Cards Issued by Major Department Stores
There are a couple of different department store credit cards – private label retailer credit cards and co-branded credit cards issued by a major credit card issuer like Visa or MasterCard, are just two types of major department store cards that are available.
One of the great instant approval catalog store cards is the Emporium card - it approves you for a purchase credit limit in an online store.
If you are looking for just a card that is easy to get with bad credit, fair credit or no previous credit history - take a look at the Credit One Bank card. This card is approving customers with imperfect credit history and also offering 1% cash back on gas & groceries wich makes it a good shopping credit card.
What Is a Private Label Credit Card?
Private label credit cards are those that are provided by major department stores such as Macy’s or Victoria’s Secret. The cards you are offered in exchange for a discount on your purchase while you are at checkout are often considered private label credit cards. The feature that differentiates these types of cards from others is that they can usually only be used at that particular retailer. You can’t use private label credit cards at restaurants, gas stations, or with other retailers. Your purchases are limited to that particular store.
Although limited to a specific retailer, private label store cards are useful for additional shopping discounts. Most importantly, these types of cards can help you build your credit score, especially if you don’t have any credit established and have had problems getting approved for other cards. These types of store cards are considered some of the best ways to build or rebuild your credit score. Some practical tips for finding other cards for building or rebuilding credit are available in our article.
Some of the private label store cards we recommend include the following:
The Gap store card can be used at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta. You earn 5 points for each dollar you spend at these stores, as well as automatic Gap Silver status if you earn 5,000 points in a year. This card also offers 15% off your first purchase at Gap and 1,000 bonus points if you enroll in text updates and paperless billing. You can redeem your points when you reach 500 for $5 toward your next purchase. There is no annual fee. The APR is 25.24%.
The Macy’s credit card can be used at Macy’s department stores. This card offers exclusive deals and discounts as well as 20% off your first day and the day after as a cardmember. There is no annual fee. The APR is 25.49%.
The Best Buy card awards 5% rewards in Best Buy stores. If you are an Elite Plus member, you can earn 6% rewards. There is no annual fee. The APR is 25.49%. This card periodically offers special financing opportunities for saving on interest when your spending reaches a certain amount.
Advantages of Private Label Store Cards
- Easy approval
- Discounts and rewards
Disadvantages of Private Label Store Cards
- High APR
- Limited to a particular brand - can not use the card anywhere
Co-Branded Store Credit Cards
On the other hand, co-branded store credit cards are available for additional store discounts and rewards but are issued under a major payment system such as Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. This type of card is also known as an affinity card and includes the retailer’s logo in addition to the card issuer logo. Co-branded store credit cards can be used whenever you shop in a particular store chain as well as wherever the card issuer is accepted. With this type of card, you have more freedom and can essentially use the card anywhere, while taking advantage of many of the same, if not better, discounts and rewards offered by a private label store card.
Our recommendations for co-branded store credit cards:
The Old Navy Visa can be used at Old Navy stores and wherever Visa cards are accepted. This card awards 5 reward points for each dollar you spend. There is no annual fee. The APR is 24.99%.
The Walmart MasterCard can be used at Walmart stores and wherever MasterCard is accepted. New cardholders can earn a $25 bonus when you open an account. There is no annual fee. This card also offers an introductory APR of 0% for purchases for 6-24 months. After that, the APR is 17.15%-23.15%, depending on your credit worthiness.
The Amazon Rewards card awards 3% back on Amazon.com purchases as well as 2% back on gas, dining, and drugstore purchases. New cardholders can get a $30 discount at Amazon. There is no annual fee. The APR is 14.24%-22.24%.
Advantages of Co-Branded Store Cards
- Easy approval
- Discounts and rewards
- Use the card anywhere
Disadvantages of Co-Branded Store Cards
- High APR
- usually low credit limit
Other Credit Cards for Department Store Purchases
Sometimes, however, you can earn more rewards and take advantage of better deals with a credit card that awards department store purchases or a particular type of purchase. These credit cards usually offer a broader rewards program that awards certain purchases such as department store purchases or grocery store purchases. This allows you to use and earn rewards from different retailers whose products fall into similar categories. Here are our picks for the credit cards that offer the most rewards on shopping:
no annual fee
5% on 2 categories you choose quarterly
2% on 1 category you choose quarterly
This card awards 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in combined purchases every quarter in two categories you choose. The categories you can select are everyday categories like department stores, restaurants, and groceries. You get 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee. There is an introductory APR of 0% for the first 9 billing cycles on balance transfers made in the first 30 days. After that, the APR is 13.24%-24.24%.
no annual fee
up to 2-3% cash back
Amazon Prime membership free
New cardholders can earn a bonus worth as much as $100 as a statement credit if you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and 10% when you use the card at U.S. wireless telephone service providers in 2018. This card awards 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year, 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee. There is a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. After that, the APR is 13.24% to 23.24%.
The Costco card once issued by American Express has been revamped by Citi and offers even more benefits and rewards. This card awards 4% back on Costco and other gas purchases up to 7,000 per year, 3% back on restaurant and most travel purchases, 2% back at Costco and online at Costco.com, and 1% on all other purchases. This card has no annual fee but requires Costco membership which is available for $55 per year.
Advantages of Store Rewards Credit Cards
- More rewards and benefits
- Use the card anywhere
Disadvantages of Store Rewards Credit Cards
- Good to excellent credit require for approval
How Do Stores Benefit from Offering You a Store Credit Card?
You may initially think that offering extra discounts and rewards would end up costing the store, but when stores offer you credit cards, it benefits the retailer as well. The processing fees for private label cards are often cheaper for the store than the rates offered by Visa or MasterCard credit cards. Further, retailers can use your in-store purchases and data to target their marketing efforts better, which can result in an increase of as much as 12%-18% on in-store spending.
Store credit cards are a good way to save on shopping at your favorite department store and a great option to start a credit history or rebuild your credit.
Here are best 2021's store credit cards ranked by our editor
|1||Walmart credit card||store credit card||
3% off at Walmart.com, 2% at participating gas stations, 1%. Up to $50
bonus. Instant approval
|accepted only at Walmart|
|2||J.C. Penney credit card||store credit card||no annual fee, up to 15% off||Accepted only at J.C. Penney, Sephora, CVS, and Rite Aid|
|3||Target RED card||store credit card||no annual fee, 5% off on all purchases||accepted only at Target, $35 late payment fee|
|4||Costco Anywhere VISA||general credit card for average credit||VISA card worldwide acceptance, no annual fee with Costco membership, 1-4% cash back||average credit needed|
|5||GAP credit card||general credit card for good credit||5 points on a dollar for GAP purchases, 1 point for other||good credit needed, not a great rewards rate for general rewards card|
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