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The best store credit cards of 2022

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The best store credit cards of 2022

Store credit cards are as much a part of the shopping experience as a sales associate asking if you’re “looking for anything in particular.” They’re almost unavoidable during the checkout process. And while that 10% discount for opening the card on the spot can be tempting, it’s usually not worth the hassle due to high interest rates and limited rewards.

In general, the rewards you earn from these cards aren’t as valuable as the points and miles you can earn from travel credit cards. However, if you’re looking to build your credit or if you shop a lot at a particular retailer, a store credit card could make sense. The credit limits on store credit cards are usually low, so there’s not a high qualification threshold, and, they offer perks to loyal shoppers.

If you’ve been thinking about store credit cards, here are the ones on the scene that have proven to be truly rewarding. 

Read more: Store credit cards might score you a discount up front, but you should avoid them for 3 reasons

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

If you’re like millions of Americans, you likely purchase things like household goods and appliances, skincare, and snacks on Amazon. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card acts as more of a regular cash-back credit card than a store credit card, making it an ideal addition to any shopper’s wallet.

Read more: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card review

There are great Amazon-specific benefits, like 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods (for Amazon Prime members only — you’ll receive 3% back if not a member). You’ll also get:

  • 2% back at restaurants
  • 2% back at gas stations
  • 2% back at drugstores
  • 1% back for all other eligible purchases

There is no minimum rewards balance to redeem — so you can claim a $5 redemption or wait and save your points for big-ticket items. As a bonus, you’ll also get a Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card . This is one card Amazon shoppers rave about because you can find nearly anything on the site, and you get equal cash back on grocery shopping at Whole Foods.

You’ll also appreciate the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card annual fee and other perks like:

Read more: The best credit cards for shopping at Amazon

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is valuable even for those who don’t frequent the super-popular wholesale club. For a Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi annual fee card, it’s got strong earning rates in select categories:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide (on up to $7,000 in spending each year, then 1%)
  • 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

4% cash back on gas purchases is impressive — and the other bonus categories are no slouches, either. Remember, if you’ve got a Costco Executive membership, you’ll earn 2% back on Costco purchases. This card gives you the ability to earn a total of 4% back at Costco warehouses.

Read more: Costco Anywhere Visa Card review

The card also comes with purchase protection and no foreign transaction fees.

A big downside to this card is the way rewards are redeemed. You can only receive cash back after your February billing statement closes. You’ll get a “reward certificate” that you’ll have to take to a Costco warehouse. You can request a check for all the cash back you’ve earned over the past year.

Also, this card doesn’t offer a public sign-up bonus. Some Costco members have had success inquiring at a Costco warehouse to see if they’re targeted for a special promotion, so don’t use our links for this credit card if you can help it.

Read more: The best credit cards for shopping at Costco

Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®

If you shop online or elect for grocery pickup with regularity, the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® could be a powerful tool in your cashback strategy. This Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® annual fee card earns:

  • 5% cash back at Walmart.com (including pickup and delivery)
  • 2% cash back at Walmart stores in the US and Puerto Rico, and at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations
  • 2% cash back on gift cards purchased through Walmart
  • 2% back at restaurants and on travel
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

A 2% return is common among no annual fee cards. But the ability to earn 5% back on the lion’s share of your grocery purchases (with no cap) simply by shopping online is excellent.

Read more: Walmart Credit Card review

As a sign-up bonus, you’ll get Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®. The card also comes with perks like:

  • Purchase assurance
  • Price protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Cell phone protection*
  • Identity fraud expense reimbursement*
  • Travel insurances*

*World Elite Mastercard version only.

Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card

The Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card earns rewards that are only valid at Starbucks. It earns Starbucks Stars, which vary dramatically in value. But if you spend them wisely, it’s not difficult to get a return of 6+ cents per star.

Here’s what the card earns:

  • Up to 3 Stars per dollar at Starbucks (1 Star per dollar for using your Starbucks Visa to digitally loading your Starbucks Card, and 2 Stars per dollar when you use that card at Starbucks)
  • 1 Star per $2 spent at grocery stores
  • 1 Star per $2 spent on local transit and commuting
  • 1 Star per $2 spent on internet, cable, and phone services
  • 1 Star per $4 for al other eligible purchases

You’ll also receive Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card. And you’ll get 300 more bonus Stars the first time you use the card to add money to your Starbucks account.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the value of a Starbucks Star, but here’s what you can use them for:

  • 25 Stars: Drink customizations (extra shot, dairy substitute, syrup, sauce)
  • 50 Stars:  Hot brewed coffee, bakery item, hot brewed tea
  • 150 Stars: Handcrafted drink, hot breakfast, parfait
  • 200 Stars: Lunch sandwich, protein box, salad
  • 400 Stars: Select merchandise, packaged coffee

If you can manage to squeeze at least 6 cents from a Starbucks Star, the three Stars you’ll receive at Starbucks is an effective return of 18%.

If you can live with restricted credit card rewards, you can get a lot of value from the Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card. Just note that the card comes with a Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card.

Verizon Visa Card

The Verizon Visa Card is another credit card that has a favorable return rate, but earns very limited rewards. This card has a Verizon Visa Card annual fee, and it’s exclusively for Verizon customers.

The Verizon Visa Card earns Verizon Dollars — not standard cash back that you can use anywhere. However, because you can use your rewards for just about anything Verizon-related, including your monthly phone bill, you may be able to reason that your savings easily translates to cash back. Here’s what you’ll earn:

  • 4% at grocery stores and gas stations
  • 3% on dining
  • 2% on Verizon purchases
  • 1% for all other eligible purchases

The card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus per se. But you will receive up to $100 in credits when you use your new card to pay your phone bill during the first 24 months of account opening. That’s a $4.17 monthly discount. 

You can also save potentially hundreds per year on your phone bill as a cardholder and member of Verizon Up (Verizon’s loyalty program). New enrollees to Verizon’s Auto Pay can receive up to $10 per month off each eligible account or line (max 10 lines) on select plans.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How did we choose the best store credit cards?

Personal Finance Insider analyzed dozens of cards to determine which of the most popular store cards offer the best benefits. We exclusively chose cards that you can use for any purchase (not just cards that can be used at the co-branded store). That way you’ve got the opportunity to earn more rewards more often.

We also prioritized each card’s return rates over sign-up bonuses. If you’re opening a store card, you’ll likely be using it for specific purchases long after the bonus has disappeared.

Are store credit cards worth it?

Store credit cards can be worthwhile, especially for those with less-than-perfect credit. That’s because it’s generally easier to be approved for a store card than a travel credit card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Should I open a store credit card?

The biggest downfall to many (not all) store cards is that they only earn rewards that can be redeemed with their respective store.

If you’re choosing such a card, be sure the savings will be more meaningful to you than spending with a pure cash-back card like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns a flat 2% cash back (1% when you make a purchase, and 1% when you pay it off) on all purchases.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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