Store Reward Cards

Store credit cards can provide a nice rewards boost for spending that you already do. Learn the pros and cons of retail credit cards, and how you can use them to your advantage while avoiding the drawbacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What credit score is needed for a store credit card?

    Many store credit cards have lower credit-score requirements than regular cards. About half of the cards The Balance has researched allow credit scores of 580. The other half tend to require scores of at least 670. As such, store credit cards can be a good starter card if you have bad credit or no credit.

  • Which retail stores have credit cards?

    Most of the major retail stores you're familiar with offer credit cards including Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, Home, Depot, Gap, and Target, and Walmart. Some stores offer two types of cards: one that you can only use at the store (online or in-person), and one you can use anywhere. Gap is a good example of a retail store that offers a store-only card and a regular credit card you can use for all purchases.

  • Do store credit cards build credit?

    Yes. Most stores report your account information to the credit bureaus. Those bureaus then add that information to the pool of information they have from your other accounts and generate a score. If you avoid late payments and pay your balance down to $0 at least every month, your credit scores should rise.

  • Can you use store credit cards anywhere?

    Sometimes. Depending on your store, you may get a card that you can only use at the store. However, some retailers provide a store-only card and a credit card you can use anywhere you'd like. If you receive a credit card from the store, then you can use the card for purchases at the store or retailer of your choosing. The Costco Anywhere Visa is an example of a store credit card you can use anywhere.

  • Are store credit cards bad?

    Store credit cards aren't inherently bad. However, they have drawbacks. One of the main weaknesses of retail cards is that their APRs tend to be higher than the average credit-card APR. Because interest payments will be higher, it's smart to pay off your retail-card balance so you don't pay the price of high interest rates.

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