If you took advantage of those instant holiday discounts offered by retail stores just for applying for their credit card - it probably felt good to save a few bucks that day. But the decision could cost you money in the long run. Here are 2 things to look for, courtesy of MSN .com:
First: Pull out the paperwork and check the interest rate. The average rate for major credit cards is about 13%, but most STORE cards have rates over 20%! That's an extra $7 dollars you'll be paying in interest for each $100 dollars you spent. So any money you saved initially gets eaten up pretty fast if you don't pay off the entire balance immediately.
And second: Check the fine print on your interest-free offers. Big purchases with deferred interest and payments can turn into financial nightmares if you don't pay them off by the end of the grace period. For example, a thousand dollar purchase that's interest free for 6 months becomes an 11-hundred dollar bill the day the grace period expires - AND interest keeps accruing from there!
Bottom line? Make sure you're not paying more than you should for your holiday purchases. That way you'll have plenty of money in the bank when NEXT year rolls around.