Best Store Credit Cards in 2022
Each of us has heard an offer to apply for a store’s credit card. Since we are always seeking benefits here and now, we pay attention only to the positive characteristics of such an offer – the opportunity to receive discounts, cashback, various rewards, and the absence of annual or monthly fees.
However, before signing up for such a card, it is also essential to be aware of its drawbacks. For example, one of the main reasons why you should not use such an offer is the high APR of all such cards. Also, if you apply for a store credit card, you may see a significant drop in your FICO score and not even understand why.
So should you get a store credit card? Let’s examine the pros and cons to answer this question correctly.
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Best Store Credit Cards
There are dozens of such offers on the American market, as each store wants to make customers spend more money in that retail. Yes, that is the primary goal of all store cards – to get you to buy products in that specific place and not elsewhere.
But it’s worth noting that it’s not always a bad thing. If you choose one of the best store credit cards described below, you can save up to $1500 a year. Of course, it all depends on your spending habits and choices.
Target REDcard™ Credit Card
This is one of the best deals on the market as it allows you to receive cashback and save 5% at the moment on almost all purchases made in this network. In addition, you don’t have to pay an annual fee to use the store card or have an excellent FICO score (just 690 points are enough), but you must be a regular Target customer.
You’ll need proof of your identity, income, and where you live to get a store card like this. Initially, you will have a small credit limit averaging around $500, but after a year of active use, it can grow to $2,500.
The only significant drawback of this offer is the high APR of 25.15%. It’s worth noting that this is not the maximum rate for this card type, but it indicates that you should pay off your monthly balance.
Overall, for those who are regular Target customers, this is a great option. If you’re used to buying your groceries at other stores, however, there’s no point in getting the TargetRedcard™.
Key Rewards Visa
This Visa card is best for those who buy home decor, furniture, or household goods from the Williams Sonoma Inc. family stores. You can often apply for it offline by contacting a retailer and get 5% cash back on all purchases and another 10% Welcome Bonus (valid for the first 30 days of spending).
You can get the Key Rewards Visa even if you have a fair FICO score, which is one of its most significant advantages. Plus, you won’t have to pay an annual fee, and if you use the physical Key Rewards Visa in other places, you’ll also get 4% back in rewards at restaurants and any grocery retail and 1% back on everything else.
The big drawback of the Key Rewards Visa is the 29.99% variable APR. In addition, if you use Apple Pay or Google Pay instead of a physical Key Rewards Visa, you’ll only get 1% cashback on all categories.
All rewards you earn can only be redeemed through certificates that can be spent on purchases at Williams Sonoma stores. They automatically arrive in your mailbox 30 days after you start shopping as $20 coupons and expire after 180 days.
If you frequently shop at this particular Inc, you can save up to $750 over a year with Key Rewards Visa. In all other cases, it makes sense to choose a different option.
Gap Good Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card
For Gap Inc.’s loyal customers, this one of the best clothing store credit cards is an opportunity to save up to $500 in one year. In addition, for every $100 you spend at these stores, you’ll receive $5 cashback, which can be redeemed for rewards certificates at the same chain.
The best time to sign up for Gap Good Rewards Mastercard is at the beginning of the new season when you’re changing the whole family’s wardrobe because the first 30 days of use are the most profitable.
During that time, you’ll receive 10% cash back on all purchases and a welcome bonus of 20%. But as always, be careful not to run out of balance on your store card because its APR is 28.99%, and late payments can be up to $41.
This is one of the best clothing store credit cards out there, but you shouldn’t use it all the time or use it for small loans. While it does give 1% cashback on all categories, you can only spend that money on clothing, which is not always appropriate.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
For those who prefer to shop online, this card is excellent. It offers 5% cash back on all items purchased on Amazon and Whole Foods. However, there is one problem – to get it and not pay the annual fee, you must have Amazon Prime for $139 a year.
Among the advantages of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature are the following:
- No foreign transaction fee.
- You can get an extra 2% cashback for paying at restaurants, gas stations, or pharmacies and 1% for purchases in other categories.
- You don’t have to wait for $5 or $20 in cashback to accumulate; you can spend it at any time, no matter how much you have.
- You will have access to the Visa Signature Concierge service.
- You can spend the cashback not only on Amazon’s website but also at Starbucks and Garden or get it as an electronic deposit to your account.
Of course, Amazon Prime Rewards is not as good on credit, with an APR of 16.49% to 24.49% variable and a balance transfer fee of 5%. In addition, you must have a good FICO score to get it.
This option is excellent for those who frequently shop on Amazon and have a Prime subscription. However, in all other cases, it’s not worth it.
Old Navy Credit Card
This card has some of the most generous welcome bonuses. If you apply for it in-store or online, you can get up to 30% off your first purchase within 14 days at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta.
The best time to sign up for the Old Navy is during the changing seasons when you’re shopping for new clothes for the whole family. That way, you’ll get 5 points for every dollar you spend at the stores listed above and 1 point for every dollar you spend at any other category.
The conditions for getting the card are as follows:
- You must have a good or excellent FICO score.
- You do not have to pay any fees.
- You must provide proof of identity, employment, and residency.
Cardholders also get free shipping from all the online stores in the chain, so it’s an excellent option for those who often buy clothes from these brands online.
Bloomingdale’s Credit Card
With this variant, you can get 3 to 6 points for every dollar spent at Bloomingdale’s. Its annual fee is $0, and its regular APR is 29.74% variable. In addition, you can get 15% cashback the day you open your account and save up to $250 immediately! You also don’t need to have a good FICO score to qualify for the card.
The downside of this variant is the low value of points, as you need to accumulate as many as 5,000 points to redeem them for a $25 Reward certificate. Because of this, Bloomingdale’s credit card is not the most profitable option on the U.S. market.
Lowe’s Advantage Card
This variant is one of the best deals, not because it gives you cashback or points redeemed for future purchases, but because it’s an immediate 5% discount on everything you buy at Lowe’s. Her annual fee is also $0, the APR is 26.99% variable, and for your first purchase, you will receive a 20% discount or a maximum of $100.
One of the great things about this variant is that the special offers are not limited to discounts. For example, this is one of the few cards that allow you to get an 84-month credit with a low APR of 7.99% for purchases of two thousand dollars or more. You must have a good FICO score to qualify for the card.
Overall, it’s an excellent option for those who want to buy something expensive, like a refrigerator or TV, because they can save up to $100 right on the day of purchase.
My Best Buy® Visa® Card
This card is only for those with a good or excellent FICO score and allows you to get great cashback on purchases at Best Buy. You can get 10% back in rewards on the first day you open your account and 5% on all other days.
Plus, if you pay with the My Best Buy Visa at gas stations, you’ll get 3% cashback and 2% cashback on net purchases made at restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. As a result, you can use your points with reward certificates of $5.
This is one of the few cards with an intro APR of 0%-13% for the first 12 – 48 months. After that, your APR doubles to 29.99%. The maximum late fee is $41, so try to pay the credit back on time.
Overall, it’s an excellent option to save money if you have a good FICO score and shop at Best Buy regularly.
JCPenney Credit Card
Do you often shop at JCPenney? Then you can sign up for their card and get an extra 15% on most items and 5% on electrics/electronics today. You don’t have to pay to use this offer, but you can get a $10 JCPenney Rewards certificate for every 200 points quickly earned by shopping at the retail.
To get the card, you must provide proof of your identity, income, and where you live and have a fair to good FICO score. All points earned are valid for one year and can be used on your next online or offline purchase.
This offer is a good deal for frequent JCPenney visitors, as you can save up to $1200 for a year of active use.
What Is a Store Credit Card?
If you often shop at a particular shop, such as Target or Amazon, you may be interested in credit cards that allow you to save money with special offers or discounts. For example, you can pay with a store credit card just like any other card and get a 5% discount on all items.
You can save anywhere from $300 to $1,500 in just one year by using offers like these. But if you use credit and don’t pay your balance off each month, you may want to consider another option with a lower APR.
What Can You Expect From Store Credit Cards?
We should note right away that you shouldn’t expect much from these cards because most of them won’t let you save a lot of money or get any products with significant discounts. For example, if you do the math, you will realize that for every $100 you spend in certain stores, you will receive a $5 cashback or bonus on your next purchase thanks to a store card.
What people tend to forget, however, is the price difference. Usually, such offers are valid at higher-priced shops, so this $5 cashback will not cover your expenses. So what’s one conclusion to be drawn from this?
If you like a particular chain and get a store card there, it’s a wise financial decision because you can save money without changing your spending habits. However, if you shop at a particular shop once and get a similar card there, it can only become a burden that will ruin your credit rating and force you to spend more money.
Pros and Cons of Store Credit Cards
Compared to regular credit cards, these have their own merits:
- The ability to earn rewards, gift certificates, special promotions, and cashback is available only to cardholders.
- You only need a fair or reasonable score to qualify for most offers.
- If you’re a fan of the chain where you got the store card, you can earn anywhere from $300 to $1,500 in a year.
- You don’t have to pay an annual fee or monthly membership.
- Store credit cards that can be used anywhere, just like regular cards, and give you $0.01 for every dollar you spend.
- You can use this offer to improve your FICO score. For example, if you cover all your payments on time, you show the banks your ability to pay. In addition, you can gradually increase your limit but not use the bank’s funds to improve your credit utilization ratio.
These offers have serious disadvantages you should be aware of before applying for store cards:
- They all have a high APR of 26% on average.
- You will receive a minimum credit limit at the beginning of your use, often not exceeding $500.
- When you open the account, your FICO score will drop. It will drop even lower if you don’t pay off all your borrowed funds on time.
- Most offers only have favorable terms for specific shops, which often have higher prices. This can lead you to overspend rather than save as intended initially.
Best Ways to Use a Store Credit Card?
To get the most out of such an offer, you need to start by making the right choices. Before applying for any of the variants, you should analyze your spending habits and look at which shops you most often buy groceries, clothing, or furniture, some of the most popular categories these offers apply to.
Then, once you’ve chosen a variant that meets your spending habits, you can use the following tips to get the most out of it:
- Use a small monthly credit and pay it back without running up debt in your account. This way, you can increase your FICO score.
- Another similar recommendation is to increase the limit on your card gradually, but don’t use a lot of credit so that your credit utilization ratio gets lower.
- Check out discounts and special offers for those cardholders and get even more rewards and cashback.
- Save some purchases for a month before your birthday to get maximum benefits.
- Pay off your balance before any interest kicks in.
Store Cards vs. Usual Credit Cards
It is essential to understand that store cards are the same as regular credit cards; their main difference is the ability to earn bonuses and rewards for purchases in certain places. Another advantage is the minimum income requirement or FICO score, which allows most people to apply for such an offer.
However, in all other aspects, regular credit cards are a better option because:
- First, you can use them everywhere, not just at certain stores.
- You can get more credit limits on a standard card.
- They have much better terms for using the funds, i.e., low APR and no fees.
- Fourth, many credit cards have a high reward program that saves up to $1500 a year; only you can use them at all shops.
- Some store credit cards have high rewards only if you use them offline and don’t give such tips if you pay online or use Apple Pay or Google Pay.
In general, if you have a high FICO score and want to get a card from your favorite shop you go to all the time for discounts and special offers, it makes sense and is an intelligent financial decision. However, in all other cases, don’t opt for store credit cards.
Are Store Credit Cards Worth It?
This variant can benefit you if you make your monthly payments on time and don’t have to deal with a high APR. Also, it’s crucial that you only apply for it at shops where you buy frequently and that you don’t change your spending habits for bonuses.
Since store cards usually have no annual or monthly fees but can save you $300 to $1500 annually, they are worth it.
How can I get approved for a store credit card?
In most cases, you can apply for such a good credit card online by providing proof of your identity, income, and residency. To be approved, you must also have a fair or good FICO score, depending on the card.
When is a store credit card a good idea?
You should only get a good credit card if you already shop frequently at a particular chain. In addition, taking advantage of such offers is not advisable if you have a low FICO score because it will drop right after you get the card and may not increase for several months.
Are store credit cards real credit cards?
Yes, these are the same cards that have a specific limit and allow you to shop within that limit as long as you pay back the borrowed funds on time. However, it is worth remembering that they have a very high APR.