When specific retail stores offer credit cards, they allow individuals to apply in-store or online in most cases. As of July 2015, a list of nearly 50 stores that offer these types of cards is available from About.com, and each one provides its own application process.
When shoppers are checking out, sales personnel often mention opening a retail credit card to earn an immediate discount on the purchase as well as subsequent incentives and rewards points. While this is appealing, U.S. News & World Report recommends sticking to several basic rules with these types of credit cards.
First and foremost, users should treat the card responsibly as with any other card. If cardholders track credit utilization and pay balances on time, regular use of the card leads to a positive credit history, according to U.S. News & World Report, but even one missed payment can negatively impact a credit report. Cardholders should also aim to pay the statement balance each month rather than the minimum to avoid having the interest payments cancel out the discounts received from the card.
Also, while stores offer incentives and discounts to cardholders, U.S. News & World Report discourages shoppers from increasing their shopping patterns simply to earn these. If they incur additional expenses that they cannot pay on time, interest accrues, which makes unplanned bargain purchases more costly than the receipt or invoice initially indicates.