Weekend Shopping: Impulses & Obsessions

April 11, 2021 by Lila Delilah

I think it’s time we get down to brass tacks in relation to store credit cards. Despite alluring points and reward programs, they are nearly always a bad idea. Truth be told, the only winner is very often the store.

Putting on my personal finance hat, an individual doesn’t normally need more than one credit card. Having a second credit card to segregate types of charges is acceptable but anything more is counterproductive. Below are several reseason why having a store credit card isn’t a good idea:

1. Interest rates are INSANE. In general, you shouldn’t buy what you can’t afford to pay in cash. Sometimes life happens or the impulse to shop becomes too great. You can be sure that interest payments will nullify most discount savings. In many cases, it’s better to pay full price than the cost of interest. That’s the store getting rewards, not you.

2. Your card credit report will be hit with a hard inquiry and your credit rating will take a ding. That’s another strike for you. Based on your credit score, each individual is allocated a certain amount of credit. Having more credit cards doesn’t necessarily give you more buying power. It’s better to have a higher spending limit on each card than have several cards with smaller limits. (We will get to why a little further down the list.)

3. Store cards can only be used in one establishment, which limits their purchasing power. Points and perks can be enticing but many general credit cards offer similar advantages. Travel rewards are usually a lot more valuable than store credit but even if you don’t want to travel, in many cases you can often favorably convert your points into store credits. 

4. Store credit cards offer much lower credit limits than major credit cards, which means that even a small purchase can gobble up that line of credit. Ultimately that will impact your credit score negatively. Banks don’t like to see a high percentage of available credit being utilized. For instance, if the store gives you a $1500 credit limit and you spend $700 on shoes, that means you’ve used about half your available credit. That doesn’t report well. If you’re looking to buy a home or take on a line of credit you should be sure that you’re not using more than 10% off your allocated credit on any card at any time. Some big banks won’t even give you a credit if you have too many credit cards open– that’s even if your credit is in good standing.

5. The lure of spending to get more rewards can be overcoming. There are entire marketing strategies behind behavioral consumerism. Once you see those points racking up, it can be tempting to buy more merchandise only to accumulate more points. It’s a huge mind game that can get dangerous. 

Having smart money is the first step in saving money. Store credit cards are ultimately a bad idea (in almost all situations). Moving on to some money-saving fashion deals.
If you’re scouring the web for a must-have new season fashion item, you should check Nugnes 1920. The code  WELCOME15 will save you 15% off nearly everything on the site. That’s on top of the inherent European savings, no tax, and no shipping. The translation is often about 30% off. Don’t miss the Bottega and Fendi options. 
Sephora started their insider beauty sale. The highest level of shoppers can save 20% off and the discount applies to Dyson and La Mer. Use the code OMGSPRING to engage the savings. 
Bloomingdales is offering up to 30% off with the code SAVEMORE. Take note of the great home items. An Allclad grill pan is $49 from $155. These prices are about as low as Bloomingdales offers and it’s a great time to freshen up your home or stock up for a Summer rental. 

The Italian site Giglio is hosting a mid-season sale where a great assortment of designer merchandise is discounted 20% off. Most European designer items are already priced under US retail and there are no taxes or duties, which really add to the final savings.  You can see all the items included in the promotion in this link. The code SC20 reduces prices at checkout. You can see the full post here

Right now you can save up to 90% off a huge assortment of merchandise on Yoox. It will take a lot of digging but if you have the time there are some real gems. You can see all of our best finds in this link

Getting ready for spring we got a little denim crazy and rounded up our favorite denim bags. You can see the best of the season in this link

Stay tuned. Until next time… same time, same place?

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