September 17th, 2013

Retail Credit Cards: Use Them Wisely – Part 1

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Retail Cards: Use Them Wisely – Part 1

These days, almost every time you shop at a retail store you’re offered a discount in return for opening up their newest credit card. Many times, the offers are very enticing and hard to turn down. I can’t lie… even I’ve given in to the temptations before! According to our July credit card data, those discounts are also enticing many Credit Karma members:


Type of Store
Average Score
Average Balance
Average Limit
Average CK Review
Department Store
Consumer Electronics
Department Store
Department Store
Department Store
Retail Chain
Home Improvement

What the Numbers Say

This chart gives a quick overview of some of the most common retail cards Credit Karma members have. The Macy’s credit card tops our list with nearly 385,000 members opting to carry the red card in their wallet. The data shows the average credit score approved for these cards falls in the “fair” range, making them more attractive to people looking to build their credit. But if you don’t use the cards responsibly, this can quickly backfire. For example, our numbers show that the average limit for these cards is relatively low, making it difficult to keep your credit utilization under 30 percent. Your utilization weighs heavily on your credit score and if it gets too high, your score can take a hit. Macy’s card members have an average limit of only $991 with an average balance of $484 — that’s almost a 50 percent utilization rate!

Even with the best advice and warnings, it is sometimes hard to just say “no” to these types of cards. In our next post, we’ll share our best tips for using retail credit cards.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this site is not provided by the bank or issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank or issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank or issuer. Credit Karma may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. It is this compensation that enables Credit Karma to provide its members with services like free access to your credit scores and free monitoring of credit and financial accounts at no charge.



Amy Leone is the Public Relations Coordinator at Credit Karma. Before joining the team in June 2012 she spent most of her career as a TV news producer. When she’s not helping promote Credit Karma on a variety of media outlets, she’s probably out running or exploring her new state of California.

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Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. Cool, I am just want to use credit card in my retail shop

    alex at 8:49 pm on October 8, 2013

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