You’re at the checkout line, all your items have been scanned. The cashier asks, “Would you like to save an extra 10% on your purchase today with our store credit card?”
We’ve all heard the line from retail stores. Maybe you’re the type of consumer who always goes for it and now has a stack of store credit cards that you rarely use. Maybe you feel as if it’s being forced upon you and you’re too hesitant to say yes.
Either way, you’re unsure what to consider and how to make the decision to get a store card. We’re here to ease those concerns with some of our top picks for store credit cards.
What to look for in a store credit card:
- It should be from a store at which you are a frequent shopper.
While it can help your credit score to have multiple lines of credit open, it’s best to have cards you use at least once a month. If you don’t use it frequently, you risk the card company closing the account for inactivity, which hurts your credit score.
- Make sure there’s no or a low annual fee.
Usually, the greatest perks in a store card are in-store benefits. However, if you have to pay a large annual fee, it can negate or even outweigh your rewards.
- Choose a card that goes beyond the store.
The cards we’ve outlined below have several extra perks as well as an in-store purchase discount. The Gymboree Visa includes travel accident insurance, while the Amazon Rewards Visa gives you double points at restaurants and gas stations.
Best store card for online shoppers
Annual fee: $0
Annual percentage rate (APR): 14.74% to 22.74%
Rewards: $50 Amazon.com gift card when you sign up, three points per $1 at Amazon.com, two points per $1 at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, one point per $1 everywhere else.
Why we recommend it: If you are consistent Amazon shopper, but want to get generous rewards in other common areas, the Amazon Rewards Visa Card has a generous rewards structure. The points, worth $0.01 can be redeemed for millions of the items available at Amazon.com. The Amazon Rewards Visa Card also has several travel benefits, including no foreign transaction fees and lost luggage reimbursement.
Considerations: There is no introductory APR offer, so this card isn’t ideal for any purchase you can’t pay off that month. For extremely frequent Amazon.com shoppers, it may be worth considering the Amazon Store Card instead, which offers better rewards on Amazon.com purchases.
Best store card for Amazon.com enthusiasts
Annual fee: $0 (but Amazon Prime membership required for cash back, which has a $99 annual fee)
Annual percentage rate (APR): 26.49%
Rewards: Five points per $1 on Amazon.com purchases, rotating bonus offers for more points on select brands and categories for eligible Amazon Prime members.
Why we recommend it: For Amazon.com power users, the Amazon Store Card helps maximize rewards and creates convenient payment options for larger purchases. When paid in full within six months, there is no interest on purchases of $149 or more. For purchases of $599 or more, that extends to a 12-month no-interest period. For certain select items sold by Amazon.com (not third-party sellers), this card offers a 24-month no-interest period when paid in full.
Considerations: When using the no-interest periods, you must make at least the minimum monthly payment each month. You must also pay off the purchase within the allotted period. Otherwise, interest is charged to your account from the original purchase date at the 26.49% rate. This kind of penalty more than wipes out any points from the original purchase. You must be an Amazon Prime member to receive the points on Amazon.com purchases.
Best store card for everyday consumers
Annual fee: $0
Annual percentage rate (APR): 23.40
Rewards: 5% discount on all Target and Target.com purchases, free shipping on all Target.com purchases, 30 extra days for returns.
Why we recommend it: The Target Red Card offers a discount on purchases both in-store and online. Getting cash back or points are nice, but the discount means you don’t have to worry about redeeming points. For online shoppers, the free shipping can add up in savings as well. Plus the extra days for returns mean you can save when buyer’s remorse strikes.
Considerations: There are a few categories in which the discount doesn’t apply, such as gift cards, eye exams and prescriptions.
Best store card for bulk shoppers
Annual fee: $0 (not including Costco membership)
Perks: 4% cash back on gas purchases, 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, 2% cash back on all other Costco and Costco.com purchases, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Why we recommend it: There are few cards on the market that offer such generous gas incentives at 4% cash back. The travel and entertainment rewards also are better than many other cards, making the Costco Anywhere Visa a card that can be used every day with high rewards.
Considerations: Cardholders must be Costco members. Memberships start at $59 per year. The gas rewards revert to 1% cash back after $7,000 each year. However, that’s still almost 60 gallons per week, more than enough for the average consumer.
Best store card for parents
Annual fee: $0
APR: 14.24% to 23.24%
Perks: 20% discount on first purchase at Gymboree, 5% discount on all future purchases at Gymboree, 1% cash back on all Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8.
Why we recommend it: It’s hard to beat the 6% in rewards you receive with the Gymboree Visa when combining the 5% discount and 1% cash back. The cash-back rewards are issued in Gymboree gift cards. Unlike many store cards, the Gymboree Visa offers travel and emergency assistance, as well as travel accident insurance.
Considerations: While there are strong travel perks with the Gymboree Visa, there is a 3% fee on foreign transactions and a 5% fee on balance transfers.
There are a handful of store credit cards out there that do more than just provide a nice discount when you shop. Whether you’re a frequent online shopper who wants to make the most from your shopping, or a bulk shopper who wants to get great gas perks as well, there’s probably a store card to fit your needs. To find the card that best fits your needs, head over to our personal credit cards page.