The Easiest Store Credit Card to Get: Our Top 5 Picks
If you’re looking to improve your credit score or just want to take advantage of store-specific promotions, applying for a store credit card may be a good idea. However, with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore our Top 5 easiest store credit cards to get and provide advice on how to manage them responsibly.
Understanding Store Credit Cards
Before we dive into the specifics of individual store credit cards, let’s first define what they are and what the benefits and drawbacks are. A store credit card is a credit card that is issued by a specific retailer or store chain. They often offer special rewards and discounts that are exclusive to cardholders, such as free shipping or rewards on purchases.
Store credit cards can be a great option for frequent shoppers who are loyal to a particular brand or retailer. By using a store credit card, you can earn rewards and discounts that you wouldn’t be able to get with a regular credit card. For example, if you frequently shop at a certain clothing store, their credit card might offer you a discount on your first purchase and then reward you with points for each subsequent purchase. These points can then be redeemed for future purchases, allowing you to save money in the long run.
Another benefit of store credit cards is that they are often easier to get approved for than general-purpose credit cards. This is because the credit requirements for store credit cards are often less strict than those for regular credit cards. If you have less-than-perfect credit, a store credit card might be a good option for you to build your credit history and improve your credit score.
What is a Store Credit Card?
A store credit card functions like any other credit card – you can make purchases with it and pay back the balance over time.
It’s important to note that store credit cards typically have higher interest rates than general-purpose credit cards. This is because they are often targeted towards people with less-than-perfect credit, who are considered higher risk borrowers. If you’re considering getting a store credit card, make sure you read the fine print and understand the interest rates and fees associated with the card.
Benefits of Store Credit Cards
The biggest benefit of store credit cards is the exclusive rewards and discounts that come with them. These rewards can be a great way to save money on your purchases and get more bang for your buck. For example, some store credit cards offer free shipping on all purchases, while others offer rewards on certain types of purchases. In our experience, we most often see the biggest headline benefit being 5-10% of store credit on purchases.
Another benefit of store credit cards is that they can help you build your credit history. If you use your store credit card responsibly and make your payments on time, you can improve your credit score over time. This can help you qualify for better credit cards and loans in the future.
Drawbacks of Store Credit Cards
While there are many benefits to using a store credit card, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One of the biggest drawbacks is that store credit cards typically have higher interest rates than general-purpose credit cards. This means that if you carry a balance on your card, you’ll end up paying more in interest charges over time.
Another drawback of store credit cards is that they can only be used at that specific retailer or store chain. This can be limiting if you want to shop at other stores or if the store you have a credit card with doesn’t have the products you need. We’ve recently seen a trend where some stores will offer a credit card that is also a general-purpose credit card that can be used outside of their store too. Purchases made outside of the store will almost always earn a much lower rewars rate, typically 1%.
Lastly, if you don’t manage your store credit card account responsibly, fees and penalties can quickly add up. For example, if you miss a payment or make a late payment, you could be charged a late fee or penalty APR. These fees can add up quickly and make it difficult to pay off your balance.
Top 5 Store Credit Cards with Easy Approval
Here are some of our favorite picks for the top store credit cards with easy approval:
1. Walmart Credit Card
The Walmart Credit Card is an excellent option for those with limited credit histories or lower credit scores. In addition to easy approval, the card offers 3% cashback on purchases made on Walmart.com, 2% cashback on in-store Walmart purchases, and 1% cashback on all other purchases. This can add up quickly, especially for those who shop at Walmart frequently. The card also offers a grace period for late payments and no annual fee, making it a great option for those who want to build credit without additional costs.
2. Target REDcard
The Target REDcard offers cardholders a 5% discount on all purchases made at Target, as well as free shipping on Target.com orders. Approval for this card is relatively easy, and it’s a great option for those who frequently shop at Target. The card also offers an extended return policy, early access to sales, and exclusive coupons and promotions. These benefits can help cardholders save money and make the most out of their Target shopping experience.
3. Amazon Store Card
The Amazon Store Card offers 5% cashback on all Amazon purchases for Prime members and easy approval for those with lower credit scores. It’s an excellent option for frequent Amazon shoppers, as the cashback can add up quickly. The card also offers promotional financing options on select purchases, which can be helpful for those who want to make larger purchases without paying interest. Additionally, the card has no annual fee, making it a low-cost option for building credit.
4. Kohl’s Charge Card
The Kohl’s Charge Card offers frequent discounts and coupons that are exclusive to cardholders, making it a popular choice for those who frequently shop at Kohl’s. The approval process is relatively easy, and cardholders receive up to 12 exclusive discounts per year. The card also offers a special anniversary offer, birthday gift, and free shipping on Kohls.com orders. These benefits can help cardholders save money and make the most out of their Kohl’s shopping experience.
You’ll also get 35% your first purchase with the card and earn Kohl’s rewards 50% faster than rewards members without the card (so 7.5% store credit instead of 5%)
5. Macy’s Credit Card
The Macy’s Credit Card offers cardholders exclusive discounts and in-store events and easy approval for those with lower credit scores. Additionally, cardholders receive additional points on all purchases made at Macy’s, earning points at a faster rate the more you spend, up to $1,200 where you earn 5 points per dollar spent. The card also offers free shipping on Macy’s.com orders, a birthday surprise, and access to exclusive savings offers. These benefits can help cardholders save money and make the most out of their Macy’s shopping experience.
Overall, store credit cards can be a great way to build credit and save money on purchases. However, it’s important to use them responsibly and pay off the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges and fees. With easy approval and valuable rewards, these top store credit cards can be a great option for those who are just starting to build credit or want to earn rewards on their purchases.
Tips for Improving Your Chances of Approval
If you’re concerned about your credit score or want to improve your chances of approval, there are several things you can do. By taking a few simple steps, you can increase your creditworthiness and improve your chances of getting approved for a store credit card.
Check Your Credit Score
Before applying for a store credit card, it’s important to check your credit score. Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness, and it’s used by lenders to determine whether or not to approve your application. Knowing your credit score will give you an idea of what cards you’re eligible for and where you need to focus on improving your credit.
In our experience, most store credit cards will want to see a credit score of around 650 or so for approval.
There are several ways to check your credit score, including using a free credit monitoring service or requesting a free credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus. Once you know your credit score, you can take steps to improve it and increase your chances of getting approved for a store credit card.
Reduce Your Debt-to-Income Ratio
Your debt-to-income ratio is the amount of debt you have compared to your income. This is an important factor that lenders consider when deciding whether or not to approve your application. To improve your chances of approval, be sure to pay down any outstanding debts and keep your debt-to-income ratio as low as possible.
If you have a lot of outstanding debt, consider creating a budget and cutting back on unnecessary expenses. By reducing your debt and increasing your income, you can improve your debt-to-income ratio and increase your chances of getting approved for a store credit card.
Apply for a Secured Credit Card
If you have a limited credit history or a lower credit score, applying for a secured credit card can improve your credit and make it easier to get approved for a store credit card in the future. A secured credit card is a type of credit card that requires a security deposit, which is used to secure the credit line.
Secured cards will typically only start with a credit line of a few hundred dollars.
By using a secured credit card responsibly and making on-time payments, you can improve your credit score and demonstrate to lenders that you’re a responsible borrower. This can increase your chances of getting approved for a store credit card in the future.
Become an Authorized User on Someone Else’s Account
If you have a friend or family member with good credit, becoming an authorized user on their account can help improve your credit score and make it easier to get approved for a store credit card. As an authorized user, you’ll have access to the credit line and can use the card to make purchases.
By using the card responsibly and making on-time payments, you can improve your credit score and demonstrate to lenders that you’re a responsible borrower. This can increase your chances of getting approved for a store credit card in the future.
Improving your credit score and increasing your creditworthiness takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. By taking the steps outlined above, you can improve your chances of getting approved for a store credit card and enjoy the benefits of having access to credit.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Store Credit Card
When looking for a store credit card, it’s important to keep in mind several factors that can help you make the best choice. Here are some additional details to consider:
Credit Score Requirements
While some store credit cards require a higher credit score, others may be more lenient. Knowing your credit score and which cards align with it can increase your chances of approval. Additionally, applying for multiple cards at once can negatively impact your credit score, so it’s best to apply strategically.
- In our experience, you will need a score of about 650
Interest Rates and Fees
Before applying for a store credit card, it’s essential to review the interest rates and fees associated with each card. Some cards may offer a low introductory rate that increases after a certain period, while others may have high fees for late payments or exceeding your credit limit. It’s important to ensure that you can manage the payments responsibly to avoid incurring additional charges.
- In our experience, the annual interest rate will be around 30%
Rewards and Incentives
Many store credit cards offer rewards and incentives, such as cashback or points that can be redeemed for future purchases. However, it’s important to consider which rewards are the most valuable to you. For example, if you frequently shop at a particular store, a card that offers discounts or exclusive promotions may be more beneficial than one that offers cashback.
- In our experience, the main benefit will be a store-credit of 5-10% of purchases
Aside from rewards and incentives, store credit cards may also offer store-specific benefits. These can include free shipping, extended return policies, or discounts on purchases. It’s important to consider which benefits are the most important to you and whether they justify the cost of the card.
- In our experience, these aren’t worth very much and are mostly just additional promotions targeted at you. If you’re truly heavy shopper at a specific store, though these benefits can add up and be worth it.
By taking the time to research and compare store credit cards based on these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and shopping habits.
Managing Your Store Credit Card Responsibly
Once you’ve been approved for a store credit card, it’s essential to manage it responsibly. A store credit card can be a great way to build credit and earn rewards, but it’s important to use it wisely.
Pay Your Balance in Full Each Month
The most important way to ensure you are using your store credit card responsibly is to pay your balance in full each month. By doing so, you can avoid high interest rates and fees that can quickly add up over time.
This is what we always do. If you have some kind of emergency expense that you just have to put on a credit card, use a general-purpose card instead, they tend to have substantially lower interest rates.
Keep Your Credit Utilization Low
When you pay your balance in full each month, you are also keeping your credit utilization low. Your credit utilization is the amount of credit you’re using compared to your total credit available. By keeping your credit utilization low, you can maintain a healthy credit score.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your credit limit and spending habits. If you find that you are consistently using a high percentage of your available credit, it may be time to re-evaluate your spending habits and make adjustments to avoid going over your credit limit.
Monitor Your Account for Fraudulent Activity
Additionally, some store credit cards offer rewards programs that can be a great way to save money on future purchases. However, it’s important to make sure that the rewards program is worth it and that you are not overspending just to earn rewards.
Finally, be sure to make your payments on time and avoid penalty fees. Late payments or missed payments can negatively impact your credit score and lead to additional fees. If you are struggling to make your payments, consider reaching out to your credit card issuer to discuss your options.
In conclusion, managing your store credit card responsibly is essential to maintaining a healthy credit score and avoiding unnecessary fees and charges. By paying your balance in full each month, keeping your credit utilization low, monitoring your account for fraudulent activity, and making your payments on time, you can use your store credit card to your advantage and build a strong financial future.
Alternatives to Store Credit Cards
Store credit cards can be tempting with their discounts and promotions, but they may not be the best option for everyone. If you’re looking for other ways to manage your finances and earn rewards, consider some of these alternatives:
Cashback Credit Cards
Cashback credit cards are a popular alternative to store credit cards. They offer rewards and incentives for purchases made with the card, typically in the form of cashback or points that can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, or merchandise. With cashback credit cards, you can earn rewards on all your purchases, not just those made at a specific store. Some cards even offer bonus rewards for certain categories, such as groceries or gas.
When choosing a cashback credit card, it’s important to consider the rewards rate, annual fees, and any other benefits or perks that may be offered. Some cards may also have restrictions or limitations on earning and redeeming rewards, so be sure to read the fine print before signing up.
Rewards Credit Cards
Similar to cashback credit cards, rewards credit cards offer incentives that can be redeemed for various items, such as travel, merchandise, or gift cards. Rewards credit cards may be a good option if you’re looking for more flexibility in how you earn and redeem rewards. Some cards even offer sign-up bonuses or introductory 0% APR periods.
When choosing a rewards credit card, consider the rewards program, annual fees, and any other benefits or perks that may be offered. Some cards may also have restrictions or limitations on earning and redeeming rewards, so be sure to read the fine print before signing up.
Secured Credit Cards
If you have limited credit history or a lower credit score, secured credit cards may be a good option. Secured credit cards require a deposit to be made, which serves as collateral for the credit limit. This makes them less risky for lenders, and can help you build credit over time. With responsible use, you may be able to upgrade to an unsecured credit card in the future.
When choosing a secured credit card, consider the deposit amount required, annual fees, and any other benefits or perks that may be offered. Some cards may also have restrictions or limitations on credit limit increases or upgrading to an unsecured card, so be sure to read the fine print before signing up.
Prepaid cards are another alternative to store credit cards. They allow you to load money onto the card and use it as a debit card, without the need for a credit check. Prepaid cards can be a good option for those who don’t want a credit card or don’t qualify for one. They can also be useful for budgeting and managing expenses.
When choosing a prepaid card, consider the fees associated with loading and using the card, as well as any other benefits or perks that may be offered. Some cards may have monthly fees, transaction fees, or ATM withdrawal fees, so be sure to read the fine print before signing up.
Overall, there are many alternatives to store credit cards that can help you manage your finances and earn rewards. By doing your research and choosing the option that best fits your needs, you can make the most of your spending and build a strong financial foundation.
More info on credit cards in general:
- What Is The Difference Between A Charge Card And A Credit Card?
- What Happens If You Don’t Use Your Credit Card?
- Why Do Credit Cards Expire?
- Are Credit Cards Installment Or Revolving?
- Are Credit Cards Fixed Or Variable Rate?
- Are Credit Card Fees Tax Deductible?
- How Much Will A Secured Credit Card Raise My Score?
- How Much Credit Card Debt Is Too Much?
- Why Are Some Credit Cards Metal?
- Why are restaurants charging credit card fees?
- Why Can’t I Get Approved For A Credit Card With Good Credit?
- Which Credit Card To Pay Off First?
- What is credit card refinancing vs debt consolidation?
- Business Credit Card vs personal
- Secured credit card vs unsecured
- Credit Card vs. line of credit
- Credit Card alternatives
- Can you pay closing costs with a credit card?
- Can you manually enter credit card at a gas station?
- How to use a credit card responsibly
- Advantages of Credit Cards
- The Top 5 Credit Card Types You Need To Know About
- Fun Facts About Credit Cards
Check out our store credit card reviews:
- TJ Maxx Credit Card
- Marshalls Credit Card
- Container Store Credit Card
- Rue21 Credit Card
- Burlington Credit Card
- Famous Footwear Credit Card
- Forest River Credit Card
- Salon Centric Credit Card
- LensCrafters Credit Card
- Little Switzerland Credit Card
- Hanks Credit Card
- LoveSac Credit Card
- Arhaus Credit Card
- Cosmoprof credit card
- Salon Centric Credit Card
- Athleta Credit Card
- Banter Credit Card
- Plaza Tire Credit Card
- Petco Credit Card
- Synchrony Car Care Credit Card
- Tuffy Credit Card
- Express Oil Change Credit Card
- Mattress Warehouse Credit Card
- Ivan Smith Credit Card
- Pep Boys Credit Card
- Jiffy Lube Credit Card
- America’s Tire Credit Card
- Brakes Plus Credit Card
- AAMCO Credit Card
- AutoPass Credit Card
- Merlin Credit Card
Meet the author: Cathy Gresham
Editor & Author
Cathy Gresham is a finance whiz.
After earning her MBA from The Wharton School, she has worked in strategy at some of the world’s largest and most influential financial companies for 20+ years. Notably, she has worked for the biggest credit card issuers and networks and brings an insider’s perspective to how credit card products work behind the scenes.
Cathy is passionate about personal finance and investing, and loves helping people learn about these complex topics. Her wit and humor make learning about money fun, and she’s always happy to share her knowledge with others.
Cathy enjoys spending time with her family and friends when she’s not crunching numbers or developing investment strategies. She’s also an avid runner, and can often be found pounding the pavement on her morning jog.