Express Fashion Credit Card Review

mens clothing storeThe Express clothing store card recently re-vamped its rewards. Is it worth a look?

Getting a clothing/retailer’s credit card rarely makes sense. There are really just three circumstances when you should apply for one:

  1. You can’t get anything better, because you need to get a starter card to establish credit history.
  2. The store card operates on a major payment network (like the Sams Club Discover card). That way you will be able to use the card at more than just the affiliated store.
  3. The retailer’s rewards program is insanely generous and you spend enough with them to justify the hassle of getting their store-only card.

So unless you meet one or more of those qualifications, a retailer’s card just doesn’t make sense. So that brings us to the question… does the new Express Fashion credit card make the cut? Well here’s the lowdown on the new “Next” rewards program.

Express Next credit card

This is the card everyone starts out with. There’s no annual fee.

Rewards: It pays 15 points per dollar spent. That may sound like a boatload, but every 2,500 points = $10 reward. So that means each point is only worth $0.004 (less than half a penny). However that’s still a good rewards value, because it means the rebate is 6%. Also there are days each month where additional points can be earned.

Birthday: There is also a “birthday gift” but the Express store card application doesn’t tell us what that is. But I did some digging around and according to an FAQ on Quora, it’s reportedly a $10 coupon.

Coupons: Like most store cards, expect to get coupons/promotions in the mail on occasion.

Express A-List credit card

This is also called “Next” but they add “A-List” onto the name to jazz it up. If you earn 7,500+ points in a given year, then the Express A-List upgrade will happen. Since there’s 15 pts/dollar that means this happens after you spend $500. Keep in mind the year resets on the anniversary date of when you opened the account and to maintain the A-List level, you have to continue to spend that much to keep it.

Rewards: Like the other card, this one also earns 15 points per dollar. However unlike the other one, with the Express Next A-List program the points are worth more – every 2,500 points = $15 rewards (versus $10 on the regular card). So each point is worth $0.006 (50% more) and that brings the total rewards to the equivalent of 9%.

Birthday: This version also gives a birthday gift but the application says it’s a “premium” gift. What does that mean? That I couldn’t find the answer to (but if you know, feel free to chime in on the comments). My guess, based on similar store credit cards, is that the coupon is probably around 2x the base level, which would be $20 for this card. But again that’s just my best guess.

Coupons: Ditto as above.

Shipping: Orders on Express.com get free shipping with the A-List card. However keep in mind that you can often find promo codes (w/o the Express credit card) for free shipping, too.

Now for the bad things

Interest Rates: Both of the Express Fashion credit cards are issued by World Financial Network Bank (WFNNB) who are notorious for dishing out ridiculous APRs. With these cards you’re going to pay a steep 24.99% APR. But remember if you pay your bill in full and on-time every month, interest charges can be avoided.

Store-Use Only: It’s not branded with any major payment network, so the only thing this is good for is shopping at Express stores.

Credit Limit: Some reviews I’ve heard say the Express store card’s credit limit can be quite low. One guy said $200. Obviously better credit scores/history will get better limits. But if you get stuck with a low limit keep in mind how that may affect your credit to debt ratio if you don’t manage it properly.

Verdict?

Would I fill out an Express store card application just to get 15% off the first purchase? Definitely not! Using that as a reason to get a retailer’s card is a bad idea, unless maybe you’re shopping at Lowes or Home Depot where your first purchase could be thousands of dollars. Then the one-time 10-15% discount can be worth it.

However if you frequently shop at their stores, then the Express clothing credit card has one of the best programs on the market, in terms of the percentage rebate it gives. That especially holds true if the account is upgraded to the A-List level. But if you only spend a low amount there, say $500/year, it might not be worth that hassle because that would only net you $30 in rewards.

Other good options for 2013?

If you don’t spend enough at Express to warrant getting their credit card, then check out these:

This review was written or last updated August 9, 2013

 
Comments
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I use to love this shop until now, their customer service sucks.i return some stuff and didn’t receive credit for it, I was out of the country,so I called customer service and they didn’t help. it’s been 9 months now, I have filed a couple of disputes but still no help, I don’t know what to do but I know I am not going to pay for something I returned. And the annoying thing is that the interest is accumulating And it messing up my credit score.i need help

It’s the only clothing store cc that I have, mostly because it’s the on clothing store I really buy clothes from. But this is a great card if you shop at express a lot, if you don’t then I would suggest getting it. Express constant runs deals like spend 150 get 50 off, and that’s just for joining the mailing list, but combine that with the point system and if you shop when the items will get you double points and you and easily get the a-list status and maintain it. You can also get points by retweeting the CEO or the Express account, doing store check-ins, and writing reviews online, if diligent enough that alone could get you 15 bucks.

As for the CL, mine is at 250 and I have decent credit, I have maxed the card out and paid the balance in full a number of times, thinking maybe this would get them to up my limit, but each time the response is my account is too new, even though it’s two years old, oh we’ll guess that is just better for me, or perhaps they know I rack the points up crazy.

And the A-list birthday GC is $40 I just got mine for my December bday and was shocked really only expected it to be 15. Have never received such a large GC for a birthday. It may go up depending on your years as a A-list member. And if you couple that with some deals you could easily get a few items for free or for no more than 25 bucks.

Totally worth it if you shop there a lot.

I shop at Express all the time. You don’t need the credit card for the birthday reward, just need to be an Express Next member. Last year they gave me a $40 store credit for my birthday, so I got a belt for free.

Can I apply for the Express card while I am on bad credit.

I had a low CS due to school loans and that was during the same time I was preselected, I’d say check it out and see.

Why would anyone want to do business or have a credit card with a company that charges $15.00 when you pay your bill electronically on top of the 24% interest? I wonder what other hidden fees they use to cheat youout of your hard earned money???? Aren’t enough coupons to make this an ok charge. Beware of what you you are getting yourself into with card.

They don’t charge you to pay them online, I’ve been a CC holder for two years and never paid to pay them, not in store or online.

I was just pre-approved for one of these while trying to buy something off Express last week. CL is $1,000 and they didn’t HP me when I accepted it. (The word on the street is that WFNNB is known for doing this. They did the SP on my EQ, which is in the mid 600s right now. I don’t plan on using much but am hoping it will grow nicely.

FYI, the credit limit on my NEXT A-list card is $1,030, so the range is pretty big of what limit you might get. I’m looking forward to receiving my birthday gift next week! $40 isn’t bad at all.

A-List Premium birthday gift was $40 for me in 2012. It was awesome. Did not know about the free shipping for A-list! Is that an auto feature at checkout? Didn’t see any promos detailing that prior to my last purchase online.

I LOVE my Express card. I just gr bumped up to the A list and am very excited about the free shipping. Also, for my birthday that was in July they gave me a $40 reward, which I thought was awesome.

Like Chrissy said this is the only “retail” credit card i use!!! I am 27 and a borderline extreme coupon-er. I only shop at express when i have a coupon and I only buy things that are on sale. If its not on sale this week it will be in the next few weeks, i can wait. And there are always coupons out. right now if you text Swank to 397737 you can get there latest coupon sent right to your phone so you can use it as many times as you want. Also check their website from your phone and you can show them the coupon code right at the register. there is usually always one on there. Now to the Express Next credit card part. I am an A-List member, its really not hard to get to that in a year, so I get the $15 rewards. Last time I went shopping I bought 7 1MX shirts. 1 belt and 1 tie and 1 polo. I split the sale into 2 transactions so I could use 2 coupons and as a surprise and delight i also had a reward i could use, $30 off!!! Everything in the store was B1G1 50% off My original total was $550 before tax, sale and coupons. I ended up paying $278 after tax. thats a 47% discount and that got me 4170 points toward my next $30 off reward. As long as you pay your balance in full every month this is one of the best cards you can get!

Express is the only “retail” credit card i use!!! Both my husband and I wear Express almost daily so we rack up points pretty quickly. I maintain a zero balance so I don’t get hit with the ridiculous APR. The only thing I don’t like is that they make it a hassle to pay in store. However, it’s easy to pay online through the phone/tablet/pc/etc. It seems like they throw points at you for whatever reason, and I absolutely love the free shipping. They frequently have $15 off $30 coupons, so I can get a $49.9 blouse 30% off delivered to my home for $20. Not bad for a “dressy” shirt that will withstand multiple washings and is figure flattering.