Elder Beerman Credit Card Review

escalators in shopping mallI have fond memories of Elder Beerman growing up. It was one of the few department stores in the small Midwest town I grew up and it was hands down my grandma’s favorite place to shop. She practically lived at the store – going at least once or twice a week! She would buy everything there… clothes, shoes, jewelry, perfume, bedding, Christmas décor, you name it. So it should come as no surprise that she had an Elder Beerman credit card.

Although I no longer live in that area, this past summer I visited and swung by the store my grandma used to shop it. I had to pick up some socks and while paying the cashier asked me if I would like to fill out an Elder Beerman credit card application. Because I no longer live there it wouldn’t make sense for me, but I took the application to write this credit card review. Officially named the “Your Rewards” card, here’s what you need to know about it:

Where can you use it?

It can only be used at Elder Beerman and their other affiliated department stores which are Bon-Ton, Herberger’s, Bergner’s, Carson Pirie Scott, Boston Store, as well as Detroit-area Younkers and Parisian stores. The card can be used in store, online, and via catalog orders.

How do the rewards work?

  • 1 point per dollar spent at the above listed stores (excluding furniture)
  • Every 500 points earns a one-day shopping pass for up to 20% off (excluding furniture)
  • There are 4 different credit card tiers depending on how much is spent each year: 0-499 = Classic, 500-999 = Signature, 1000-1499 = Signature Select and 1500+ = Elite.
  • The one-day shopping pass reward for the Signature tier is 15%, while the Signature Select and Elite tiers get 20% (but only 15% on cosmetics/fragrances and home store.
  • Reward passes cannot be combined with any other coupon or offer

Are there any other benefits?

The higher reward tiers can get free shipping coupons up to 3x per year, however I notice their website offers free shipping on orders of $99 or more so that benefit may not be that useful. There are some sales and cardholder events that are held. Lastly, a “birthday celebration offer” is given for the cardholder’s birthday. They also mention that they make a donation to breast cancer research for every purchase with the card, but they make no mention of how much that actually is.

Are there any negatives?

Yes, unfortunately the Elder Beerman credit card carries extremely high interest rates. Previously, the exact APR depended on the applicant’s credit (so those with good credit might get a better rate). But now, they give the same 24.99% to everyone. The other drawback is the Elder Beerman card can only be used at their affiliated stores.

Where to apply?

You can only apply in-store. Unfortunately the Elder Beerman application is not available on their website.

Verdict?

If you’re diehard fan of this department store (like my grandma was!) then it might make sense to apply for the Elder Beerman credit card in order to get the rewards. However if you ever carry a balance, you should stay away – not even the rewards will make up the costs of the extremely high APR.

A better card for department stores…

Check out the American Express Blue Cash Preferred which gives 3% cash back at select major department stores in the US.

Updated for 2013

 
Comments
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

I worked at Elder Beerman for a long time. Most people do make their purchases on ther Elder Beerman Your Rewards card. I’d definitely recommend it just because of the amazing coupons you get through the mail. Most sales and coupons exclude certain brands such as Levi’s and other big brands, however most of the Your Rewards coupons are good on everything! It’s worth it, I promise! Many people would probably swear by it. It’s a good deal for both you and the store.