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Store Cards

The reason a company wants you to have one of their cards is to make it easier for you to buy from their store than from their competitor’s. Unless you get a discount for using it AND it has an interest free period during which you can repay it in full, cut it up and throw it away. Don’t forget to pay off the debt and close the account – just cutting up the card won’t stop the store from sending you a new one when the cut up one expires. The same thing goes for cutting up an unwanted credit card.

Financial institutions intentionally make it hard for you to cancel a credit or store card, because it costs them less to keep you as a customer than it does to find a new one. The runaround you can expect is to go into the store/bank to close the account and be told that it needs to be done over the phone. Then the person on the phone directs you to their website which in turn tells you to speak to someone in person.

An example of a store card is the David Jones American Express Card. The only thing sexy about this card is the photo of Megan Gale advertising it. Amex and Diners Club cards tend to have higher surcharges and much lower acceptance by retail outlets and online than Visa and MasterCard. It’s interesting to note that on the website, point 4 of the approval criteria to get a DJ’s Amex card said: “You are a permanent Australian citizen or resident.” Temporary citizens need not apply.

There are better alternatives for buying goods from stores that offer cards like these. If the store card does have an interest free period and offers cardholders a discount then it might be a good deal, BUT USE THE CARD WISELY!

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