JCPenney Credit Card Review (2017)

By: Ashley Dull • November 8, 2017

Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

Founded in 1902, JCPenney is a premium department store with over a century of experience providing consumers with quality clothing, accessories, furniture, and appliances. JCPenney stores are most commonly found anchoring suburban shopping malls, and the retailer currently has over 1,050 locations in 49 states and Puerto Rico.

For those who spend a lot of time (and money) in their local store, the JCPenney Credit Card can be a valuable tool for finding savings. However, those who are prone to making late payments may find their limits cut and/or accounts closed.

JCPenney Card Overall Rating: 2.5/5.0

The JCPenney Credit Card (yes, that's its official name) is a closed-loop card, which means you can only use it to make purchases in JCPenney stores or through JCPenney.com. The card also tends to award lower limits than open-loop (usable anywhere) cards, with reviews citing average limits between $300 and $1,000. Additionally, the JCPenney Credit Card comes with a relatively high interest rate, charging 26.99% APR for purchases.

Cardholders will earn one point per $1 spent on qualifying purchases made with their card, in-store and online. If you shop with another payment method, you can still earn points at a rate of one point per every $2 spent. You can have a maximum of 2,000 points regardless of how much you spend. Members will earn a $10 JCPenney Rewards certificate for every 200 points, giving a value of $0.05 per point.

JCPenney Credit Card

★★★ 2.5/5.0
  • APR: 26.99% as of Nov 2017
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Rewards: Earn 1X point per dollar for JCPenney purchases

JCPenney Rewards members can expect to receive special deals and discounts, including birthday gifts and special savings events. New cardholders are eligible to save an extra 15% on their purchase when they open and use their new JCPenney card, as well as receiving 5% off major appliances in select locations. Savvy shoppers can pair their card discount with a JCPenney promo code to score killer discounts.

When you spend $500 or more in one year on merchandise or services, in-store or online, with your JCPenney Credit Card, you will earn JCPenney Gold Status. Those who spend $1,000 or more in one year will earn JCPenney Platinum Status. Gold and Platinum members receive additional benefits, including exclusive coupon books and bonus points.

Approval Requirements & Application

The JCPenney Credit Card is cited as one of the easiest cards to get, and reviewers have reported being approved with credit scores of all types. You can apply online in minutes through the link below, or head into your local JCPenney store to fill out an application.

Better Cards to Use at JCPenney

Although JCPenney Rewards can be a good value for frequent shoppers, the fact that it can only be used for JCPenney purchases definitely limits its utility. For more flexibility, try one of our top-rated rewards cards that can be used nearly anywhere you care to shop.

Cash Back

Credit cards offering cash back rewards are often the most straightforward, offering a percentage of your purchase back as a statement credit to pay down your balance, or as a gift card or check. Choose the cash back card that best fits your spending style to maximize your rewards.

0% APR

Using cards with an introductory 0% APR is the best way to avoid paying interest on your purchases (short of paying off your entire balance). Introductory 0% APR offers allow you to enjoy a year or more interest-free. Even better, you'll still earn rewards on your eligible purchases.

Travel Rewards

Travel rewards credit cards are a great way to take the bite out of your vacation bill, allowing you to earn points or miles on qualifying card purchases. Rewards can typically be redeemed for a range of travel-related purchases, including airfare and hotel stays.

If you shop in JCPenney enough to earn elite status, the JCPenney Credit Card can be a great choice. For everyone else, we suggest selecting a more all-purpose card that can be used to make purchases — and earn rewards — in a greater variety of locations.

What Others Say About the JCPenney Credit Card

As with any financial product, you should always do your due diligence when looking to obtain a new credit card — and that includes the JCPenney Credit Card. Here is what some cardholders are saying about their JCPenney Credit Card.

A review from
WalletHub.com says:

Like many of these cards that are store based, they don't really offer anything good unless you job at that store enough to justify getting this card. The point system is alright if you spend enough at JCPenney, otherwise, get another card for general use. The points expire at the end of the month, which is average and makes it so that the card is really only that useful if the shopper spends a lot of money here. I personally wouldn't recommend this card unless you're a frequent shopper at JCPenney. — WalletHub.com

★★★ 3.0/5.0
A review from
CreditKarma.com says:

JCPenney granted me a $1900 credit line, and I am thrilled they are taking a chance on me. My credit score is 537, had a car repossession last year and a few charged off credit cards. JCPenney is giving me a 2nd chance to build my credit by granting this line. My income is double than it was a year ago and I am ready to prove I can honor my obligations. — CreditKarma.com

★★★★★ 5.0/5.0
A review from
CreditCards.com says:

With paltry rewards and a high APR, the JCPenney card is a poor choice for most cardholders, save for dedicated fans of the store who may appreciate the card’s special savings opportunities. — CreditCards.com

★★ 1.5/5.0

Is the JCPenney Card Right for You?

All in all, the JCPenney Credit Card is best for those who regularly shop at JCPenney, particularly those who spend $500 or more a year and can take advantage of the additional perks of the Gold and Platinum programs. While the card's high interest rate and low tolerance for late payments means cardholders should always pay their full balance on time each month to avoid fees or reduced credit limits.

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.

About the Author

Ashley Dull

Ashley is the Finance Vertical Manager at Digital Brands, Inc., where she oversees content published on CardRates.com and BadCredit.org. Ashley works closely with experts and industry leaders in every sector of finance to develop authoritative guides, news, and advice articles with regards to audience interest. Connect with Ashley on Twitter and LinkedIn.