Q: I have been a loyal customer of Younker’s department stores for decades and now they will no longer give the senior citizen discount unless I apply for a Younkers credit card. Should I do it or not?
A: I did some research and you aren’t the only one complaining about this issue. In fact, on the Younker’s Facebook page I saw this:
But whether you are a senior or not, here’s what you need to know about this credit card:
As you’ve probably noticed by now, the Younkers credit card application is not available online… so digging up information is not easy. To further complicate matters, when I looked I couldn’t find the credit card customer service phone number (there was only this page for email support). Fortunately after calling a couple numbers and getting transferred around, I was able to hunt down the number (which is 1-800-220-8597 if you’re also having difficulty finding it). I spoke with a rep to find out some more information about the credit card…
Which bank issues the card?
The Younkers card is managed and issued by HSBC, who handles cards for a number of different retailers. The other big issuer of store cards is GE Money and between these two companies, HSBC definitely has the better reputation.
What’s the APR?
As of the time of this review there was a variable interest rate ranging from 21.99% to 24.24% depending on your credit. These are very high but then again, so are most dept. store charge cards.
What are the benefits?
Since this isn’t a major credit card, you won’t get benefits like purchase protection, a free extended warranty on purchases, or other bells and whistles. However what you will get are some benefits for shopping at Younkers which we will review next.
How do the rewards work?
The credit card from Younkers only gives you 1 point per dollar spent. What you get for your points depends on how much you spend per year (the year goes by the calendar, Jan 1st thru Dec 31st). Here are the different spending tiers:
- 0-499 points = Classic: All credit card accounts start at this level and what you get with it is a birthday coupon, advance notice of sales and other cardholder savings.
- 500-999 points = Signature: When you’re in this tier the points won’t expire. The benefits listed on the website are the same as above, with a couple additional benefits. First of all, there is a free shipping coupon but you only get it once per year. Secondly, every 500 points accumulated earns a 15% coupon that can be used for one day.
- 1000-1499 points = Signature Select: This level provides with the Signature tier offers, except there are two free shipping passes per year and each 500 points equals a 20% coupon instead.
- 1500+ points = Elite: The added benefits with this tier are 3 shipping coupons per year and an offer (presumably a coupon?) on the anniversary.
There are some drawbacks to consider
1. Under regular circumstances you are only earning 1 point per dollar. Furniture purchases don’t earn points, so if you were thinking that would be a way to fast track your points, think again.
2. You can’t redeem the 15% or 20% coupons for furniture or mattress purchases.
3. The 20% coupons only apply to apparel, accessories, and fine jewelry. Fragrances, cosmetics, and the home store only get a 15% discount, unfortunately.
Does it make sense or not?
The biggest drawback with the Younkers credit card rewards are the way they are structured. When you do the math, the 15% off coupon isn’t necessarily as lucrative as it may seem. Let me give you an example:
Let’s say you spend $500 and receive a 15% off coupon
You redeem the 15% off coupon for a $100 purchase (saving you $15).
That means you had to spend $500 to get a $15, which equals only a 3% rebate on your spending.
For this credit card to make sense, in my opinion you have to be in the higher tiers and you also have to strategically use the coupons for big purchases. If not, the value just doesn’t seem to be there.
If you do decide the Younkers card is right for you, unfortunately you can’t apply online. You will have to go to the store and fill out an application in-person.
If you want a major credit card then I would recommend you learn more about the AmEx Blue Cash Preferred credit card.
This review was written or last updated November 17, 2013.