5 Things to Know About the JCPenney Credit Card – NerdWallet

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The no-annual-fee JCPenney credit card, issued by Synchrony Bank, may come with an attractive introductory offer when you check out in store or online, but it may not be the best card for you.

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Like many store credit cards that can only be used with specific retailers, this card is only accepted at JCPenney stores, the JCPenney website, and Rite Aid stores. The card sometimes offers special financing, which can provide a useful interest-free window, but you must pay bills on time to avoid costly debt. And, while the points are worth more, you’ll earn them at a snail’s pace. Card earning limits and reward redemption restrictions can also make this card less attractive.

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Here’s what you can expect from this card.

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Some applicants may be considered for an ‘open-loop’ version of the card. By applying for a JCPenney credit card in-store, you may find that you are eligible for a JCPenney MasterCard. This card can be used at stores outside JCPenney, and it shares the same terms, with the exception of a few fees that are commonly found on credit cards with wide acceptance. You will be approved for one card type when you apply or another if you qualify; You are unable to choose your card type.

1. The introductory offer lacks value

As a new cardholder, you can avail 15% off on an eligible first purchase and combine it with other discounts for additional savings. Unlike regular sign-up offers on general-purpose rewards credit cards, this discount comes with restrictions as it is available only on select original, regular and sale-priced apparel, footwear, accessories, fine jewelry, watches, salon products, furniture applies. Choose from mattresses, JCPenney beauty products, and blinds and shades, to name a few. Other items like electronics, small electrics, select rings, smartwatches and tempur-pedic items are eligible for only 5% off.

Depending on the amount spent, you can leave money behind with this card. Let’s say the purchase comes to $500. With the JCPenney credit card, you can save $75 immediately if that 15% discount applies. But, with a card like the $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, you can work up to one big sign-up offer (from all eligible purchases, not just JCPenney purchases) in a few months: $200 Earn Cash Rewards Bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. If you are likely to meet the spending requirement with budgetary purchases, this is an option worth considering.

2. Other cards earn more rewards at JCPenney

Cardholders are automatically enrolled in JCPenney’s rewards program, but don’t expect a pile of JCPenney credit cards to make purchases through the retailer. It earns 1 point per dollar spent at JCPenney. Points are worth 5 cents, so you’ll find some value there but you’ll increase it slowly.

You may also stumble upon some restrictions that lose some of the value on rewards. For example, you can’t earn points on more than $2,000 you spend on a single purchase with a retailer.

3. Marks are issued in the form of certificates

JCPenney issues rewards in the form of credit card certificates. When you score 200 points, you get a $10 certificate. Certificates are delivered in the mail, via email, through the JCPenney mobile app, or in stores at the register. As long as the account is active with at least one purchase in the last 12 months, the points will not expire, but your certificates will. The expiration dates of certificates vary with at least 45 days.

Certificates also pack some limitations. For example, if a purchase is less than the amount specified on the reward, you lose the remaining value of the reward. You can also redeem up to 10 certificates (or $100) for a single purchase.

Cash-back credit cards can provide more flexibility and fewer restrictions. The $0-annual-fee US Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® card earns 5% cash back, 2% cash back, up to $2,000 spent in two categories of your choice (including department stores like JCPenney) from a list of card options One daily category from a list of options and 1% back on everything else. It allows you to redeem cash back in the form of statement credit or deposit to an eligible US bank account.

4. Special Financing Options Can Be Risky

JCPenney may offer a decent interest-free window to pay off credit card purchases, but be sure to understand what financing offer you’re getting and how it works. Otherwise you may get into debt.

At times, the card offers two types of special financing offers ranging from six months to 30 months:

No interest for certain months: This option does not start charging interest until the promotional period is over. As such, it acts like a standard 0% intro APR offer.

No interest “if paid in full” within a few months: This option defers interest for the duration of the promotion and applies it to the bill if you don’t pay the purchase in full by the deadline . Therefore, if after the promotional window you still have a penny outstanding on the original purchase, interest will be charged for all the months included in the offer. If you are not prepared for such expenditure, it can easily put you in debt.

With a steady variable APR of 28.24% (as of September 2022), it is important to avoid carrying a balance on this card unless you can pay it off on time within the promotional interest-free window.

Other rewards credit cards may offer a safer and more straightforward 0% intro offer. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers 0% intro APR on purchases and 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Ongoing APR Variable APR.

5. Some Benefits Come With Wires

The JCPenney credit card does offer retail-specific perks, but you must meet a spending requirement to get them. Perks are tied to cardholder status, either Gold or Platinum, depending on how much you spend. Here’s what they offer:

Gold Status: To earn and maintain this status you must spend $500 or more on merchandise or services online or in store with the card. As a Gold member, you’ll qualify for a $10 birthday coupon and an exclusive passbook of coupons. Passbooks are sent in the mail several times a year during peak shopping periods.

Platinum status: You must spend $1,000 or more on merchandise or services in store or online with the card annually to earn and maintain this status. Platinum status entitles you to a $15 Birthday Coupon, Bonus Points Day and exclusive coupon offers.

While these perks can offer savings, other rewards credit cards don’t always cover the amount you need to spend to earn them. You may get benefits with fewer strings elsewhere. For example, American Express credit cards have AmEx offers that provide targeted discounts with specific retailers that sometimes include department stores. Conditions apply, but spending requirements will not be as high.

A string-free perk on the JCPenney credit card entitles you to over 100 special savings days that can add up to a dollar. You won’t find birthday offers or ongoing retail-specific discounts with general-purpose rewards credit cards, but they can offer greater value and flexibility to use the card and earn rewards wherever it’s accepted. can.

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