2017 TJ Maxx Credit Card Review – WalletHub Editors
This content is not provided or commissioned by any issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of an issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by an issuer.
The Verdict: If you like taking things to the Maxx, including your shopping list, you’re going to love the TJX Rewards Credit Card — thanks to the 10% online discount that you’ll receive on the day of account opening and the 5 points that you’ll earn for each $1 spent at T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post and tjmaxx.com. Plus, there’s no annual fee.
Beyond that, the most important thing to understand about the TJX Card is that it’s not built for financing. Balance transfers aren’t allowed, no low introductory purchase APR is offered, and the regular APR is an extremely high 27.24%. You should therefore strive to always pay your monthly bill in full when using this card.
You’ll also earn 1 point per $1 spent outside the TJX family if you have good or excellent credit and thus get approved for the TJX Rewards MasterCard, as opposed to the TJX Rewards Store Card, which is attainable with limited/fair credit. But 1 point per $1 is about average for a rewards card, so those who aren’t given MasterCard privileges aren’t missing out on much, considering that it represents the only meaningful difference between the two offers. For more information, continue reading below.
- 10% Off Your First Online Purchase: Upon being approved for a TJX Credit Card, you will receive a coupon good for 10% off at tjmaxx.com or sierratradingpost.com, whichever site you applied through to get your card. There is no limit on the purchase amount to which you can apply the savings, which means carefully timing your application could be worth a boatload. However, applying and then waiting to redeem would be ill advised, as such promotion codes are only good for two years.
5% Back On TJX Purchases: You will earn 5 points for every $1 that you spend at TJX stores and their respective websites. This includes not only T.J.Maxx and Marshalls, but also Sierra Trading Posting and HomeGoods. And that earning rate translates to 5% cash back when you consider that 1,000 points scores you a $10 gift certificate.
By that same token, the 1 point per $1 that TJX MasterCard users will receive on all other purchases equates to 1% back.
- No Annual Fee: The average credit card charges an annual membership fee of $16.43, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report, and many offers will cost you quite a bit more. But with no annual fee, the TJX Card has the potential to be completely free if you pay your bill in full every month.
Very High Regular APR: You do not want to carry a balance from month to month with the TJX Credit Card, as you will be charged interest at an astronomic rate: 27.24%. For context, the average credit card for someone with good credit charges 17.97%, while the average “fair credit” credit card charges 20.16% and the average store card charges 23.88%.
And, to reinforce this point, a $1,500 balance paid down over the course of six months would accrue roughly $123 in finance charges with a 27.24% interest rate.
Other Things To Consider
- No Foreign-Transaction Fee: If you get approved for the TJX MasterCard and wind up using it while traveling abroad or to make purchases through internationally based merchants while stateside, you’ll be pleased to know that your bills won’t be inflated by so-called foreign-transaction fees, which are usually around 3%. Just bear in mind that no-foreign-fee cards aren’t a rarity, so you have plenty of other options to choose from in this regard.
- No Rewards Earning Limit: Some rewards cards offer catchy earning rates yet limit them with fine print. But not the TJX Card. You can earn as much as your credit limit and ability to pay will allow.
- Rewards Expiration & Forfeiture: The points you earn with your TJX Card will not expire as long as its rewards program is in existence, but the “Rewards Certificates” for which you redeem your points expire two years from the date of issuance. Furthermore, unredeemed points are forfeited if you default on or close your account.
Debt-Cancellation Insurance: TJX card users are able to sign up for a so-called debt-cancellation program, which involves paying regular dues in return for the vague promise of someday maybe getting some of your debt forgiven.
More specifically, you have to pay $1.66 per $100 of your statement balance each month so as not to be responsible for up to three minimum monthly payments in the event of job loss, disability or, in certain cases, a leave of absence lasting up to 90 days. Full forgiveness of the balance owed may be provided for covered events that last longer than 90 days, but only up to the amount of your balance at the time the covered event started or $10,000, whichever is less. Coverage also varies depending on full- or part-time and employed or self-employed status. And in order for any benefits to kick in, you had to have been enrolled in the program for at least 30 days.
As a result, we do not recommend availing yourself of this optional service. The fact that you can receive no more than the sum of a few minimum payments and your balance before your financial problems truly began defeats the whole purpose of the program. So you’re better off simply saving the monthly dues for a rainy day.
Compared To The Competition
A bit of market research is always necessary to truly understand a given credit-card offer. So we compared the TJX Store Credit Card to some of the most popular retail rewards offers available across six fundamentally important categories. We chose the TJX Store Card rather than the MasterCard, as it offers all of the MasterCard’s best features and more people can get approved for it.
TJX Store Card
Victoria’s Secret Store Card
Macy’s Store Card
Nordstrom Store Card
Amazon.com Store Card
Citi Double Cash
|Annual Fee||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0 ($99 for Prime membership)||$0|
|Initial Bonus||$10 off||~$2||Up to $100||$20||$10||None|
|Ongoing Rewards*||5 points per $1 in TJX purchases||4%–12% back at Victoria’s Secret
$10 birthday gift
|1%–2% back at Macy’s||2 points per $1 in Nordstrom purchases||5% back on all purchases (Prime members only)||1% back on all purchases
1% back on all corresponding monthly bill payments
|Intro Financing||None||None||None||None||0% on new purchases for 6–24 months (deferred interest)||0% on balance transfers for 18 months (3% balance-transfer fee)|
|Editors’ Rating||4.5 Stars||5 Stars||3 Stars||3.6 Stars||5 Stars||5 Stars|
Victoria’s Secret Store Card Citi Double Cash Amazon.com Store Card
Note: We assumed a $1,000 annual budget and used each card’s maximum earning rate to calculate two-year rewards values. The result for the Amazon.com Store Card does not include Prime’s $99 annual membership fee, as we assumed those interested would already be members.
All of the cards require limited/fair credit for approval, with the exception of Citi Double Cash, which demands good credit. It is also the only card that can be used at unaffiliated retailers.