For many retailers, a store-branded credit card is a great way to lure in repeat shoppers as well as cause customers to acquire a ton of debt due to high interest rates and the temptation to spend more than they can afford.
But all retail cards aren't all bad. When used responsibly, they can be a good introduction to credit for consumers with a limited credit history. There are options in this category that offer no annual fees, sign up bonuses and allow you to earn cash back on your regular spending.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card review
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card offers a great 5 percent rate on Amazon and Whole Food purchases, but Prime membership requires a high $119 fee, and Amazon points lack versatility.
Sign-Up Bonus $70 Amazon.com gift card when you sign up
Points don’t expire
No limits on how much cash back you can earn
Redeem your points instantly for Amazon.com purchases or as a statement credit on your credit card bill
Many other rewards options, including gift cards and travel
No minimum required to redeem your points on Amazon.com (2,000 points required for cash back redemptions)
No options to transfer rewards pointsYou can only link your card to one Amazon Prime account to earn 5% rate
Though store credit cards generally come with as many cons as pros, this one offers some tangible, long-lasting incentives.
Cardholders receive a 5% discount on most Target purchases, plus free shipping on most online orders and 30 extra days for returns.
As with most store credit cards, however, this one comes with a high variable APR for purchases. If you carry a credit card balance, your savings could be wiped out by the hefty 25.15% variable interest rate on purchases.
5% discount on most purchases at Target stores and Target.com
Free standard shipping on most items at Target.com
30 extra days for returnsNo annual fee
High variable APR for purchases
No weekend delivery for standard free shipping
Can only be used at Target stores and Target.com
The Target REDcard™ could put a little extra cash back in your wallet every month. Just make sure you don’t carry a balance and are willing to commit to shopping at one store for most of your essential purchases.
There is also the Target REDcard™ Debit card that links directly to your debit card.
Walmart Mastercard Review
Bargain shoppers who spend a lot on Walmart.com could potentially earn a sizable amount of cash back with the Walmart Mastercard, but its limited rewards categories might be a deal breaker for those who aren’t already devoted to the big-box store.
Rewards Redemption Pros
No expiration datesNo limit to the cash back you can earnCash back issued automatically as monthly statement credit
Cash back strictly paid as statement credit only3% cash back only applies to Walmart.com purchases, not those made in Walmart stores
The Walmart Mastercard is a straightforward, unassuming cash back card that earns decent marks for its 3 percent cash back rate on Walmart.com purchases. But like many store credit cards, it leaves a lot to be desired, particularly if you tend to do your shopping in more than one place.
Beyond its special financing offers, which may not be available at all times for all purchases, the card doesn’t offer much in the way of loyalty benefits such as exclusive deals or free shipping. Considering other store cards – including Target, Lowe’s and Costco – offer as much as 5 percent in cash back or instant discounts, the Walmart Mastercard is probably best-suited for the most loyal of Walmart fans.