A retail card is the same thing as a store card: a credit card you can only use at a certain retailer or group of retailers. Most retail cards have $0 annual fees, and many give 1% to 5%+ back in rewards for shopping at the stores they’re affiliated with. Some retail credit cards also offer 0% deferred-interest financing on eligible purchases.
Retail cards are pretty easy to get, usually requiring only fair credit (640+ credit score) for approval. They can help you build credit just as well as any other credit card because they report information to the major credit bureaus each month. But there are a number of things you should be aware of before applying.
Here’s How Retail Cards Work:
A retail card is the same as a store card. It’s a card you can only use at a certain retailer. Or, you may be able to use it at several stores owned by the same parent company.
A retail card is different from a co-branded card. A co-branded card is affiliated with and earns rewards at a certain retailer, but you can use the card anywhere.
Retail cards may offer rewards in the form of cash back, points or discounts on purchases. But some retail cards offer no rewards at all.
You will commonly get 0% deferred interest on a retail card. You have a set period where you pay no interest. At the end of that period, if your entire balance is paid off, you pay nothing. Otherwise, you owe all those months of interest at the normal interest rate.
Retail cards usually require fair credit (640+ score) for approval. A co-branded card that you can use anywhere usually requires good credit (700+ score).
Retail cards may give you other perks like free shipping or access to exclusive sales.
Most retail cards have no annual fee.
You may be able to check if you are pre-approved for a retail card. You could get a pop-up to check while shopping online. In-store, a cashier might invite you. If you are pre-approved, your chances of approval for the card are not 100%, but they are very high.
A retail card may or may not be worthwhile. If it rewards you for shopping at a retailer you like and doesn’t charge an annual fee, you might want to consider applying. But if it only offers deferred interest, with no rewards, you can find better deals elsewhere.
Retail card is just another name for a store credit card. And that, as you may know, is simply a card that can only be used to make purchases from a single retailer or group of related retailers.
Retail credit cards tend to be available to people with fair credit or better and usually don’t charge annual fees. They are known for offering generous rewards, especially compared to non-retailer cards with similar approval requirements. These rewards come in the form of first-purchase discounts, “cash” back on purchases (redeemable for store credit), and special cardholder promotions.
Retail cards are notoriously bad for financing, though. Those with 0% rates typically use a dangerous feature called deferred interest, and the average regular APR is a lofty 22%, according to WalletHub research.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.