Rue21 Credit Card review: is it worth the trouble?
Recommended in specific cases. Use the Rue21 Credit Card cautiously. Requires special attention to on-time payments to avoid very high APR and/or fees. If you shop at rue21 very frequently, the 10% back-in-store credit can make it worth having this card in your wallet
Pros and Cons: Rue21 Credit Card Rewards
Effectively a 10% rewards rate – pretty high even for store cards
Additional 5 points per $1 spent at rue21 (up to $5K/day), on top of the 10 points per $1 spent you receive for being a rue21 Reward member
“Surprise cardholder perks” – we suspect this won’t be much more than them just marketing to you more often, but could include additional sales etc.
Anniversary (of credit card account opening) gift – no details available on what this gift might be or it’s potential value
“Free shipping events” – to 48 continental states only. No details given on how often this occurs, though
Reputable issuer (Comenity Bank)
Very high APR – 27%+ – like most store co-brand cards. Be careful to pay off your bill fully each month
Points expire after 12 months if not redeemed
You only earn points in incremental of 750 … or every $50 spent assuming you’re enrolled in the rewards program (750 points/15 points per dollar = $50)
You can only earn up to 5,000 points per day, equivalent to about $333
The rue21 credit card is only accepted in rue21 stores
- 10% rewards rate – only applies to a rue21 store credit
- Surprise cardholder perks – unclear what these are or how frequent they are
- Anniversary gift – value unclear
- Free shipping events – to lower 48 states. Frequency unknown
- ~27% APR – this is extremely high, but not uncommon for store co-brand cards
- $0 annual fee.
- Applications are subject to credit approval
- While they will take into account your total application, we recommend a credit score of at least 640 to be likely for approval
- Be 18 years old (or the age of majority in your state or territory)
- Have a government issued photo ID and tax identification number (for example a social security number)
- Be willing to provide a non-PO Box mailing address
- No additional perks or benefits were identified.
Interested in other credit cards?
Check out our credit card hub!
Good option if you shop at rue21 all the time, otherwise, skip it
If you’re a ‘big time’ rue21 shopper and plan to keep being one, the effective 10% back store credit makes this card worth it. If you’re not a frequent rue21 shopper then the ~27% APR should probably make you run!
Let’s get into all the details ⏩ ⏩
rue21 Credit Card Review: Is It for Everyone?
rue21 is an apparel and accessories store with a huge selection for men and women. Like many stores today, it has released a store credit card: the rue21 Rewards Credit Card.
In partnership with Bread Financial, the company created a credit card for customers to use in-store. Shopping with this card at rue21 stores comes with its benefits, including notably 10% back in the form of store credit (note: not cash back) but is it worth it?
The rue21 credit card can be beneficial if you know how to use it to your advantage, but, like any store credit card, there are some things to watch out for too.
Features and benefits discussion
Let’s check out the benefits:
As a rue21 rewards credit card holder, you have access to several perks, albeit with some restrictions. Some of these perks include:
● Earning 5 points per $1 you spend. Note that this is on top of the 10 points you already earn as a rue21 rewards program member (which you need to be to have the rue21 credit card in the first place), for a total of 15 points per $1 spent in a rue21 store (max. 5,000 points per day – or about $333)
● Free shipping ‘events’ (only to the 48 continental US states)
● A card-opening anniversary gift
● Exclusive cardholder perks – this usually just means additional marketing or advance notice of sales
The rue21 credit card point system is fairly simple. You can collect points every time you purchase an item from the rue21 store.
Every time you collect 750 points, rue21 issues you a $5 gift card. You can then use this gift card to purchase other items from the rue21 store. So it’s just a form of earning store credit at a 10% rate and issued in the form of a gift card.
Moreover, once per year, rue21 sends its credit cardholders a gift. This can be an item from the store or an exclusive merch item. To add an element of surprise, you don’t get to pick out your gift. It just arrives at your doorstep. It’s unclear what a typical item is, so we wouldn’t hold out much hope it’s super valuable but could be a fun perk if you’re a major rue21 shopper.
Besides the reward system, there are a few features of the rue21 card:
● Easy application process
● Quick credit card approval
● No annual fee
● Occasionally will waive interests during special promotions – watch out for these
Setting up your rue21 credit card should be relatively straightforward. All you have to do is sign up for a rue21 rewards account. Then, navigate the menu to find the credit card application.
Once you’ve filled it out, many people will get an immediate result for your credit card application status. But, this is not guaranteed and they may take extra time to review your application. This often happens if you have fair or poor credit, or if you previously had a rue21 credit card account. So, for most, unlike other credit cards, you probably won’t have to wait a few days to find out if you’re accepted or denied.
After you’re done with the application process, there is no annual fee to have the card. That means that only purchases you make will show up on your credit card bill.
Another standard benefit of using the rue21 credit card is the grace period. After every purchase, you have 25 days to pay back the expense. During this time, rue21 won’t add any interest charges.
However, after 25 days, if you don’t pay the balance in full, you won’t get interest-free purchases until you settle your account. So make sure you pay on time and in full every month – otherwise, you will start accruing the very high ~27% interest rate!
rue21 can also waive interest during promotional periods. These periods change from year to year. Still, once the promotion ends, your balance can start to accumulate interest again. Watch out for these promotions and make sure you track them carefully to avoid having to pay a lot of interest.
Here’s what to watch out for
Nothing’s without flaw, though, and the rue21 card is no exception.
● Very high APR – at writing about ~27%. While typical for store cards, you can get into trouble on how much interest you pay if you don’t stay on top of making payments on-time
● Exclusive to the rue21 store, this card will not work at other merchants
● No cash-back option – only a $5 store credit gift card every time you spend $50
● Gift cards are not customizable
One of the major drawbacks of the rue21 credit card is the high Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 27.24%.
Keep in mind that APR indicates how much interest you can accumulate. In this case, it’s even higher than most unsecured credit cards. Although, very high APRs are common among store credit cards.
Another drawback of the credit card is you can only use it for the rue21 store.
rue21 does have a return policy, but unfortunately, it doesn’t include cash back. This means if you purchase with this credit card, you won’t get any cash back, only store credit.
My recent rue21 in-store experience
I recently visited a local rue21 store to check out what getting their credit card would be like, as well as what kind of clothing they had to offer.
The first thing you notice when you walk into the store is the overwhelming perfume. It’s one of those types of stores that pumps in their perfumes and colognes into the store. Unfortunately, they pump in just way too much and it’s not a particularly attractive scent either. Not a great start.
Getting quickly past that, however, I was pleasantly surprised that the store clerk was not pushy about the credit card at all. While she was happy to answer basic questions and help me sign up if I wanted to, she did not seem to care whether I actually signed up or not. This is nice compared to some store cards that encourage store clerks to really push their credit cards on you.
I checked out some of the clothing as well and was a little disappointed. While the prices are quite low, so is the quality. I declined to purchase anything since the quality was so poor it seemed like none of the clothes would last very long. The style seemed consistent with their brand of appeal to teenagers.
I also noticed that they had temporary promotion doubling their typical $10 store credit sign-up to $20. This seemed to be a holiday promotion. While they may offer these from time to time, a $20 store credit sign-up offer is still extremely low and not worth factoring into your decision of whether or not to get this card.
Overall, while the sales staff was friendly and helpful, the store visit was a bit disappointing and I won’t be signing up for this card anytime soon.
Final Word on the rue21 Credit Card
If you frequent the store, this credit card might be a good move for you. Just cover your balance early and keep an eye on the promotions to get the highest bang for your buck!
Other than that, it’s not going to be very convenient or versatile.
At Personal Finance Guru, we want to help you maximize your lifestyle through personal finance. You can trust the integrity of our independent financial advice. Our opinions are our own and have not been provided, reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any advertiser or financial product provider. To support and grow the site, however, we may receive compensation from the issuers of some products.
Meet the Author:
Cody is the founder and owner of Personal Finance Guru. His day job is as a management consultant at one of the Top 3 firms (think Mckinsey, Bain), where he advises Fortune 500 C-suite clients on their most important and pressing business problems. He completed his business education at Harvard Business School.
After seeing the lack of personal finance education for regular people, Cody started the website with the mission to provide everyone access to information that will help them achieve their financial goals.
Cody approaches personal finance from a maximalist perspective, shunning typical advice around simply not buying a cup of coffee instead of more effective methods like investing in yourself to quickly grow your income.
He believes in saving money and investing for the future, but he also knows that you need to enjoy life today. That’s why Cody approaches money with a sense of humor and a positive attitude. He knows that if you’re not having fun while you’re growing your wealth, then what’s the point?
Cody approaches life with the same gusto that he brings to personal finance. He loves to travel and experience new cultures, and he is an avid reader and learner. He also enjoys playing sports (especially tennis) and spending time with his family and friends.