Ben Todd | Jun 2, 2017 | 1
Best Store Credit Cards: 2017 Edition
Compiling this list and reviewing each card took weeks and it was a nightmare. Therefore, I implore any echeck.org readers to share this page with your social media profiles as some sort of reward for my nightmarish weeks researching this list. Here is a full and comprehensive list of the best store credit cards in the USA.
Sign Up Bonuses Do Not Count
I have not judged any of the cards based on their sign up bonuses because they are a middle finger to loyal customers. It stinks that some companies offer big first-time bonuses for new customers when their loyal customers have put thousands of their hard-earned cash into those companies. The best store credit cards reward loyal long-term customers. The store credit cards listed on this article have been judged according to how well they treat their loyal customers.
These Are Store Credit Cards And Not Credit Cards
The reviews listed below are store cards only, and in many cases, they double over as credit cards. They act as credit cards, but they are directly linked to a certain store.
The reason I mention this is due to the fact that I know there are some credit cards that may compete with the cards on this list. For example, there are regular credit cards that are just as good for online shopping as the store cards listed below.
This list is only for store credit cards. We judged the cards on a variety of different factors. The things we consider are:
- The card’s APR
- Card rewards
- The service quality of the card
- Card administration and reputation
- The quality and prices of the linked store
- Store availability
- The popularity of the store
- Card and store category or niche
- The strength of the card’s competition
What Sort Of Credit Rating Do I Need For These Cards?
All of the card APR rates are set with the assumption that you have a fair (not good, not bad) credit rating. A credit rating starts at 300, and many consider a fair credit rating to be 630 or more. Some credit scoring companies say that a score below 630 is classified as a poor rating.
Best Store Credit Cards For Fast Shipping
As with most store cards, there is no annual fee for their credit card, but when you upgrade to become an Amazon Prime member, then it will cost you $10.99 per month.
The credit card gives you access to promotional financing offers. If you upgrade to become an Amazon Prime member, then you get 5% back on whatever you buy. In addition, there is no earnings cap to the amount you get back.
With an Amazon store card and an Amazon Prime membership, you are all set to get very fast shipping. In many cases, you can have your products the day after you ordered them. There are even some products you can have the same day you make your order.
Some of our loyal echeck fans have suggested that we have a category called “Best Store Cards For Online Shopping,” in which the Amazon Prime and its associated store card would be top runner. It is almost impossible to pick a top store card for online shopping. There are so many national and multinational stores that have online shopping and their own store card that there is no way of picking just one. Some of our echeck readers think that Amazon Prime’s card should be noted as the best card for online shopping, so I thought I would mention it.
Best Store Credit Cards For Everyday Items
You get 5% back if you sign up for a Target RedCard. The debit card allows you to withdraw up to $40 at the checkouts, which is apparently important enough to appear on their website as a selling point.
Most people in most states are able to get free shipping from Target if they spend over $25, and Target offers free returns. The fact that they are a top-notch store is a big reason why their RedCard is so enticing. The 5% money-back offers applies to many things in the store. You do not get 5% discount with the following items or services.
- All prescriptions and Target Optical™ eye exams
- All the pharmacy counter items and services
- Any form of target gift card or prepaid card
- Purchases you made before getting your Target RedCard
- Money spent at D’Amico & Sons Italian Kitchen
- Money spent at Freshii and Pret A Manger
- Target credit account payments
- Cash back on your credit or debit card
- Any form of cash advance from your MasterCard credit card
- Shipping, handling and wrapping charges
- Purchases of wireless protection programs
- Deposits paid to a mobile carrier
Getting 5% of your money back doesn’t seem like a big deal, but consider the fact that Target sells everything from clothing to toilet paper. Also, consider the fact that they do not specialize in high-end or branded goods because they also carry discount lines. It is quite possible to get a number of clever bargains at Target and then receive 5% of your cash back for using your Target RedCard debit or credit card.
Best Store Credit Cards For Clothes
You get five points for every dollar you spend. Spend $20 to earn 100 points, which will earn you $1 in cash back.
You get 5 points for every $1 you spend in the store. You get 1 point for every $1 you spend in other stores. Once you earn 500 points, you get $5 cash back on your card.
The credit card has an APR of 25.49%, which is not terrible. A store credit card with an APR of 23% is typically the lowest for people with a fair credit rating. The Gap card doesn’t have the lowest APR, but I had to strike a balance between APR, rewards, quality of the card, and the quality/prices of the store products, store popularity and store availability
If you earn 5000 points in a year, then you earn Gap Silver status. With that, you get to choose your own sale days and you get a 20% quarterly bonus. They give you basic alterations on your Banana Republic purchases, and you get free online shipping so long as you use the MYCARD code. There is also no minimum purchase required to qualify for their free online shipping.
Best Store Credit Cards For Home Improvements
As you can see by the image below, there are six possible store cards to choose from, so we opted to review the consumer credit card because we figured it was the card that most of our readers would be interested in.
Spend over $300, and you are given the option of six months financing with no interest, or a 5% discount on your purchase. When you make a purchase of over $300, you are given the option of financing or a discount.
There is no point in taking the discount if you are not going to pay off your balance before the monthly due date. If you are not going to pay off the balance, then you will be better off choosing the financing option. If you choose the six months of interest-free financing, then try to pay off the balance within six months because whatever is left on your account will start accruing interest.
To make it more clear. If you buy a fridge for $300, and you take the financing plan, then you will not pay interest on that $300 for six months. However, if you buy a $300 today, and a $10 hammer tomorrow, then you will pay interest on the $10 purchase until that amount is cleared from your credit card balance.
There are a whole slew of different restrictions that you should read into. For example, all other discounts are applied before your card discount is applied, and you cannot use your card with a military discount, and other such restrictions are part of the card agreement. Your APR rate is likely to be 26.99% when you first start. You may be able to opt for a lower rate in six to twelve months if you have a good credit rating and you ask them for a better rate.
Honorable Mention Ace Hardware Rewards Visa
The Ace Hardware websites says you get 3% (15 points) if you buy at Ace stores. It says you get 2% (10 points) for buying gas and groceries, and you get 1% (5 points) for spending anywhere else with your Visa card. You get $25 for every 12,500 you accrue.
You probably have some questions because I know I did:
[o] Why do they say 3% and 15 points, which is it?
[o] Do I get 15 points per $1 spent?
[o] Why didn’t Ace Hardware win in this category?
It works like this. If you spend $834 in an Ace Hardware store, then you get your 12,500 points. You redeem those points for $25, and 25 is 3% of 834.
Yes, you do get 15 points for every $1 spent, and the total amount of cash you receive back is 3% of what you spend. Ace card would have won this category if it gave away 5% like Lowes, rather than just 3%.
Best Store Credit Cards For Discounts
The TJX rewards credit card gives you 5% of your money back. The rewards work for TJ Max stores, Marshals, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post. Log in to your account via a web browser and make payments, set up alerts, check account activity, and go paperless.
You get 5% back by spending a total of $200 on your card at one or more of the stores listed in the paragraph above. They then give you a $10 reward certificate that you can spend in one of the previously mentioned stores.
You also earn reward points for using your MasterCard credit card in other stores at a rate of one point per dollar. You may redeem the points as further rewards certificates. To put it in perspective, when you use your card in one of the approved stores, you are getting 5 points per $1, but you only get 1 point per $1 in other stores where MasterCard is accepted.
The APR is 27.49% for purchases and 29.99% for cash advances. There is a 23-day grace period where you may pay off your balance before the due date to avoid paying interest on your balance.
Why Did I Choose The TJX Rewards Card For Discounts?
There are plenty of credit cards that offer better discounts and rewards than this card, and a 5% rewards certificate at $10 a time is not even the highest reward on this article. So, why did I pick the TJX card for the best discounts card?
The reason is because the frequency in which you receive your $10 certificate has the potential to be very high.
For example, the Toys R Us reward is 8% back if you use your Toys R Us MasterCard. To earn $10, you need to spend $125, which isn’t bad, right? But, how often are you going to spend $125 in a toy store?
On the other hand, you can buy a fairly wide range of things at TJ Max stores, Marshals, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post. You can buy clothes without being limited to one store, you can buy accessories, house décor items, and practical-use household items. You are more likely to spend $200 several times per year and therefore earn your $10 reward several times per year.
I Didn’t Try The TJX Rewards Newsletter
If you join their newsletter, then you get even more benefits, but I didn’t try it. Their banner advert said they offer invitations to private parties and free giveaways. I didn’t sign up for two reasons. Firstly, free giveaways are a big red flag for me. If they are giving away stuff for free, then it probably isn’t worth charging for. Secondly, I don’t want to go to private parties, especially ones that are so “Exclusive” that all you have to do it give your email (isn’t exactly an invitation to the Heff’s Bunny Mansion).
Best Store Credit Cards For Wholesale Club Shopping
I have to be honest here. I didn’t want to do a card for club shopping because I don’t think it is fair that people have to become members to shop in a place and then get a credit card to get further benefits and discounts. After pulling a strop in the boss’s office, and then in the deputy manager’s office, and then at a short disciplinary meeting, I finally conceded that maybe I should write this card review.
Try the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card. I didn’t try it myself, we already have somebody in the office who goes to Costco, so I had him sign up for the credit card.
You get 4% back for gas no matter where you buy it. You get 1% back on gas up to $7000 per year. After that, you get 1% back on gas.
You get 3% cash back on travel purchases and restaurant purchases. It doesn’t matter where you buy them in the world, and it doesn’t matter if you buy in or outside of Costco.uk
You get 2% back on any purchases you make with Costco, which includes when you buy from their Costco.com website. Any other purchases you make with your Costco card, you get 1% back on.
It may be worth using your fuel discount card or fuel points card at a gas station, and then paying with your Costco card so that you have two licks of the lolly.
The APR on the card is only 15.99%, and there is no annual fee on the credit card, but you do have to have a Costco membership, and that will cost you a yearly fee, so your Costco card isn’t as free as it seems.
Best Store Credit Cards For Children And Family
You get one point if you spend a dollar at Babies“R”Us and Toys“R”Us. You get two points per dollar if you use your Toys R Us store credit card. For every 125 points, you get $5 back. You may earn up to $200 in cash-back, and the redemption time limit is sixty days.
- Earn 1 point per $1 with store card
- Earn 2 points per $ with credit card
- 125 points = $5 back
- $62.50 at 2 points per $1 = $5 back
- You get 8% back if you
Don’t believe the bad press about their high APR. It is only 26.99%. Remember that the lower APRs for high quality store cards are around 23%. There are cards with interest as low as 9%, but they require a fantastic credit rating, and the ones we tried were not worth your time or effort. If a store card has to pull you in with a low APR, you have to ask why they are trying so hard.
Best Store Credit Cards For Gas/Fuel
Our section here describing the best store credit cards for vehicle fuel has a slightly different format to the others on this article. Most of the other online and offline stores in this article are national chain stores. You can usually find one in every city. Gas stations are a little different because you are often limited to the nearest gas station. If you start driving long distances to find the best price, then you lose money through the gas you expend while getting there.
Due to this money paradox, I have included a few of the best store credit cards for gas/fuel. There are quite a few gas stations that issue store cards, and many of them are hardly worth your trouble. The list below is the cream of the crop, and it starts with the best of the best.
10 cents off per gallon
It was known as the Chase Bank BP Visa credit card, but on May the 14th in 2015, the Synchrony Banking group took it over.
You get 10 cents back per gallon for every $100 you spend on fuel at a BP station. You also earn 5 cents off per gallon for every $100 you spend at non-BP stations. Your rewards are redeemable for up to a year after purchase. There is no annual fee, the APR rate is 27.49%, and you may redeem your rewards at the pump.
The payment due date is 23 days after the close of each billing cycle. If you pay off your balance before the due date every month, then you will never pay any fees or interest. If you do not pay off your balance in full, then you will be charged the APR rate and a minimum of $2.00 interest. Late payments cost $37, foreign transactions cost 3% of the purchase amount, and cash advances cost either $10 or 5% of the cash advance transaction. Your interest rate for cash advances is 29.99%
The ExxonMobil MasterCard comes with a free mobile app and you may also get a SpeedPass Key Tag that automatically charges your card when you wave it in front of the sensor on the pump or in the store. You have to clear your balance every month to avoid paying interest. The grace period is 23 days. That is the amount of time you can hold a balance on your card without paying interest on it. The regular APR is between 19.99% – 23.99%. The maximum late fee is $35. You can take out cash advances, and there is a separate and higher APR for doing so.
You must spend at least $500 per month to start seeing your 10-cent rewards on your account. If you qualify for credit, then you may buy as many as 100 gallons on credit. Shell’s MasterCard is only at the number 3 spot because it offers slightly higher rewards for heavy fuel users. It is a stinker for making me wait until I had applied and received the e-paperwork before telling me what the APR was on the card. My APR was 23.99%, and the cash advance APR was 27.99%. I assume the APR rate was based on my credit rating, so yours may be more or less than that amount.
Honorable Mentions For Best Store Credit Cards For Gas/Fuel
Some gas stations offer a good card and have a good rewards system, but they do not exist in enough states or do not have enough gas stations to justify inclusion in the top five stations above.
8 cents off per gallon
You need to use your MySheetz Card and your Sheetz Visa in order to earn the full 8 cents per gallon. Obviously, you also have to fuel up at a Sheetz station. There are other benefits to having the Visa card that are related to the store itself. In terms of fuel savings, you get 8 cents per gallon that are given to you as points that you may redeem back as cash back. The APR is 25.49%.
5 cents off per gallon
Yes, Shell is on the list again. The card is built just for drivers. It doesn’t have many of the “Credit Card” features that the other card has. It is far easier to get than the Shell platinum MasterCard, and it saves you 5 cents per gallon every time you use it in a Shell station.
10 cents off for spending up to $500 per month
15 cents off for spending up to $1000 per month
25 cents off for spending over $1000 per month
A reasonably low spending limit is required for their 25 cents off per gallon rebate. It is certainly better than the Shell rebate that requires a spend of $2500 per month. There are unlimited rebates too. The only reason this card doesn’t rank higher is because there are not enough stations in the US to qualify for the list.
Valero Store Card
0 cents to 8 cents off per gallon
You can get an 8-cent rebate if you apply for their card. I am not linking to their website because the company is staffed by dicks. Journalistic integrity forces me to mention them here because their discount is okay, and the quality of their card is good, but I don’t have to be happy about it. They are a very big polluter, and have invested millions into stopping propositions that would help reduce greenhouse gas. Apply for their card if you will, but don’t cry to me when your back yard is chock full of fumes.
5 cents off per gallon
It is only a meager 5 cents off per gallon, but it is a good quality card and 5 cents per gallon is better than a kick in the teeth.
5 cents off per gallon
You get five cents off per gallon and a fairly good card. I also love the fact that fuel is so expensive that Phillips 66 is selling gas gift cards. Has it come to this? What are we going to do after World War China? Will we be trading gas for food like in the Mad Max movies?
Best Store Credit Cards For Rewards
You have to love Ann Taylor for their numerous card rewards. You get a discount on the first day you acquire your card. Get your card in the morning so that you have all day to shop and get your one-day 15% discount. The first-day 15% offer doesn’t apply to gift cards and gift boxes. The first-Tuesday gimmick is also a good and original reward.
You get five points for every dollar you spend in Ann Taylor, LOFT, Ann Taylor Factory Store, LOFT Outlet and Lou & Grey stores. You also earn them when you buy from their website stores too. For every 2000 reward points you earn, you get $20 to spend in these stores and online stores.
You may earn reward points in other stores because the Ann Taylor MasterCard works as a credit card in other stores (so long as they accept MasterCards).
The rules on how many points you get for using your card in other stores is a little unclear. Give the card a try in grocery stores and gas stations to see how many reward points appear on your online account. The APR rate is 25.49%, and that is also the same rate they charge for cash advances and balance transfers.
Nordstrom gets an honorable mention. They didn’t win because their rewards are not as juicy as Ann Taylor, but the savings you make with the company are better than Ann Taylor if you are a clever shopper. The biggest reason I couldn’t pick the Nordstrom card is due to the fact that they have made their reward scheme as clear as oily mud. It took extensive research to figure out their rewards plan to figure out where the catch was. There wasn’t one, which either means they managed to fool me, or they have made their rewards program confusing for the hell of it.
Best Store Credit Cards For Consumer Electronics
You may choose a regular credit card with Best Buy and enjoy their 5% rewards system and a few of their finance deals. Or, you may pick the Best Buy Visa credit card that gives you the same as the credit card, but you can use it outside of Best Buy.
Best Buy sells a bunch of different things, from work out weights to movies. However, their biggest sellers, and the items they most frequently have offers on, are their consumer electronics. Their 5% rewards system may not seem like much, and it isn’t, but if you ally it with their product prices, store availability and interest-free grace periods every month, then you have a pretty good card.
There is no point in buying something to enjoy the 5% back if you are not going to pay off the balance within the statement period. There is a 25-day grace period where you have to pay off the balance in order to avoid paying interest. If your motivation for buying something is to enjoy the 5% back, then where is the point in paying 25.99% of interest.
There is not much else to say about the card. It is the winner in consumer electronics category. Their Visa card may be used in other stores for different types of rewards, but their outside-Best Buy rewards are no better than what you get with other credit cards.
Best Store Credit Cards For Interest Rate
Thank you to the technicians behind the LL Bean website for having me and my team bouncing around from one web page to another trying to find your card offers.
The L.L. Bean Visa card does not have the lowest APR in the world, but it has a low rate and it ticks all the other boxes that were mentioned near the beginning of this article, such as card service, quality of the store’s goods, popularly of the store, and so forth.
Their card is a Visa credit card, so you may use it in their store and receive a 3% reward, or you may use it in other stores for a 1% reward. Their out-of-store reward is poor, and you can get far better with other store and credit cards. L.L Bean’s in-store reward isn’t that great either, especially when you consider that you don’t get very much for the prices they charge.
L.L.Bean has APR rates of 13.99%, 16.99%, and 19.99%, which are low when compared with other store credit cards. Their rewards are not the best, but if you are already an L.L.Bean customer, then you will benefit from getting an LLB Visa card, Try to pay off the balance a few days before the due date in order to avoid paying interest.
Best Store Credit Cards For Adult Clothing And Lingerie
Spend a dollar and you get a point. You get double points for bras (one for each boob). If you gain up to 250 points, then you get $10 of store credit. The credit card has 25.49% APR, and there is a 25 day grace period where you may hold a balance without paying interest.
There are three types of card, and the point or benefit of each is as clear as mud. If one offers better rewards than another does, then why would anybody choose the lesser card unless there was some sort of catch.
The reason you should pick a Victoria Secret store card is because the APR is not terrible, their reward of 4% back is pretty good, and they have promotions and discounts codes that are only applicable to people with one of their store cards. That reason is probably the best reason to have their card, even if you rarely use it.
Am I Advising That You Sign Up For Store Credit Cards?
Many of my wealth building articles say you should stay away from credit card debt, and I stand by that statement. However, if you are good with your money and you pay off your balance so that you do not spend most of your year in debt, then a store card has its advantages.
There is good and bad in everything. Democrats are short sighted and ruled by their feelings, but they often have their hearts in the right place. Republicans are highly logical and are ruled by their heads instead of their hearts, but there are still some republicans that are openly critical of homosexual lifestyles. There is good and bad in everything.
The wide and public availability of guns are one of the worst things to happen to the USA. Any lunatic can illegally buy a gun from a stranger with little fuss or hassle. Yet, the brave souls who took Omaha Beach didn’t win that battle with harsh language, they used guns and lots of them.
Store cards have benefits that allow people to save thousands every year if they are used correctly and intelligently. It is not in a store’s interest to punish you for using store cards. It is in their interest to treat you well so that you remain their customers. However, if you do not take advantage of the store card correctly, if you make silly or impulsive decisions, and if you dig yourself into debt, then store cards can and will become your worst enemy.
End Notes – A List Of The Cards We Tried
Below is a list of the store cards that our echeck.org team and I tried. I only listed the good ones I checked. We didn’t have any big problems with any of them personally with the exception of a few website or technical problems. I am not a fan of the way that the Chevron Visa people treat their customers, but they seemed to treat us pretty well.
Costco Anywhere Visa card, ExxonMobil MasterCard, Sunoco credit card, Buckle credit card, Bealls Florida credit card, Dillard’s store card, Phillips 66 card, Bloomingdale’s American Express, My Best Buy credit card, Banana Republic store card, Walmart store card, Kohl’s, Ann Taylor store card, Victoria’s Secret credit card, Macy’s American Express Star Rewards, Belk credit card, Cabela’s Club Visa, BJ’s Perks Plus and Elite MasterCard, Torrid credit card, Bergdorf Goodman credit card, Ace Hardware Rewards Visa, and Citi Shell MasterCard.
Saks Fifth Avenue store card, Brooks Brothers store card, L.L. Bean Visa, TJX Rewards credit card, Gulf station MasterCard, Burkes Outlet credit card, Toys R Us store card, Nordstrom store card, Valero store card, Chevron Visa gas card, Marathon, Synchrony Bank BP Visa, Amazon store card, Shell Card Drive-For-Five, Sheetz Visa, Kmart/Lands’ End/Sears, Talbots credit card, Hess Visa gas card, Staples credit card, Target REDcard, Neiman Marcus store card, Lowe’s Consumer credit card, JCPenney, Gap Store credit card, Barneys New York credit card, and Express credit card.