Benefits can include exclusive sales and loyalty points, but many store cards come with APRs far above your average credit card. Make sure to pay your balance in full. And don’t forget to check whether the card works at all retailers — this will be true if it has a Visa or MasterCard label on the front — or only at the issuing store.
The Gap: With The Gap’s Visa Card, you save 15 percent on your first purchase. After that, you earn five points for every dollar you spend at The Gap — and its other brands, which include Athleta, Banana Republic and Old Navy — and 1 point on every dollar spent elsewhere. Each point equals 1 cent, and you can redeem the total at any Gap brand store. The card also offers 10 percent off on every first Tuesday of the month.
T.J. Maxx: The TJX Platinum Mastercard is one of the best department store credit cards. With this card, you get 10 percent off your first purchase. After the initial purchase, you get an unlimited 5 percent rewards rate at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods and the Sierra Trading Post. And you can use the card at other stores to get a 1 percent return.
Amazon: Mega e-tailer Amazon offers one of the most versatile store cards around. Its Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card gets you 5 percent back on all Amazon.com purchases, as well as 2 percent back on restaurant, gas and drug store purchases and 1 percent back on everything else. The card is available only to Amazon Prime members, and you get a $70 gift card for signing up.
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