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Think twice before signing up for credit card offers

LEWISTON, ID - Store credit cards that come with an immediate discount can be a little hard to resist.

But they require some diligence when it comes to maximizing potential rewards.

KLEW News Anchor Jenee' Ryan looks at some do's and don'ts.
Consumers out doing back-to-school shopping have probably faced an offer at the register to open a store credit card account. These often come with a day-of discount, coupling the promise of savings with the pressure to make a quick decision.

That's why you may want to do some homework, before you head to the store, especially if it's a retailer where you do a lot of business. Research the potential benefits, like secret sales, gift certificates, and gift wrapping or other holiday freebies, and look for agreements across other retailers, airlines or restaurants you frequent, that could add up to even more rewards.

But be careful about how much you spend, just to earn points. Credit.com warns that the incentive to earn may lead you to spend more, and if you're passing up bigger sales at another retailer, you're not really getting any savings. Another pitfall can be the much higher interest rates attached to some store credit cards. These can be between 20 and 30 percent A.P.R., which can be costly when consumers carry a balance from month-to-month.

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