I have often been asked: "Are department store credit cards best?" These cards are also referred to as "retail store cards" and, whatever you choose to call them, the answer to the previous question is "not really." Many times retail stores will offer you a discount on your purchase if you apply for their card. However, discount aside there are still several reasons I would stay away from these cards.
1. Department store credit cards generally come with a low limit.
This means that if you charge anything on the account then you will be endanger of having a high revolving utilization ratio - a big mistake in the credit score department.
2. Every time someone pulls your credit it may lower your scores.
3. The interest rate on retail cards is generally higher, perhaps much higher.
4. You limit your self to buying in that store alone, where with a general use Visa, Master Card or Discover Card you can use the card almost anywhere.
In my opinion you should never charge more than you can pay off within one week. Keeping your balance at zero to $10 ensures you keep your scores as high as possible.
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