a man taking out a credit card from his wallet

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Buying products through credit cards rather than hard cash has been popularized ever since the 1930s. Credit cards are a sufficient substitute for those low on cash and also help build credit and deem the card holder “responsible” to the bureau. One disadvantage of cards, however, is annual percentage rate (APR) which is the yearly rate of payment for carrying a payment on the card. What’s worse, the days of 0% APR are numbered as the cost of carrying a balance on a credit card has been the highest in modern history. A report from the credit card bureau of various retail companies, for example, reveals the APR’s of applying for their credit cards. The results are quite baffling:

GAP: Applying for a GAP credit cards, referred to the company as a GapCard, wields a 25% APR in 2023. In 20221 and 2022, the APR was only 16% at the GAP. In return, customers get top priority on fast-free shipping as well as an additional 2000 credit points per year for shopping at the store. However, the APR leaves something to be desired.

Marshalls: Marshalls is a subsidiary of the TJX affiliate which, overall, has quite a staggering high APR. The percentage rate of a Marshall’s card is 27% along with TJX’s other companies. As such, company encourages customers to “pay you bills at the register as soon as it is approved”. Benefits of the card include $30 discounts on the next purchase as well as 5 times more shopping points per purchase (1000 points=$20 discount)

Nordstrom: Nordstrom/Nordstrom Rack’s APR is probably the highest of all at a whopping 30% APR. This means a balance as minimal as $20 could compound to almost $50! Benefits of the Nordstrom card, the company claims, include $40 off on the current purchase as well as doubling shopping points.

Kohl’s: At 24% APR, a Kohl’s card APR is likely the most generous, which is saying a lot. Furthermore, a Kohl’s card requires a longer approved credit history meaning most customers who get approved will pay off the balance. Still, however, it’s quite a hefty difference from last year’s APR of 14%. Benefits of the card are similar to other department stores with double points per purchase and a considerable discount to be used straight away.

With the economy continuing to collapse, society has become more contigent on money whether through buying products or services or punishing people delinquent on payment. “With appending power comes spending responsibilities”, says business analyst Aja Clanahan. “As a credit card holder, we depend on the terms of our cards throughout life. But please be responsible or your account may be affected-big time”.

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