WalletHub, Financial Company
No, you usually can’t use store credit cards everywhere, unless they’re linked to a credit card network, such as Visa or Mastercard. But the store cards that are not on a network only work at the merchants they’re affiliated with.
Note that store cards with limited acceptance are easier to get, generally requiring just fair credit for approval. However, the cards affiliated with a retailer that are linked to a specific network tend to have stricter requirements for approval.
Here’s how store credit card acceptance works:
- Store credit cards affiliated with one retailer: This type of store cards only work at one particular store. For example, the Target Credit Card, is solely for Target purchases.
- Store credit cards affiliated with more than one merchant: If multiple brands are owned by the same parent company, you should be able to use any one of their store cards for purchases from all of the brands.
For instance, you can use the Old Navy Store Card at Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta, in addition to Old Navy. And you can use the Amazon.com Store Card at Audible.com, Comixology.com, and merchants who use Amazon Pay, along with other Amazon products and services.
- Store credit cards linked to a network: There are some credit cards affiliated with specific retailers which also belong to a card network, such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. These cards can be used anywhere that network is accepted.
Many retailers actually offer two versions of their cards: one connected with a network and another for store-only purchases. And there’s often just one application. The issuing bank decides which one you get (if any) based on your credit standing. You’ll generally need good credit or better to get a store card belonging to a network.
For example, the Best Buy® Credit Card requires good credit or better (700+). However, those with at least fair credit (640+) may qualify for the Best Buy® Store Card. You can check your latest credit score for free, right here on WalletHub.
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Jill Donald, Member
Unfortunately not. Most store cards are only good for that particular store. You might get lucky with a couple cards, like Bealls, that work across 4 other stores, but generally store cards are seen more as a sign of brand loyalty.
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