Macy's Preferred American Express Card Review

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Macy's customers who want to earn rewards on their Macy's purchases might be interested in considering the Macy's Preferred American Express Card. Unlike conventional store credit cards, this is a cobranded credit card that can be used anywhere American Express is accepted.

In fact, if you're a Macy's card holder, you've probably received an invitation to upgrade to the American Express version. Here's what you need to know: A co-branded credit card is issued and marketed by two parties, a retail business like Macy’s and a credit card company like American Express. Generally, the card offers the user additional benefits such as rewards for using it at the retail business, but it also can be used at any other retailer that accepts the credit card. American Express has co-branded cards with many partners, from Mercedes-Benz to Delta Airlines.

If you get this card, you'll receive two statements each month; one for Macy's purchases only and one for American Express. That can make it confusing to keep track of what you owe and what you're paying in fees and charges.

Rewards

The Macy's Preferred American Express Card rewards program, as of mid-2018, includes three reward points for every $1 spent in a restaurant. It's two points for purchases in gas stations and supermarkets and one point for every dollar spent anywhere else. It takes 1,000 points to get $10 in "Star Money" to offset the cost of purchases at Macy's stores.

Cardholders also receive Star Passes periodically throughout the year based on rewards level. Star Passes can be used for discounts on purchases.

There are a few other benefits, but only for big spenders. Free shipping is included for cardholders who make purchases of $500 or more. You’ll get 5 percent back in rewards plus bonus Star Points for purchases of at least $1,200.

Interest Rate

There's no annual fee, but as of mid-2018 there's a hefty APR of 26.99 percent for purchases as well as cash advances. The late fee and returned payment fee are both up to $38. This is the same deal as is offered with the standard Macy's card.

Clearly, it's wise to pay your balance in full every month. Otherwise, you can easily pay enough interest to negate the rewards you've earned on your purchases.

While the card gives you the ability to take out a cash advance, you should avoid it for the same reason you should pay your balance in full each month. Cash advances start generating interest right away, making interest charges difficult to avoid.

American Express Benefits

Because this is an American Express credit card, you'll also receive the benefits you'd get with any other American Express credit card, which include:

  • Price protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Return protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Event ticket protection
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan

You'll receive a list of specific benefits when your card is mailed to you.