If you’re a frequent shopper at Maurice’s, a retailer specializing in women’s fashion, you might be tempted to take advantage of all discounts and coupons available to you.
One way to get even more incentives than the average shopper is to apply for the Maurice’s credit card.
Getting the retailer’s credit card — and the rewards — can be all the more tempting because store employees usually make the offer each time you check out and make new purchases.
But before filling out a Maurice’s credit card application, understand the pros and cons and determine if this card will provide you with features that actually benefit you.
The Benefits of the Maurices Store Credit Card
Main card features:
- 10% off your first purchase made in-store
- 15% discount offered on a future purchase when card arrives
- Advance notices of deals and sales
- Special birthday offers
- No annual fee
You’ll immediately enjoy 10% off your first purchase after you fill out a Maurice’s credit card application and receive approval in store.
Note that you need to apply in store to get that first discount. Once you have your card in hand, it comes with another 15% discount on a future purchase.
The retailer promises to give you advance notice of deals and sales coming up in the store, and they recognize customers’ birthdays with special offers during that time of the year.
If you’re enrolled in the myMaurices loyalty program and are a cardholder, you’ll receive chances to earn double points in the program each month.
There’s also no annual fee to keep the card, so you’ll be able to take advantage of these rewards without worrying about such.
Before Falling for Rewards, Understand the Fine Print
The most important thing to note about Maurice’s credit card rewards is that, well, they are exclusive to Maurice’s. The card can only be used at the retailer, which limits your options.
Because it’s a store card, most will come with very low credit limits (around $100 to $300).
In one way, that’s not a bad thing: it prevents rampant overspending because you simply can’t rack up a balance bigger than your limit.
But, it causes a bigger problem for your overall financial situation if you’re using the card and coming close to the limit or maxing it out.
A large portion of your credit score is determined by your credit utilization ratio. This refers to the amount of credit you have available versus the amount of credit you actually use.
If you only have a $300 limit on a credit card and regularly rack up $200 in charges, this means you have a high credit utilization score — and that’s bad for the health of your credit.
This is true even if you pay off that balance in full and on time each month.
Even if your Maurice’s card comes with a higher limit, there are a few more details in the fine print to be aware of before applying. One huge downside for all cardholders: the extremely high interest rate.
The card’s APR is very high for a credit card. And if you’re late on a payment, expect to pay a $38 fee on top of the interest charged. Returned payments will also cost cardholders $38.
Is the Maurice’s Credit Card Right for You?
Maurice’s does offer advantages to shoppers through their branded credit card, like discounts and special offers. There’s no fee to use the card, either.
But that’s about the extent of what the card can offer you — and you’re limited in that you can only use the card at the store.
Combine that with the fact that the interest rate on the card is high, the credit limit can be extremely low, and there’s no way to earn reward points or rebates and Maurice’s credit card looks like a pretty raw deal even for loyal shoppers.
Before taking out a line of credit with Maurice’s, consider some credit card alternatives that can help you make the most of your spending.
Alternatives to Earn Real Rewards
Whether we’re talking about your everyday spending on gas and groceries or those occasions when you treat yourself to a day of shopping, you should make the most of the money you spend by earning rewards.
You can do this by choosing a credit card that allows you to earn reward points that can be redeemed later, or by getting a card with a cash back option to help put money back in your pocket.
Two options to consider: the Citi Double Cash Card card and the Discover it card.
Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash credit card provides you with 2% cash back on all purchases when you pay your balance on time.
You receive the first 1% of cash back anytime you make a purchase, and you receive the other 1% when you make a payment. You can pay off your balance in full over time to earn that cash back.
With the Citi Double Cash card, there are no restrictions on the spending categories and you don’t have to enroll in any revolving categories.
It’s just cash back on all your purchases, period. And there are no spending caps and the card has no annual fee.
The Discover it credit card allows you to earn 5% cash back on specific categories and 1% cash back on all your other spending.
These are just two alternative options to consider, but there are a wide variety of rewards and cash back cards that would help you maximize the spending you plan to do.
While Maurice’s shoppers may consider the store’s credit card as a way to save money in their favorite store, it’s simply not the best method for making the most of your spending.
The Maurice’s credit card is not much more than a membership card that comes with a few extra deals, and isn’t worth applying for when so many other options are available to you.