If you have less-than-perfect credit, the available options for major credit cards are limited. You’ll be turned down for the best offers from major credit card companies. The credit cards for which you can be approved will often carry less-than-appealing terms, including low credit limits, high APRs and few or no perks.
Department store credit cards provide an option if you’re trying to re-establish your credit. Of course, department store credit cards often carry high APRs and relatively low credit limits. But credit requirements are usually less strict than for major credit cards, plus customers receive discounts from the stores issuing the cards.
The list below includes 15 of the best department store credit cards and their basic terms, listed in alphabetical order. If you’re a fan of one or more of these stores, carrying and using their store branded credit cards allows you to enjoy customer perks while you boost your credit score. Happy shopping!
With a Bloomingdale’s store card, you receive a 10 percent discount on merchandise on the day you open your card and the day after, up to a maximum savings of 250 dollars. Cardholders earn credit toward the store-based points rewards program. Once you’ve racked up 5000 points, you receive a 25 dollar gift card good for anything in the store or online. The APR is 25.4 percent and the maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no over limit fees and no annual fees.
For men who frequently shop Brooks Brothers, the Brooks Brothers card is a smart deal. Cardholders earn 4 points for every dollar spent in the store or online. Once you’ve racked up 500 points, you receive a 20 dollar gift card. You also receive a 20 birthday reward and access to preferred cardholder events. The APR is 22.9 percent and the maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no over limit fees and no annual fees.
The Carson’s card can be used at any of the Bon-Ton stores: Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s Elder-Beerman, Herbergers or Younkers. After spending 200 dollars, you receive a 20 dollar gift card good for purchases of 50 dollars or more. Customers who spend at least 1000 dollars annually with the card can be upgraded to Elite status, which includes perks like free shipping and exclusive store offers. The APR is 24.99 percent; maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no over limit or annual fees.
Chadwick’s of Boston offers stylish clothing at prices far below those of comparable designer label items. Customers earn 5 bonus points for every 1 dollar spent using the card, and a 10 dollar reward certificate for every 1,000 points. Customers also receive priority status when contacting customer service. The APR is 24.99 percent and the maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no annual fees and no over limit fees.
When you obtain a Dillard’s card and spend 100 on the first day you open your account, you’ll receive a 10 percent welcome discount in your first statement. The discount is good on all merchandise up to a maximum of 1,000 dollars spent. You’ll also earn 2 Dillard’s reward points for every 1 dollar you spend. Once you’ve racked up 1,500 points, you receive a 10 percent all-day discount pass or points toward a 10 dollar rewards certificate. Customers who spend 2,000 dollars in a year earn Elite status. The APR ranges from 22.99 percent to 24.99 percent and the maximum late fee is 37 dollars. There are no over limit or annual fees.
The Gap store card is also good at Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta stores. Approved customers receive an immediate 15 percent discount if they apply in the store. All customers earn 5 points for every 15 dollars spent, and a 10 dollar reward card for every 1,000 points. Earn 500 points for signing up for paperless statements and 2,000 points for signing up for email and voice mail messages. The APR is 24.99 percent and the maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no annual fees or over limit fees.
The JCPenney credit card provides a 15 percent savings on apparel, shoes, accessories, jewelry and home merchandise, and 10 percent savings on watches, mattresses, custom blinds and Modern Bride Diamond Vault merchandise. Cardholders earn 1 point for every dollar spent and a 10 dollar reward certificate for every 100 points, with a limit of 10 certificates each month. Points expire at the end of each month. The introductory APR is 0 percent for the first 36 months; 26.99 percent afterward. The maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There is no annual fee and no over limit fee.
You’ll save 20 percent on your first Kohl’s card purchase instantly in the store, with an additional 15 percent discount provided when you receive your card in the mail. The APR is 23.99 percent with a penalty APR of 26.99 percent. The maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no annual fees or over limit fees.
New cardholders receive a 15 percent bonus discount along with their cards. Earn 1 point for every 1 dollar spent, and a 15 dollar reward card for every 300 points earned. Customers also receive a special discount during their birthday month, free pant hemming and sneak peeks at new merchandise. Customers who spend 800 dollars annually obtain Couture status, entitling them to free shipping and a 15 dollar reward card for every 250 points earned. The APR is 24.99 percent; maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no over limit fees and no annual fees.
Customers who apply and are approved in store receive an instant 15 percent discount on all merchandise charged that day. Online customers can apply their discounts to their first online orders. Cardholders are privy to special events and receive special savings offers during their birthday months. The APR is 25.49 percent and the maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There is no over limit fee and no annual fee.
The Nordstrom card is also good at Nordstrom Rack and Haute Look. Customers who are approved in store receive an immediate a 20 dollar bonus if they spend 100 dollars that day. All customers receive 2 points for every 1 dollar spent using the card, and a 20 dollar bonus for every 2,000 points. The APR ranges from 10 percent to 22.9 percent, with a penalty APR of 29.9 percent. The maximum late fee is 38 dollars. There is no over limit fee and no annual fee.
Sears cardholders receive an intro APR of 0 percent for all purchases for up to 60 months, with an APR of 25.24 percent afterwards. The APR for cash advances is 27.15 percent, plus a 5 percent cash advance fee (with a minimum fee of 5 dollars). Customers making large ticket purchases can choose between deferred interest for 12 months and a 5 percent discount for payment up front. The maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no over limit fees or annual fees.
Talbots offers 1 point for every 1 dollar spent using the card, with a 25 dollar dividend awarded for every 500 points. Customers also receive a 15 percent discount for their first purchases, and an additional 15 percent birthday bonus. The APR is 24.99 percent with a maximum late fee of 35 dollars. There are no over limit or annual fees.
Target REDCard customers save 5 percent in store and at Target.com, with an extra 30 days for returns and free shipping on all orders. Obtain double savings by stacking REDcard discounts with a 5 percent pharmacy rewards certificate. The APR is 22.9 percent; the maximum late fee is 35 dollars. There are no over limit or annual fees.
New customers receive a 25 dollar discount after spending 75 dollars. Cardholders also save 5 cents per gallon at participating Walmart gas stations. All customers receive an introductory Apr of 0 percent for up to 24 months; the regular APR is 22.9 percent. Customers also receive free monthly FICO score reports for choosing online statements and deferred interest for 6 to 24 months on big-ticket purchases. The maximum late fee is 35 dollars, and there is no annual fee.