There’s good news and bad news in this year’s report from CreditCards.com on co-branded and store-only credit cards offered by retailers.
The good is that about a third of the 65 cards surveyed have boosted their rewards programs in the past year.
The bad news is that interest rates rose for the third straight year. The average retail card now charges 24.99 percent, and one card now charges a whopping 30.49 percent.
Locally, the card offered by Big Lots now charges 29.99 percent.
By comparison, the average credit card has an interest rate of 16.15 percent.
The most popular perk to get consumers to sign up for these cards is rewards that offer cash or points back based on store spending. About 40 percent of the cards offer a deferred interest period.
Bottom line for consumers who carry a balance on these cards: Find another credit card. Even if you get a discount at the cash register for using it, the interest rate is so high that it will quickly eat away at any savings you get on your purchase or any rewards.