Macy’s American Express Card Review

Great for Macy's Discounts and Rewards

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The Macy’s American Express Credit Card makes it easy for cardholders to score deep Macy’s discounts and earn rewards on all their spending. This card also comes with no annual fee, making it a good fit for dedicated Macy’s shoppers.

Macy's American Express® Card

Overall Rating
3.8
Macy's American Express® Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 25.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn up to 5% in rewards at Macy's, plus 3% back at restaurants, 2% at gas stations and supermarkets, and 1% everywhere else.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.8
for Fees
3.2
for Rewards
3.7
for Credit
3.7
Current Offer

Open a Macy's Credit Card and save 20% during your first two days of card membership, up to a total of $100.

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Family Shopper Persona
    Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
    Family Shopper
  • Avatar for Trendsetter Persona
    Loves being the first to try something new See more cards
    Trendsetter
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
    Brand Loyalist

If you spend a lot at restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations each year, you may earn a significant amount of rewards with this card. However, it’s important to understand you can only redeem your rewards for Macy’s “Star Money,” 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.

Pros
  • High rewards earning rate on some non-Macy's purchases

  • Access to special Macy’s discounts and sales

  • Automatic “Silver” status with Macy’s Star Rewards

Cons
  • Rewards expire early

  • Spending requirements

Pros Explained

  • High rewards-earning rate on everyday purchases: This card gives you 3% back at restaurants and 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 may receive 20% off your Macy’s purchases on the day you apply for the card and the following day, up to a total savings of $100. You’ll also qualify for special members-only sales and perks. 
  • Automatic Silver status: Carrying the Macy’s American Express Credit Card gives you automatic Silver status with the Macy’s Star Rewards program, providing access to special sales, including 25% off “Star Passes” you can use any day you want. 

Cons Explained

  • Rewards expire early: The rewards-earning structure is a little confusing and may take active management to avoid reward expiration—with some rewards certificates expiring in about a month.
  • Spending requirements: While you can qualify for special discounts and promotions at Macy’s with this card, you’ll only get 3% back for Macy’s purchases if you spend at least $500 or more in a calendar year, at Gold status. Most retail cards give between 3%-5% back without requiring a minimum spend.  

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. These rewards are issued as “points” in the Macy’s Star Rewards program.

Then there are three earning tiers for purchases at Macy’s: 

  • Silver: Spend between $1-$499 per year using your Macy’s American Express card, and earn 2% back in Star Rewards
  • Gold: Spend between $500-$1,199 using your Macy’s American Express card, and earn 3% back in Star Rewards
  • Platinum: Spend more than $1,200 per year with your Macy’s American Express card earn 5% back in Star Rewards

New cardholders start with Silver status, which is upgraded to Gold or Platinum seven days after you’ve spent the amount corresponding to each level. You then stay at that level throughout the remainder of the calendar year, and the following year.

Each tier comes with benefits. Free standard shipping for Macy’s purchases (with no minimum) is offered at Gold and Platinum levels, and passes for 25% off are available at Gold, Platinum, and Silver status. 

You do not earn rewards if you use the card in concert with a digital wallet such as Apple Pay.

Redeeming Rewards

The rewards you earn are only good for Macy’s purchases, excluding gift cards, services, and fees. 

The Star Rewards points accumulate in your account but expire after 12 months. After you earn 1,000 points in the Star Rewards program, you’ll automatically receive $10 in Star Money that you can only redeem at Macy’s, whether in stores, online, or over the phone.

Unfortunately, Star Money is only good for 30 days, which is a fairly quick deadline. If you only use a portion of your Star Money, the remaining Star Money is good for another 30 days. 

You can’t redeem Star Money using a virtual wallet or with self-checkout. As well, if you use Star Money for a purchase, you can’t use any additional card-related discounts.

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 restaurant, 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 or $500 for free shipping and 3% back. At the very least, you could spend just $1 on your new card to retain silver status and earn 2% (or more) back, depending on your spending. 

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.

Other Features

The card also offers a handful of American Express cardholder perks:

  • Lowest advertised price match
  • Sports, music, and event ticket presales

Customer Experience

Department Stores National Bank—the bank that issues the Macy's Credit Card—is a subsidiary of Citibank.

Cardholders manage their accounts online through a Macy’s account rather than a dedicated credit card account management system. Automated customer service is available 24/7; person-to-person customer service is available during select hours. There’s also a Macy’s app you can use to track your Star Money progress. 

Department Stores National Bank doesn’t have a mobile app to help consumers monitor their purchases or payments, nor do they offer any perks like a free credit score on account statements. 

Security Features

Department Stores National Bank does not offer many of the security features traditional, non-store credit card issuers offer, such as fraud alerts or credit report monitoring.

Fees

If you want a credit card to use outside the United States, be aware this card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. Also, note the pricey interest rate you’ll pay if you don’t pay your credit card bill in full each month.

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Macy's American Express® Card
overall rating
3.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 25.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn up to 5% in rewards at Macy's, plus 3% back at restaurants, 2% at gas stations and supermarkets, and 1% everywhere else.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Macy's. "Macy's Star Rewards Terms & Conditions." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.

  2. Macy's. "Exclusions and Details." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.

  3. Macy's. "What is Macy's Star Rewards?" Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.

  4. American Express. "Important Travel Notices, Terms And Condition." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.

  5. Macy's. "Terms and Conditions." Accessed Sept. 30, 2020.