Home > Credit Cards > 5 Store Credit Cards That Are Worth It

Comments 6 Comments

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

The last time you shopped at a department store, someone probably asked you to apply for a store credit card. For some, it would be easy to say no, but maybe you were tempted to apply for a store card and asked yourself if it’s worth it.

You should make any credit decision carefully, including opening a new credit card. In some cases, department store credit cards are not a good deal. You might get a small discount off your first post-approval purchase, but you could end up with a card that has few rewards and a higher interest rate compared to conventional credit cards.

Still, store cards are some of the easiest credit cards to get, making them attractive if you’re trying to build or rebuild credit. Plus, many of these cards offer impressive discounts, low or no extra fees, enticing rewards, or all three.

One more tip: Choose a store card that gives you perks where you spend a lot of money. If you’re already a frequent shopper at a store—and you can pay off your balance each month to avoid paying interest—one of these cards may be a great deal.

For Discount Shopping: Kohl’s Charge Card

Kohl’s credit card, called Kohl’s Charge, offers the biggest purchase discounts on this list. Once you’re approved, you’ll get a whopping 25% off your first purchase made with the card. You’ll get another 15% discount when you receive your card, and you can combine certain discounts with other programs like Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You rewards. What’s more, you’ll get 12 more discounts of 30%, 20%, or 15% throughout the year.

There is no annual fee for the Kohl’s Charge card, but it does have a 24.99% APR, so be careful about carrying a balance each month. Paying in full or keeping the balance to 10% or less of your credit limit also helps your credit score.

For Bad Credit: Walmart Credit Card

Walmart’s credit cards don’t offer the largest discounts or rewards, but they’re good options if you’re trying to build or rebuild your credit. (If you’re wondering where your credit score stands, check your free credit report.)

Walmart cards come in two types. The Walmart Credit Card is easier to be approved for, but you can use it only at Walmart. It’s harder to get approved for the Walmart Mastercard, but you can use it anywhere that accepts Mastercard.

You don’t pay an annual fee for either Walmart card, and both include the “3-2-1 Save” rewards program. This program gives you 3% cash back on Walmart.com online purchases, 2% cash back on Murphy USA and Walmart gas, and 1% cash back on in-store purchases or any accepted purchases with the Walmart Mastercard.

Your introductory APR for the Walmart Mastercard is 17.90%, 20.90%, or 23.90%, depending on your “account type,” which reflects your credit score. The Walmart MoneyCard Visa has a 23.90% APR, so it’s best to charge only what you can pay in full each month to avoid paying interest.

For Frequent Shippers: Amazon Prime Store Card

If you’re like the majority of Americans, you do at least some shopping at Amazon.com. All those books, gadgets, and everyday items would cost a fortune in shipping fees if it weren’t for Amazon Prime’s free-shipping program. But another way to save as an Amazon shopper is with the Amazon Prime Store Card.

Once approved, you get 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases, a $40 gift card, and access to special financing options for some items. And there’s no annual fee. The biggest downside is the card’s high 26.99% APR, so avoid carrying a balance with the Amazon Prime Store Card.

For Everyday Shopping: Target REDcard

Target’s REDcard has one perk that most store cards don’t: instant discounts. Instead of the typical rewards points or cash back systems, which are usually applied to your monthly statement, the REDcard gets you 5% off all Target purchases.

The 5% discount applies online too, and the card includes free shipping at Target.com. Plus, you get access to exclusive cardmember offers, an extra 30 days for store returns, and the ability to stack the 5% savings with other discounts like the ever-popular Cartwheel program.

Be wary of Target REDcard’s 23.90% APR, which could leave you with high interest payments if you don’t pay off your balance each month. One way to avoid the interest altogether is to opt for the REDcard debit card. With that option, you get the same 5% discount by linking the card directly to your checking account.

For Department Store Purchases: TJX Rewards Credit Card

Department store shoppers like their deals and perks. If that’s you, the TJX Rewards card from T.J.Maxx could be a great way to save on your purchases and get special rewards. You can use the card at any T.J.Maxx location or sister store, including Marshalls, HomeGoods, and Sierra Trading Post. And because it’s a Mastercard, you can also use it anywhere that accepts Mastercard.

When you’re approved, you’ll get 10% off your first in-store purchases. Then you’ll earn $10 for every $200 you spend using the card. You’ll also get perks like chances to win free giveaways and entry into a $100 gift card sweepstake.

Like many other store cards, the TJX Rewards card has a high interest rate at 27.99%. Don’t pay unnecessary interest—pay off the balance every month.

Store cards and department store credit cards can help you save on your purchases and build your credit if you can manage the balances well. To search other credit card options, use this credit card search tool.

More on Credit Cards:

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

Image: Dmitrijs Dmitrijevs

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • EJMiv

    The BBY card is now called the My Best Buy MasterCard. Depending upon your creditworthiness, you may receive the gold card, which has a $59 annual fee. When you apply, you’re actually considered for one of four cards: My BBY MC Platinum (no AF), My BBY Preferred (non-MC private label/house card, no AF), My BBY (non-MC private label/house card, highest APR, no AF), and My BBY MC Gold (highest APR, $59 AF), in that order. For the financing offers…6 months is always there, next tier alternates between 12 or 18 months, and 24 or 36 months are offered only occasionally in specific categories (primarily TV’s or appliances). 48 months at a fixed 11.99% is also available, but not really advertised.

  • Roger

    What about Target’s Red Card? 5% off purchases and extended return policy?

  • Delco_Teddy

    Article was right, Walmart approved me no problem…

  • Atiger

    No Target Credit Card? In most Target purchases, you get 5% discount and free shipping for online orders. This is one of the best store credit cards.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Home Depot has a page where consumers can get an idea of whether their score puts them in a range in which an application would likely be qualified. What they do is allow you to check your own score (which is a soft inquiry). That does not affect your score. https://www.accountonline.com/cards/acq/preQualUserInfo.do?screenID=3299&langId=EN&siteId=PLCN_HOMEDEPOT&sc=30052

    You can also monitor your score with Credit.com. You get two scores, updated monthly, along with a personalized guide to improving your scores. Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.

  • Floyd

    Lowe’s Consumer card is one of the best values for credit cards. They have the special financing options that come up periodically for up to 18 months no interest. They also have special financing for projects over $3500 with the 84 at a special financing rate.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team