The 3 Best Retail Credit Cards: Sears MasterCard, Nordstrom Fashion Rewards, and COSTCO True Earnings

Retail credit cards are not known for their advantages over traditional credit cards. They often come with low limits, excessive fees or high interest rates. However, some of the best retail credit cards stand out among the rest for their notable perks and features.

It’s never advisable to open a retail card account just to enjoy a one-time discount at the register because of the long-term effects that card could have on your credit. That said, if you’re a frequent shopper at one of the following stores that makes our top three, the corresponding card may be a good option for you.

Sears MasterCard

One of the biggest advantages of this Sears credit card is the co-branding. It is both a retail card and a MasterCard, which means you aren’t limited to where you can use it. Additionally, it helps you save money on all of your purchases, not just when the cashier offers you a discount if you open one. You can earn points through the Sears Choice Rewards Program, which offers points on every $1 spent and can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, travel, dining and more. You can see why this Sears credit card is at the top of our list.

Additional Sears MasterCard Benefits:

  • Monthly savings and valuable coupons exclusive to card members
  • Optional Sears Choice Rewards Program: Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all purchases with no membership fee
  • $0 Liability on unauthorized purchases
  • Additional users at no extra cost
  • Returns at Sears without a receipt
  • Temporary shopping pass at Sears and Kmart if you forget your card
  • Use your card at Sears, Kmart, Sears.com, Kmart.com, Lands End, The Great Indoors and anywhere MasterCard credit cards are accepted

Sears MasterCard Disadvantages:

Cardholders tend to complain that this card charges high interest credit card rates, so do not apply if you’re used to carrying a balance.

Find out more about the Sears MasterCard.

Nordstrom Fashion Rewards Credit Card

For those who are serious about fashion, the Nordstrom card is essential. This retail credit card is highly rated and offers a great rewards program.You can earn 2 rewards points for every dollar spent. Plus, the customer services Nordstrom is known for carries over to the card, too. One cardholder raves, “The best customer service ever with a credit card” on ViewPoint.com.

Additional Nordstrom Fashion Rewards Credit Card Advantages:

  • Earn 2 rewards points for every net dollar spent at Nordstrom, Nordstrom.com, Nordstrom Rack and by catalog
  • Earn bonus rewards points at special times throughout the year
  • Each time you accumulate 2,000 rewards points, we’ll automatically send you a $20 Nordstrom Note in the mail
  • No annual fee
  • Tier 1 interest rate of 10.90% APR

Nordstrom Fashion Rewards Credit Card Disadvantages:

Though you can earn lots of rewards points, they are only accumulated by making purchases through Nordstrom and you can’t use the Nordstrom credit card anywhere else.

Find out more about the Nordstrom Fashion Rewards Credit Card.

COSTCO True Earnings Card From American Express

COSTCO is the go-to store for anyone who needs to save money by buying  in bulk, like businesses or families. The COSTCO credit card boasts an excellent credit card rewards program that could help members save even more on everything from gas, restaurants and travel.

Additional COSTCO True Earnings Card American Express Advantages

  • Every time you make a purchase, you can earn cash back: 3% for the first $3,000 in annual gasoline purchases (1% thereafter), 3% for restaurants, 2% for travel, and 1% everywhere else, including Costco
  • No annual fee with paid Costco membership
  • 0% intro APR, after which the APR will be a variable rate
  • Earn even more cash back when you sign up someone listed on your Costco membership for an Additional Card

COSTCO True Earnings Card Disadvantages:

You have to be a COSTCO member to get the card, which entails paying a membership fee. If you wouldn’t benefit from shopping here, the card doesn’t offer much either.

Find out more about the COSTCO True Earnings American Express Card.

Remember, though these cards have some great qualities that you could benefit greatly from, they still carry the same risks and downsides associated with applying for and obtaining retail credit cards. Before you commit to any of these credit card offers, be sure to review the pros and cons of opening a retail account.

Photo credit: Sean MacEntee

  • Anonymous

    nordstrom is my favorite store…period. the old adage “you get what you pay for” definitely applies here. you may be paying more than what you would pay for something similar at Macy’s, but let’s face it, have you ever dealt with Macy’s customer service vs Nordstrom customer service? or even just the people on the floor? the women at the makeup counters will happily give me free samples of anything, and not pressure me to buy unless i really like the product. the card is almost the perk itself