Senator Charles Schumer (NY) is warning consumers not to use store credit cards, saying they average 21.19 percent interest, and he's (surprise) urging the FTC to regulate store card interest rates.
I'm sympathetic wth the Senator's goals in helping consumers avoid high-interest debt, but I'm loathe to call in the FTC to regulate private business.
My other concern is that it's awfully simplistic to say "avoid store credit cards." The truth is, a credit card is either right or wrong for you based on your spending habits, not necessarily the characteristics of the card. If you pay off all of your balances before the grace periods are up, why not take advantage of the discounts store cards offer? And not all store cards are what they seem. The Target Visa card was named one of the 10 best cards for consumers by Consumer Reports and Cardweb.com.
If you don't pay off all of your balances in full every month, then avoid high-interest cards, period. If you always manage to pay off your balaces before the grace period (as a third of us do), then a store card isn't necessarily a bad idea.