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Aldi, a Germany-based grocery store known for its cost-cutting business practices, announced in a news release it will accept credit cards in its U.S. stores. There are nearly 1,500 locations in the U.S., mostly in the eastern half of the country, and until now Aldi had only accepted cash or debit card payments. Aldi plans to have 2,000 U.S. stores by 2018 and will open its first stores in Southern California later in March, the news release said.
The new credit card policy will not affect prices, the company stated in the news release. Among the things Aldi does to keep prices low, it charges customers for shopping bags, mostly limits goods to in-house brands and focuses on stocking the most common grocery items, the idea being that what Aldi lacks in selection it makes up for in affordability.
Customers can now use their Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express credit cards at the Aldi checkout, which may attract more customers. Many rewards credit cards offer extra points or cash back for grocery purchases, so those buyers can now take advantage of such perks while shopping at Aldi.
For example, the Chase Freedom credit card (reviewed here) offers 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter, and grocery shopping tends to be one of them. Though there are limits on how much cash back you can earn, the card can still help you maximize the value of something you already do on a regular basis, like buying food. Of course, rewards cards have their downsides, like generally higher APRs and higher credit score requirements, so consumers need to carefully consider these things before applying. You can get an idea of where your credit stands and how credit card use could affect it by getting a free credit report summary, updated monthly, on Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Chase Freedom credit card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
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