Last Updated on June 5, 2021 by Mark P.
Store credit cards have grown significantly in popularity. During the earliest days of retail, store credit was all that existed. Shopkeepers would keep tabs open for people, and customers could spend up to a specific limit with the store owner. If the customer didn’t pay it back, the owner would either refuse them more business or sue them. Then, the idea of a single card that multiple merchants could use came from the Diners Club card’s invention back in the 1950s. Now, as retailers look to compete fiercely for customers in today’s age, we’re going back to companies offering store credit cards deals as incentives to shop with them.
A retailer can offer more cash back opportunities and other perks for shopping with them than a third-party credit card can. In theory, this idea is fantastic. The customer saves money, gets the financing they need, and the retailer gets the sale and brand loyalty.
At TheDealExperts, we’re always looking out for the top deals to help you save where you can. We evaluate each card to see if it’s worth applying for or if another card might be better!
Here are the best 4 store credit cards:
4. Home Depot Store Credit Card
The first card that brings people to our site is the Home Depot card. People search for it as they want to know if it is one of the best store credit cards for deals available. Spoiler alert: it’s not.
What is the Home Depot Card?
The Home Depot card is a credit card that people can only use for financing Home Depot projects. Unlike credit cards issued by Chase or Citibank, this card isn’t a Visa or MasterCard, so people cannot use it anywhere else.
What are the Benefits of the Home Depot Store Credit Card?
Part of the problem with the Home Depot store card is that it doesn’t have many perks.
No Annual Fee
It does have no annual fee, and that’s always a positive. Annual fees have a way of eating into people’s savings in awful ways – especially for cards like this one, which a customer might only use for one big purchase.
Approval with Low Credit Score
The other “benefit” is that it has a relatively low credit score threshold for approval. While no company posts its minimum credit score needed to receive instant approval, people report approvals for this card with a 640 credit score. Some people even say that Home Depot approved them with a score as low as 600. If you don’t have excellent credit but need to finance a significant home repair, the Home Depot card might be the way to go.
Finally, the other benefit is deferred-interest financing for up to 24 months on purchases that meet a specific threshold. The default financing length is six months on purchases of $299 or more, but promotions can increase the duration to two full years.
What Are the Negatives of the Home Depot Card?
Unfortunately, there are quite a few downsides to the Home Depot store credit card.
Deferred-Interest Financing Downside
The first issue is that the 6-24 month financing period is deferred-interest. If you make one payment late or have even $1 left on balance, you’ll pay interest from the transaction date. To illustrate, let’s say you bought a stove on January 1, 2020, and got 12 months of deferred interest. Come next January 1, 2021, if you have even $1 left on your balance, you’ll owe all the interest that you would have generally paid since January 1, 2020. As you can imagine, this adds up to be a substantial amount of money!
No Cash Back
Secondly, the Home Depot card has no cash back. Not even 1% or a measly 0.5%. If you pay off your balance in full each month, there’s quite literally no reason to use the Home Depot card over any of your other cards. There’s more reason to use your everyday credit card, which hopefully has at least some cash back than there is the Home Depot store card at Home Depot!
Finally, the APR range is a little high. The best creditworthiness will get a minimum APR of 17.99%, while the worst will get 26.99%.
Unless you have a solid reason for wanting the Home Depot card, this is one you might want to pass on. If you have bad credit and are still looking for a credit card, please consider checking our top credit cards’ rankings for people with bad credit!
3. Lowes Advantage Store Credit Card
The next card we’ll analyze is the Lowes card. Like the Home Depot card, this one is popular with people looking to do home improvement projects but cannot pay for them all at once.
What is the Lowes Store Credit Card?
The Lowes card is a credit card that people can only use for financing projects and purchases at Lowes. Since it’s not a Visa or MasterCard, you cannot use it at any store other than Lowes.
What are the Benefits of the Lowes Store Credit Card?
The Lowes credit card has a few significant benefits that people who shop at the home improvement store will appreciate.
5% Discount or Deferred-Interest Option
The first benefit is the choice between a 5% discount or deferred-interest promotions. Electing deferred-interest will result in no discount applied, but you’ll get six months to pay off the balance of any purchase of $299 or more (they have promotions that extend this repayment period further). However, the 5% discount is where this card truly shines.
If you can pay your balance in full each month, receiving 5% back on home improvement projects (which can be in the thousands of dollars) can add up fast. You could be looking at hundreds of dollars in discounts by the time you finish everything. It’s a great store credit card for home improvement projects!
84-Month Fixed 7.99% APR
More significant projects can also opt for 84-month fixed monthly payment financing at 7.99% APR. That’s cheap for a credit card and also reasonably inexpensive for a personal loan. On $10,000 financed through this beneficial interest rate, you’d be looking at a monthly payment of $155.81. Not bad!
No Annual Fee & Low Credit Score Approval Threshold
There’s also no annual fee for the Lowes card, and the minimum credit score required for approval is 640. That’s on par with competitors’ cards (including the Home Depot store card).
What are the Negatives of the Lowes Card?
The most significant negative, by far, of the Lowes card, is the relatively high interest rate. Balances not paid off in full each month or put under a particular financing plan will accrue interest at a whopping 26.99% APR, with a minimum interest charge of $2.00. That’s about as bad as it gets. Therefore, if you do apply for this card, you want to pay off the bill in full each month!
Deferred-Interest Financing Downside
The other negative that people thinking about this card would be wise to consider is that the promotional periods are deferred-interest, not interest-free. Therefore, if you elect to take the six months of financing and don’t pay it all off at the end of those six months, you’ll have 27.99% APR interest assessed to your balance since the original purchase date.
If you’re not careful, you could wind up paying a fortune in interest by using this card!
The Lowes card is a sound card for the right person. If you can pay the balance in full each month or have 100% confidence in your ability to pay off promotional balances before the time expires, the Lowes card is a solid offering. However, if you can’t pay in full or have any doubts whatsoever in your ability to come up with the money at the end of a promotional period, do not use this card. The high APR is too big of a problem in this case!
2. My Best Buy® Store Card and My Best Buy® Visa® Credit Card
Technology enthusiasts frequently consider the Best Buy card because of the perks that this choice of store credit card offers. However, as we will see, those perks come with a cost.
What are the My Best Buy® Cards?
The My Best Buy® credit cards offer financing and rewards at all Best Buy locations. There are two versions of this card – a store credit card and a Visa version. As you might have guessed, the store version only works at Best Buy, while the Visa works anywhere you go, allowing you to earn My Best Buy® points on purchases you make outside of Best Buy.
What are the Benefits of the My Best Buy® Cards?
For a technology enthusiast, there are quite a few benefits of the Best Buy store credit card.
5% Back in Rewards
The first, quite simply, are the rewards you can earn. Both the Visa and store cardholders will earn 5% in rewards on every purchase. People who have Elite Plus status with Best Buy will earn 6%, which is higher than most credit cards will give. Visa cardholders earn 3% back on gas, 2% back on dining and grocery purchases, and 1% on everything else. It is worth noting that these are Best Buy points, not cash back. However, if you spend quite a bit at Best Buy, you’ll wind up using these points.
Cardholders can also get deferred-interest financing for 6-18 months, depending on the product. For example, a MacBook Pro will qualify for 18 months, whereas other purchases might only get six months. As of right now, all products over $499 qualify for the 18-month term, but that varies depending on the season. If you elect to finance, you’ll give up the 5% back in rewards.
Lower Credit Score Approval
The non-Visa version of the card requires a fair credit score to receive approval. As long as you have 660+ and above, you should get approved. However, the Visa version requires a more substantial score at 700+.
What Are the Negatives of the Best Buy Card?
There are two substantial negatives to the Best Buy card.
Deferred-Interest Financing Downside
First, the deferred interest is a problem, especially with discretionary items like laptops and TVs. It’s tempting to put that shiny new $5,000 top-of-the-line 4K TV on your Best Buy credit card, but that could be a recipe for disaster. Remember, not paying the full balance off at the end of the term – even by just $1 – means that they’ll charge interest on it from your purchase date. That’s expensive, especially when you consider point number two.
Second, the interest rates for this card are high. Expect to have an APR that ranges between 23.24% if you have excellent credit and 27.99% if you don’t. If you carry a balance or pay your promotional balance in full, expect to have significant interest charges.
Potential Loss of Rewards
It’s also worth noting that you give up your rewards to get the deferred interest. Therefore, if you don’t pay the full balance, you wind up losing 5% back, and they’ll calculate interest from your purchase date. So it’s no better than if you pulled out any of your credit cards and put the purchase on there.
If you’re confident in your ability to pay off the promotional balances or shop a lot at Best Buy (all the technophiles out there!), this card is an excellent store credit card deal. You’ll get reasonably decent rewards on everyday purchases, plus 6% on acquisitions from Best buy.
However, the high-interest rates and punishing interest if you don’t pay the promotional balances make this one difficult to recommend unless you shop at Best Buy a lot and have the money to pay your balance.
If you have a one-off big purchase at Best Buy, you may wish to consider one of these other top credit cards for cash back instead of using a Best Buy card. That way, you’ll get some money back, and you won’t need to open up a new credit card.
1. Amazon.com Store Card
For frequent shoppers using Amazon, the Amazon.com store credit card has quite a few appealing perks. As such, many people consider signing up for this store card, hoping to get the best store credit card deals from the e-commerce giant. Is it the best card to get? Maybe. As we’ll see, for the right person, the Amazon store card is an attractive option.
What is the Amazon.com Store Card?
The Amazon.com store card is a personal credit card issued by Synchrony Bank. You can only use the credit card at Amazon.com. Since it’s not a Visa or MasterCard, you can’t use it at other merchants. However, for people who spend money frequently at Amazon, it offers quite a few attractive perks.
What are the Benefits of the Amazon.com Store Card?
The Amazon.com card is a relatively standard store credit card with a few essential perks for people who shop with Amazon a lot.
Wide Variety of Items
The first thing to note is that you can buy practically anything on Amazon.com, unlike the merchants that all the other cards on this list represent. Lowes and Home Depot sell household materials. Best Buy sells tech. But, Amazon sells all of that and more. Therefore, even though this isn’t as versatile as a Visa or MasterCard, you can use this card’s benefits on most items.
5% back with an eligible Prime membership
What are those benefits? There’s 5% back in rewards on every purchase you make on Amazon without special financing for starters. So, your groceries? 5% in rewards. Those Christmas tree ornaments? Again, you’ll get 5% back. There’s no limit to what you can earn with this card, so whether you spend $10,000 a month or $100 a month, you’ll always earn those rewards points. That alone makes it a challenging card to beat, given everything you can buy on Amazon.
Special Financing Options
If you’d prefer financing, you can split purchases of $150 or more into six equal monthly payments. Purchases of $600 or more can have 12 months of equal amounts. Select purchases will get 24 months. These purchases are at 0% APR, so you won’t have any interest charges if you make all the payments. If you choose this option, you won’t get 5% back in rewards.
You can also elect for special financing, which is, again, at 0% APR. The difference is that the card calculates the minimum amounts using the standard 3% formula. So, you’ll have to make payments above the minimum to avoid interest. Again, if you select this, you’ll forfeit the 5% in rewards.
Lower Credit Score Approval
Amazon says that people who have a credit score of 640+ are “more likely to be approved for this card.” That makes it a reasonably attainable card for most Americans. Experian says that the average credit score in the US is 703.
What Are the Negatives of the Amazon Card?
The negatives of this pick of store credit card are similar to the others on this list.
Deferred-Interest Financing Downside
First, the Amazon card uses the same deferred interest scheme that the other cards use, and you have to forfeit your 5%. So, if you don’t pay off the full balance in time, you’ll owe interest from the date of purchase. However, Amazon does mitigate this by providing an option to split the payments into equal amounts. That way, as long as you make equal payments, you shouldn’t have any interest charges.
The standard APR on the Amazon.com store card is 25.99%. That’s not as high as some of the other cards on this list, but it’s up there. There’s no denying that it will wind up being very expensive if you choose to carry a balance with this card.
No Promotional APR
Lastly, it is worth noting that this card has no promotional APR. It doesn’t have any balance transfer capabilities. Therefore, it is strictly for purchases on Amazon.com.
Overall, for the right person, this card is a winner. If you’re someone that does most of their shopping on Amazon and can pay your balance in full each month or commit to equal monthly payments, this card provides a lot of flexibility and features. You can get 5% back on your groceries, for example, and then put that new Xbox on a six-month 0% APR payment plan. There aren’t many cards out there that can do that.
However, if you don’t shop at Amazon frequently, this card probably isn’t your best bet. You can get some fantastic 12 or 18 months 0% APR promo cards that will let you put that expensive purchase on it, interest-free, while providing you with rewards and cash back that you can use outside of Amazon.
About Those Store Credit Cards…
These are four of the top store credit cards about which people want to learn more. Ultimately, each of these four cards has a common theme: they’re frequently a decent option for people who often shop at these stores, but they’re not suitable for a one-off purchase. The combination of deferred interest, little rewards, and high APRs make them a bad deal for the average person.
If you want a new credit card with rewards and 0% APR promos, consider one of these top credit cards for rewards. You’ll likely find a better deal there than these store cards can provide.