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CreditCards.com 2009 retail credit card chart

Compare interest rates, rewards and more for 36 retailers' cards

By Tyler Metzger and Cara Henis

(Editor's note: See our updated 2010 retail credit cards chart.)

The year 2009 has been tough for all credit card companies, but especially so for retail credit card issuers, which have been hurt by the downward spirals in two industries -- banking and retailing. In response, issuers have pulled back sharply in their offerings, according to the CreditCards.com 2009 survey of terms and conditions offered by more than three dozen large issuers of retail cards.

The changes make comparison shopping for a retail credit card more important than ever, and this chart, detailing the 2009 offers from 36 retailers, will help you find the one right for you.

CATEGORIES
Books Department Home/office Sporting goods
Bulk Electronics Jewelry Super stores
Clothing Grocery Military Toys

BOOKS

Barnes & Noble
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
10.74% tp 16.24% Yes
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Receive a free $25 Barnes & Noble gift certificate after first purchase with the card; save 5% on every purchase at Barnes & Noble stores or online; earn one point for every $1 spent at places other than Barnes & Noble; after reaching 2,500 points, get a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

BULK

Costco
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
0% first 6 months, then 15.24% Yes
American Express
  REWARDS

Unlimited cash back for all purchases (3% for gas and restaurants, 2% for travel, 1% elsewhere, including Costco); credit card serves as Costco membership card. There's also a card for business use; business owners get 4% cash back for gas purchases up to $6,000, then 1% after that; get savings at other businesses such as Fed Ex and Hyatt hotels; get cash back in form of in-store coupon.

CLOTHING

Abercrombie & Fitch
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
22.80% No n/a
  REWARDS
  n/a
Ann Taylor
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
Co-branded: 14.74% to 22.74%
Not co-branded: 22.8%
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at Ann Taylor or LOFT; earn 1 point on purchases elsewhere with the MasterCard; get a $20 gift card for every 2,000 points earned; get 15% off when you get the card; chances to earn bonus points and special offers provided.
Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
Co-branded: 14.24% to 21.24%
Not co-branded: 21.9%
One version is,
one is not
Visa
  REWARDS

Earn 5 points per $1 spent at Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime or Athleta or earn 1 point for every $1 spent anywhere Visa is accepted; every time you earn 1,000 points, receive a $10 reward card that can be used on piperlime.com, bananarepublic.com, gap.com, oldnavy.com and athleta.com; receive special offers and advance notice of sale events.
Barneys
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
21.0%; 18% in HI, LA, MA, MN, SC 18%-21% in AL, NE
6.5% in AR
No n/a
  REWARDS

Get 2% back after spending $2,000-$4,999; get 3% back after spending $5,000-$9,999; get 4% back after spending $10,000-$24,999; get 5% back after spending $25,000-$49,000; get 6% back after spending $50,000 or more.
Cato, It's Fashion
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
22.90% No n/a
  REWARDS

Receive special fashion news.
Lane Bryant
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
22.8% No n/a
  REWARDS

Receive a $20 reward check when you get 400 points; get 1 point per $1; after spending $400, get upgraded to a premier credit card and receive a $30 rewards check each time you accumulate 400 points; earn double points for shopping during your birthday week.
Men's Wearhouse
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
25.99% No n/a
  REWARDS

Save 5% on every purchase; receive $50 for every $500 spent, $20 off of every tuxedo rental package and a $10 gift certificate on your birthday.
The Limited
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
22.8% to 24.99%
No n/a
  REWARDS

Apply today and take 15% off of first purchase; receive special discounts, advance notice of special events and free hemming service on regularly priced pants; earn one point for ever $1 spent with the card; get a $15 gift coupon for every 300 points; spend $600 in a year, and card will be upgraded to the Couture Card, entitling the user to a $15 gift coupon for every 250 points.
TJ Maxx, Marshalls, A.J. Wright
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
Co-branded: 12.24% to 19.24%
Not co-branded: 21.99% 
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Earn 5 points for every dollar spent at T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and A.J.Wright stores; for co-branded cards, earn 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere. After earning 1,000 points, earn a $10 gift certificate; earn 10% off your first in-store purchase.

DEPARTMENT

Bloomingdale's
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
23.99% Yes
Visa
  REWARDS

Three levels with increasing perks. Save 10% off when apply; Exclusive travel and entertainment offers and insider membership days with savings; spend $1,000 annually and get 12 free gift wraps per year; earn more rewards for staying at certain hotels and receive special savings on purchases; spend $2,500 annually and get inside access to events and offers just for card members, free local delivery on most items and unlimited free gift wrapping.
J.C. Penny
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
23.99%
No
n/a
  REWARDS

Receive 15% off of regular and sale prices; sign up and save 10% that day; there are three different levels with increasing perks; the higher levels include free shipping offers and special savings offers; accepted at CVS and Rite Aid.
Kohl's
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
21.9% No n/a
  REWARDS

Save 10% on next purchase when apply; save an extra 15%-30% on all regular and sale purchases; if spend at least $600 on the card, receive special savings opportunities and the opportunity to pick a personal sale day six times per year.
Macy's
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
23.99% 4 are co-branded,
4 are not co-branded
Visa
  REWARDS

Four levels based on annual spending with increasing perks; apply now and receive 15% off today and tomorrow; receive monthly savings information, easy returns of Macy's purchases and, on higher level co-branded cards, receive rewards certificates and free services such as alterations and gift wrapping; higher levels of the not co-branded cards receive free alterations and gift wrappings.
Neiman Marcus/Bergdorf Goodman
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
23.9%
No n/a
  REWARDS

Earn 2,000 points for signing up; upon reaching 10,000 points, redeem for airline miles and gift cards.
Nordstrom debit card
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
n/a
One version is,
one is not
Visa
  REWARDS

Earn 2 points per $1 spent at Nordstrom; co-branded card use earns 1 point for every $1 spent elsewhere; upon reaching 2,000 points, receive $20 Nordstrom gift certificate; earn twice the rewards points when shopping during the half-yearly sales; in co-branded account, earn interest on money in account and can invest it in a CD.
Nordstrom credit card
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
7.9% to 22.9%. Two versions are,
one version is not
Visa
  REWARDS

Earn 2 points per $1 spent at Nordstrom; co-branded card use earns 1 point for every $1 spent elsewhere; upon reaching 2,000 points, receive $20 Nordstrom gift certificate; earn twice the rewards points when shopping during half-yearly sales.
Saks Fifth Avenue
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
Co-branded: 15.99% to 17.99%
Not co-branded: 23.99%
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Comes with increasing perks, depending on the amount spent throughout the year; receive a $25 welcome gift card when opening a platinum co-branded card, and earn Saks gift cards by collecting points when you use the card; with the co-branded cards, receive access to travel benefits and concierge services.
Sears, Kmart
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND

Co-branded: credit history relative
Not co-branded: 20.4%

One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Earn points on eligible purchases both in Sears or Kmart stores and at other places MasterCard is accepted (if using the co-branded card); once you earn at least 2,500 points, you can trade them in for gift cards at restaurants, other retailers or Sears/Kmart stores; upon reaching 10,000 points, you can begin earning travel discounts; earn a round trip flight at 25,000 points.

ELECTRONICS

Best Buy
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
Co-branded: 7.9% to 14.9%
Not co-branded: 24.4% to 27.99%
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

With the MasterCard, earn 1 point per $1 spent on dining and groceries, earn 2 points for each $1 spent at Best Buy, earn 1 point for every $2 spent elsewhere card is accepted; receive certificates toward music, movies and electronics. With the not co-branded card, receive no interest for 90 days on all purchases and reduced interest rates for purchases above $299.

GROCERY

Kroger
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
12.99%, 15.99%, 18.99% or 21.99% Yes
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Earn 1 point per $1 spent at Kroger, Ralphs, King Shopper, City Market, Dillons, Baker's, Smith's, Fry's food stores, or QFC; earn 1 points per $1 spent on Kroger brands or earn 1 point per $1 anywhere the card is accepted; for every 1,000 points, earn $5 in free groceries; get a 5 cent per gallon discount on gasoline at certain locations.

HOME/OFFICE

Home Depot
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
17.99% to 26.99% No
n/a
  REWARDS

6 months no payments, no interest if paid in full within 6 months; no interest/no payment for 6 months all the time on purchases of $299 o romore; special promotions throughout the year.
Homegoods
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
Co-branded: 12.24% to 19.24%
Not co-branded: 21.99%
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Earn 5 points for every dollar spent at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and A.J.Wright stores; for co-branded cards, earn 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere; after earning 1,000 points, earn a $10 gift certificate; earn 10% off your first in-store purchase.
Lowe's
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
Credit card: 22.99%;
Project card: 7.99% to 17.99%
No
n/a
  REWARDS

Two options: Lowe's credit card and Lowe's project card; credit card has no initial qualifying purchase, has special deferred payment promos throughout the year, low monthly payments. For the project card, an initial $1,000 purchase must be made before you qualify; during the first six months, you may keep making purchases without accruing interest or making payments.
Office Depot
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
Co-branded: 19.24% to 25.24%
Not co-branded: up to 23.99%
One version is, one is not
Visa
  REWARDS

Pay no interest or make no payments for six months on qualifying purchases of $299 or more; with co-branded, get 5% back when shopping at Office Depot, get 1% back in rebates elsewhere; 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Staples
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
21.96% No n/a
  REWARDS

Earn 10% back in rewards on all ink, toner, case and ream paper, and copy and print center services; get free delivery on orders of $50 or more and enjoy special member-only savings.

JEWELRY

Kay Jewelers, Jared, Morgan and Marks, Osterman Jewelers
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND

22.99% except 5.5% in AR, 21% in CO, GA, IN, MS, OK, TN, TX, VT, WV, WY,; 18% in HI, MA, MN, NC

No
n/a
  REWARDS

Each store offers its own in-house credit card; all provide financing options depending on the size of the purchase.

MILITARY

Army & Air Force Exchange Service
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
Co-branded: credit history relative
Not co-branded: 9.99%
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

When using the co-branded card, get cash back and redeem any points earned for travel or entertainment certificates.

SPORTING GOODS

Academy Sports & Outdoor
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
11.99% to 20.99% Yes
Visa
  REWARDS

Earn 5 points per $1 at Academy or earn 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere; after you've collected 2,500 points, receive a $25 gift certificate; receive 1,000 bonus points after first purchase.
Cabela's
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
9.99% on Cabela's purchases;
15.99% on other purchases
Yes
Visa
  REWARDS

Get approved instantly and take $15 off same-day purchases; get 2% back in Club points for all Cabela's purchases, and get 1% back for all purchases elsewhere. There is no limit on points and points never expire on accounts in good standing.

SUPER STORES

Kmart, Sears
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
Co-branded: credit history relative
Not co-branded: 20.4%
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Earn points on eligible purchases both in Sears or Kmart stores and at other places MasterCard is accepted (if using the co-branded card); once you earn at least 2,500 points, you can trade them in for gift cards at restaurants, other retailers or Sears/Kmart stores; upon reaching 10,000 points, you can begin earning travel discounts; earn a round trip flight at 25,000 points.
Meijer
  APR CO-BRANDED? CO-BRAND
Co-branded: 19.99% to 23.99%
Not co-branded: 26.99%
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Co-branded: Earn 1 point for every dollar spent both in-store and anywhere MasterCard is accepted; when you earn 2,000 points, receive $10 in store credit. Not co-branded: Get 5 cents off of every gallon of Meijer gas, get 10% off of your first purchase.
Target debit card
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
n/a n/a
n/a
  REWARDS

Get 10% off for the day when you pay for a prescription with your card; earn 1 point per $1 spent at Target; when you reach 1,000 points, get 10% off for an entire day; your purchases are deducted from your checking account and you can request up to $40 cash back at checkout; cannot be used at Target.com.
Target credit card
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
Co-branded: 13.99% to 22.99%
Not co-branded: 22.99%
One version is, one is not Visa
  REWARDS

Get 10% off for the day when you get approved for a credit card or when you pay for a prescription with your card; earn 1 point per $1 spent at Target or earn 1 point per $2; when you reach 1,000 points, get 10% off for an entire day.
Wal-Mart
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
Co-branded: 13.9% to 22.9%
Not co-branded: 22.9%
One version is,
one is not
Discover
  REWARDS

Co-branded card earns 1% cash back on all purchases; both cards give you a 3 cent per gallon discount at Wal-Mart gas stations and pay no interest if pay off purchases of $299 or more within 12 months.

TOYS

Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us
  APR CO-BRANDED? C0-BRAND
Co-branded: 10.24% to 19.24%
Not co-branded: 19.24%
One version is,
one is not
MasterCard
  REWARDS

Earn 4 points per $1 spent at Toys "R" Us or Babies "R" Us and, with the MasterCard, get 1 point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases such as gas or groceries; when you reach 1,000 points, you get a $10 reward certificate valid at either Toys "R" Us or Babies "R" Us; receive 10% off of your first purchase.

See related: Retail credit cards can't escape economic cutbacks, With little help from credit cards, retailers expect weak holiday sales

Published: November 20, 2009


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