|Rewards Rating:||1.6 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||1.3|
In a Nutshell:
If discount department stores are your happy place and you love the idea of uncomplicated rewards and automatic redemption, the TJX Rewards Platinum Mastercard could be a good choice – but the card’s high APR and low overall rewards rate could be a reason to pass on it.
Average Yearly Rewards ($1,325 monthly spend)
Other Notable Features: Price protection, extended warranty coverage, identity theft resolution, exclusive offers and invitations, $0 fraud liability, EMV chip technology
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Like other store cards, the TJX Rewards Platinum Mastercard’s typically high APR, low rewards on general purchases and limited redemption options mean occasional visitors to T.J.Maxx and its sister stores need not apply.
However, savvy shoppers excited at the thought of scoring great discounts – up to 60 percent off regular department-store prices at T.J.Maxx and Marshalls alone, according to some estimates – are likely to consider the card’s healthy store rewards their new best friend.
Straightforward earnings scheme
The highlight of the TJX Rewards Platinum Mastercard is its transparent rewards, which are particularly strong when you swipe the card at T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post. Purchases made at those retailers will get you 5 points per dollar, which means you’ll snag $10 in rewards certificates for every $200 you shell out.
You’ll also earn 1 point per dollar everywhere else Mastercard is accepted, but keep in mind most non-retail cards offer better general rewards, with lower interest rates and superior welcome bonuses to boot (see: the no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card).
TJX Rewards Access Program
By signing up for a TJX Rewards Access card, devoted shoppers can enjoy even more perks, like sweeps entries every time they shop, opportunities for free giveaways, invitations to private parties and alerts when new shipments arrive off the truck. Linking this to your Platinum Mastercard makes it even easier to sit back and revel in some “loyalty love,” as T.J.Maxx so eloquently puts it.
Exorbitant interest rate
The TJX Rewards Platinum Mastercard’s APR is especially high compared to other store cards and general rewards cards. According to our June 7, 2017, Weekly Rate Report, the average interest rate for a rewards credit card stood at 15.86 percent. Even last year’s average retail card APR of 23.84 percent is more enticing than the 29.24 percent offered by the TJX card.
In these situations, responsible card usage is even more important. Try not to charge more than you can afford to pay off in full every month, and set up mobile alerts to notify you when you’re approaching your credit limit or your payment is due. You should also review your card statements regularly to check for suspicious usage, which could run up your balance if they remain undisputed.
While the TJX Rewards card lets you collect rewards outside of Macy’s and its affiliated stores, all points are only redeemable at those retailers regardless of where they’re earned. Such a restriction really limits the value of the rewards, especially if you’d prefer an occasional price break at the gas station or grocery store.
On the plus side, rewards certificates are sent automatically in your billing statement once you cross the $200 spending threshold, making for a hands-off redemption process. And with a long shelf life – rewards certificates don’t expire for two years – there’s no rush to cash them in, which gives you the option of accumulating certificates toward a bigger shopping trip in the future (Christmas gifts, anyone?). Plus, the ability to combine rewards certificates with other offers means you have a chance to save even more.
A few added perks
In addition to regular rewards and a 10 percent discount on their first purchase, TJX Rewards Platinum cardholders also have exclusive access to special shopping hours, as well as “Surprise and Delight” benefits throughout the year. Other noteworthy features include price protection and extended warranty coverage on purchases made at T.J.Maxx and elsewhere, while benefits like EMV chip technology, $0 fraud liability and identity theft resolution can help protect you against unauthorized purchases and notify you when your personal information may be at risk.
Why get the TJX Rewards Platinum Mastercard?
- You’re a loyal customer of T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, or Sierra Trading Post (or all of the above).
- You enjoy hunting for good deals at retailers where the inventory constantly changes – and you want to earn rewards while you’re at it.
- You like the idea of exclusive benefits, such as invites to private shopping events and notifications of new shipments.
- You don’t intend to use this as your everyday credit card.
- You always pay your balance in full every month.
How to use the TJX Rewards Platinum Mastercard:
- Sign up for the TJX Rewards Access Program for added benefits and invitations.
- Keep an eye out for other coupons and discounts to stack on top of your rewards certificates.
- Use your 10 percent sign-up discount within 30 days of opening your account.
- Pay your regular balance in full every month to avoid paying higher-than-average interest. (While you’re at it, never use the card for cash advances, which come with an astronomical APR of 29.99 percent.)
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