Best Store Credit Cards

Despite the bad rap store credit cards can sometimes get from pushy salesmen and pressure tactics, to the right person, they can offer real value.

Exclusive discounts, super-charged rewards, and special financing are all possibilities with a store credit card.

But be wary of interest rates – they usually have a way of ruining everything.

Let's take a look at what you can really expect from a store credit card.

How do store credit cards work?

Store credit cards are a lot like travel credit cards.

They work by allowing you to earn rewards on all your purchases, but the rewards are usually only redeemable at that specific store. You can also get your rewards in the form of gift cards for easy gifting around the holidays.

Though they're much less flexible than cash back cards, store credit cards are a good way to max your rewards at your favourite shops.

For the right person, they can be truly valuable. For others, they may feel a bit like a prison sentence...

But make sure to do the math – there might be another, more flexible option out there that can give you the same value, if not more.

Store credit card annual fees + foreign exchange fees.

Typically, store credit cards' annual fees range from $0 to $49.

Most of them will also charge you a 3% foreign exchange fee for purchases made in a foreign currency.

Loyalty is everything

These cards will truly get the most out of your spending when you use your store credit card at the store in question. We're talking 2x, 3x, even 5x the rewards you would normally earn.

But don't just get a store credit card because of the big, fancy numbers.

Obviously, this only makes sense if you actually purchase from these locations pretty frequently. If not, there are probably better credit cards out there for you.

As one popular song goes, "it's like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife." Wouldn't it be ironic to have thousands of accumulated store rewards with nothing to use them on?

4 store credit card perks

But if your go-to store happens to have their own branded credit card, aside from boosting your rewards earning potential, there are other perks to having it in your wallet.

1. Exclusive discounts

The most obvious perk of having a store credit card is exclusive discounts.

You can get 5%, 10%, even 15% discounts when purchasing specific items.

2. Free program membership

Not a member yet? No problem! Some store credit cards will offer complimentary membership after a certain amount of spending is done on the card.

3. Automatically upgraded loyalty status

Some stores will have loyalty programs already in place.

And with a store credit card, you can fast-track your way to higher status so you can take advantage of those awesome benefits sooner.

4. Special financing

Thinking of getting it on layaway?

A store credit card could help you get special financing, saving you money in the long-run (assuming you don't pay interest).

Which brings us to our next point...

Be wary of interest rates

Maybe one of the biggest downsides when it comes to store credit cards is their tendency for super-high interest rates, although not all of them do.

That being said, it's important to keep interest rates in mind when deciding whether or not to opt for a store credit card.

If you tend to carry a balance on your card, having an increased interest rate could really eat into your rewards, if not nullify them completely.

And if you have less than perfect credit, the rates get even worse.

Store credit cards for bad credit

Store credit cards usually require a good or even excellent credit score to be approved.

And a good credit score usually starts around 660 or above.

So, if you're working on improving your credit score, a store credit card might not be ideal.

What's your favorite store?

Want to get the most for your money spent at your favorite store?

If they have a store credit card, it might be worth looking into.

Compare Best Store Credit Cards

The creditcardGenius algorithm calculates an estimated dollar value for all rewards and bonuses by using a typical point value a person can realistically achieve by redeeming their rewards in a reasonably optimized way. The "Welcome Bonus" is the dollar value obtained by combining all one-time bonuses available to new cardholders within the first year. To qualify for the full bonus you may need to make purchases, meet minimum spending requirements, or complete special actions. Terms and conditions apply.

* Conditions apply.