Why You Shouldn't Get a Department Store Credit Card


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5 Reasons Why a Department Store Credit Card Is a Terrible Idea

Who haven't been offered a store credit card at a checkout. Retailers like Sears entice customers into applying for a co-branded credit card by offering them discounts or rewards. Such offers are really tempting when your purchase is big and you would be happy to receive a huge discount. But will you really benefit from a store credit card? When a wave of euphoria after the discount is gone, you may find yourself overpaying for your purchase because of the card's high interest rate. Regular credit cards tend to be a better option for savers because they offer more flexibility and save more in the long run.

Here we're comparing basic features of a store credit card and regular credit card. As an example, we took a Sears Card® and a regular credit card with rewards and compared their terms below. This simple side-by-side comparison can help you understand if a store credit card is worth applying, or you it'd be better to get a different card.

Intro APR on Purchases
Ongoing APR
Rewards Bonus
Rewards on Sears
Rewards Expiration
Annual Fee
Intro APR on Balance Transfer
Balance Transfer Fee
Sears Card® Sears Card®
No intro APR8
No bonus offer8
No rewards8
No rewards program8
No Annual Fee8
  • Special Financing on select products, from home appliances and electronics to fitness equipment, tools and automotive items.8
  • $0 Fraud Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi Identity Theft Resolution Services.8
  • Monthly deals and special offers in-store or online at sears.com/credit, plus cardmember events, coupons and the opportunity to earn additional Shop Your Way® points when you enroll and use your Sears Card®.8
For Excellent Credit
Excellent/Good Credit
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
0% (14 months on Purchases) 11.99% - 22.99% Variable $0
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match 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.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.
  • 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.
*See Terms
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
N/A 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable) $99, waived for first 12 months
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
Excellent/Good Credit
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
0% (14 months on Purchases) 11.99% - 22.99% Variable $0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
*See Terms

User Questions about Savings at Department Stores

The Sears Card® issued by Citibank (Citi is a Credit-Land.com advertising partner) is a store card. It can only be used at Sears and Kmart locations and services. This card will suit you if you shop at Sears very often and spend...

It is not necessary to use the Sears store branded card (Citi is a Credit-Land.com advertising partner) to participate in the Shop Your Way rewards program. Actually it would be more beneficial to use a traditional bank credit card that...

No, the Shop Your Way program is not a credit card nor does it offer financing. Sears does have a branded credit card that offers financing - Sears Card® (Citi is a Credit-Land.com advertising partner). However, the interest rate...

Updated: December 3, 2020
Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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