Credit Cards or Store Cards

General Availability

Major credit cards are accepted in a wide variety of places and venues. Indeed, the major credit card companies make it a point of promoting how wide spread card acceptance is in this day and age.

On the other hand, store-specific credit cards are good only at the issuing store.

Where to Apply

It is simple to apply for major credit cards. Nearly any bank or financial institution can provide a customer with an application for one or another of the major credit cards. Additionally, the Internet has become a handy resource for those men and women interested in applying for and obtaining a major credit card.

Store-specific credit cards only can be applied for directly at the store or shop. Additionally, if the store has an Internet presence — and many major stores and even smaller shops do so in this day and age — applications for store-specific credit cards can be made online.

Annual Fee and Related Charges

Many major credit cards do charge an annual fee. Some major credit cards charge an additional or supplemental membership depending on where the card was obtained.

Store-specific credit cards normally are free of annual fees and similar charges to their customers. However, store-specific credit cards carry with them notably higher rates of interest than can be found with major credit card accounts.

Common Clauses and Provisions

In the United Kingdom, and in most European Union countries, there are clauses and provisions that must be included in each and every monthly credit card billing statement — both from major credit card companies and on store credit card accounts as
well. These clauses and provisions are:

  • A detailed listing of all credit card transactions
  • A detailed listing of the amount owed from the previous month plus the extra amount or interest to be paid on that amount owed
  • The total amount owed for the current month
  • The minimum amount that must be paid during the month. In the United Kingdom, this amount is about 3% of the balance or £5 whichever is greater.
  • An estimate of the interest payable if you do not pay your account in full.
  • The date by which the account must be paid if interest charges are to be avoided
  • A detailed listing of the monthly interest rate for purchases, the APR (annual percentage rate) and the interest rate if you have used your card for cash