If you frequently shop at Kohl’s, chances are you’ve been encouraged to apply for a credit card each time you approached the checkout counter. And in an attempt to reel you in, the cashier mentioned a list of discounts you would qualify for if you opted-in. Sounds appealing, but is the card worthwhile? That’s for you to decide, but we’ll provide you with an in-depth analysis of the Kohl’s Charge Card and our final verdict.
for EVERYDAY SHOPPING
for EVERYDAY SHOPPING
- FREE ONLINE PAYMENTS
- ACCESS TO STATEMENT AND TRANSACTION HISTORY
- ACCOUNT MAINTENANCE
The Kohl’s Charge Card offers a host of valuable discounts to cardholders. Since it is a store-branded charge card, it can only be used at participating Kohl’s retailers. Let’s take a closer look at what the card has to offer:
If you’re approved, don’t expect to earn thousands of bonus points or enjoy interest free purchases for an extended period of time. Instead, you’ll receive a discount code to save 20 percent on your first purchase. And when your new card arrives in the mail, you’ll receive another coupon to save an additional 15 percent.
Before applying, you should be mindful of the following fees:
Exclusive Discounts for Cardholders
Cardholders receive 12 special discounts of 30, 20 or 15 percent, annually. And when you spend $600 or more on your Kohl’s charge card within a calendar year, you’ll be given the designation of Most Valuable Customer (MVC) and receive 18 discounts a year. Since the prices found in the store and online are already relatively low, these discounts will allow you to score deals of a lifetime.
Let’s say you find a shirt on the clearance rack for $10. If the original price was $25 and you applied a coupon for 30 percent, you’d only end up paying $17.50. That’s a total savings of $7.50. Not a bad deal simply for being a cardholder.
Other Cardholder Benefits
Cardholders can take advantage of all the discounts Kohl’s charge has to offer without paying an annual fee.
You can avoid paying interest on your purchases by paying the balance in full within the 25-day grace period.
On top of all the coupons you already receive for being a cardholder, Kohl’s will occasionally surprise you with an offer you can’t resist: $10 off any purchase of $10 or more. They’re basically giving you free money to spend in the store.
As I mentioned earlier, Kohl’s offers cardholders two exclusive discounts upon approval of their credit card application. Plus, you’ll receive 12 or 18 additional discounts per year, depending on your spending levels. But if you read the fine print, you’ll quickly realize that there are a host of exclusions that apply.
The ongoing discounts may be enough to peak your interest, but what about the benefits for loyal customers that spend thousands in the store? Sure, you’ll receive six additional discount coupons for the year once they reach $600 in purchases, but there are scores of credit cards that will actually reward you for your spending in the form of cash, gift cards, statement credits or other valuable perks.
As expected with retail cards, the APR on the Kohl’s charge card is a whopping 24.24 percent, so it’s imperative to pay your balance in full each month to derive any benefits from the card. To illustrate my point, let’s say you make $500 in purchases on the card. Assuming you only make the minimum payment of $25, it will take you 26 months to pay off the card. Plus, you’ll end up forking over close to $150 in interest.
If you don’t pay your bill on time, brace yourself for a $37 late fee and penalty APR of 27.24 percent. Once your payment is more than 60 days late, you’ll be stuck with that exorbitant APR until you close the account. And in the event the payment is returned to you for any reason, be prepared to pay an additional $37. We’re not surprised by the late fee, but the permanent penalty APR of almost 30 percent is absurd.
So let’s say you forget to make a late payment and enter the incorrect account details. That’s going to cost you $74 on top of the actual amount you were attempted to remit. And if you forget two months in a row, add another $37, making to the total $111 in fees alone.
If the sky high APR, lack of rewards and restrictions on discounts aren’t enough to make you think twice, the limited use of the Kohl’s charge card definitely will. As we mentioned earlier, it is a store branded card that can only be used online and at Kohl’s retail locations.
The Final Verdict
If you already do a lot of shopping at Kohl’s and are looking for additional ways to save on your purchases, the Kohl’s charge may be ideal. But be sure to keep the balances low or the funds expended on interest may outweigh the cost savings. Or you can apply for the card solely for the discounts and tuck it away in your safe or wallet since you’ll still receive the coupons, whether you use the card or not.