Q: There is a retail chain called Avenue (plus sized women’s clothing) and I shop there quite a bit. Can you tell if the Avenue credit card rewards are worth pursuing?
A: I am familiar with Avenue stores and whether their credit card is for you really depends. How much will you really be spending there in 2013?
The entry level card is branded as “Preferred Gold” and then after $200 is spent on it, the card becomes “Platinum Select.” It’s this second tier that has a rewards program for spending as follows:
- 1 point per dollar spent
- 200 points = $20 rewards certificate
This basically means their credit card is giving 5% cash back when shopping at Avenue Stores. This isn’t bad for a store card, but whether it’s worth chasing depends on your spending.Compared to a basic 1% cash back card, here’s how the extra 4% earned from the Avenue card would measure up:
$250 spent = $10
$500 spent = $20
$1,000 spent = $40
$1,500 spent = $60
$2,000 spent = $120
So if you were spending $500 per year, the credit card from Avenue would earn $40 more than a bank card that gave 1%.
But then there’s the possible annual fee you have to factor in. Unfortunately the application and website (from what I can see) didn’t specify which accounts are charged, so I can’t tell you whether or not your account would have a fee, but I saw this in the fine print on the application:
If you had to pay $25 per year for the account, then that would basically make the 5% earned on the first $500 in spending a wash. But again, I have no idea which accounts will be charged since the application was not clear about it, from what I could see. You will have to contact their cardholder customer service to find out.
Should you take the plunge in 2013?
Weigh the pros and cons of these 3 points before you apply:
1. Do I really spend enough to make it worthwhile?
If you’re spending thousands per year then dealing with another monthly bill could be worth it. On the flip side, if you’re only spending several hundred dollars there annually, the extra rewards may not be worth the hassle. Especially when there are other cards that give 5% cash back at all clothing stores for part of the year.
2. Do I always pay my bill off each month?
A 24.99% APR was listed and even if that changes in the future, I think it’s unlikely you will see a “low” interest rate on any clothing store card, period. If the credit card will tempt you to spend more at Avenue, then the finance charges will offset the rewards value very quickly.
3. Do I want a store-specific card?
The benefits of being store specific is that you will be on mailing lists for sales, promotions, etc. The downside is that everything about the card is specific to that store. You cannot use the Avenue store credit card anywhere else, since it is not a Visa or MasterCard.
Written or last updated for 2013