The best store credit cards of 2022
Store credit cards are as much a part of the shopping experience as a sales associate asking if you’re “looking for anything in particular.” They’re almost unavoidable during the checkout process. And while that 10% discount for opening the card on the spot can be tempting, it’s usually not worth the hassle due to high interest rates and limited rewards.
In general, the rewards you earn from these cards aren’t as valuable as the points and miles you can earn from travel credit cards. However, if you’re looking to build your credit or if you shop a lot at a particular retailer, a store credit card could make sense. The credit limits on store credit cards are usually low, so there’s not a high qualification threshold, and, they offer perks to loyal shoppers.
If you’ve been thinking about store credit cards, here are the ones on the scene that have proven to be truly rewarding.
14.24% to 22.24% Variable
$150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval
- 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods is hard to beat
- Earns 2% cash back on other popular categories (restaurants, gas stations, drugstores)
- No annual fee (though you have to be an Amazon Prime member)
- Other cards offer higher cash-back rates on non-Amazon purchases
- 5% Back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership*
- 2% Back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
- 1% Back on all other purchases
- No annual credit card fee
- No foreign transaction fees
If you’re like millions of Americans, you likely purchase things like household goods and appliances, skincare, and snacks on Amazon. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card acts as more of a regular cash-back credit card than a store credit card, making it an ideal addition to any shopper’s wallet.
There are great Amazon-specific benefits, like 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods (for Amazon Prime members only — you’ll receive 3% back if not a member). You’ll also get:
- 2% back at restaurants
- 2% back at gas stations
- 2% back at drugstores
- 1% back for all other eligible purchases
There is no minimum rewards balance to redeem — so you can claim a $5 redemption or wait and save your points for big-ticket items. As a bonus, you’ll also get a $150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. This is one card Amazon shoppers rave about because you can find nearly anything on the site, and you get equal cash back on grocery shopping at Whole Foods.
You’ll also appreciate the $0 annual fee and other perks like:
Read more: The best credit cards for shopping at Amazon
- Generous cash-back categories, especially for gas purchases
- No foreign transaction fee
- You can only receive rewards once per year
- You need to visit a Costco location to redeem rewards for cash back instead of merchandise
- Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
- 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
- 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
- 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
- Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is valuable even for those who don’t frequent the super-popular wholesale club. For a $0 annual fee card, it’s got strong earning rates in select categories:
- 4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide (on up to $7,000 in spending each year, then 1%)
- 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide
- 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and costco.com
- 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
4% cash back on gas purchases is impressive — and the other bonus categories are no slouches, either. Remember, if you’ve got a Costco Executive membership, you’ll earn 2% back on Costco purchases. This card gives you the ability to earn a total of 4% back at Costco warehouses.
Read more: Costco Anywhere Visa Card review
A big downside to this card is the way rewards are redeemed. You can only receive cash back after your February billing statement closes. You’ll get a “reward certificate” that you’ll have to take to a Costco warehouse. You can request a check for all the cash back you’ve earned over the past year.
Also, this card doesn’t offer a public sign-up bonus. Some Costco members have had success inquiring at a Costco warehouse to see if they’re targeted for a special promotion, so don’t use our links for this credit card if you can help it.
Read more: The best credit cards for shopping at Costco
17.99%, 23.24% or 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness
Good to Excellent
5% back in Walmart stores when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months of account opening
- You’ll earn a strong 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery (with no limit on what you can earn)
- Restaurant and travel purchases earn 2% cash back, as do in-store Walmart purchases in the US and Puerto Rico
- No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
- Many comparable no-annual-fee cash-back cards come with a substantial welcome bonus or other valuable benefits
- The information related to the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
- Earn 5% cash back at Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery
- Earn 2% cash back at Walmart stores in the US and Puerto Rico, and at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations
- Earn 2% cash back on gift cards purchased through Walmart (online, through the Walmart app, in-store, or with Walmart Pay)
- Earn 2% cash back at restaurants and on travel purchases
- Earn 1% cash back on everything else
If you shop online or elect for grocery pickup with regularity, the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® could be a powerful tool in your cashback strategy. This $0 annual fee card earns:
- 5% cash back at Walmart.com (including pickup and delivery)
- 2% cash back at Walmart stores in the US and Puerto Rico, and at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations
- 2% cash back on gift cards purchased through Walmart
- 2% back at restaurants and on travel
- 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
A 2% return is common among no annual fee cards. But the ability to earn 5% back on the lion’s share of your grocery purchases (with no cap) simply by shopping online is excellent.
Read more: Walmart Credit Card review
As a sign-up bonus, you’ll get 5% back in Walmart stores when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months of account opening. The card also comes with perks like:
- Purchase assurance
- Price protection
- Extended warranty
- Cell phone protection*
- Identity fraud expense reimbursement*
- Travel insurances*
*World Elite Mastercard version only.
$0 intro annual fee ($49 after the first year)
15.99% – 22.99% Variable
4,500 bonus Stars after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening
- Monthly beverage coupons through 2022
- Sign-up bonus of 4,500 Bonus Stars (worth potentially $200+ in Starbucks purchases)
- High earning rate when using the card with Starbucks
- Can only redeem rewards at Starbucks
- $49 annual fee after the first year
- Meager earning rates for purchases other than Starbucks
- Up to 3 Stars per $1 spent at Starbucks® stores. 1 Star per $1 for using your Starbucks Rewards Visa® Card to digitally load your Starbucks Card (excludes money added at the register), and 2 Stars per $1 spent using the Starbucks Card to pay at Starbucks® stores.
- 1 Star per $2 spent on grocery stores, local transit and commuting, and internet, cable and phone service purchases.
- 1 Star per $4 spent on all other purchases.
- Plus 300 Bonus Stars rewarded to you the first time you use your Starbucks® Card to add money to your Starbucks® account.
The Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card earns rewards that are only valid at Starbucks. It earns Starbucks Stars, which vary dramatically in value. But if you spend them wisely, it’s not difficult to get a return of 6+ cents per star.
Here’s what the card earns:
- Up to 3 Stars per dollar at Starbucks (1 Star per dollar for using your Starbucks Visa to digitally loading your Starbucks Card, and 2 Stars per dollar when you use that card at Starbucks)
- 1 Star per $2 spent at grocery stores
- 1 Star per $2 spent on local transit and commuting
- 1 Star per $2 spent on internet, cable, and phone services
- 1 Star per $4 for al other eligible purchases
You’ll also receive 4,500 bonus Stars after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening. And you’ll get 300 more bonus Stars the first time you use the card to add money to your Starbucks account.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the value of a Starbucks Star, but here’s what you can use them for:
- 25 Stars: Drink customizations (extra shot, dairy substitute, syrup, sauce)
- 50 Stars: Hot brewed coffee, bakery item, hot brewed tea
- 150 Stars: Handcrafted drink, hot breakfast, parfait
- 200 Stars: Lunch sandwich, protein box, salad
- 400 Stars: Select merchandise, packaged coffee
If you can manage to squeeze at least 6 cents from a Starbucks Star, the three Stars you’ll receive at Starbucks is an effective return of 18%.
If you can live with restricted credit card rewards, you can get a lot of value from the Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card. Just note that the card comes with a $0 intro annual fee ($49 after the first year).
18.74% – 25.74% (variable, dependent on card type), rates are accurate as of 2/1/2021
- No annual fee
- Generous bonus rewards for grocery store and gas station purchases
- Can save you money on your monthly phone, wireless and Fios bill if you enroll in automatic payments
- You can only redeem rewards with Verizon
- New cardholder bonus isn’t particularly impressive
- Card holders earn 4% on grocery store & gas purchases
- 3% on dining purchases, including takeout and delivery
- 2% on Verizon purchases
- 1% on all other purchases everywhere Visa® Credit Cards are accepted
- Verizon customers who enroll in Verizon’s Auto Pay for the first time can get up to $10 per month off each eligible account or line, up to 10 lines max on select plans. New card holders can enroll using their card which is the only credit card approved for the discount. Please note: Auto pay discount is for first-time enrollees.
- Card holders can use Verizon Dollars at our store – but they don’t have to. They can use them on travel, or to get gift cards from their favorite brands. They can even put them toward their wireless bill.
- No Annual Fee.
- Redeem Verizon Dollars on that phone you’ve been wanting. Or those headphones. Or pretty much anything in our store. Or even put the rewards toward your Verizon Wireless bill.
- Apply for the card with no annual fee and worth its weight in rewards. Exclusively offered to Verizon Wireless customers.
- No Annual Fee/No Foreign Transaction Fee – For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APRs are 21.74% or 25.74% for Verizon Visa Credit Card or 18.74%, 21.74% or 25.74% for Verizon Visa Signature Credit Card. APRs are accurate as of 2/1/21 and will vary with the market based on Prime Rates (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum Interest Charge is $2.
- To learn more click Apply Now for details
The Verizon Visa Card is another credit card that has a favorable return rate, but earns very limited rewards. This card has a $0 annual fee, and it’s exclusively for Verizon customers.
The Verizon Visa Card earns Verizon Dollars — not standard cash back that you can use anywhere. However, because you can use your rewards for just about anything Verizon-related, including your monthly phone bill, you may be able to reason that your savings easily translates to cash back. Here’s what you’ll earn:
- 4% at grocery stores and gas stations
- 3% on dining
- 2% on Verizon purchases
- 1% for all other eligible purchases
The card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus per se. But you will receive up to $100 in credits when you use your new card to pay your phone bill during the first 24 months of account opening. That’s a $4.17 monthly discount.
You can also save potentially hundreds per year on your phone bill as a cardholder and member of Verizon Up (Verizon’s loyalty program). New enrollees to Verizon’s Auto Pay can receive up to $10 per month off each eligible account or line (max 10 lines) on select plans.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
How did we choose the best store credit cards?
Personal Finance Insider analyzed dozens of cards to determine which of the most popular store cards offer the best benefits. We exclusively chose cards that you can use for any purchase (not just cards that can be used at the co-branded store). That way you’ve got the opportunity to earn more rewards more often.
We also prioritized each card’s return rates over sign-up bonuses. If you’re opening a store card, you’ll likely be using it for specific purchases long after the bonus has disappeared.
Are store credit cards worth it?
Store credit cards can be worthwhile, especially for those with less-than-perfect credit. That’s because it’s generally easier to be approved for a store card than a travel credit card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Should I open a store credit card?
The biggest downfall to many (not all) store cards is that they only earn rewards that can be redeemed with their respective store.
If you’re choosing such a card, be sure the savings will be more meaningful to you than spending with a pure cash-back card like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns a flat 2% cash back (1% when you make a purchase, and 1% when you pay it off) on all purchases.
Credit cards reporter
Joseph Hostetler is a credit cards reporter for Insider who also covers helpful miles and points tricks. He has more than five years of experience writing professionally about credit cards, previously authoring and editing for The Points Guy and Million Mile Secrets. You can reach Joseph at [email protected] Learn more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services »
Good to Excellent
Featured Reward 3 free nights (each valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases and 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories
Credit Needed Good to Excellent
Featured Reward $200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Credit Needed Good to Excellent