TJ Maxx Credit Card Review (Updated For 2014)

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Q: I shop a lot at TJ Maxx and between myself, two kids and my husband, we spend quite a bit of money there. I have considered applying for their MasterCard but because it’s a store credit card I’m hesitant. Do you think it would be a good one for me to have?

A: There are really three questions here, so let’s tackle them one at a time:

(1) Is the TJ Maxx store card good/bad?
(2) Are store cards in general good/bad?

(3) Would the card make sense for your personal circumstances?

TJ Maxx credit card: good or bad?

TJ Maxx has two different versions – a store-only version and a MasterCard. When you complete an application you aren’t given the option of which one you want, the one you receive (if approved) will depend on your credit history.

This is a bad deal because you might end up with the private label store-only version (which can’t be used everywhere like the version with a MasterCard logo), even if you didn’t want a store card when you applied. The inability to specify which version you’re applying for is a major negative.

Here’s what both version have in common…

Rewards: At TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls you earn 5 points per dollar for all purchases. 1,000 points = $10 rewards certificate which translates to earning a 5% rebate at these stores on your in-store purchases. There are no caps on the amount that can be earned. That’s not a bad deal considering the merchandise is already fairly discounted compared to full price retail stores.
Annual Fee: none
Interest Rate: As I write this the credit card application lists a single rate tier of 26.99% for both cards. Obviously, that is extremely high, even for a store card! This is disappointing because even if you have great credit, you will get stuck with same rate as those who are less creditworthy. That’s simply not fair.
Signup Promotion: Both versions have the same new account offer of 10% off the first purchase. This is the typical type of promotion that hooks most people into getting store credit cards, but at least this one has pretty good ongoing rewards as where most store cards don’t.

Here’s where they differ… The TJ Maxx Rewards Platinum MasterCard can also be used any place MasterCard is accepted. On those purchases, it gives a straight 1 point per dollar. Also, it provides many of the same benefits you’ve come to expect from a MasterCard issued by a bank. In short, this is comparable to a regular credit card.
Verdict? For shopping at TJ Maxx stores and affiliates the rewards are quite respectable. However, the interest rate is insanely high. Obviously, the takeaway should be to pay your balance in full each month with this card.

Second, let’s talk about store cards in general…

retail store card solicitationWhen it comes to credit cards issued by department stores and other retailers, you are smart in being hesitant. Overall, the store card industry has earned a reputation for some pretty shady and consumer-unfriendly tactics.

First and foremost, many of them have really terrible customer service, which often gets outsourced. Just read reviews on this site or elsewhere and you will see that store cards garner a lot of complaints in this area.

Secondly, more often than not, store cards are designed for those with low credit scores. In turn, their interest rates can be artificially high compared to general use credit cards. It’s not unusual for the most creditworthy applicants to be given APRs in the 20 percent range.

Third, due to the quality of the customer base, the credit limits on some store cards are significantly lower than what you would expect from a bank-issued credit card.

That may not bother you but here’s what you might not realize: your credit score can be affected by the percentage of credit limit used (known as the credit utilization ratio). As a rule of thumb, the less you use, the better. If you’re regularly using 30% to 50% or more of your credit limit, that might negatively impact your score. And if a store only gives you a limit of $300, using just $90 of it would already put you at 30%. See how that could be a problem? However let me be clear… the above points are not in reference to the TJ Maxx credit card specifically. Rather I am just referring to the store card industry as whole and what you will find more often than not. In this industry there are good and bad apples… more of the latter, but you will find a few that don’t come with the above drawbacks.

Will this card make sense for you?

If you ever carry a balance the answer is a big “NO!” But that aside, when it comes to store cards I always ask people this simple question:

How much do you typically spend per year at their stores?

Usually this is an easy way to determine whether a TJ Maxx card (or any given store card) will make financial sense for you. Let’s say you spend $5,000 per year at their stores (which is highly unlikely)… the 5% rewards would equal an impressive $250. However if you make just a few hundred dollars in purchases, your annual earnings would hardly be worth noticing. For example, $500 per year would net you only $25 worth of reward certificates. If you don’t shop enough at TJ Maxx to make it worth your while, you would be much better off with a cash back rewards card like this Discover it or the Freedom by Chase, both of which give 5% in rotating categories (which sometimes include department and apparel stores).
This post was written or last updated August 4, 2014


-----
Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

46 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. McLevin September 12, 2014 at 9:52AM

    I opened a TJMaxx rewards card to get 10% off my purchase. I had not even activated the card when another account popped up on my credit report from TJ Maxx. I called them noting that there were now two accounts appearing. They were not helpful, claimed I needed to call the credit bureau and did nothing for me to even investigate. Also- and I work in customer service so this is big for me – the lady was so scripted and uninterested in my concern that she spoke so quickly I could not understand a word. INFURIATING!! credit is a big deal. do NOT get this card if you care about yours. thank goodness I have alerts setup!

  2. Jose Vazquez August 15, 2014 at 3:18PM

    My minimum payment due is $0 and my payment due date is in 08/20/2014 = in five days. How can I know the minimum payment? Help please.

  3. jessy almares August 9, 2014 at 6:39PM

    I have a tjmaxx mastercard I’ve had it for 2years now && till this day I do not hav any issues with the card!

  4. Daleena June 26, 2014 at 1:07PM

    TERRIBLE customer service. Incompetent. They don’t have a good system for keeping track of rewards certificates and when you mention you have not received or used them and need them re-issued they send you on Mr. Toads Wild Ride. Will close ass soon as I get what is owed to me.

  5. Krissy June 16, 2014 at 4:10PM

    This card is a joke. I have a 760 credit score, mortgage in perfect standing, over $100K in available credit and GE gives me a $200 limit on this card! Unreal. I was using the card frequently and paying the balance in full each month and then when I requested a CL increase, I was denied. Really? I can get a Chase Sapphire card with a $20K limit but I can’t get $1000 on this POS? CLOSED.

  6. Rebekah June 2, 2014 at 3:39PM

    We have a TJ Maxx/ Marshalls card and have had nothing but problems. They decreased our credit limit after paying regularly and much higher than the minimum payment. We ended up taking a hit on our credit because when they did that, our percentage of usage increased! Now this last time, we paid it off, and when I went to check on our account to make sure everything was still good (since I don’t trust them at all) I found that they had added a $2 “interest” charge after I had already paid it off! If I hadn’t paid it by TODAY I would have gotten a late charge of $35!!!!! The agent removed the $2 charge and we are back at a 0 balance, but if that had slipped by, I would have had a bogus late charge!!! They really are crooks!

  7. Reenamarie April 28, 2014 at 3:11PM

    GE is bad all the way around. They have closed several of my accounts with them because I dont keep high balances. I pay them off in full and they still close my cards, saying my credit is lower than ever, when actually its higher than its ever been.

    • Thom May 21, 2014 at 3:13PM

      BEWARE!!!! first of all i let the sales clerk talk me into getting the card…stupid….as i have always paid cash/debit, went to make my payment online, and filled out the information to do it…i entered the balance due, as i pay my cards off each month, and what i didnt see before i punched “submit”, (i didnt see it quick enough) as i thought i was paying only the balance, was a $6.99 transaction fee….this is more than the interest on the credit…what a rip off…i will close the account, and not get another card from any retail store…just heard that i have to change my e-bay pw because they have been hacked too…..so much easier to steal from people in cyberspace isnt it

  8. Reenamarie April 28, 2014 at 3:11PM

    GE is bad all the way around. They have closed several of my accounts with them because I dont keep high balances. I pay them off in full and they still close my cards, saying my credit is lower than ever, when actually its higher than its ever been.

  9. Idella nealy March 28, 2014 at 11:24PM

    How do i get credit increase

    • idella May 15, 2014 at 11:10PM

      Looking for credit increase

  10. Idella nealy March 28, 2014 at 11:13PM

    Trying to find out what dept do i go to request credit increase

    • Brittney April 8, 2014 at 9:11PM

      Credit lenders have online banking, and most have request increase next to where total limit is. It’s a link.

  11. Louise March 27, 2014 at 1:30PM

    They’re running a promotion again… 5 points for restaurant and groceries in April. Thing is they did the same promo in Nov of 2013. I went on a trip & used that tjx card exclusively. I still have not received those points even after several phone calls. Whenever I finally DO get my points (which now they’re telling me were 3 points per$ not 5) I’m using them @ canceling the card. It’s not worth it.

  12. darlene risner January 30, 2014 at 3:57PM

    I WISH THAT YOU WOULD PLEASE BRING PEP SIZE IN CLOTHES I REALLY DO MISS THEM BECAUSE I AM SHORT PLEASE BRING THEM BACK THANK YOU DARLENE RISNER

  13. shora December 29, 2013 at 8:51PM

    I have just gotten a tjx rewards platinum master card with $1400 credit line but i still not known how long it should take me to pay back

  14. Pono December 9, 2013 at 6:12AM

    The TJMaxx credit card is a good one if you like shopping at their stores. So far, so good as I have not yet encountered a problem with this store card. The high interest is given so it’s better to buy as much as possible only what you can payoff in the next month. I received a Mastercard with a $1,400 limit which is a pretty decent limit for a store card. My Chase freedom on the other hand have a $500 credit limit and I was declined for a request to increase it to $1000, despite having a good credit score and not carrying balances on my credit cards. Of all the store credit cards, I do not recommend the Target store card, I got approved for $200 and have not received a CLI in more than 2 years and they don’t accomodate CLI request either.

  15. crystal December 8, 2013 at 1:03AM

    STAY AWAY! This past month I was charged $29 of interest for having a $409 balance. This is ridiculous. I ALWAYS pay my bills before the deadline and they have charged me a late fee three times. They seem to always find ways to charge me for something. And their customer service isn’t the best when you call in with your problems. They charge you interest on the average daily balance during the month and not the amount you owe at the end of your billing statement. I regret applying for this card. They have taken so much of my money that I didn’t even owe!

  16. Patty December 4, 2013 at 4:11PM

    This card is great for me :) I was approved even though I have minimal credit history (in college) which is great for building credit. I never carry a balance so the interest rate is not a factor and they raised my credit limit almost immediately after my first on time payment. It’s a super easy card and you can connect the card to do scheduled payments so I never worry about paying late.

  17. meredith November 18, 2013 at 9:02PM

    THIS CARD SUCKS> STAY FAR AWAY!!! I opened this card two months ago and I pay my bill early to open the credit limit and have the rewards – well turns ou there is a consequence for this. The company got a direct payment from the bank for $1000 and $1500 on two separate occassions. They refuse to release the funds or credit card for use for six days even though the money has been withdrawn from the bank. Pretty ironic they charge interest for late payment but do not pay me interest for holding my money hostage. I submitted a report to the BBB and hopefully they can help.

    I would NEVER recommend this card. Sure the rewards are great but how embarrassing for the card to be rejected even though you have available credit. And talking to the supervisors did nothing except telling me the reason they hold the funds is b/c I pay early. What a scam.

  18. Shelby November 15, 2013 at 8:04AM

    If I just don’t use the card and don’t have any payments due will it charge me of anything or can I just cut the dang thing in half and stop using it?

  19. Regina October 23, 2013 at 10:21AM

    I love the credit card itself; however, GE Capitol’s customer service surely “SUCKS!” I have had the card for 11 months and made all payments timely and the majority was made in full. This month, I received the bill which reflected a late fee and interest of course. There was no record of my September’s payment of $70.48 paid in full via their customer service. Naturally, I called to inquire about the discrepancy and was advised that they indeed had no record of my payment so I checked my online bank account while still on the phone with customer service and sure enough no debit on their behalf. When I challenged this the rep asked me for a confirmation number for the September’s payment well, unlike me, I had not noted it. In a haste, I demanded the late fee be reversed and closure of my account. They later sent me a letter of cancellation and as a result I called to ask for the account to remain open and they denied my request. They advised me that only one account per a 12 month period.

  20. H a October 19, 2013 at 7:24AM

    Dont get the TJ Maxx card. They are suspicious of payments over $1000 and freeze your account for 7-10 days after your payment posts and clears your own bank. A scam to keep your payments to a minimum and let interest accrue.

    • meredith November 18, 2013 at 9:03PM

      I so agree. I just filed with the BBB about this. They should be fined for this behavior. The fact they can charge interest for late payments but not pay me interest for holding my money hostage is disgusting.

  21. Mike September 5, 2013 at 8:10AM

    We opened an account over-the-phone with them in Spring 2013, and included a purchase at the time. They got our address wrong, so we never got the first bill. The mail carrier finally recognized our name and knew our address by the time the first non-payment notice arrived. Totally screwed our credit rating, and this is right in the middle of escrow! I would never EVER recommend this company after this traumatic experience.

  22. Lucina July 18, 2013 at 9:54PM

    While I do shop at TJMaxx and will continue to use the card, it is REALLY, REALLY important to remember some things about this card. The interest rate is RIDICULOUSLY high at 26.99%. DO NOT EVER RUN A BALANCE ON THIS CARD! Do not put anything on this card that you can’t pay off each month. If you are a good paying customer, you can get a one-time mistake which incurs a late fee taken off. They will do that. I have excellent credit, but they apparently simply DO NOT give out credit limits higher than $10,000, no ifs, ands, or buts. They are rigid and can be difficult to deal with if there’s a problem. The problem is the fees and the incredibly high interest rates. Play the game. If you run balances each month, find a card to transfer it to. DO NOT GIVE THEM 26.99% interest on your balance! The only reason to have this card is to get the rewards back in TJMaxx store credit.

  23. Silver June 14, 2013 at 9:28PM

    I just got this card and for the life of things nowhere on the site can I find my due date to make a payment. The automated teller says I have no payment due, but I know I have a charge on the card its posted to my account information online…so why can i not have more information as to when my bill is due and what the minimum balance is? I can already sense my late payment fee leaving my wallet.

  24. Justin Maxwell June 3, 2013 at 5:33AM

    I have been shopping at all three of the TJX brands (Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, and Homegoods) for years now. The card is a great card to have for me. Yes, the interest rate is at 26.99% but after doing research on other cards, the interest rate is just as high, the key is to not purchase what you cannot afford, pay the balance off within the grace period of 30 days and get your Reward points, Credit 101. I have been with the card since it was backed by CHASE bank, which was a horrible experience. The TJX Rewards card is now banked by GE Capital, I have not had a problem with the customer service thus far and from the research that I have done (yes I do a lot of research), GE backs a lot of credit cards that I had no idea (Wal-mart, Banana Republic, American Eagle..and the list just goes on and on). The card is great for shoppers, but like with any credit card, you just have to know HOW to use your credit wisely.

  25. djones January 25, 2013 at 9:56AM

    I would hands down NOT recommend a TJX rewards card for a consumer. Let me begin by saying that I am a very frequent shopper at TJMaxx (by that I mean that I have spend more than 6500 in the store within the last 12 months). I received a TJX rewards card with a 2000.00 limit and have very good credit. When the charges on the card reached 1000.00, my credit line was automatically decreased to 1400.00. TJX cust service stated that this was standard practice. Keep in mind this is with an excellent payment history and not so much as a single late payment/missed payment, etc (I was told that they did not take payment history into account for credit line decreases). As referenced above, the percentage of usage on your card can cause a hit to your credit score, and this card caused a hit on mine once the limit was decreased. Despite talking to customer service, and despite still having a high credit rating (in the top 20%) they would not reinstate the previous limit….terrible customer service. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU, BEING A GREAT CUSTOMER AND RESPONSIBLE USER OF CREDIT THROUGH TJMAXX WILL NOT GET YOU REWARDED! I have paid off my balance in full and now owe nothing. I will keep the card open so that it will not further impact my credit, but will never use this card again for purchases. Big mistake TJMAXX, not only will you never again earn profits from the incredibly high percentage rate you were charging me, but you will also lose the 195,000.00 I would have spent in your store over the course of my life, as I will NEVER shop at TJMAXX again.

    • alialilee December 7, 2013 at 9:32PM

      You do realize that TJ Maxx is NOT your creditor. It is GE Capital. I think you are being ridiculous for stating you will never shop at one place again over their credit provider. I love shopping at TJ Maxx! The store I go to always has great customer service and plus I love their prices! I’m not going to punish a certain location because GE sucks. They are jerks, they are rude. They have horrible business practices for their customers and their merchants they serve.

      • Katz September 20, 2014 at 5:33AM

        They are not ridiculous with their choice. It’s THEIR choice!!

  26. natasha December 13, 2012 at 3:36PM

    How long does it take to get a credit increase? I open the account with $500 limit but now its been almost a year with no increased limit (no late payments or missed payments either)

  27. Em Eliza Jane December 10, 2012 at 7:12AM

    My mother and father over the years have spent tens of thousands between TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I got my clothing as a kid at Marshalls and am now in my late 40′s. I spend thousands per year but am thinking about stopping because I got involved with their credit card. I’ve cancelled the account after not being able to contact them by phone because an automated system wanted part of my social security number and I didn’t want to supply it, the customer service people finally reached were rude and unprofessional, the amounts they charge are usurious, and there are many other credit cards available that don’t have hidden fees.

  28. restorationgirl November 17, 2012 at 9:02PM

    TJ Max credit card is through GE Capital which I didn’t ask about before applying & receiving. As soon as I saw on the back it was GE & heard the foreign customer service rep who acted flippant & actually laughed at me when I asked if there was a ‘grace period’ since I missed the due date which was yesterday…… I knew I’d made a giant mistake. They are the biggest bunch of crooks. I’m looking forward to paying off my account, taking the balance down as low as it will go and cancelling the card ASAP. Do not get TJ Maxx’s credit card no matter what offers or perks they tell you about in the store.

  29. evey hammond October 17, 2012 at 10:13PM

    I’ve had a TJ Maxx card for years and since I shop there pretty regularly, it makes sense for me. BUT, I always pay off the full balance each month. It makes no sense to use this card if you carry a balance.

    • Ana October 21, 2013 at 5:52AM

      Please, don’t insult my intelligence. I had the card for three months, made all payments of the full balance right on time, and even so they delayed posting the balance ON PURPOSE at the GR account to charge the interest. That card and that bank are a ripoff. I am an Amazon customer and I was considering their credit card until I discovered that the bank behind it was GE Capital.

  30. sol c September 1, 2012 at 2:34PM

    i regret of having TJ MAXX credit card the interst rate is way so high..im trying to pay it off then i will not use it no more..cant wait til i paid it off.

    • Pauline November 17, 2012 at 11:34AM

      I agree. I just noticed a rate increase of 26.99% on pg 2 (hidden away). When I called the svc center they said this rate was started May 2012. I spend probably 10000/yr. If this rate increase is how they reward their customers then I don’t want a part of this. I will take my business elsewhere.

      • Mike August 23, 2013 at 9:40AM

        Yeah actually when I signed up it was a lower rate – I didn’t realize it had gone up. i thought it seemed like my payments were getting higher. I can’t find anywhere on my online access where it states the terms.

  31. p griffus August 24, 2012 at 9:06PM

    How long does it take TJ Maxx to mail the credit certificates for earned points? I should be getting $60 free cash that I’d like to spend but how long before they send it???

  32. Dee Dee January 13, 2012 at 7:12AM

    What credit score are stores looking for to extend a credit card approval? I need more revolving credit because I have very little, and I am trying to improve my credit score so I don’t want to take the risk of being denied. If my score is a 609 is this an automatic denial?

    • sharion February 10, 2012 at 9:20AM

      Do not get this card the interest rate is crazy and I sent my payment on time and they said I was late charged me $35 I still have an open account but I am not going to use it again

      • Pauline November 17, 2012 at 11:36AM

        Write a letter to corporate…if it helps. If not take your business elsewhere. There are alot of great places to shop…even eBay/Amazon with ease of returns.

  33. mary jones December 5, 2011 at 4:18PM

    I shop at TJ Maxx stores all the time. I love their kids and men clothes but don’t have many in my size 3x but I still shop in this store at least 3x a week and every weekend. and they will not accept me for their credit card.

    • Jack January 12, 2012 at 10:46AM

      Your credit sucks

  34. mary jones December 5, 2011 at 4:16PM

    I shop in your stores all the time I love your kids and men clothes you don’t have many in my size 3x or larger but I still shop in this store at least 3x a week and every weekend. and you all will not except me for credit.

Leave a Comment

*