For many consumers, a retail credit card offers some great benefits. Many of them come with special discounts, cash-back rewards and offers available only to card holders.
These so-called loyalty rewards are a retail store’s way of keeping you coming back to make more purchases. If they’re used wisely, this can mean huge savings for you with very little downside.
Retail credit cards aren’t without their downside though. Most charge interest rates that exceed that of a regular credit card. Also, some retail cards are only usable at the store or chain that issued it. If that’s the case, you may want to get a general use credit card with excellent points and rewards.
Still, if you pay off the charges monthly and take advantage of the perks, these can be a great way to save money on purchases you would be making anyway.
1. Sears credit card:
While Sears may not be the retail behemoth it once was, we still find stores all over the country. The store credit cards issued by Sears are good for use not only at Sears, but also Kmart stores, Land’s End (now owned by Sears), Sears Auto Centers, and Sears Outlet stores. Benefit features include:
- 5% off qualified purchases;
- No interest for 6 to 24 months on qualified purchases;
- Fixed and variable interest rate options.
2. Best Buy credit card:
The undisputed king of electronics retailers, Best Buy offers consumers a retail credit card that can be used in-store or for online Best Buy Purchases. Benefits of the My Best Buy and Best Buy Elite Plus retail cards include:
- 5% back in rewards for every purchase (10% back on initial purchase);
- Flexible financing on qualified purchases of between 6 and 24 months;
- Additional discount offers available only to card holders.
3. Amazon credit card:
As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon offers everything from electronics to sports equipment to garden tools and more. They also have a retail store card for use in making purchases on their website. The Amazon card’s benefits include:
- No annual fee
- Special no-interest financing for purchases starting at $149 for up to 24 months
- Instant $10 gift card when you open an account
4. Kohl’s credit card:
The retail department store Kohl’s is a favorite of shoppers for their quality products at great prices. Kohl’s retail store card gets you even more savings, with up to 30% off of purchases 12 times a year — combine that with some strategic couponing and you’ll save a bundle.
Other great benefits include:
- Initial 15% off all purchases made when you open your account;
- No annual fee;
- Special ‘Most Valued Customer’ benefits for spending $600 or more annually.
5. Walmart’s credit card:
The world’s largest brick-and-mortar retail chain, Walmart stores are everywhere. A Walmart store card can come in handy for making purchases ranging from groceries to sporting goods to bath towels. Benefits of carrying a Walmart card include:
- Zero percent interest rate on qualified purchases for 6 to 24 months
- Save $25 on initial purchase when you charge $75 on the card
- Save 5¢ per gallon on gas at Walmart gas stations
6. Southwest Airlines’ credit card:
Although the Southwest Airlines Visa card charges a fee, the bonuses you receive may in fact offset that cost. The Southwest Rapid Rewards card is issued by Chase Bank and is actually a credit card that can be used anywhere that accepts Visa. Benefits of the Rapid Rewards card include:
- Up to 50,000 bonus points (miles) after spending $2,000 in the first three months;
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Southwest flights or at partner hotels/car rental locations;
- Discounts on hotels, dining, car rentals, and at certain retailers.
Photo credit: Quizzle.com
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.