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

Get exclusive discounts and rewards at your favorite retailers.

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  Best Store Cards represent the cream of the crop and they all have benefits that warrant a closer look.

Read on to navigate through the store card clutter and discover the best store credit cards available now:

What Makes a Good Store Credit Card

GOBankingRates reviewed more than 100 cards to determine the best store credit cards. A good store credit card comes with:

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

Here are the best store cards worthy of a spot in your wallet:

Best Store Credit Cards
Store Credit CardCategory WinnerAnnual
Fees
APR
Walmart logo 2017Capital One Walmart Rewards MastercardBest OverallNo annual feeDepending on credit, 17.99%-26.99% APR
Target RedCardBest for Everyday ItemsNo annual feeFixed 24.65%
Gap Visa Credit CardBest for ClothesNo annual feeFixed 27.74% APR
Lowe’s Advantage CardBest for Home ImprovementNo annual feeStandard 26.99% APR
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa CardBest Open-Loop CardNo annual feeDepending on credit, 15.99%-23.99% APR
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by CitiBest for DiscountsNo annual feeVariable rate of 16.74% APR

[Back to top]

Best Overall — 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
  • Get 5% rewards on Walmart Pay app, Walmart.com and Walmart Grocery Pick Up and Delivery purchases
  • Special introductory offer of 5% rewards on in-store purchases when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval
  • After the first 12 months, 2% rewards on in-store purchases at Walmart, Walmart fuel stations and Murphy USA
  • Earn 2% rewards on travel and restaurants
  • Earn 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 for 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. Introduced recently, 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.

Learn: Inventive Ways To Make Money With a Credit Card

[Back to top]

Best for Everyday Items — Target REDcard

APR: Fixed 24.65% 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 your card anniversary
  • 30 extra days for returns for most Target and Target.com purchases
  • Can pay with Target Wallet on your smartphone instead of the physical card for faster store checkout
  • Exclusive Target RedCard coupons through the Circle feature of the Target app

Drawbacks:

Why Shoppers Like This Card: The average American spends $62 each time they visit Target, so you might as well get a discount with that price tag. 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 checkout with the Wallet feature.

Also Check Out: Best Rewards Credit Cards

[Back to top]

Best for Clothes — Gap Visa Credit Card

APR: Fixed 27.74% APR

Annual Fee: None

Benefits:

  • Open-loop Visa card 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 and redeem 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
  • The highest interest rate of winners on this list

Why Shoppers Like This Card: The Gap Visa is the best clothing credit card store card available because of the brands you can earn and redeem points on 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.

Don’t Miss: Best Cash-Back Credit Cards

[Back to top]

Best for Home Improvement — Lowe’s Advantage Card

APR: Standard APR is 26.99%

Annual Fee: None

Benefits:

  • 5% off every Lowe’s eligible purchase or order
  • $30 to $100 off first in-store purchase
  • 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.

Check Out: Capital One Walmart Card Review

[Back to top]

Best Open-Loop Card — Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card

APR: Depending on credit score, 15.99%-23.99% APR

Annual Fee: None

Benefits: 

  • Open-loop card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • 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
  • Get a $70 Amazon.com Gift Card upon credit card approval

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 stores and website, you’ll have access to traveler perks that cover mishaps like lost or delayed luggage and travel emergencies. And you won’t have to worry about where you use the card — no foreign transaction fees 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.

[Back to top]

Best for Discounts — Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

APR: Variable rate of 16.74% APR

Annual Fee: None

Benefits: 

  • Open-loop card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted
  • 4% rewards rate on eligible gas purchases
  • 3% reward on restaurants and 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
  • Get extended warranty on purchases

Drawbacks:

  • Requires a Costco membership of $60 a year or more
  • Cash-back rewards paid as a check by mail only 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. An annual reward certificate is mailed to you each year that can be applied to your Costco in-store purchases. The wait is long, but think about how much your redemption check might be worth after a year of gas and purchases.

[Back to top]

Difference Between Store Credit Cards and Traditional Credit Cards

A store credit card offers exclusive rewards and discounts for a specific store. Most are closed-loop cards, meaning they’re only accepted at the retailer that issued them. Traditional credit cards are open-loop cards you can use everywhere cards are accepted rather than focus on a single store for discounts or special access. Traditional cards also provide perks like zero or low interest balance transfers, insurance, extended warranty and travel rewards. Some cards, such as the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, blur the lines between the two types.

Read More: Best Cards for Online Shopping

[Back to top]

When Is It a Good Idea To Get a Store Credit Card?

For shoppers who spend regularly and are loyal to a certain store, a store card is better than a traditional credit card or prepaid debit card. Store cards make it possible to leverage purchases for more discounts, and they often offer an easier shopping experience with extended return periods and free shipping.

Store cards are an especially good choice for business use. “I think a store credit card would make sense if you are in a specific field of work where you have to visit a retailer multiple times in a month or throughout the year,” Devon Horace of Horace Consulting said. “When you have a store credit card, like a Home Depot card, you may get certain bonuses like cash back and percentages off for cardmembers. So if you’re constantly in the store, you can be saving money.”

[Back to top]

Maximizing Your Rewards With A Store Credit Card

To maximize the number of rewards you can earn:

  • Analyze your shopping and spending habits.
  • Research and compare which cards will offer you the highest amount of rewards.
  • Look for attractive sign-up offers.
  • Check the card’s website regularly for bonus earning categories.

Matthew Goldman, founder and CEO of Vertical Finance, recommends analyzing which store cards would be the best fit by categorizing them. “The best cards fall into two main categories: places you spend a lot today and will continue to spend at and places where you have a lot of short term purchases coming up,” he said. Using this information can help you make an informed decision.

Check Out: Best Credit Cards for Groceries

Can I Get a Store Card With Bad Credit?

For customers with bad credit, prepaid debit cards that are linked to your bank account might be an alternative solution.

Learn More: Best Cash-Back Credit Cards for Fair Credit

[Back to top]

How Does Opening a Store Credit Card Affect Your Credit Score?

Opening a store credit card might trigger a hard inquiry on your credit report. Hard inquiries are a credit score factor that can cause a credit score drop of five to 10 points. Store credit cards are like traditional credit cards in that card issuers will report your payment and balance history to the credit bureaus. It’s not advisable to frivolously open and close credit cards to earn sign-up perks because part of your credit score includes how long you’ve had each credit card.

“The credit limit is always too low to be a major impact on your total credit availability portion of a credit score,” said Dan Gallagher, finance expert at ScoreSense. “So, do not fear to get a grocery credit card!” Just remember to keep it current.

Check Out: Best Credit Cards for Good Credit

[Back to top]

What To Watch Out for When Using a Credit Card

When using any credit card, especially for earning discounts, rewards or perks, be careful and avoid overspending or carrying a balance simply to earn more rewards. Pay off the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges that might offset any earned rewards.

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.”

[Back to top]

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 gives you exclusive access to discounts and perks you might not get if you simply pay cash. Just remember to spend responsibly and pay your card balance off in full each month to avoid the cost of high interest rates.

More From GOBankingRates

Information is accurate as of Nov. 12, 2019. Rates and fees are subject to change.

Editorial Disclosure: 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 GOBankingRates 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 in order 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 personal circumstances.