The 5 best store cards for shoppers in 2022 – ZDNet

If you’ve shopped at any major store, you’ve likely heard their credit card pitch. More often than not, signing up for a store credit card to get a one-time discount isn’t worth it. However, there are a few co-branded store cards that are worth considering.

Just be sure to pay off the entire statement balance each month in order to avoid the typical high APR most store cards carry.

Intro BonusUp to a $150 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval

APR14.24% to 22.24% Variable

Recommended Credit N/A

Reward Rates

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership*
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores*
  • 1% back on all other purchases*

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Additional Details

If you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature should be an easy decision. Cardholders will earn an impressive cashback rate for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases for no annual fee or membership. Cardholders get a $50 Amazon gift card upon approval if you need more incentives.

In addition to its rewards, the card can help protect your purchases with an Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection. It can also give cardholders some added security while traveling thanks to its Travel Accident Insurance, rental car insurance, and Baggage Delay Insurance, among others.

While this version of the card doesn’t require a Prime membership, if you already have one, you’ll be issued the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card. It offers 5% cashback instead of 3% and a larger gift card as a welcome bonus. 

Pros:

  • Good rewards
  • Shopping and travel protections
  • No annual fee or membership fee
  • Access to Amazon’s huge collection of goods
  • $50 gift card upon approval

Cons:

  • Prime membership needed to get better rewards

Intro BonusN/A

APR22.90% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Good/Excellent

Reward RatesN/A

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Additional Details

If Target visits are the highlight of your weekend, you’ve likely come across an offer for the Target RedCard. It’s a great way to earn a solid cash back rate for all of your Target purchases. At no annual fee, 5% cashback is an impressive rate. However, cardholders are limited to only using it at Target.

That said, you can use the card to purchase gift cards for other retailers and earn 5% cashback for them, meaning cardholders can still earn rewards for non-Target purchases.

The benefits include extended returns, two-day shipping, and exclusive offers. So it would make a good addition to any Target-lover’s wallet.

Pros

  • 5% cashback for Target purchases
  • Extended returns
  • Two-day shipping

Cons

  • It can only be used at Target

Intro BonusYou will receive $40 off your qualifying first order if it is at least $250

APR27.24% Variable

Recommended Credit N/A

Reward Rates

  • 5% back in Rewards at Wayfair

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Additional Details

Is your house in need of some new furniture? The Wayfair Mastercard could be a good choice. And not only will you earn rewards for that new dining set, but you can also use the card for groceries if you don’t have a dedicated card that earns more.

It also has a bit of versatility when it comes time to order. For every Wayfair purchase, you can choose to either earn rewards or utilize a deferred financing option where you can pay the purchase down within a specified time at no interest.

Pros

  • 5% cashback with Wayfair
  • 3% cashback for groceries
  • No annual fee
  • Differed financing options

Cons

  • High APR
  • Few other perks

Intro BonusN/A

APR15.49% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Excellent

Reward Rates

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
  • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Additional Details

The Costco Anywhere Visa Card will cost you nothing more than the price of a Costco membership. So if you’re already a member, there’s no reason to not get the Costco card. Earn rewards for the purchases you’re probably already making, like Costco gas and goods.

It can be used anywhere Visa is accepted and earns a solid cashback rate for dining and travel purchases. And again, while there is no annual fee, you will need to be a Costco member, which costs $60 annually.

Pros

  • Good rewards for Costco gas
  • It can be used outside of Costco
  • Low APR

Cons

  • Few perks
  • Costco membership required

Intro BonusIntroductory offer: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card with Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval

APR17.99% – 26.99% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Average, Fair, Good, Excellent

Reward Rates

  • Earn 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery
  • Earn 2% cash back in Walmart stores & fuel stations, at restaurants and on travel
  • Earn 1% cash back everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Additional Details

The Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers shoppers good rewards for their online Walmart purchases. The card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, but cardholders will only earn 1% cashback for those purchases. However, it doesn’t come with many benefits aside from its rewards.

Pros

  • 5% cashback for online Walmart purchases
  • It can be used outside of Walmart

Cons

  • Only 2% cashback for in-store purchases
  • Potential high APR
  • Few perks

What’s the best store card?

The best choice for a store card is going to be the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card. Not only does it feature good rewards for Amazon’s massive catalog of goods, but it also offers shoppers useful protections for their purchases and for their belongings while traveling. 

It doesn’t require an annual fee, but for those who are Prime members ($139 annually), you’ll be issued the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature instead. It’s metal and features 5% cashback instead of 3%.

Card Name

Perks

Rewards

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature

  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Return
  • $50 gift card upon approval
  • Travel protections
  • 3% cashback on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
  • 2% back for dining, gas, and drugstores
  • 1% everywhere else

Target RedCard

  • Two-day shipping

  • Extended returns

  • 5% off Target purchases

Wayfair Mastercard

  • $40 off your qualifying first order if it is at least $250
  • Special financing options
  • 5% cashback at Wayfair
  • 3% back at grocery stores
  • 2% back for online purchases
  • 1% everywhere else

Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard

  • Walmart rewards
  • 5% cash back on online Walmart purchases
  • 2% back in-store, plus at restaurants and on travel
  • 1% everywhere else

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

  • Costco rewards
  • 4% on eligible gas, for the first $7,000 per year and then 1%
  • 3% on restaurants and eligible travel
  • 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% on all other purchases

Which store card is best for you?

Each store card has its drawbacks and limitations. What’s important is finding a card that matches your spending without having to change your spending habits to fit the card. Here’s a brief overview of which card is best for what kind of consumer.

Get this card…

If you are…

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature

Anyone who shops with Amazon fairly regularly.

Target RedCard

A frequent Target shopper and don’t mind buying gift cards to get rewards with other merchants.

Wayfair Mastercard

Someone who likes to buy new outdoor/indoor furniture every few months.

Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard

Someone who prefers to shop online with Walmart.

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Already a Costco member. It won’t cost you anything extra to earn rewards for things you’re buying already.

How did we choose these cards?

These cards were chosen by comparing the APRs, rewards, special offers, and perks of store cards. A lot of store cards are inundated with high APRs, unnecessary fees, and one-time promotions meant to hook consumers but that don’t necessarily hold long-term value.

The cards above were chosen because they stood out from the rest, either by having worth-while perks, strong rewards, lower APRs, or a combination of all of the above. They can mostly all be used outside of their respective stores too, which gives them a bit more versatility for cardholders.

Are store cards a good idea?

In some instances, yes. If you shop frequently with a store, which could be once a week or a handful of times per month, it could make sense to get a store card. However, you want the card to work for you, and do not change your shopping habits to fit the card.

A lot of store cards have high APRs, so be sure you’re paying off your monthly statement balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. And, make sure you’d use a card beyond any initial offerings to ensure long-term value over short-term rewards.

Can these store cards be used everywhere?

For the most part. The Visa cards (Amazon and Costco) can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and the Mastercards (Walmart and Wayfair) can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The only card on this list that can’t technically be used elsewhere is the Target RedCard. 

However, consumers can use the card to purchase gift cards at Target which can then be used elsewhere. The gift card will count as an eligible purchase for the Target RedCard’s 5% off rate too, so you’ll still earn rewards for the purchase.

Are there any alternative credit cards worth considering?

It’s a good idea to first consider a general rewards credit card or a flat-rate credit card before choosing a store card. They tend to have lower APRs as well as a broader selection of perks and rewards. 

Here are a few good choices:

  • Blue Cash Preferred from American Express: If you need a good card for gas and groceries, look no further. It does have a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), but its high rewards will help you forget about it. It earns 6% cashback (on the first $6,000 spent, then 1%) at select US supermarkets and on select US streaming services, plus 3% cashback at US gas stations and on transit.
  • Chase Freedom Flex: The Freedom Flex is a good choice for consumers who like to spread their shopping around. It earns 5% cashback (up to $1,500 in total combined purchases each quarter you activate) for bonus categories that change each quarter, plus static 5% and 3% categories. It has no annual fee and comes along with some pretty impressive perks.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash: A simple option that will earn 2% cashback for every purchase regardless of where you shop. It has no annual fee, no rewards limit, and has good Visa Signature protections.

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