season with special teaser deals. It’s probably a good idea to avoid all of them.
(Read more on the dangers of store credit cards.)
“Don’t succumb to high-pressure holiday pitches to open up a new store account without carefully checking the interest rate, penalty and late fees, and other fine print,” Congressman Anthony Weiner (D – NY) says in a recent press release. “Consumers need to be aware that store cards usually carry sharply higher interest rates than ordinary credit cards.”
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Image: Patrick Hoesly, via Flickr.com