Store Credit Cards
Nov 06, 2022 By Triston Martin

If a company's brick-and-mortar stores aren't generating enough revenue, they may shutter those sites and move their activities online. In any of these scenarios, the possibility exists that your credit card account will continue to be active; nevertheless, it is conceivable that you will be unable to use it since all of the retail stores in your store will be closed. If you cannot visit a physical store location and are instead required to place your order online, the retailer may require that you pay for shipping on any credit card transactions you make using that card. This will cause the overall cost of buying with that retailer to be higher.

In more extreme circumstances, a retail establishment can permanently shut its doors. Although some companies can emerge from bankruptcy and continue functioning, for most companies, filing for bankruptcy is the end of the road. Your credit card will be rendered invalid and unusable in such a scenario.

Is It Possible for You to Use Your Credit Card?

If the store is moving part of its operations online or shutting some of its physical locations, you may still be allowed to use the store credit card you have. If affiliate shops remain open, you may also use your credit card to make purchases there.

Your store credit card and the associated rewards program may undergo modifications if the retailer you shop at undergoes corporate reorganization. These modifications are contingent on the agreement between the retailer and its financing partner.

What Happens to Balance

Even though you may have used your store credit card to make transactions at the retail store, the merchant does not hold the balance on your credit card. Instead, you are responsible for paying the debt to a credit card issuer working in conjunction with the store. This agreement implies a store closure doesn't eliminate your outstanding debt. The conditions of the credit card agreement that were in place when it was first issued are still in force, and the credit card issuer will keep sending you a charge each month for the remaining debt as if the store were still operational. You will continue to be responsible for making the required minimum monthly payment; interest will be imposed on any outstanding amount every month.

What Happens to Rewards

According to the conditions of the account, if you shut your card account, you will most likely forfeit all of the benefits you have earned. In the time leading up to that event, the number of times you may cash in points and the number of ways you can earn rewards may be restricted (or eliminated).

Another potential pitfall is that the points on many store credit cards may only be redeemed for further purchases made with the card. If the incentives are insufficient to cover the whole transaction, you may be required to pay the remaining balance using your credit card in the last few days before the store shuts.

What Happens to Credit Scores

The store closure may affect your credit score; however, this will be determined by what happens to your credit card and whether or not you are carrying a debt. Your credit score will be negatively affected the most if you terminate your card account while there is a debt due. Having a credit card with no outstanding amount does not protect you from having your credit score lowered. The available credit that had been incorporated into your total credit usage ratio and had likely given your score a lift will be reduced.

This will have the effect of lowering your score. This percentage will worsen if the total amount of debt you owe across all of your credit accounts stays the same. If the closed credit card were one of your older credit cards, it would ultimately be removed from your credit report. It will no longer be included against your credit age, a criterion that accounts for fifteen percent of your FICO score.

Conclusion

The future of your store credit card account may be out of your hands, but that doesn't mean you can't take preventative measures. As soon as you find out that a shop whose store credit card you have is having financial difficulties, check with customer care (either online or by phone) for specifics concerning changes to card conditions or rewards incentives. If your card is canceled, immediately pay off any balances you may have to limit the impact on your credit score.