This past weekend my sister and I headed to the mall in search of a graduation dress for her and a couple of gifts. We ended up at Old Navy where we found an adorable dress. Although I’m reluctant to use retail credit cards because of their high interest rates, I was delighted to score a discount when I charged my Old Navy card.
I intended to pay with cash but the sales associate asked if I wanted to save 20% on my purchase.
“Oh, I already have an Old Navy card,” I responded. I didn’t know they were having their Stuff & Save promotion were you get 20% off of anything you can stuff into an adorable reusable bag.
“If you charge this purchase, you’ll get the discount.”
I begin to stall with other questions about the sale so I can dig through my wallet to find the card. I found rewards cards and gift cards, but not that card.
“Rats! I don’t have it with me. ”
“No problem. We can still charge your card if you have an ID and know your SS number.”
I hesitated. I’m not comfortable giving out personal information. What if the 20% savings ends up costing me more in the long run? I could become a victim of identity theft.
“You don’t have to write it down.”
I handed her my ID. Covered the number pad (you never know who’s watching) and punched in my number.
“Your total with tax is $106.33 and with the discount it comes out to $85.06.”
Some of the gifts I picked up where on sale and I saved $30 (this is reflected in the original price) on top of the 20% discount, which saved me $21.27. My total savings were $49.38!
Later that day, I sent off my Old Navy payment to avoid getting slapped with interest. Other good reasons to avoid store credit cards are that you don’t have the flexibility to use them at other stores and these companies tend to do the bait and switch. You are promised perks, but they don’t reveal that it’s only on qualifying purchases.
I only have two retail credit cards that I use when I have money on hand. The cards I have allow me to get points without carrying a balance. If you shop often at a store and their credit card has perks that include discounts, then go for it. Just remember to read the fine print to know what you’re getting into as some cards only offer introductory perks.
Good customer service will also save you money, like the clerks that saved Bargain Babe $40.