It happens nearly every time you step up to the checkout: the salesperson asks if you’d like to save 10%, 15%, or 20% off your purchase by applying for a store credit card.Unfortunately, many store-branded credit cards often have high interest rates and low minimum payments, offsetting the discount in the end. That’s why your answer should usually be “No, thanks.”However, The Target REDcard credit card offers several benefits that may appeal to responsible cardholders who regularly shop the retail giant.
1. Target credit card: This is a store card, accepted at Target and Target.com. There is no annual fee, but as with most store cards, the interest rate is on the high side: 23.15%, as of November 2016.
2. Target debit card: This card is linked to your checking account, and your purchases are deducted each time you use the card. It’s accepted at Target and Target.com. There’s no annual fee.
3. Target MasterCard. This is accepted anywhere that takes MasterCard. However, new cardholders cannot apply for the Target MasterCard. It’s an upgrade that Target may offer you later. It has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee, and the annual percentage rate is the same as on the Target credit card.
All three cards give you the same benefits outlined above: 5% off, free shipping, extra time for returns. The MasterCard doesn’t give you any rewards outside of what you spend at Target. All are chip-and-PIN cards, meaning you need to enter your PIN each time you use it. This isn’t a bad thing, because such cards are more secure than chip-and-signature cards.
2. Extra days for returns. If you need to return a purchase, you receive 30 extra days to do so when you purchase with this card. Target's return policy is 90 days for unopened items in new condition, but as a cardholder, you receive a little extra time if the product you have purchased doesn't meet your needs.
3. Free shipping. You can not only save money shopping Target's many sales and discounts, but you can also skip the drive to the store and standing in line, by shopping online at Target.com. If you use your Target credit card, shipping is free with no minimum purchase, or you can get free 2-day shipping on eligible items when your spend more than $35 on your order. Although other retailers offer free shipping, this benefit sometimes comes with a price.
2. High APR. The APR, as with most store cards, is exceptionally high. If you carry your balance from month to month, the 5% discount you receive for your purchases isn't going to be worth the money you pay in interest. In order to get the most from the card, it is important that you are diligent in paying your balance in full each month and avoid paying interest on your purchases.
However, be careful! If you get behind on payments, this card’s high interest rate & fees can negate the 5% savings. It’s best to pay off the balance every month or choose the Target REDcard debit card version instead.
Alternatively, if you don’t spend at Target very often, there’s likely a better cash back card out there for you.
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