Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household
Loves being the first to try something new
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
If you spend a lot at restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations each year, you may be able to earn a significant amount of rewards with this card. However, it’s important to understand you’ll only be able to redeem your rewards for Macy’s “Star Money,” which is only good for Macy’s merchandise. If you’re a frequent Macy’s shopper, on the other hand, you may love what this card has to offer.
Also note that because this is an American Express credit card, you’ll need good or excellent credit to qualify.
High rewards earning rate on some purchases
Access to special Macy’s discounts and sales
Automatic “Silver” status with Macy’s Star Rewards
Limited redemption options
No welcome bonus
- High rewards earning rate on some purchases: This card gives you 3% back at restaurants plus 2% back at gas stations and supermarkets. These rewards rates are generous when you compare to other rewards credit cards with no annual fee.
- Access to special Macy’s discounts and sales: You’ll get 20% off your Macy’s purchases (up to a total savings of $100) on the day you apply for the card and again on the following day. You’ll also qualify for special members-only sales and perks.
- Automatic “Silver” status with Macy’s Star Rewards: Carrying the Macy’s American Express Credit Card gives you automatic Silver status with the Macy’s Star Rewards program. This status gives you access to special sales including 25% off “Star Passes” you can use any day you want.
- Limited redemption options: Rewards earned with this card can only be redeemed for “Star Money,” which can only be used for merchandise from Macy’s stores, and only for a limited amount of time.
- No welcome bonus: The Macy’s American Express Credit Card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus—you only get the discount on Macy’s purchases made within the first two days. By comparison, some rewards credit cards offer bonuses worth $150 or more when you meet a minimum spending requirement.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Macy’s American Express Credit Card gives you 3% back at restaurants, 2% back at gas stations and grocery stores, and 1% back on all other purchases including anything you buy at Macy’s stores. However, these rewards are issued as “points” in the Macy’s Star Rewards program.
Note that you can buy your way up to Macy’s Star Rewards Platinum status by spending at least $1,200 at Macy’s on your credit card each year. This milestone qualifies you to earn 5% back on all purchases you make at the retailer, which will also be awarded as points within the Star Rewards program.
One disappointing detail about this card is the fact that the rewards you earn are only good for Macy’s purchases. In fact, once you earn 1,000 points in the Star Rewards program, you’ll automatically receive $10 in Star Money that you can only spend in Macy’s stores.
The rewards certificates you earn are only good for 30 days after issuance. This is a major downside, as you may not even have time to shop at Macy’s every 30 days. If you want rewards that last longer than 30 days, you should consider another rewards credit card.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
If you’re determined to rack up rewards good for purchases at Macy’s stores, use this card specifically for all your dining, gas station, and supermarket purchases. Also weigh the pros and cons of spending at least $1,200 on Macy’s purchases each year so you can score Platinum status and earn 5% back in rewards when you shop at the retailer.
Also consider pairing this card with another credit card that lets you earn more than 1% back on regular purchases and redeem those points for a broader selection of rewards.
Macy’s American Express Credit Card’s Other Features
The card also offers a handful of American Express cardholder perks:
- Sports, music, and event ticket presales
- Up to 10% off Delta Air Lines flights
- American Express Luxury Hotels privileges
- Access to Amex Offers savings program
American Express earns high marks for its customer service prowess. J.D. Power gave the company the No. 2 rank in its 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. American Express earned 838 out of 1,000 possible points in this survey, whereas the industry average was just 806. This is not surprising considering American Express is known for its 24/7 phone customer service and helpful online chat feature. Cardholders can also check their FICO Score 8 through their account page online or via the app.
American Express also received the second spot in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study, where the card issuer earned 889 out of 1,000 possible points. This puts the American Express app ahead of all mobile apps issued by major credit card issuers except for Discover, which squeaked into the top spot with 890 points.
American Express offers standard security features for its credit cards, such as online fraud monitoring, personalized email communications, and account alerts. Amex also offers a free credit monitoring service called MyCredit Guide, which is available to anyone, even non-cardholders.
Macy’s American Express Credit Card Fees to Watch Out For
If you want a credit card to use outside the United States, be aware this card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. Also note that pricey interest rate you’ll pay if you don’t pay your credit card bill in full each month.