Reviews Nordstrom Visa Signature card review

Nordstrom Visa Signature card review

Published: August 30, 2017
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Retail Rating:
3.2 rating
3.2 rating
3.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.8
Rewards Flexibility: 3.8
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

Devoted Nordstrom fans will relish the opportunity to potentially save big bucks with the Nordstrom Visa Signature card, but occasional visitors to the luxury department store should take note of the card’s low overall rewards and mediocre sign-up bonus before applying.

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Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club
  • 1:1 other purchases


Sign-up Offer
$20 bonus note when you spend $100 at Nordstrom the day you’re approved

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$170

APR
11.65-23.65% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pros

  • Rewards automatically issued as $20 Nordstrom note (certificate) once you collect 2,000 points
  • Salesperson can put note amount onto a gift card to keep rewards from expiring
  • Can use Nordstrom notes with other offers

Cons

  • Can’t combine points earned as a Nordstrom rewards member with points earned as a cardholder
  • Can only use points at Nordstrom and participating stores
  • Notes expire one year after date of issue
  • Points expire after three years

Other Notable Features: Alterations reimbursement, personal triple points day(s), early access to Nordstrom anniversary sale, bonus points events, access to exclusive events and experiences (dining, shopping and spa) for Level 4 cardholders, Visa Signature luxury hotel collection, Visa Signature concierge services, purchase security, extended warranty, $0 liability, no pre-set spending limit, roadside dispatch, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance, EMV chip technology, no foreign transaction fee

Compared to many other store-branded credit cards, the Nordstrom Visa Signature card’s earnings scheme leaves much to be desired. The card offers 2:1 rewards on purchases made at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Trunk Club and HauteLook. At that rate, cardholders need to spend a hefty $1,000 to earn a $20 Nordstrom note (i.e., rewards certificate), though, with Nordstrom’s luxury level pricing, they shouldn’t have trouble reaching that amount on a typical outing. Meanwhile, the card bestows meager 1:1 rewards on all other purchases. In other words, you might want to consider a separate cash back or rewards card for purchases made outside of Nordstrom and participating stores, especially if you have good credit.

On the other hand, the card comes with an array of truly excellent store perks, including access to exclusive events and sales, that should appeal to die-hard Nordstrom shoppers.

Lackluster sign-up offer
New cardholders who spend $100 at Nordstrom on the day of account opening will snag a $20 bonus note. While it’s better than nothing, store-branded credit cards at department stores such as Sears and Macy’s come with much more generous sign-up offers. So, if you’re looking to win big with an initial bonus and then cancel your account shortly afterwards, the Nordstrom Visa Signature card probably isn’t for you.

Competitive interest rate
The Nordstrom Visa Signature card’s variable APR starts at a pretty reasonable 11.65 percent, which is particularly attractive compared to the average retail card’s APR of 23.84 percent. However, that rate is reserved for cardholders with the best credit scores. Depending on your credit history, your own APR could go as high as 23.65 percent. The interest rate assigned to your account will be printed on the temporary card you receive upon approval, so take note of the number before embarking on that long-awaited shopping spree.

Even if you choose to carry a balance from month to month – which is never advisable – take special care to always make payments on time. A steep penalty APR of 30.65 percent will be applied if your minimum payment isn’t received within 60 days of your due date.

No-hassle (but inflexible) redemption
While the Nordstrom Visa Signature card lets you earn rewards outside of Nordstrom and associated stores, rewards are only redeemable at those retailers no matter where they’re accrued. Further, cardholders who previously belonged to Nordstrom’s free rewards program will be disappointed to learn those points can’t be combined with the points earned with the credit card.

That being said, the redemption process with this card is straightforward: You’re automatically issued a $20 Nordstrom note via snail mail once you collect 2,000 points. If you’d rather not have to keep track of paper certificates, you can also access your notes through the Nordstrom app – just be sure to cash them in before they expire, or have them transferred to a gift card to use later.

No foreign transaction fees
One nice surprise with the Nordstrom Visa Signature card is its lack of a foreign transaction fee, a feature usually reserved for credit cards with high annual fees (and typically missing from store-branded cards altogether). What this means is you can use the card to earn rewards while traveling – without having to worry about racking up excessive fees. 

More ways to save
With special perks such as reimbursements on alterations to Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack purchases, early access to Nordstrom’s anniversary sale, personal triple points day(s) and bonus points events, Nordstrom Visa Signature cardholders stand to save well beyond the rewards certificates they earn. The more you spend each year, the more extras you’ll enjoy – including private shopping events and a spa experience for you and a guest. 

Visa Signature benefits
Visa Signature cards like this one come with their own set of standard benefits, including purchase security, extended warranty, access to 24/7 concierge services and travel accident insurance, not to mention exclusive offers and discounts on merchandise, culinary events, movies, concerts, hotels and more. Review your Guide to Benefits when you receive your Nordstrom Visa Signature card for the full list and coverage details.

Why get it:

  • You frequently shop at Nordstrom and associated stores.
  • You’re already a member of the Nordstrom Rewards program.
  • You prefer merchandise discounts over other types of rewards.
  • You don’t plan to use the card for everyday spending.
  • You want a store-branded card with added benefits such as purchase and return protection, extended warranty, roadside assistance, etc. 

How to use it:

  • Spend at least $100 at Nordstrom on the day you’re approved to score a $20 bonus note.
  • If you’re worried about cashing in your notes before they expire, ask a salesperson to put the amount on a Nordstrom gift card for use at a later date.
  • Schedule a personal triple points day during the Nordstrom anniversary sale or whenever you plan to make a big purchase.
  • Keep an eye out for bonus points events, where you’ll earn a $20 note for every $334 you spend.
  • Use the card when traveling internationally to take advantage of no foreign transaction fees.
  • Make all minimum payments on time to avoid a steep penalty APR.

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