When do department store credit cards make sense?

Where you can talk about store credit cards, like gas station cards, department store cards, etc.
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Postby ooxs » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:57 pm

David you re so right, the keywords are PIF or PIF by the end of the promotion.

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Postby LTomBerry » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:08 pm

Yup, we PIF. And if the store wants to track which shampoo or toenail clippers I buy, whatever. I don't care. :ppp

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Postby ooxs » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:33 am

True LT, as a matter of fact i want them to know what i am buying. I want sears to send me targeted promotions / coupons for items i buy rather than 10% off on a new mattress every month.
When i stop by my neighborhood party store the clerk remember exactly what i buy ever week.
1. Big game ticket
2. My drink behind the counter.

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Postby JNK » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:01 am

I sure as heck want Macy's to know what I'm buying because the last thing I want to see in men's INC is a bunch of WTF shirts which seem to be all the rage right now in other departments (except for Polo, Tommy Bahama, and Nautica). On the other hand, I want them to know that I (mostly) appreciate their denim collection and that I'm taking advantage of their sales and very much appreciate the additional discounts and coupons I get.

That said, for someone like me who: 1) typically does 75%+ of their department store type shopping at Macy's or Bloomingdale's and 2) because my Macy's card is my oldest line of credit along with its American Express and 3) because there actually ARE benefits like bunches of useful coupons and advance notice of special shopping days to being loyal to Macy's and Bloomingdales and 4) because I get treated well because of my loyalty and 5) I never carry balances on the Macy's end of the card...

My department store credit card - especially cobranded with my favorite credit card company (though it was once a VISA) - makes a lot of sense to/for me.

Thing is, in my case, my cobranded VISA-turned-AMEX was my first rewards credit card (rewards credit cards were notoriously difficult to apply for back when I got this card as I was only building credit, still) and so since I did a lot of my purchases on the VISA (and at one time was employed by Macy's), I was earning serious rewards with Macy's.

I guess for me, there is a bit of nostalgia that fuels my loyalty, but really. In my case, I get some pretty awesome benefits. As a black card member, I get even more.

If I were to just use a regular credit card, I would earn my cashback but I wouldn't be earning coupons and I wouldn't be getting my coupons. $10 off $30, 20% off everything, $20 off $50, and the private sale event coupons and the Friends and Family coupons have saved me a lot of money on things I was going to buy anyways. YES, coupons do come with exclusions, but regardless of these exclusions, I still manage to save a ton because I still get OTHER coupon or coupon-events that has no exclusions.
Personal Collection:

AMEX: Everyday (MR), Macy's (cobranded)
MASTER: Citibank Dividend Platinum Select (non-World version)
VISA: Chase Amazon Signature, Chase (bank issued)
GE: Care Credit (medical expenses), Macy's (store), JCP (store)

Business Collection:

AMEX: Costco True Earnings
VISA: Chase Ink Cash

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Postby JBJ » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:02 am

Most dept store credit cards actually make a lot of sense, especially if you don't really need the credit.

1.) they are much easier to get than a normal credit card, thus helping you build credit.

2.) I don't know how it was back in 2008 when this thread was started, but right now department store cards are loaded with benefits. JCPenney for example routinely sends me 20% OFF entire purchase coupons. If you spend overall even just $1,000 every year buying apparel for your family you are saving $200/year by simply paying with a store cred card instead of writing a check, for example. Many other store cards do the same - Men's Warehouse gives you 5% off your purchase automatically every time you use your store card, Kohls send me 20% and 30% off coupons all the time, Macy's is the same way, etc.

Hmmm, let me see, do I want to get 5% cash back with my Discover card or do I want to save 30% by using a Kohls card with the coupon?!? This should be a no-brainer.

There are only two major store credit cards that offer absolutely no benefits - Amazon and Walmart. Other than those 2, it's totally worth having a store card or five :)

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Postby FutureBillionaire » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:37 pm

JBJ, what other store cards do you recommend? The only one I have is Express. I thought about Banana Republic...
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

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Postby JBJ » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:22 pm

FutureBillionaire wrote:JBJ, what other store cards do you recommend? The only one I have is Express. I thought about Banana Republic...

Well, it all depends on where you like to shop.

In my case apparel is the biggest expense, so I have store cards with Kohls, Macys, JCP and Mens Warehouse. They all offer discounts in the form of 20%-30% off coupons when you pay with card, except Mens Warehouse, which offers 5% off every time, no coupons needed. Since I am never in a hurry to buy clothes or shoes I simply wait for a big card member offer to arrive and then go shopping :-) The best thing is that often the card member coupons will coincide with a store sale, which makes me laugh all the way to the bank (I love paying less for the same thing people paid significantly more just yesterday). I am so used to paying 20%+ less in those dept. stores - I feel that paying "on sale" price is getting shafted :)

Overall all those cards are great, even if you shop there just once a year. They dont have any fees, so you loose nothing if you dont use them. But we all need socks and pants and shoes - why not pay Walmart prices for a good quality garment? :money:

However, I know nothing about their interest rate or customer service. A day or two after I use those cards my charge is posted online and I pif it through my bank account. In a way I use them as coupon cards, rather than credit cards. As far as I can remember their rates are in the high 20s so I can see how they would not be all that special for someone actually financing their purchases.

But if you just want to game the system - go for it. Do you want to get 600 points with Amex ($6 equivalent?) on a $200 purchase or pay only $160? :ppp

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Postby CC Deville » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:44 pm

Target credit cards and Debit cards offer 5% off every time you use them. Lowe's offers 5% off every time you use them. I would argue that Kohl's is good for the coupons as is Macy's and JC Penney. Again, it depends on where you shop and when it comes to retail cards always, always pay them in full.

Walmart's benefit is that they offer interest free for a set period of time if you spend a certain amount. I forget what it is but kind of useful for electronics or tires/car repairs.

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Postby Money card » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:31 pm

FutureBillionaire wrote:JBJ, what other store cards do you recommend? The only one I have is Express. I thought about Banana Republic...

Future, Banana Republic makes a lot of sense because you can also use the card at the gap or old navy so you can use 1 card in 3 stores.

Different from Kohls and target where you can only use Kohl's at a Kohl's store or if they even have a outlet you can use it there, same as target only at a target store.

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Postby DavidNY » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:47 pm

I picked up a Target debit card which offers 5% off most items at their B&M stores and on their website. The charge is pulled from my bank account a few days after I shop. I like it.

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