Posted by William Charles on June 18, 2014
Credit Cards

Published on June 18th, 2014 | by William Charles


Best Credit Card For Department Store Purchases

This is another post in our “best credit card for…” series. Today we will be looking at the best credit card for department store purchases. There is no spending data for how much the average consumer spends at department stores, but if we had to hazard a guess this number is shrinking every year as more and more American’s transition their spend to online retailers.

That said department stores are still a popular category for credit cards to offer a category bonus on. Below we look at the credit cards that have the best category bonus for department stores.

All Department Stores

The following cards have a high cash back rate on all department store purchases regardless of the store.

Huntington Voice, 3% Cash Back, No Annual Fee, $2,000 Quarterly Limit

This card has been featuring a lot in our best of series, that’s because you can pick one 3% cash back category out of a list of 13 different categories. One of these categories is department stores. There is a quarterly spend limit of $2,000 which means you can earn a maximum cash back of $60 per quarter ($240 per year).

American Express Blue Cash Preferred, 3% Cash Back, $95 Annual Fee, No Limit

This card earns 3% cash back on U.S department stores, it doesn’t have any spending limits (e.g you can earn 3% cash back on unlimited U.S department store purchases). There is an annual fee of 975 attached to the card though. The added bonus is that it earns at 6% on all grocery store purchases (this does have a spending limit of $6,000).

U.S Bank Cash+, 5% Cash Back, No Annual Fee, $2,000 Quarterly Limit

Department stores are another category that the U.S Bank Cash+ card reigns supreme in. You earn 5% cash back on all department stores if you select this as one of your 5% cash back categories, the downside is that there is a limit of $2,000 per quarter that this 5% can be earned on. The upside is there is no annual fee.

Honorable Mentions

Chase Freedom, Rotating 5% Cash Back Categories, $1,500 Quarterly Limit, No Annual Fee

The Chase Freedom card has 5% cash back categories that change every quarter. In Q4 of 2011 department stores were included as one of these categories. 2012 & 2013 had no department store category but Q4 of 2014 will include “select” department stores (the fine print for this has not been released as of yet).

Citi Dividend, Rotating 5% Cash Back Categories, $6,000 Annual Limit, No Annual Fee

This is similar to the Chase Freedom card except rather than offering a quarterly limit the Citi Dividend card allows you an annual limit of $6,000 instead. This is advantageous because you can make use of the categories that appeal to you the most. In Q4 of 2013 the Citi Dividend had department stores as a 5% cash back category, their full 2014 calendar is yet to be released.

Specific Department Store Cards

There are a number of cards that are only for specific department stores. We’d recommend checking giftcardgranny to see if it’s cheaper to purchase a gift card for the store you want to shop at before putting it directly onto your card. You can often get a much bigger discount by doing this rather than using a store card itself.

It’s also worth thinking about how much you spend at each specific department store before getting their store branded card. You might be better off getting a card with a high cash sign up bonus instead if you only shop their irregularly, or getting a card that earns at a high rate on your other purchases.

Department store cards are also popular for people with no or bad credit histories due to the low sign up requirements. There are other options out there such as secured credit cards.

If there is interest for a particular department store or a specific deal in which these cards are useful, they will be listed here. For now we’d recommend you follow the above steps to get an even bigger discount.

Cards That Didn’t Make The Cut

  • American Express Fidelity: 2% cash back on all purchases, no annual fee.
  • Barclay Arrival Plus: 2.2% statement credit when applying against travel expenses, otherwise 1%. $89 annual fee.
  • American Express Blue Cash: 2% cash back on U.S department store purchases, no annual fee.
  • Discover it: 5% rotating categories. Hasn’t had department stores as a category since Q4 2012. Q4 2013 was online shopping and Q4 2014 is holiday shopping, if this includes department stores we will readd it to our list.

We’ve made list for other categories, you can find out what the best card is to use by clicking one of the links below:

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The blue cash preferred 6% on groceries maxes out at 6k, not 6.5k as you have written.


[…] list of best grocery credit cards here, our list of best gas credit cards here, and our list of best department store credit cards here. And always check out Things to Know about American Express before […]


Blue Cash Preferred is $95 AF. It also only provides 3% on gas, not 6% as you say in the post.


Maybe add the best store card list to the specific store category, in case people want to know for stores they shop at frequently.

Maybe add the best store card list to the specific store category, in case people want to know for specific stores they shop at frequently.

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