While cards like First Premier's 59.99% Visa are targeted at customers with rotten credit, the scary thing about the JC Penney Card -- and other retail cards -- is that it gives you this high rate even if your credit is fine.
The card comes with a 26.99% APR, the highest APR for any department store credit card, according to the Lowcards.com credit card index.
"So many shoppers get lured into applying for these cards because of instant discounts -- to save 10% on that $200 item -- but all of a sudden paying an interest rate of 27% more than overshadows that," said Bill Hardekopf, credit card expert and CEO of Lowcards.com.
JCPenney cardholders get 10% off the first purchase on the store's website. All cardholders are also enrolled in a rewards program where they can earn points toward a $10 off certificate each month and can attend special savings events throughout the year.
A spokeswoman for GE Capital, which issues the card, said these rewards make the card a good deal.
"To fairly assess the JCPenney Rewards credit card, one has to look at the entire value proposition," she said, emphasizing that customers won't have to pay interest unless they carry a balance.
But if they do, it's a hefty 27%.
On a $300 purchase, if the consumer makes the minimum payment, it would take 27 months -- and $103 in interest -- to pay it off.
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