The 6 Best Store Credit Cards Worth a Spot in Your Wallet

young woman using a store credit card
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Paying for purchases with a store credit card can offer rewards and additional discounts at retailers where you regularly shop. Many retailers offer a store credit card, but not all of them are worth having.

The cards that made the GOBankingRates list of the best store credit cards represent the cream of the crop, and all have benefits that warrant a closer look. Use this guide to help you discover the best store credit cards available now, as well as what store credit cards are easy to get.

What Stores Offer Credit Cards?

A store credit card offers exclusive rewards and discounts for a specific store. Almost all major retailers have store credit cards, including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Kohl’s, The Home Depot and Walmart.

Closed-Loop Cards vs. Open-Loop Cards

Store-branded cards that don’t have a Mastercard, Visa, American Express or Discover symbol are examples of closed-loop credit cards. Closed-loop cards are only accepted at the retailer that issued them, such as Lowe’s or Target.

Open-loop cards are co-branded with the store’s name and a major credit card network. You can use them at the store and everywhere Mastercard, Visa, American Express or Discover credit cards are accepted. The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard and Amazon’s Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card are open-loop options.

Closed-loop cards focus on discounts and special access events for a particular store. Open-loop cards, however, can provide perks like zero- or low-interest balance transfers, insurance, extended warranty and travel rewards.

Best Store Credit Cards

So, what are the best store credit cards to get? Here are some that are worthy of a spot in your wallet.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card
Sponsors of
Best Store Credit Cards
Store Credit Card Category APR
Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard Best Overall Depending on credit, 17.99%-26.99% APR
Target RedCard Best for Everyday Items Variable, 22.90% APR
Gap Visa Credit Card Best for Clothes Variable, 25.99% APR
Lowe’s Advantage Card Best for Home Improvement Standard 26.99% APR
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Best Open-Loop Card Depending on credit, 14.24%-22.24% APR
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi Best for Discounts Variable, 15.24% APR

Best Overall: Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard

Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard

APR: Depending on credit score, 17.99%-26.99% annual percentage rate

Annual Fee: None

Benefits: 

  • Open-loop card — can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted
  • 5% rewards on Walmart Pay app, Walmart.com and Walmart Grocery Pick Up and Delivery purchases
  • 5% rewards on in-store purchases when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval
  • After first 12 months, 2% rewards on in-store purchases at Walmart, Walmart fuel stations and Murphy USA
  • 2% rewards on travel and restaurants
  • 1% rewards on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Redeem rewards for travel, gift cards, as payment during online checkout at Walmart.com and as statement credits

Drawbacks:

  • Higher credit scores required to qualify

Why Shoppers Like This Card: The Capital One Walmart Rewards Card tops this list of store credit cards because it checks all the boxes. The card rewards both the purchases you make at Walmart and purchases made anywhere else you use the card. Rewards can be redeemed for travel, cashed in for gift cards or applied as statement credits or during online checkout.

Notable digital features come with the card. Customers can use the Walmart Pay app instead of carrying the card. “We are excited to offer a truly digital experience for customers where, for example, Walmart shoppers can apply for the card in-store via the Text to Apply feature, and if approved and eligible, use their new card digitally at checkout moments later,” said Ritin Dhawan, vice president of customer experience and partner operations at Capital One, in a news release.

Best for Everyday Items: Target RedCard

Target RedCard

APR: 22.90% APR

Annual Fee: None

Benefits: 

  • 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases
  • Free shipping on most items at Target.com
  • 10% discount coupon each year on card anniversary
  • 30 extra days for returns for most Target and Target.com purchases
  • Can pay with Target Wallet on your smartphone for faster store checkout
  • Save 10% at Hotels.com
  • Exclusive Target RedCard coupons through the Circle feature of the Target app

Drawbacks:

  • Can only be used at Target and Target.com

Why Shoppers Like This Card:  Target’s RedCard rewards its loyal shoppers with 5% off every purchase and an extended return time of 30 days. You can even get 5% savings at Target Starbucks locations.

The web portal and smartphone app make it simple to manage and pay for your card. Download the Target app to get access to special coupons through Circle and pay with your smartphone at store checkouts with the Wallet feature.

Best for Clothes: Gap Visa Credit Card

Gap Visa Credit Card

APR: Variable purchase APR is 25.99%

Annual Fee: None

Benefits:

  • Can be used anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Extra 10% off every time you shop at Gap and Gap Factory stores
  • Other opportunities throughout the year to earn more loyalty benefits
  • Can earn points at Gap brand stores such as Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy
  • Five points for every $1 spent in-store or online at Gap brands
  • One point per dollar spent elsewhere
  • Special bonus-point shopping days
  • Can redeem points for credit to use at Gap, Gap Factory and Gap brand stores
  • Can return purchases without receipts
  • 20% sign-up bonus and free shipping on your first purchase
  • Special gift on your birthday

Drawbacks:

  • Great for discounts but not for redeeming rewards — one point is worth only one cent
  • Rewards limited to $250 per billing cycle

Why Shoppers Like This Card: The Gap Visa is the best clothing store credit card available because of its reach. You can earn and redeem points at Gap and Gap Factory stores, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta. You can also earn points for everyday purchases wherever Visa is accepted. This card shines when it comes to discounts, with 10% off at Gap and Gap Factory stores. Points can be redeemed at all Gap brands; however, upon redemption, each point is only worth a penny.

Manage your account through the card website or the Gap app, and follow your rewards progress at Gap.com.

Best for Home Improvement: Lowe’s Advantage Card

Lowe's Advantage Card

APR: Standard APR is 26.99%

Annual Fee: None

Benefits:

  • 5% off every Lowe’s eligible purchase or order
  • 20% discount on first in-store purchase through Jan. 31, 2021
  • 0% interest rate for six months on eligible purchases over $299
  • Fixed monthly payments on purchases or orders over $2,000 at 7.99% APR for 84 months
  • Special financing of 12 months on appliances
  • Special financing of 12 months for installed heating, air conditioning and ventilation
  • Exclusive cardholder events

Drawbacks:

  • Closed-loop card can only be used at Lowe’s
  • Different financing terms per product can be confusing
  • Deferred interest accrues if the promotional balance isn’t paid in full in time

Why Shoppers Like This Card: Lowe’s is more than a huge hardware store — you can also pick up home furnishings, decor, appliances and garden supplies. Buying with the Lowe’s Advantage Card gives you options. Finance your larger purchases with zero or low interest and receive 5% back on all your purchases and orders.

Manage your card through the card website and set up email or text alerts on account activity.

Best Open-Loop Card: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

APR: Depending on credit score, 14.24%-22.24% APR

Annual Fee: None

Benefits: 

  • Open-loop card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted
  • $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • Travel rewards credit card perks like no foreign transaction fees, travel and emergency assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance and travel accident insurance
  • Exclusive benefits at Visa Signature Luxury hotels

Drawbacks:

  • An annual $119 Amazon Prime membership is required

Why Shoppers Like This Card: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card is the ideal combination of store credit card and travel rewards card. Besides earning savings at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, you’ll have access to traveler perks that cover mishaps like lost or delayed luggage and travel emergencies. Plus, you get exclusive benefits at Visa Signature Luxury hotels. And you won’t have to worry about where you use the card — no foreign transaction fee means you can shop anywhere Visa is accepted, without any currency exchange penalties.

Manage your card through the Chase online portal or Chase mobile app, where you can make payments, add users and set up email or text alerts on account activity.

Best for Discounts: Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

APR: Variable rate of 15.24% APR

Annual Fee: None

Benefits: 

  • Can be used anywhere Visa is accepted
  • 4% rewards rate on eligible gas purchases
  • 3% reward on restaurants and eligible travel
  • 2% back on all Costco and Costco.com purchases
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Bonus reward categories
  • Can use the card as a Costco membership ID
  • Damage and theft purchase protection included
  • Extended warranty on purchases

Drawbacks:

  • Requires a Costco membership of $60 a year or more
  • Cash-back rewards are paid once a year, at the end of the February billing cycle, and must be redeemed at Costco

Why Shoppers Like This Card: Costco is a wholesale club for shoppers who love volume and big discounts. Every time you purchase something or get gas, you’re earning rewards you can later redeem at Costco.

You’ll receive cash-back rewards in the form of an annual reward certificate, which can be applied to your Costco in-store purchases. The wait is long, but consider how much your reward certificate might be worth after a year of gas and purchases.

Are Store Credit Cards Worth It?

Getting a store credit card can be a good idea. If you are a loyal customer of a retailer, you can grab some serious discounts and bonuses by getting approved for a store card. And while store cards are not always the best value, they can help build or rebuild your credit.

Many store cards, including Amazon cards, have an instant approval process. However, cards that offer the best rates often require a FICO credit score of 670 or higher.

Even if you have marginal scores, there are store credit cards for fair credit. Store credit cards for no credit history and store credit cards for bad credit are also available. A card that is easier to qualify for, however, may have higher interest rates and a lower credit limit.

What To Consider When Choosing a Store Credit Card

When deciding on a store credit card, see if it offers the following features:

What To Look For in a Store Credit Card

  • Exclusive cardholder benefits like special promotions, free shipping, discounts or an extended return policy
  • No annual fee and competitive interest rates, so costs don’t offset any loyalty rewards earned
  • Easy online access and/or a user-friendly mobile app

Can Store Credit Cards Hurt Your Score?

Store credit cards can affect your credit score if you don’t manage your accounts wisely. For example, your credit scores can suffer if your credit utilization is too high or you open and close too many accounts. Here are some important things to watch out for when using a store credit card.

Avoid Overspending

It’s not worth it to overspend or carry a balance simply to earn more rewards or perks. Pay off the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges that might offset any earned rewards.

Make Timely Payments and Avoid Carrying a Balance

Always make your payments on time — not doing so could cost you expensive late fees and affect your credit.

Todd Christensen, education manager at Money Fit, has a good tip on how to stay on top of your bill: “Never leave the store without paying off the entire balance at the customer service desk first.”

Understand the Difference Between Deferred and 0% Interest

Deferred interest is not the same as 0% interest. If you’re offered 0% interest, no interest will be added to your balance during the promotional period. Deferred interest means that if you pay off the balance by the end of the promotional period, you won’t owe any interest. Otherwise, interest charges will begin accruing.

Avoid Maxing Out Low-Limit Credit Cards

Store credit cards often come with low credit limits that can be maxed out in a single trip. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you should keep your use of credit at no more than 30% of your total credit limit to avoid a hit to your credit score. So, if you have a card with a $500 limit, don’t spend more than $150.

Store Credit Cards Offer Exclusive Discounts and Rewards at Your Favorite Retailers

Don’t leave money on the table when you shop at your favorite retailers. Having a store credit card can give you exclusive access to discounts and perks you might not get if you simply pay cash.

Before you sign up for a card, however, make a store credit card comparison to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Additionally, spend responsibly and pay your card balance off in full each month to avoid the cost of high interest rates.

Information is accurate as of Oct. 22, 2020. Rates and fees are subject to change.

The information related to the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi has been collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their circumstances.

This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.

About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.