Bank Credit Cards Or Store Cards?

Which are you better off getting -- a credit card issues by a bank, or one of those store cards?

That was among the questions answered Friday by Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen in her series, "Ask It Early."

Viewers send Susan videos of themselves posing the questions, and she picks some to answer on the broadcast.

Do bank-issued credit cards or ones offered by retailers give consumers the best deal?

How many times have you gone to a store and have the clerk at the counter say you can get 10 percent off your purchase if you sign up for that store's private credit card? It's pretty tempting, but you'll want to think twice before signing up. According to the folks at bankrate.com, these store credit cards charge interest rates that are substantially higher than those of a regular credit card. You also want to remember that having too many credit cards can damage your credit score. All that said, if there is a store you find yourself shopping at all the time, it may be worth it to get the card, because sometimes they offer deals such as a discount on purchases when you first sign up. And remember -- closing these credit cards can also hurt your credit score, so be careful not to do that too frequently, especially right before you apply for a car loan or mortgage.

Should consumers buy the insurance offered by rental car companies?

Many people are confused by that. So, we contacted the Insurance Information Institute, and they offered this advice: Before you rent a car, make two phone calls -- one to your insurance agent and the other to the credit card company you'll be using to pay for the car. Ask your insurance agent how much coverage you have on your own car. Usually, the coverage and deductibles you have with your personal policy will apply to your rental car. When you call the credit card company, see what insurance benefits it offers. In many cases, a platinum or gold card will offer more insurance than a regular card.

How long should people keep their toothbrushes?

Brushing is an effective way to remove plaque from your teeth and keep your mouth clean. According to the American Dental Association, a typical toothbrush lasts about three months -=- less if the bristles start to fray. Children's toothbrushes need to be replaced sooner. To ensure the longest life possible from your toothbrush, follow a few rules. First, never share your it, even with your partner. Next, rinse it thoroughly with tap water. Finally, let the brush air dry in an upright position.

What about keeping a toothbrush after an illness? The ADA's answer may surprise you. It turns out you DON'T have to switch toothbrushes after you've been sick, because agents in the toothpaste will kill the germs that caused you to get sick.



To submit a video to Koeppen, click here.