J Jill Credit Card Offers Better Rewards, But With Drawback

J Jill store's new 5% discountWhen Target launched the flat 5% discount for their credit card program back in 2010, I made the prediction that in the coming years, many other retailers would adapt similar programs. Why? Simply put, earning a 5% discount can be a compelling reason to apply for a card that otherwise, is quite lackluster at best.

Well since then, one of the retailers to copy the Target model is J Jill (in case you’re not familiar, they’re a women’s clothing store mainly for petite and misses. Current have 200+ locations.)

This newer version of the J Jill credit card I believe was launched a couple years ago. This is how the rewards program currently operates.

There’s a flat 5% discount given on purchases made with the card, with a few to be expected exclusions like gift cards, shipping, etc. Even though earning 5 points per dollar would essentially be the same thing, it’s nice to just get the 5% discount up front without the hoops. This is a big improvement, since the card previously didn’t have a rewards program to the best of my knowledge (but don’t quote me on that).

During the J Jill credit card account holder’s birthday month, there is an added 5% discount. Unlike other store cards which just do this for the birthday, this extra 5% is given all month long.

On occasion there may be “double discount” days throughout the year where an additional 5% is given on top of the regular 5%.

As with most store cards, there are sales, promotional mailings, etc. which are sent to J Jill account holders.

The signup promotion isn’t anything extraordinary though – it’s a 10% discount off the first purchase made on the same day the J Jill card account is opened. This is comparable to what many stores offer when applying.

But it’s not all roses in 2013…

The interest rate (at time of writing) is a frightening 26.99%.

Now obviously if you never carry a balance this won’t be a concern. However if you ever have the temptation to use your credit card for debt, then the rewards won’t be worth it if it means you will be paying interest, plain and simple. However this holds true for all credit cards, not just J Jill.

The other drawback – through no fault of J Jill but rather the concept of store cards in general – is the fact that since you are only using them for spending at one company, will they really be worth your time?

Do the math of how much you spend at J Jill stores per year and then take into account the rewards percentage. How much will you come out ahead? For some, saving say $30 or $40 per year isn’t worth the stress of another bill.

If you want a universal credit card that also earns extra rewards at clothing stores, then you should take a look at this new Discover card for 2013 is another one to consider. It gives 5% at apparel stores for part of the year.

Written or last updated for 2013

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