The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Kohl’s Card vs. Target Card – Which Is Better?

Kohls Card Vs Target Card

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer

Written by: Brittney Mayer

Brittney Mayer

Brittney is a Credit Strategist and Finance Expert who has spent years honing her knowledge of the credit industry both personally and professionally. Brittney applies her more than a decade of research experience to crafting in-depth consumer guides designed to help CardRates readers make better, more informed financial decisions.

Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

See full bio »
Advertiser Disclosure

Look at any list of the top retailers in the United States and you’re practically guaranteed to see Kohl’s and Target appear in the rankings. While each store has its unique style and product offerings, both attract budget-conscious shoppers who seek value and reasonable prices on clothing, housewares, and other everyday essentials.

Since Kohl’s and Target have the shared missions of helping consumers save, it’s no surprise that both retailers have store credit cards to make shopping even more affordable. Either of the cards may be a reasonable option to spend less if you’re a regular shopper at their respective stores, but if you want to know which card can snag you more savings at checkout, well, that requires a deeper look what each card has to offer. We’ll attempt to answer some important questions below regarding the Kohl’s card vs. Target card debate so readers can decide which card (or cards) may be the best option for them.

Kohl’s Charge Card Overall Rating: 3.7/5.0

Kohl’s offers the Kohl’s Charge Card for shoppers who want a branded card that will also provide rewards on every purchase. The credit card is closed-loop, though, which means it can’t be used on purchases outside of Kohl’s — which restricts your opportunity for savings.

While most other store cards provide rewards based on a percentage of each branded purchase, the Kohl’s Charge Card doesn’t offer traditional rewards.

Instead, cardholders have access to savings through exclusive perks like insider sales, special financing options, and at least 12 cardholder-only offers per year. Plus, the initial 30%-off coupon offer for opening an account can make it a lucrative card if you’re a regular Kohl’s customer.

Kohl's Charge Card

  • Rewards: Receive 12+ special Kohl’s offers each year
  • Signup Bonus: One-time 30%-off coupon
  • APR: 26.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0

Overall, the Kohl’s Charge Card’s deals really stand out because they can be combined with other Kohl’s rewards programs to help frequent shoppers save on branded purchases.

Consumers can combine their earned discounts from the Kohl’s Charge Card with Kohl’s Cash® and Yes2You Rewards® to boost their savings on everything from premium kitchen appliances to items in the women’s clothing sale.

Another perk to getting a Kohl’s Charge Card is how it simplifies your Kohl’s shopping experience. Because your information is already in their store database, in-store returns are streamlined and quick. Also, if you forgot to bring your card, you can actually still charge items to it verifying your account information with a sales associate and present your ID to confirm.

Approval Requirements & Application

While the Kohl’s Charge Card can offer value to regular shoppers, it’s high APR makes it a questionable additional for regular consumers. At the same time, reviewers with bad credit have reported being approved, which may make it a decent credit-builder card (provided you pay it off in full each month).

To submit an application for a Kohl’s Charge Card, visit any Kohl’s store location or apply online through the link above.

Advantages of the Kohl’s Card Over the Target Card

Cardholders of the Kohl’s Charge Card have a variety of options for maximizing their savings because the exclusive member coupons and discounts can be paired with rewards points offers on your Kohl’s purchases.

Given that the Target REDcard doesn’t provide as many options to boost your discounts,  the flexibility of the Kohl’s Charge Card may give it a leg up on the Target REDcard for those who revel in getting the best possible deal.

Target REDcard Overall Rating: 4.1/5.0

If you’ve ever checked out at a Target store, there’s a good chance you’ve been asked to apply for a Target REDcard by an associate. The store’s closed-loop credit card, the Target REDcard stands out from most store cards by providing a flat 5% discount on your entire purchase, both in-store and online.

Beyond offering a big discount on your checkout total, the Target REDcard provides cardholders with several secondary benefits, including insider discounts and exclusive promotions that can add up to significant savings over time. In addition, cardholders can receive early access to special events and have the first look at new products.

Target REDcard

  • Rewards: Save 5% on qualifying purchases at checkout
  • Signup Bonus: None
  • APR: 24.90%
  • Annual Fee: $0

Yet, while it may appear to be an enticing deal to any budget-conscious spender, the card’s high 24.4% variable APR guarantees steep interest rates if you carry a high balance.

And the Target RED is a closed-loop card, which means that it can only be used for purchases made at any Target store location or online. The shopping restriction can prevent your ability to save especially if you aren’t a regular Target shopper.

Furthermore, the card’s 5% off discount can’t be applied to all products. Prescriptions and over-the-counter pharmacy items are excluded from this benefit. Gift cards, select restaurant merchants, and Target Optical™ eye exams are also not eligible for the discount.

Moreover, any additional fees, such as for gift wrapping, shipping and handling, or protection programs on purchases, will not be discounted at checkout.

Approval Requirements & Application

Even with a bad credit score, the Target REDcard may still be a viable option. According to reviews, consumers with FICO credit scores as low as 580 have been accepted. While the card’s high APR means carrying a balance is bad news, cardholders who maintain on-time payments and regularly pay in full may use it to rebuild their credit.

You can apply for a Target REDcard at any Target location, or you can fill out an online application via the link above.

Advantages of the Target Card Over the Kohl’s Card

Most consumers will likely find that saving with the Target REDcard requires less work than it does with the Kohl’s Charge Card. Unlike the convoluted discounts and multiple rewards programs Kohl’s must navigate, shoppers who use a Target REDcard receive a straightforward 5% discount on every sale.

And for those looking to build credit, Target’s offerings can better fit into an everyday budget, and many consumers have reported success improving their credit with the Target REDcard.

Better Cards to Use at Kohl’s and Target

While the Kohl’s Charge Card and the Target REDcard each have their money-saving strengths, they do share two common weaknesses: closed-loop restrictions and high APRs. In other words, these store cards may have their unique perks and exclusive savings, but they also have strict limits on how they — and their rewards — can be used.

Unless you frequently make shopping trips to either store, you’re likely better off with an open-loop rewards credit card that can offer savings anywhere you spend — or, at least, a much better APR. And, if you still want to find ways to save at Kohl’s or Target, you can easily search online for the latest coupons at both stores for the next time you shop.

Cash Back

Exclusive discounts or a percentage off your purchase is useful if you’re a brand loyalist who can make the most of their value. But, with a rewards credit card that provides cash back on every purchase, you can likely rack up even more savings in the long run. And the APR you’re offered will likely be better than what you’ll get with a store card.

CASH BACK RATING
★★★★★
5.0
OVERALL RATING
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
CASH BACK RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% Intro APR Period 18 months on Balance Transfers
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

CASH BACK RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.49%-26.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

+See More Cash Back Credit Cards

0% APR

A huge downside of the Kohl’s Charge Card and the Target REDcard alike are their high APRs. Small balances, if left unpaid, can easily spiral out of control as interest fees start to multiply.

With a good 0% APR credit card offer, you can have a year or more without the stress of having to pay off your card at the end of the billing cycle to avoid interest. And better yet, many of these card offers extend to balance transfers that can help with existing balances (though balance transfer fees may apply).

0% INTRO APR RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
  • Start off strong with 0% Intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. A variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99% on balance transfers and purchases after the introductory period ends.
  • Lower your interest rate by 2% each year. Automatically be considered for an APR reduction when you pay on time, and spend at least $1000 on your card by your next account anniversary.
  • Raise your credit limit. Get an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time, and spend $500 in your first six months.
  • All for no annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Slate Edge℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 18 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 18 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
0% INTRO APR RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
0% INTRO APR RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.49%-26.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

+See More 0% APR Credit Cards

Travel Rewards

Finding ways to lower the cost of an upcoming trip can require a lot of digital legwork. But, with a travel rewards credit card, you can stash away savings year-round — and unleash them when booking airfare or hotel accommodations.

Even better, these open-loop cards can earn rewards anywhere they’re accepted — including popular retailers like Kohl’s and Target.

AIR MILES RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 14.24% to 25.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
14.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good
AIR MILES RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$395
Excellent

+See More Travel Rewards Credit Cards

The “Better” Card Will Depend on How You Use it

It’s difficult to directly compare the store cards at Kohl’s and Target because their rewards are so different. Both help cardholders save, just in different ways.

Budget shoppers who want to strategically boost their savings at checkout may find the Kohl’s Charge Card particularly useful. For consumers who want a big percentage off when shopping for everyday essentials may have their needs better met by the Target REDcard.

Regardless of which card’s savings style you prefer, however, your purchasing power is limited with both cards due to their closed-loop restrictions. And both cards have less-than-ideal APRs that can mean high interest fees.

One of our top-rated open-loop credit cards may prove the better option for most consumers, as these all-purpose cards can help users save on purchases beyond those made at Target or Kohl’s.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.