Dillards Credit Card Exposed

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Dillards Credit Card Exposed

Postby CreditCardGuru » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:22 am

paying at department store
CreditCardGuru wrote:This Dillard's credit card review exposes the rewards on the Dillard's American Express and the store-only card. Think twice about your application!

Quick Overview: They have 2 cards; 1 for store-use only, the other is an AmEx. Both only give 2 points per dollar spent at Dillard's. For this reason it ranks as one of the worst department store credit cards.

Best Alternative Card? Using a different credit card,
you can earn 3% cash back at select US dept stores
(The list includes Dillard's, Macy's, Kohl's, Lord and Taylor, and several others. Being able to earn 3% at those places is better than the Dillard's AmEx which earns 2x points at only one store, right?).

Started in 1938, they now have over 330 stores across the country. Growing up, my grandma would always take me shopping at a Dillard's. I remember it was the place to go! They always had my favorite brands and the best styles. Because I love this department store so much, I thought it would be worth looking into the Dillard's credit card; here's what I discovered...

Dillard's actually has two different credit cards. One is a typical department store card and the other is affiliated with American Express. Here are reviews for both:

Dillard's American Express Card
When you apply for Dillard's credit card, they will automatically evaluate your application for the American Express version first. If you aren't qualified for that, they will consider you for their regular store-only charge card.

  • Issuer: Please note that even though transactions are processed through the American Express payment network, the issuer of this card is GE Capital Retail Bank (so when you call up customer service you will be talking to them, NOT American Express).
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Interest Rate: There are two different tiers that vary with the prime rate and they are 13.24% or 21.99%. So one is below-average, while the other is quite high.
The pros & cons of the rewards program? The rewards are a bit unusual. This is how they work:

  • 2 Dillard's Reward points per $1 spent at their stores, gas stations, and grocery stores
  • 1 Dillard's Reward point per $1 elsewhere
But you don't get a rebate for these points. Instead, when you accumulate 1,500 points, they issue you a 10% off certificate you can use at their stores.

At first this sounds like a good deal, but here's what you need to know. To accumulate 1,500 points, you would need to spend $1,500 on normal purchases (or $750 on the double point categories).

So let's say you earn that 10% off coupon and use it on a $150 purchase... that only saves you $15. If you spent $1,500 to earn the coupon, that means your rewards only equaled 1% ($15 for $1,500 spent).

So unless you are using your 10% off Dillard's coupon on a purchase of several hundred dollars or more, it may not be the most bang for your buck. You may be able to earn higher rewards with a different credit card.

Sometime during the spring/summer of 2013, they added a new option: You can choose a $10 Rewards Certificate in lieu of the 10% off shopping pass. However that option will always give you a bad value per point... because 1,500 points = $10 gift certificate = only 2/3 of a penny per point.

Dillard's Credit Card (store-only version)
If your credit score isn't high enough to get the Amex version, then they may give you this card. But of course if you have bad credit, you might not qualify for either one.

  • Issuer: Same as above - GE Capital Retail Bank
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Interest Rate: The APR is higher at 22.99% (same rate for everyone)
The rewards are the same as the American Express Dillard's card, except you can't earn points anywhere else (the AmEx can be used anywhere AmEx is accepted, while the store card can only be used at Dillard's). So that means all you are getting is...
  • 2 points per $1 at Dillard's
So with this one you run into the same predicament. Using the above example, if you spent $750 and used the 10% off coupon for a $150 purchase, your net rewards would only be worth 2%. This is why the card is illogical for most people.

Although it's a great department store to buy clothes, the rewards on the Dillard's credit card may not always give you the most for your money. So next time a sales associate tries to sell you on the credit card application, make sure you think long and hard whether it will be the best choice for you or not.

And if you have bad credit and are wondering if you will qualify... I heard from someone with a 700 credit score having their application denied. The minimum requirements/qualifications can vary, but if you have really bad credit I would be surprised if you got approved for either version.

Other Alternatives?
Aside from the one mentioned above, is the Blue Cash Preferred which does have an annual fee. (mentioned at top)

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