Younkers Credit Card: Should You Apply?

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:

complaint about Younkers senior discount

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.
You can’t redeem the 15% or 20% coupons for furniture or mattress purchases.
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.

Best alternative?

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.

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 recently applied for a Younkers credit card in the store when I made a large purchase because I’m moving from Colorado to Iowa soon, and I’m supplying a new home. After the first use, it said the account was declined. Huh? Shortly thereafter I got a letter from Comenity saying the account was on hold for suspicious activity. WHAT suspicious activity??

When my credit union or other company declines use of a credit card for supicious activity, you call them (still very annoying to have to do it at all), give them your ssn or something easy over the phone, and you have use immediately.

Comenity requires that I write a letter and send it, along with copies of front and back of my driver’s license, social security card, and something (utility bill etc.) that has my address on it. What a pain! I won’t be using THAT card again.

Good info. I’ve been purchasing some fiesta dinnerware. I wondered about getting Younker’s card. I won’t get one now thanks to this information. I get the Sunday paper and the ads and coupons are in the paper. I noticed that on my dinnerware you can’t use the coupons.

Used to Be Loyal Customer

I too do not like to air complaints but this one is too big to ignore. I have been trying to use your Rewards Program – it should be renamed the Punishment Program. Made an order last night on the phone for a regular price pair of shoes which had sold out of the store. I had two Rewards Cards – one for $20 and a Reward Card for 25% (NOT A COUPON!) – was told that she would manually enter the discount after our call and she gave me my total which I should expect to see within a confirmation email due in 30 minutes. Apparently, this was never done, got an email with only one Rewards Card used. I called back and the 2nd associate had not record of the first call, no notes – nothing. I was left with a – “we’ll try to correct this” and “expect an email”. Sure enough, today I got an email explaining that I couldn’t use my Rewards card with a coupon. I called back today and yet again, had to take my time to explain that I was not using a coupon. Had to wait over 4 hours for a supervisor to call me, she didn’t give me the courtesy of a return number to speak with her and she left a message indicating that I could not use a Coupon with a Rewards Card. Obviously, there is a broken system here, when a customer orders something over the phone and is reassured that the item is X price and that within 30 minutes a confirmation email will arrive – that should be it. I have spent over two hours of my time on this issue, between the ordering, emails and calls.

To clarify, myself and family have shopped at Younkers for over 28 years! What happened to the old standard of serving the customer’s needs first. Reading the other comments on this site, what happened to me with the online or over the phone ordering system is not the first situation where a customer was left in the cold.

I just came back from shopping @ Younkers Community Day Event in W. Burlington, IA; I was very displeased with the shoe dept-(they had an early bird discount,also)the cashiers were not very knowledgeable, had lines backed up- I stood in line 45 min-then had to be rang up twice as discounts/sale price varied so much. Not at all organized, very disappointing, as I am a regular customer. Forget the credit card.