A co-branded card is offered through a partnership, typically an issuing bank and a retail establishment. Through this partnership, they are able to offer rewards on certain items, at certain locations, or even rewards on all purchases.
If you are paying your balance in full every month, these rewards and incentives could potentially save you a good amount of money. As with any other credit card, if you are carrying a balance from month to month, any rewards you will have accumulated, will be quickly negated by interest payments.
Keep in mind, retail rewards and co-branded credit cards are not the same as store charge cards. With a store charge card, you can only use the card with the issuing store, and the rates and fees are typically much higher than traditional credit cards.
By going with a co-branded or retail rewards card, you will be able to use the card anywhere you like while earning rewards based on what is set for in your reward structure for that card. It is important to search for a retail rewards card that will suit your needs.
It is crucial that you carefully research the fees and reward possibilities of each offer. Your spending habits, along with your desired rewards, will determine what offer will provide the most benefit to yourself.
Retail rewards cards can provide great value if you find the best one for you. If you can earn cash back at locations you shop frequently, or you can save a small percent on purchases at certain locations, a co-branded card or retail rewards card could potentially keep money in your pocket.
If, however, you go with a retail rewards card that is not ideal, it could eliminate any potential benefit of the card, and possibly even cost you money. You should try to pay your balance in full every month, if you cannot, however, having the lowest possible interest rate will save you time and money.
Even if you pay the balance I full every month, but are not earning rewards, or not earning rewards you use, the co-branded card is likely providing little value. That is why it is important to research and compare several different offers before you settle on any retail rewards credit card.