Kohl’s Credit Card Review (2018)

By: Ashley Dull • 4/20/2018

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.

If you live in the United States, there’s a very good chance you live near a Kohl’s department store. The company has 1,100 locations in 49 states (sorry, Hawaii). The first Kohl's Department Store opened in 1962, selling groceries alongside its other goods.

Today, the retailer is best known for its selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories, but Kohl's also has a robust offering of housewares, kitchen products, and gifts. For regular shoppers, the store’s credit card is a decent choice. It has the potential to save frequent Kohl’s customers a lot of money — but getting maximum value out of the card can be complicated.

Kohl's Card Overall Rating: 4.0/5.0

The store’s credit card is called the Kohl’s Charge. It’s a “closed-loop” store card, meaning you can use it only at Kohl’s. The interest rate is quite high — 21.9% as of February 2017 — so you may want to avoid carrying a balance on your Kohl's card.

Many store cards, such as the Amazon Prime Store Card, offer cardholders a discount on every purchase. The Kohl’s card is different. Instead of knocking off 5% or so at checkout, Kohl’s runs regular promotions and “secret sales” to give cardholders extra opportunities to shop at a discount, advertising at least 12 special offers a year.

Kohl's Credit Card

  • APR: 24.99% - 27.99% as of Apr 2018
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Rewards: Receive 12+ special Kohl's offers each year.

The discounts, too, can be significant. Budget-conscious shoppers who wait for sales and get lucky with an especially good scratch-off coupon can buy clothes for a fraction of what the price tags say. The initial signup bonus can also be quite lucrative, providing 30% off your first Kohl's Charge Card purchase.

Having a Kohl’s Charge makes shopping there easier. Returns are smooth, even without a receipt, because the sales associates can look up your purchase history in their database. Forgot your card at home? They can verify your account information, check your ID, and let you charge things anyway.

Approval Requirements & Application

The Kohl's Charge Card has relatively flexible credit requirements, with reviewers reporting being accepted with even poor credit scores. You can apply for the Kohl's card in your local store, or head online using the link below.

Better Cards to Use at Kohl's

If you don’t shop at Kohl’s very often, or don’t want to deal with all the sales and gimmicks, there are other credit cards out there. Our top-rated cash back and travel rewards cards will give you perks no matter where you shop and can be redeemed for a wide range of rewards – not just rewards at Kohl’s. Check out our expert’s top picks.

Cash Back

A good cash back program is like a coupon that’s valid everywhere your credit card is accepted, giving you a percentage of your purchases as a statement credit or gift card. When it comes to comparing cash back offers, the main factor to consider is the nature of the cash back program.

0% APR

If you’ve been taking good care of your finances, and have earned a good credit report, you are likely eligible for one of these three top low-APR offers. Use them to pay less interest on your purchases.

Travel Rewards

Travel rewards cards are a good option for those who want to use the same rewards card to purchase their hotel accommodations as they do their airline tickets. The best travel rewards cards on the market offer sizeable signup bonuses that could have you on your way to the beaches or slopes in no time.

If you shop at Kohl’s often, chances are this card will save you some money. The discounts come frequently and are fairly substantial, and if you plan ahead to use them for bigger purchases they can get very valuable. Otherwise, we would recommend one of these alternative cards as the Kohl’s card can be used in-store only, as it’s not co-branded with a major card network.

What Others Say About the Kohl's Credit Card

Wondering what others who have used the Kohl’s card are saying about their experience? We’ve gathered some of the top reviews around the web below.

A review from
CreditKarma.com says:

This was worse mistake of my life. I opened the card to get the discount. I paid it off in the store. Now a year later I find out that they have been charging my card since April. I just had to pay an outrageous amount of money to get this card off my credit. The phone people blamed it on me. They never once sent a bill informing me I owe money. I have closed my card and will never open anything with Kohls again. — CreditKarma.com

A review from
WalletHub.com says:

No complaints! Loving it so far the couple months I’ve had it, great rewards perks. Credit line is low though but I'm okay with that since it's less temptation to spend. As long as you pay off your balance each month the interest isn't a worry, all rewards cards at least for stores have high interest rates. — WalletHub.com

A review from
NerdWallet.com says:

If you want your credit score to take a hit use this card. I have paid the balance on time always but I missed one payment (due to the site and auto pay) issues, it got immediately reported to the credit bureau and my credit score suffered immensely. This is the second time it happened and I am cancelling my card right away. Not to mentioned that the late fees is $37 apart from your credit score dinged. Stay away from this card! — NerdWallet.com


Is the Kohl's Card Right for You?

This card is best for regular Kohl’s shoppers who are also in possession of an additional credit card with a reward structure and more reasonable interest rate. It may be worthwhile to apply for this card if you think you’ll use the 12 coupons that being a cardholder will get you. If MVC status and its additional coupons are valuable enough in your estimation to justify spending $600 or more on the card each year (money that could be earning rewards if you used a cashback card), make sure to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid the high interest rates.

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.