Do you apply for credit cards just to get the freebies or discounts?

United States
August 6, 2007 11:00am CST
When I was in my early 20's I loved shopping at local malls. And, inevitably I would run across the credit card invitations. Some stores would set up a table outside their front door, stacked with gifts. And, if you applied for a credit card, they would give you a special gift or discount on first purchase. Of course, I could never turn those offers down. I never expected to be accepted for their credit card. But, it was fun getting a gift. Over the years I collected a nice stash of gifts, including a small storage box, eye shadow collection and even Pyrex baking dish! Do the local stores and mall shops in your area give away gifts when you sign up for a credit card? Have you ever signed up for a credit card or store card just to get a discount or free gift? What's the best discount or gift you've ever received by doing this?
5 people like this
14 responses
• United States
6 Aug 07
I used to do this all the time too, before I learned how damaging it is to your credit score. Every time you have someone check your credit, your score gets worse. It's not good to have lots of checks on there for no good reason. I still can't help myself every once in a while... :o)
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Aug 07
And, it's amazing how tricky they have to be to get people to sign up for their cards these days. With that being said, even employers and landlords check credit scores/reports. Most times it's just standard. So, I guess if a person changed jobs several times a year, their score could go down for that reason too. I don't understand why those credit report people don't make it easier for us. What's the big deal with someone checking our credit. I would just think that would be smart business tactics. Who wants to loan someone money or credit without seeing if they are worth the risk. Hmmm! That's a thunker!
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
8 Aug 07
I hate that about your credit going down when people check your score! Our insurance company and credit card company both check it every 6 months or so, so if we are looking for any kind of loan, it ends up hurting us, because of all the checking in they do. When we bought our car, we checked with five different places to see what kind of interest rate we could get. It did end up being worth it, but for two years it said that I had too many inquiries into my credit, mostly because of that car! We just bought a house, so I'm sure it will do the same thing again from our mortgage guy checking for a mortgage for us.
@Buggheart (446)
• United States
6 Aug 07
You know, I dont even know if they still give stuff away! I tend to walk wide circles around the credit card people at stores. When I was young and first getting credit I had a hard time getting it so I applied everywhere but they really didn't give away free stuff back then. Since I had such a hard time getting credit and got myself into a little bit of debt after I finally did get some credit, I take my credit very seriously and don't get sucked in by offers of new credit. My credit rating is very high and I pay off my accounts every month so I don't really need any more and dont want to do anything to screw it up either. I think it's very irresponsible of companies to give things away to lure people to get credit. I think it can be a vehicle to lead young people into messing up their credit before they understand how important good credit is later in life.
• United States
6 Aug 07
Thanks for the welcome! It's nice to be here :)
• United States
6 Aug 07
I'm way more careful now that I'm in my early thirties and have a little kid to think about. We don't use credit cards anymore. Those credit card companies are just way too sneaky to trust. That's my view anyway. But, I can understand why some people still keep credit cards as back up just in case of emergency. Nothing at all wrong with that.
@ashjoe76 (1434)
• India
6 Aug 07
I have done that only once. I got discounts on every purchase, and an instant gift of glassware for the kitchen. That was a good experience, and no hidden expenses or traps were involved.
1 person likes this
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
7 Aug 07
I do not apply for credit cards for freebies or discounts. I stay away from store credit cards and many major credit cards as well. Credit cards can be very bad for your credit rating and financial situation so I do not apply for them. The store cards have high interest and finance charges. The freebies and discounts are not worth risking my credit.
• United States
7 Aug 07
I have no credit so I wouldn't be accepted anyway, but I still probably wouldn't apply, alot of the gifts offered are pretty worthless anyway.
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
20 Aug 07
I do not see the free gifts much anymore- usually the stores offer so much of a % off your first purchase- I used to sign up for these- I have most of the cards for the stores I shop at- so I don’t apply anymore : ) I do use my fashion bug card still instead of cash- for every $100 I spend- I get $10 off- so it adds up- and if I’m going to shop there- Might as well get the discounts
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
8 Aug 07
We have a Target card that we have used exactly ONE time, and that was when we signed up for it. We used it to get 10% off when we bought our digital camera, and then paid off the balance when we got the bill. So it was really worth it. And since it was only my name, and that's the only time I've done it, it doesn't hurt my credit at all. Combined, we have 5 credit cards total. One of them is my husband's card that he has to keep for work. One is the Target card that I mentioned previously, and one is a Menard's card, that we use when they offer 0% interest for X months, or 10% off when you use it. We always pay it in full and never pay interest on it. The other two cards we have are a Discover and Visa. I don't think we got any gifts with either of them, they just had a low interest rate.
@delords (41)
7 Aug 07
no i never even tried to get a credit card
@DanaMark (807)
• United States
7 Aug 07
We have signed up for department store credit cards to get a 10% discount on that purchase. And we have signed up for a credit card offer by mail when it offered 0% interest for a year. We put the balance from another credit card on that one which gives us more time to pay it off without any interest charges. So I guess the free offers do attract people. Who can resist something free?
@Marie2473 (8519)
• Sweden
7 Aug 07
Here in sweden i do not think they are alloweed to give away gifts when u apply. I was stupid when I was youung and had alot of maxed out creditcards that I am now taking care off.
• Hong Kong
7 Aug 07
I have never done that because I am afraid of having too many credit cards and then end up spending more and paying more bills. I know a friend who would sign up for credit cards which offer Hello Kitty gifts (she is a Hello Kitty fans). Then she would cancel the credit card afterwards. I have one credit card now which I have been using for a few years and I think it has the best offers and discounts when compared to other ones, and therefore I would stick to this card and I don't think I will apply more.
@collstarx (1177)
• Indonesia
7 Aug 07
I made the credit card for the sudden need and to be easy to pay if buying the thing in the shop that exlusive but also to discou him also best regards
• United States
7 Aug 07
I did that once to get a free t-shirt, and I did wear it a lot. I don't do that anymore though. What bugs me even more is every time you checkout somewhere they ask you if you want to receive 10% off by applying for their credit card. I still turn those down every time. We've been in our own trouble with credit cards and we won't let it get out of hand again. The more debt you're in the more credit card offers you get in the mail. They want to be in the most debt possible! This just floors me and I can't stand it. I hate credit card companies!
@Fishmomma (11467)
• United States
7 Aug 07
I don't because my credit rating is important and causing it to be lower just for a gift isn't worth it. Sadly, to many people want the discount and end up paying more in fees to have the card. I have one card with no fees and never carry a balance.
• United States
7 Aug 07
I don't think I would because alot of the gifts would be pretty worthless to me. Not only that those cards seem to have pretty high interest rates..