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.

Editor's pick

An instant approval catalog store card is the Emporium card - it approves you for a purchase credit limit in an online store.

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APRSee website for Details*

no fees

Up to $5,000 Spending Limit in Less than 60 Seconds! Shop from over 100,000 brand name products such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Gucci, Prada and much more with low easy payments.

Less than Perfect Credit Accepted. Approval is quick and easy. Must be 18 years or older, have a valid checking account and a verifiable source of income.

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APRsee terms*

Checking Account Required

Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds

A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online

Manageable monthly payments

If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit

Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus

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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.

 

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.65 - 24.15% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.65-24.15%
rewards 1% on gas and groceries, terms apply 

See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score

1% cash back on gas & groceries, terms apply

This is a fully unsecured credit card with no deposit requirement

$0-$99 annual fee

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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:

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR25.24% Variable
intro BT APR not allowed not allowed
rewards 5 points/$1 on Gap purchases, 1 point on other purchases

no annual fee

earn 5 points on every $1 spent in GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta

earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases where VISA is accepted

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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%.

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR24.50% Variable
intro BT APR not allowed not allowed
rewards 10% off at Macy's

no annual fee

20% off for two first days at Macy's

up to 10% off at Macy's if you participate for $25 per year

store card - not accepted anywhere except Macy's

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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%.

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 11.90% for 48 months on eligible purchasesregular APR25.49% (V)
intro BT APR not allowed not allowed
rewards 10% off on first purchase, 5% back in rewards

no annual fee

5% back in rewards on Best Buy purchases

6% back if you reach Elite status by spending $3500 a year

deferred interest offers (0%APR if paid in full in 6-60 months)

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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:

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR24.99% (V)
rewards 1-5 points per $1
  • earn 5 points for every dollar spent in Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta
  • 1 point on every dollar spent anywhere else
  • $5 for every 500 points

 

  • no annual fee
  • 5 reward points per dollar
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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%.

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 6-24 months regular APR17.15 - 23.15% (V)
intro BT APR not allowed 
rewards $25 bonus on opening $5 back on $500
  • $5 back on every $500 spent on the card
  • 5¢ per gallon on Murphy USA and Walmart gas

 

no annual fee

$25 bonus

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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.

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR14.24 - 22.24% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 14.24-22.24%
rewards 1% 2% 3% on every $1 +$30 off at Amazon
  • earn 3% back on Amazon purchases
  • 2% on gas, dining out and drugstores
  • 1% on everything else
  • get $30 on your Amazon account upon cards approval

no annual fee

3% back on Amazon

2% back on gas, dining and drugstores

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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:

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR12.99 - 23.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 6 months 3% min $5 BT fee
rewards 1% 2% 5% +$25 bonus
  • earn 5% back on two categories that you can choose by yourself - e.g. dining, groceries, gas and more. $2,000 combined purchases quarterly limit apply. Categories list changes quarterly.
  • earn 2% on one extra category that you choose quarterly
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • plus you get $25 bonus each time you redeem $100 and more cashback in a single transaction

no annual fee

5% on 2 categories you choose quarterly

2% on 1 category you choose quarterly

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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%.

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR12.99 - 21.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% 2% 3% on $1 +$50 bonus
  • earn 3% back at US supermarkets (limited by $1000 spending annually, then 1%)
  • 2% on gas and in selected department stores
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • $50 sign up bonus after spending $1000 in purchases in the first 3 months

no annual fee

up to 2-3% cash back

Amazon Prime membership free

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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 2016. 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%.

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 7 monthsregular APR15.49% (V)
intro BT APR 15.49% 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 4x on gas, 3x on dining and travel, 2x on Costco, 1% everywhere

no annual fee with Costco membership ($55 minimum)

4% on gas, 3% on dining and travel, 2% on Costco purchases, 1% on all purchases

0% APR for 7 months 

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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.

Summary

Here are best 2016's store credit cards ranked by our editor

Rank Card Type Pros Cons
1 Emporium Card store/catalog $5,000 limit not building credit
2 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
3 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
4 Target RED card store credit card no annual fee, 5% off on all purchases accepted only at Target, $35 late payment fee
5 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
6 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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