In a ploy to drum up attention for their credit card, TJX sent out mailers to account holders for a sweepstakes.
They describe it as “A chance to win a $100 gift card. Then update your look, and your home, for the new year!”
I describe it as a huge waste of your time. This is the reason why…
That’s right… there is only 1 prize winner for each brand. They are giving out ONE $100 gift card for TJ Maxx, ONE $100 gift card for Marshalls, and ONE $100 gift card for Home Goods.
How many of these mailers did they send out? Was it hundreds of thousands? Or even millions? And all those people are vying for just 3 gift cards valued at $100 each?
With those odds, it’s just not worth your time to go on the TJX website and login to enter with your 6 digit entry code.
Sure it may only take 5 minutes of your time, but is that worth it when the odds of winning these pitiful prizes are so horrible? If you want a bonus that’s actually worthwhile, you might as well just skip the TJX credit card.
The TJX promotion is really silly when you consider how much they have to pay to print and mail those things. I mean let’s just assume for a minute they sent out 250,000 of these mailers at a cost of 40 cents each between the postage and printing costs.
That would mean they spent $100,000 on promoting the sweepstakes, but they are only spending $300 on the actual prizes. What a joke, right?
Of course those numbers are just an example, as I have no clue how many mailers they sent out and at what cost. But whatever the case, you can bet they’re spending a lot on them. If there were thousands of gift cards up for grabs, this would make sense, but not when there’s only 3!
That aside, the TJX card is OK
Setting aside these stupid marketing ploys, the TJX rewards credit card has some good things about it:
- 5 points per dollar spent at their stores. This includes TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls.
- The store card can only be used with them, but the MasterCard version can be used everywhere. That one gives 1 point per dollar on spending outside of their stores.
- Since 1,000 pts = $10 TJX rewards certificate, it means their credit card earns 5% at their stores and 1% elsewhere.
But there are major drawbacks
It’s only appropriate for the people who pay the full amount of their credit card bill each month. The reason why is because the finance charges that TJX charges you are totally outrageous:
- 26.99% variable APR. Yes it’s true that retail-branded cards have high interest rates, but this runs about 4-10% higher than what you see on some department store credit cards.
- $2.00 minimum interest charge. This means if you owe interest, the minimum you will be charged each month is $2.00. If you have a small balance, this can result in the actual APR being higher than 26.99%. For example if you had a $50 balance, the minimum interest charge of $2.00 for one month equals 48% on an annualized basis ($2 x 12 months = $24. Divide that by $50 = 48%).
- Almost no benefits. Many store-branded cards give perks like free shipping, free tailoring, etc. when you buy from them. But with the TJX credit cards you apparently don’t get anything like that. At least they don’t list any on the card’s application or the marketing materials I’ve seen for it.
Ignore the hype, focus on the facts
If you’re going to carry the TJX card, do NOT get it for their hyped marketing gimmicks like this $100 gift card sweepstakes. Really it comes down to is that their cards are good for one thing and one thing only: the rewards program. Using it for any other purpose (including the carrying of debt) won’t be in your best interest.
Want something different? If you can qualify, this new 5% rewards card for 2013 is my favorite.
Written or last updated April 2013.