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One of the best features of store credit cards is their great rewards system. Many stores offer discounts of up to 5% on every purchase you make. Additionally card holders are entitled to special sales days, free shipping, and even zero financing, all great ways to save money. Sometimes you can even get a cash bonus just for signing up. What many consumers don’t realize is that store credit cards can be an effective tool in raising your credit score. You don’t want to apply for too many at once however, as this will affect your credit rating negatively.


How Raising Your Credit Score Works

The key to using a store credit card to raise your credit score lies in applying a certain strategy to your spending. If you use your card a few times a month and charge only amounts you can pay off in full each month, your credit score will increase accordingly. If you can’t pay the balance in full each month, you should at least keep it to less than 30% of your card’s limit. For instance, if your limit is $500, try not to let the balance go over $150. Regular, on-time payments will increase your credit score faster than you realize. Late or missed payments however will accomplish the opposite.

 Some Popular Store CreditCards and How to Get Them

Wherever you choose to apply for a store credit card, make sure you read the terms and conditions of the rewards and savings plans. Some cards only allow you to accumulate rewards point at the store who issued it, or on their website, other cards allow you to save money wherever you shop.


You can apply for a Walmart credit card either in store or online. Their website offers a whopping 20% savings if you spend a hundred dollars or more on the day your account is opened. Walmart offer two cards – the Walmart Discover, and the Walmart Credit Card. The major difference is that with the Discover Card you receive an extra 1% savings on purchases and can use it at any location that accepts the Discover card. With both cards you can enroll to receive electronic statements, and as a bonus your credit score will be included with them each month. That way you can monitor your score to make sure it’s headed in the right direction.


Target offers three cards; the Target credit card, the Target Visa, and the Target check card. The check card is essentially a debit card, so you’ll want to apply for the Visa or Target credit card. You can apply online, but Target will first consider you for the Target credit card. If you are approved for that you can then apply for the Target Visa, and approval can take up to four weeks.


Credit cards for Kmart are actually issued by Sears, and you can apply for them in-store or on the Sears website. There are two options to choose from – The Sears Card, and the Sears MasterCard. With the Sears card you can shop at Kmart, Sears, LandsEnd, Great Indoors, and of course online at the Kmart or Sears websites. The Sears MasterCard can be used at any location where MasterCard is accepted. The key to raising your credit score with any of these cards is to use them responsibly. Remember; keep your balance at zero or under 30% of your limit and make timely payments to watch your credit score soar.

Ethel Wilson has been advising clients on how to improve their credit score ratings for over 12 years. With an extensive background in the banking, credit scores and financial industry, she now shares the best of her credit score information as a contributor and editor of

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