At a Glance
If you are a loyal shopper, then you may be very familiar with retail store credit cards. Retail store cards are a type of credit card issued by retail stores that can only be used at that retailer. These cards, known as closed-loop retail cards, are like traditional credit cards and often have rewards programs that encourage you to make purchases from that retailer, such as points for discounts. Other retailers offer co-branded Visa or American Express cards that can be used like a regular credit card, but you still earn rewards toward the partnering retailer. These are called open-loop retail cards.
When choosing a store credit card, there are several factors you should consider ensuring it’s the right fit for your needs. And do your research to make sure you understand what you are signing up for. To help you, we have compiled a list of the best store credit cards and the factors you should consider to help make your choice.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Comparing the best credit cards for department stores:
|Credit Card||Store Benifits||Welcome Offer|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; 1% back on all other purchases||$70 Amazon.com Gift Card upon approval|
|Costco Citi Cash Back Rewards Card||4% cash back on eligible gas purchases worldwide, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year; 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com||None|
|Target REDcard™ Credit Card||5% discount on eligible Target purchases; Free shipping at Target.com; Extended returns||None|
|Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®||Earn rewards on Walmart.com and Walmart app purchases; Rewards on in-store purchases at Walmart; Rewards on travel and restaurants; Rewards on all other purchases||None|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||Earn cash back on rotating bonus categories; Cash back on travel, dining, and drugstore purchases; Cash back on all other purchases||$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months|
|Verizon Visa® Card||Earn rewards on grocery store purchases, gas, dining, and Verizon purchases; Discounts and benefits for Verizon customers||Up to $100 in credit over the first 24 months|
A closer look at the best store credit cards
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Rewards rate: Earn 5% back on all Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: 18.99% – 26.99%
Signup bonus: Get a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval.
Our verdict: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a must-have for avid Amazon and Whole Foods shoppers who are also Prime members. With a sleek metal design, this card offers unlimited 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, surpassing most other credit cards with its lack of quarterly spending caps. Additionally, you’ll earn 2% back on dining, gas, and drugstore expenses, making it a well-rounded choice for everyday spending. Rewards can be redeemed for Amazon purchases, cash back, gift cards, or even travel, providing flexible options. While the card does come with a high ongoing APR and requires a Prime membership, its exceptional rewards and benefits outweigh these drawbacks. However, if you rarely utilize your Prime subscription, alternative cards may be more suitable.
- Generous rewards on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.
- Competitive rewards on dining, gas, and drugstore spending.
- Versatile redemption options.
- No annual fee.
- High ongoing APR
- Exclusive to Amazon Prime members.
- Amazon rewards
- Credit Needed: Good to Excellent (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $0
- APR: 18.99% – 26.99%
- Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card upon approval.
- No annual credit card fee.
- Earn 5% Back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.
- Earn 2% Back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.
- Earn 1% Back on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance
- Product Details:
- Issuer Name: Chase
- Credit Needed: Good/Excellent
- Annual Fee: $0
- APR: 18.99% – 26.99%
- Penalty APR: None
- Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance Fee: Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
- Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Apply now: Amazon Prime Visa
Costco Citi Cash Back Rewards Card
Rewards rate: Earn up to 4% cash back
Intro APR: No introductory APR offer
Regular APR: Variable APR of 20.24%
Signup bonus: No sign-up bonus
Our verdict: The Costco Citi Cash Back Rewards Card is an excellent choice for Costco members seeking a rewarding credit card. With its generous cash back rates and no annual fee for members, it offers substantial benefits. The card’s standout features include the 4% cash back on gas and EV charging purchases (up to $7,000 per year), as well as 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases. Furthermore, the card provides additional perks such as purchase protection and no foreign transaction fees. While it lacks a sign-up bonus and introductory APR offer, the card’s overall benefits make it a compelling option for Costco shoppers.
- Lucrative rewards program.
- Gas and EV charging cash back.
- Costco cash back.
- Travel and dining cash back.
- Purchase protections.
- No foreign transaction fee.
- No sign-up bonus.
- No intro APR offer.
- Clunky cash back redemptions
- Costco rewards
- Credit Needed: Excellent (740-850)
- Citi Credit Needed: Excellent .
- Annual Fee: $0 APR: 20.24% (Variable)
- Penalty APR: Up to 29.99% (Variable)
- Balance Transfer Fee: 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
- Cash Advance Fee: 5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members.
- Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases for the first $7,000 per year, and 1% thereafter.
- Earn 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases.
- Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership
- Enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases.
- Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
Apply now: Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
Target REDcard™ Credit Card
Rewards rate: 5% discount on Target purchases
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: 22.90% (variable)
Signup bonus: N/A
Our verdict: The Target REDcard™ Credit Card is a valuable choice for loyal Target shoppers. With its 5% discount on nearly all Target purchases and free two-day shipping on Target.com, it offers exclusive benefits. The card also provides extended returns with an additional 30 days, enhancing its value for customers. However, it’s important to note the high APR and limited rewards beyond Target purchases. If you frequently shop at Target and pay off your balance monthly, this card can provide significant savings and convenience. Nonetheless, it may not be the ideal option for those seeking 0% financing or broader rewards programs.
- Discount on purchases (in lieu of cash back).
- Free shipping for online orders.
- No annual fee.
- Exclusive extras.
- High APR
- Poor sign-up bonus
- Closed-loop card
- Discount limits
Apply now: Target RedCard Credit Card
Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®
Rewards rate: Earn 5% back on Walmart.com and Walmart app purchases; 2% back on in-store Walmart purchases, restaurants, and travel; 1% back on all other purchases.
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: 17.99% or 29.49%, variable
Signup bonus: Earn 5% cash back on in-store Walmart purchases for the first 12 months when you use Walmart Pay.
Our verdict: The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® provides substantial value, particularly for frequent Walmart shoppers. With its 5% cash back on Walmart.com and Walmart app purchases, along with 2% back on in-store Walmart purchases, restaurants, and travel, it offers competitive rewards rates. The card’s flexibility is a standout feature, allowing redemption for statement credits, gift cards, and travel bookings. While the initial 5% cash back offer on in-store Walmart purchases is attractive, it decreases to 2% after the first 12 months. It’s worth noting the card’s high ongoing APR and limited rewards for in-store purchases. If you primarily shop at Walmart and want a card that offers rewards beyond just Walmart purchases, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® is a compelling choice.
- 5% back on Walmart.com and Walmart app purchases.
- Open-loop card for wider acceptance.
- Flexible redemption options.
- No annual fee .
- Limited in-store rewards
- High ongoing APR
Apply now: Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent on quarterly rotating categories (activation required); 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases; 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
Regular APR: 20.24% – 28.99% Variable.
Signup bonus: Earn $200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Our verdict: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a top choice for those looking to earn significant cash back in various bonus categories. With the ability to earn up to $300 in bonus cash back each year by maximizing quarterly rotating categories, this card offers tremendous value. Additionally, you’ll earn generous cash back rates on travel, dining, and drugstore purchases. The $200 sign-up bonus is easily attainable, requiring just $500 in spending within the first three months. With no annual fee and a 0% intro APR, this card provides a cost-effective and flexible rewards solution. Furthermore, the option to combine cash back with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards expands redemption possibilities, including travel bookings and transfers to airline and hotel partners. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is suitable for a wide range of consumers, from budget-conscious shoppers to frequent spenders, making it a highly versatile rewards card.
- $200 sign-up bonus with a low spending requirement.
- Cash rewards program with multiple bonus categories.
- No annual fee.
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
- No redemption minimum.
- Opting in to the 5% bonus categories every quarter is necessary to earn bonus rewards, which can be a bit inconvenient; let’s walk you through the process.
- There is a $1,500 quarterly spending limit on 5% bonus rewards; after reaching this limit, you’ll earn 1% in those categories.
- Unfortunately, this card does not offer store loyalty benefits like those provided by store credit cards.
- Managing multiple rewards categories can become complex and challenging to keep track of.
Apply now: Chase Freedom Flex℠
Learn more: Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card Review
Verizon Visa® Card
Rewards rate: Earn 4% back in Verizon Dollars on groceries and gas; 3% back in Verizon Dollars at restaurants; 2% back in Verizon Dollars on Verizon purchases; 1% back in Verizon Dollars on all other purchases.
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: High ongoing interest rate.
Signup bonus: New cardholders can earn up to $100 in credit over the first 24 months by using the card to pay their Verizon bill ($4.17 per month).
Our verdict: The Verizon Visa® Card is a valuable choice for customers who are already with Verizon and prioritize earning rewards on everyday spending. With generous cash back rates on groceries, gas, dining, and Verizon purchases, this card provides significant value. Cardholders can also earn up to $100 in credit over the first 24 months by using the card to pay their Verizon bill regularly. Additionally, perks such as two free TravelPass days per year and discounts for enrolling in autopay and paperless billing add extra benefits.
However, it’s important to note that the rewards, referred to as Verizon Dollars, have limited redemption options and cannot be redeemed for cash. Instead, they can be applied to Verizon bills, Verizon purchases, travel bookings, or gift cards. While the card has no annual fee, it’s essential to consider the high ongoing interest rate associated with it. Overall, the Verizon Visa® Card is a suitable choice for existing Verizon customers looking to earn rewards on essential expenses, but it may have limitations in terms of redeeming the rewards earned.
- Competitive rewards on groceries, gas, dining, and Verizon purchases.
- Up to $100 in credit over the first 24 months for paying Verizon bills.
- Two free TravelPass days per calendar year.
- Discounts for enrolling in autopay and paperless billing.
- No annual fee.
- Open-loop Visa card accepted wherever Visa is accepted.
- Limited redemption options, primarily usable towards Verizon bills, Verizon purchases, travel through Verizon’s portal, or gift cards.
- High ongoing interest rate.
- Requires being an existing Verizon customer to qualify.
Apply now: Verizon Visa® Card
How to choose the best store card?
When choosing the best store card, consider several factors. First, evaluate the rewards program and determine if it aligns with your spending habits. Look for cards that offer high cash back or rewards rates in categories you frequently shop in. Assess the redemption options to ensure they provide value and flexibility. Consider the card’s annual fee, interest rates, and any additional fees. Check for any special financing offers or discounts available with the card. Finally, compare the card’s features, benefits, and customer reviews to make an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences.
Are store credit cards worth it?
Store credit cards can be worth it in certain situations. They often provide initial discounts or promotional offers, making them attractive for large purchases. If you frequently shop at a particular store, the rewards and benefits offered by the store card can be valuable. However, store cards generally have higher interest rates and limited usability outside of the specific store, which may not make them worthwhile for occasional or diverse shoppers. It’s crucial to assess your spending habits, the card’s rewards program, fees, and interest rates to determine if a store credit card aligns with your needs and provides sufficient value.
Best way to use store credit cards?
The best way to use store credit cards is to maximize the benefits while avoiding debt. Start by using the card for planned purchases and take advantage of initial discounts or sign-up bonuses. Pay off the balance in full each month to avoid high-interest charges. Focus on using the card for purchases within the store to earn maximum rewards or cash back. Be mindful of the card’s credit limit and avoid overspending. Regularly review and take advantage of any exclusive promotions or discounts offered to cardholders. Lastly, maintain a good payment history to build credit and improve your overall financial health.
The methodology used to determine the best store credit cards varies depending on the source. Typically, it involves evaluating factors such as rewards rates, redemption options, fees, interest rates, customer reviews, and additional card features. Experts may consider the overall value provided by the card, its competitiveness within the market, and its suitability for different types of consumers. Research and analysis are conducted to compare multiple store credit cards, their benefits, and their drawbacks. These evaluations help consumers make informed decisions and choose the store card that best fits their spending habits and financial goals.
The product information provided here is based on research conducted up to a specific date and may have changed. For the latest and most accurate information, we recommend you to visit the respective card’s website before proceeding.