We’ve all been there – shopping at Macy’s or at Best buy and the sales rep at the counter asking us “would you like to get an additional 10-20% off your first purchase with us?”. That makes our ears prick up, more discounts? YES !! And then they drop the bomb on you asking you loads of personal information such as address and social security details.
Why is this bad?
Well for one I’ve been looped into this myself when I was relatively new to credit and never bothered a whole lot (and thankfully got rejected by Macy-AMEX: still got to keep the $20 off though) but it can have negative consequences to you that you have to pay attention to.
Many users of these sign-ups never really remember they signed up and then get a card in the mail. Then they realize what just happened. Now you have to either keep the card or cancel it. You’re at a point of no return and you just unnecessarily took on another line of credit you didn’t really need.
In doing so, you’ve restricted yourself in getting another card you were actually planning on getting and if this was one of you first few cards in the past 24 months, you’ve lost potentially lost your shot of getting a Chase card (due to 5/24 restrictions).
So why should I bother?
Well, there are instances where-in these cards never arrive and due to human tendency, we forget about them. Next, after many months later, we’re going to get that phone call that tells us we owe X amount of dollars to Y collection agency and there is nothing you can do about it.
How to I avoid this ?
Follow one simple rule of thumb. If anyone asks you for your social number, say no. Understand the purpose of why they’re asking you of that information and read the fine print.
Never buy a store credit card unless you are a VERY frequent customer there. Even then, you’re probably better off getting a Discover IT / Chase freedom / Amex everyday-cash / Citi- Double cash back as you’ll get more value derived from them.
Planning is everything
It is when you plan your strategy are you able to come out on top and benefit in the process. It’s is a risk-based analytical game that requires attention and the slightest hiccup can throw you off course.
In-store membership cards
As a side note, cards that just require a simple sign up are better as they are not credit cards/lines of credit and can help you get better deals in the future (collect redeemable points on purchases).
Still better than getting a credit card, am I right?
Jokes aside, happy shopping and stay safe!