Consumer Reports: Store credit cards

CBS 12 anchor Eric Roby explains the dangers of store credit cards. (WPEC/Consumer Reports)

Although signing up for new credit cards at the checkout line can be tempting, Consumer Reports says you should fight the urge.

Store credit cards are rarely a good deal for shoppers, as the interest rate is often high, according to Consumer Reports. The average interest rate on these cards is about 24 percent, well above the national average for credit cards which is around 15 percent.

Applying for any new card can also temporarily lower your credit score.

"Every time an inquiry is made on your credit card account, it hurts it a little bit," Consumer Reports Money Editor Nikhil Hutheesing said. "And while it may not seem like that much, it could be the difference between a good credit score and a bad credit score."

However, if you do open an account, don't immediately shut it down because that as a negative impact on your credit score as well.

"The best thing to do is put the card away and don't use it," Hutheesing said.

If you are looking to build your credit, store cards can be a good strategy since they're easier to get and having the card could unlock special discounts if you shop at the store often.

But it's important to remember that the high interest rate makes it especially important to pay your bill in full.

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