Farnoosh Torabi: Skip the store cards, ask for a discount

Nov. 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM ET

Today Money financial expert Farnoosh Torabi joined us for a live Web chat Wednesday to answer your questions.

Here’s one of her answers to questions from the live chat. (See below for the full Q&A and video of Farnoosh’s TV appearance this morning.)

Jess asked:

“Is it a really bad choice to open those department store credit cards just for the additional discount, even if you're going to pay it right off? Is it a bad idea to open them for the discount and close them right after the first bill?”

Farnoosh replied:

“Speaking from personal experience, you may want to think twice before opening a store card. These cards have very high fees and LOW limits ... not good for your pocketbook or your credit score. Opening and closing after getting the discount may also hurt you a bit because the act of closing an account --- and losing access to that limit -- can negatively impact your score. It won’t be as severe of an impact with a store card (again, because the limit is so low, like $500 or $800 to start). My advice: skip the cards ... ask for a discount anyway. Retailers are HURTING right now!”

Here’s the full chat archive and Farnoosh’s TV appearance:




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