Consumers at some stores could find themselves shelling out even higher payments. Zales (28.99 percent), Office Depot (27.99 percent) and Staples (27.99 percent) charge the highest APR rates among companies in the report.
But the rates listed in the survey may not capture the variety of the card programs, retailers said. Staples offers multiple rates and its most popular business credit plan charges a 14.99 percent rate, a Staples spokesman told CNBC.
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The figure used in the study marks the high-end of Zales' rate range, which starts at 23.73 percent and is set by a lending partner, a spokeswoman for the company told CNBC. She added that the company offers some plans—ranging from six to 18 months—that charge no interest.
Office Depot didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on its rates.
Schulz noted that in finding the rates for each store, researchers looked at registration information online as a consumer would. The Zales rate, he said, was found on a terms and conditions page that surfaced in the sign up process.
He added that the survey should tell consumers to take their time when signing up for a card. When pressured to get a card in an on-the-spot decision, shoppers may commit to a deal they don't have the resources to pay.
—By Jacob Pramuk, Special to CNBC.com