Retail cards are enticing because of the points multiplier they offer on each dollar you spend. Many retailers will offer 2 points per dollar spent at their store. Once you accumulate points, you can redeem them for store credit. However, you can often earn the same return, or higher, with another card. Let's take the Citi Double Cash card, for instance. This is one of the no-fee credit cards I recommend to beginners. Citi Double Cash offers 2 points for every dollar you spend, period. And you can redeem those points for pure cash, which is obviously more versatile than store credit.
Another card I recommend to beginners is the Chase Freedom. The Freedom offers 1x points on all purchases, but 5x points on rotating categories each quarter. For those of you who like to shop at department stores, the Chase Freedom typically offers 5x points on them in the fourth quarter. Just in time for holiday shopping! If you make most of your department store purchases between September and December, reconsider that store card in exchange for the Chase Freedom!
Some retailers will offer better than 2x points. They may also offer other benefits such as exclusive discounts, preview parties, and early access to sales. In this case, it might make sense to open up a store card, especially if you are a loyal shopper.