There are so many store credit cards out there, that there’s actually no way to know how many exist. The vast majority of these cards are not worth your attention, as they offer high-interest rates and uncompetitive rewards. But once you get past the bulk of these cards, you’ll find a few remaining that are actually good products.
What makes a good store credit card
A good store credit card will offer solid discounts on your purchases. In addition, I like to see exclusive cardholder benefits such as free shipping or promotional financing options. Also, the best store credit cards won’t be offered by a small, specialty retailer where you don’t spend much money each year. If you are going to have a store credit card, it might as well be from a large store where you can buy many things that you need.
The five best store credit cards
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Earlier this year Costco ditched their long-term partner American Express and teamed up with Visa as its new exclusive credit card partner. At the same time, Citi introduced the Costco Anywhere Visa, which instantly became one of the best store cards around.
With this card, you get 4 percent cash back on all gas purchases from anywhere, not just Costco (limited to the first $7,000 spent on gas). You also receive 3 percent cash back on all restaurant and purchases worldwide, and 2 percent cash back at Costco stores. Admittedly, the rate for purchases at Costco isn’t fantastic, but you have to consider that their prices are pretty rock-bottom to begin with. Finally, you get 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
This card also features 0 percent APR on new purchases for seven months, followed by a standard APR of 15.49 percent. There’s no annual fee for this card with your paid Costco membership, and you can use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
Target has almost everything you could ever want—at least in terms of groceries, personal items, electronics, clothes, and pet care.
The Target REDcard allows you to receive a substantial 5 percent off of nearly all purchases, every day (there are a few exceptions, like purchases of gift cards). It also gives you free shipping on most orders from Target.com and an extra 30 days for returns.
There’s no annual fee for this card.
Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card
Lowe’s isn’t just a huge hardware store, it’s also a great place to shop for appliances, gardening supplies, and home decorations.
It offers one of the best store credit cards that gives you the option of either a 5 percent discount on all purchases or choose between several promotional financing offers. You can receive six months of deferred interest financing on purchases of $299 or more, with interest waived if you pay off the entire amount within six months of purchase. You can opt for 36, 60 or 84 months special project financing, with interest rates of either 3.99 percent, 5.99 percent, or 7.99 percent.
This card has no annual fee, and can only be used for purchases from Lowe’s stores or Lowes.com.
Kohl’s Charge Card
Kohl’s is another big department store that has a strong store credit card. Whereas many store credit cards offer something like 10 percent off of your purchase when you apply, this card gives you 25 percent off your first day’s Kohl’s charge purchase.
You also get another 15 percent discount when your card arrives in the mail, and at least 12 special offers throughout the year. Spend $600 or more on your card each year, and you earn Most Valued Customer status which includes at least 18 discounts per year.
There is no annual fee for this card, which can only be used at Kohl’s stores and Kohls.com.
Best Buy Reward Zone MasterCard
Finally, this huge electronics retailer offers a card that gives you a choice of either 5 percent back (in the form of rewards points) or a promotional financing offer.
You can receive six months of deferred financing on purchases of $149 or more, 18 months on purchases of $429 or more, or even 24 months on all HDTV, home theater, and Geek Squad home theater installation purchases of $799 or more.
Other benefits include free shipping on orders of $35 or more, as well as exclusive discounts and member-only shopping events.
There is no annual fee for this card which can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted.
Alternatives to store credit cards
Store credit cards aren’t for everybody. If you’re not loyal to one specific shop, you might want to consider a more all-purpose credit card that will give you rewards or benefits wherever you swipe.
Finding the right credit card for you is much simpler if you know your credit score, and can narrow your search to only the cards you know you’ll get approved for. We’ve made it easy for you. If you don’t already know your score, use our quick and free Credit Score Estimator tool – then find the perfect card for you!
- Best credit cards for a credit score over 750
- Best credit cards for a credit score between 700 – 749
- Best credit cards for a credit score between 650 – 699
- Best credit cards for a credit score between 600 – 649
- Best credit cards for a credit score under 599
Store cards are notorious for their high-interest rates and paltry rewards, and you should avoid most of them. There are, however, a few retailers out there offering real value in exchange for a branded card. If you’re already a regular shopper at one of these establishments, then one of these cards could be a smart decision.