[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]
Nordstrom has long been known for its customer service. (That’s what happens when you unilaterally offer returns without a receipt.) Those types of personal touches may have many people considering whether to get a Nordstrom credit card — and, truth be told, those puppies are loaded with perks, like alteration reimbursements and special-sale access. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should sign up at the register. Nordstrom’s credit cards are as reward-packed as rewards credit cards come. Unlike other store credit cards, they’re not geared to someone simply looking for a deferred-interest deal on a big purchase. In fact, the more you spend, the better your benefits will be. That means frequent shoppers known to pay their purchases off in full may find them truly worthwhile. In this Nordstrom credit card review, we’ll break down its major benefits, terms and conditions so you can determine if the plastic is right for you.
What Do I Need to Know About the Nordstrom Credit Cards?
Like many retailers, Nordstrom offers two versions of its credit card: a standard Retail Card that can only be used at Nordstrom and affiliate brands Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club, and a Visa Signature version that can be used anywhere the network is accepted. Both credit cards are issued by T.D. Bank, but you can’t really choose to apply for one over the other. Instead, you fill out an application and the company decides which version to issue. Per Nordstrom’s website, “everyone is considered for the Nordstrom retail card. Customers who make frequent purchases at Nordstrom will also be considered for the Visa card.” Here is what you should know about both cards. (Note: See the card agreements for full details.)
Nordstrom Retail Card
Rewards Details: Cardholders earn two points per dollar spent online and in stores at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club (2,000 points equals a $20 Nordstrom note). You’ll also get 24/7 Nordstrom customer service and a suite of cardholder benefits, including alteration reimbursements, personal triple points days and early access to anniversary sales. Perks vary depending on how much you spend (more on that in a minute).
Signup Bonus: You’ll also get a $40 Nordstrom Note if you spend $100 at those retailers the day you’re approved.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 24.40%
Nordstrom Visa Signature Credit Card
Rewards Details: Cardholders earn two points per dollar spent at the Nordstrom brands, but since this is a Visa card, you can use it anywhere the network is accepted, and you’ll get one point per dollar on those purchases. All the other cardholder benefits we previously mentioned apply.
Signup Bonus: That’s the same, too — a $40 Nordstrom Note if you spend $100 at those retailers the day you’re approved.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 12.40% to 24.40% for Nordstrom purchases, depending on creditworthiness; variable 16.15% to 24.15% on non-Nordstrom purchases, depending on creditworthiness
Interestingly, Nordstrom offers a store debit card that touts the same benefits as its retail credit card, but pulls the funds from your bank account (as debit cards do).
What Are Nordstrom Rewards?
Nordstrom’s cardholders can “unlock” souped-up versions of Nordstrom’s loyalty program — the aptly named Nordstrom Rewards — that provide more benefits the more that you spend. For instance, Level 1 cardholders (those that spend up to $1,999 at Nordstrom each year) get invited to bonus point events, early access to Nordstrom’s annual Anniversary Sale, one personal triple points day, and up to $100 in Nordstrom Notes for the cost of alteration services.
Level 4 cardholders (those that spend $10,000 or more at Nordstrom each year) get invited to bonus point events, receive early access to the Anniversary sale, four personal triple points days and unlimited complimentary alterations. They also get VIP access to in-store events (which include a spa service for two or a dining experience for four), an invite to Nordstrom’s private holiday party and “extraordinary experiences” — one-of-a-kind packages that include things like exclusive access to designers — twice a year. Level 2 cardholders (those who spend $2,000 to $4,999 a year) and Level 3 cardholders (those who spend $5,000 to $9,999 a year) get a mix of benefits in between. All cardholders start out with Level 1 status.
Should I Get a Nordstrom Credit Card?
As far as store credit cards go, the Nordstrom cards are pretty loaded — particularly if you spend enough to be a Level 4 VIP. And it’s also worth noting that the Nordstrom Visa Signature Card (the better deal if you can qualify) features a competitive interest rate as far as store rewards credit cards go, provided you have good credit.
But some of its reward-redemption restrictions could prove tedious. For starters, as with most store credit cards, you can only redeem your Nordstrom Notes at Nordstrom stores. And you’ll have to earn 2,000 points to receive your $20 Note — rewards balances are updated monthly, and the Notes are issued shortly thereafter. Points expire either three years from the last day of the year in which the points were earned, or when your Nordstrom Card is closed (whichever is earlier).
Also, given the allure of those Level 4 perks, you may want to avoid the card if you’re prone to overspending. Running up a balance just to earn the rewards or receive elite status isn’t really worth it once you start paying interest or, even worse from a credit-score standpoint, late fees. In any event, here are some credit cards to consider if you’ve decided against a Nordstrom card.
Why We’re Mentioning it: Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no caps or expiration dates during the life of the account. They’ll also get a $150 cash bonus if they spend $500 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% intro on purchases for 15 months; 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable) APR after that
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
- Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
- Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
- No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
- Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
- 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 14.74%-26.74% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
- $0 Annual Fee
- Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditio4ns
Card Details +
Why We’re Mentioning it: Another straightforward cash back card, Cash Wise offers unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on net purchases, plus a $200 bonus if you spend $1,000 in your first three months.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 14.74% - 26.74% (Variable), after a 0% intro for 12 months offer on purchases and balance transfers expires
At publishing time, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards and Wells Fargo Cash Wise cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
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