[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
If you’re a die-hard department store shopper, then you know that JCPenney is one of the oldest department stores in the United States, where you can find just about everything under one roof. You can buy everything from clothing, to home goods to kitchen appliances – some stores even have hair salons.
What keeps JCPenney customers continuing to come back is the ability to save money on every purchase. There is almost always a coupon available to use, and they have a reward system available to everyone-whether you’re a frequent JCPenney shopper or not. But if you find yourself constantly making purchases at JCPenney, getting a JCPenney store credit card gives you access to additional benefits and savings – and that can be worthwhile to a frequent JCPenney shopper.
Benefits of the JCPenney Credit Card
After you are approved for a JCPenney store credit card (either in-store or online) you will receive a 20%-off coupon (until March 7th, 2018) toward apparel or 5% off appliances which can save you a lot of money. (some exclusions apply to this offer – be sure to check the terms and conditions when you sign up).
Every time you use your JCPenney credit card, you receive one point for every $1 you spend. When you reach 200 points, you receive a $10 coupon to use on your next purchase. There is a limit of 2,000 points that you can earn on a single purchase, regardless of how much you spend. Keep in mind, also, that because this card is a closed-loop credit card, you will only be able to use it at JCPenney stores and at Sephora stores located inside JCPenney.
Depending on how much money you spend, you can reach different status levels. If you spend less than $499 in a year, then you are at Basic status. As a Basic member, you will receive a gift on your birthday and bonus coupons throughout the year. Cardmembers can also receive special financing on certain purchases.
If you spend between $500 and $999 during a calendar year, you will receive Gold status. As a Gold cardholder, you will receive all the benefits of a Basic member, plus you receive a few other perks each year, including six special coupons and an additional passbook of coupons. You will also be able to take part in a JCPenney “pick your own day” sale. With this sale you can pick four days throughout the year to save 15% off a purchase of your choice.
To reach Platinum level which is the highest level with your JCPenney credit card, you need to spend over $1,000 during the year. When you hit Platinum status, you receive all the benefits that you had as a Gold cardholder plus a few others, including Platinum exclusive discounts throughout the year. Plus, you receive free shipping on any purchases you make on JCPenney.com.
About Store Credit Cards
One of the benefits to store credit cards is that gaining approval tends to be easier than with bank issued, general-purpose credit cards, so this can be a great way to get your credit in better shape. Even though you might not have a good credit score, it’s possible you can still be approved for a store card with a lower credit limit, but remember, in most cases, store credit cards carry higher APRs. Some store cards will even raise your limit if you make monthly payments on time, but this also depends on the issuer’s terms and conditions.
What are the rates and fees for this card?
With the JCPenney credit card, the variable APR on purchases is a high 26.99%. That means it will be crucial that you pay off your balance each month or the finance charges could get very expensive. There is no annual fee for this card.
When it comes time to pay your bill you’re not only going to want to make sure you are on time because of the high APR. There is also a penalty fee of up to $38 on late payments. Making late payments also negatively impacts your score. You can make a payment online, over the phone, or in a JCPenney store. Just make sure you have the money in your bank account to cover it because you will not be able to use another credit card to pay your JCPenney card.
Alternatives to the JCPenney Credit Card
If you are a frequent JCPenney’s shopper and spend a decent amount of money at JCPenney, then their store credit card might be a great option. However, if you prefer the freedom to shop at multiple department stores without having too many credit cards, or would rather earn cash back rewards for your purchases, then you might be interested in one of these alternatives.
Discover it® Cash Back
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
- Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
- Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts—Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- No annual fee.
Card Details +
Why We’re Mentioning It: The Discover it is a great credit card for anyone hoping to earn cash back.
Card Details: Each quarter they select different categories where you can earn 5% back on up to $1,500, but you do have to activate the categories in order to earn the additional cash back. Department stores are usually on the list at least once during the year. All other purchases that fall outside of the bonus categories will receive 1% back. As an added bonus, Discover is matching all cash back earned during the first 12 billing cycles. That means if you earn $300 cash back, you would actually receive $600 during the first year.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) - that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
- 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.74% to 25.74%.
- Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
- $95 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
Card Details +
Why We’re Mentioning It: You can earn extra cash back at your favorite department stores.
Card Details: Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases
When applying for any of these cards (or any other credit card for that matter), keep in mind that every card issuer conducts a hard inquiry into your credit, which can ding your credit scores. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure you qualify by checking your scores ahead of time. You can get two free credit scores at Credit.com, updated monthly.
At publishing time, the Discover it and the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express 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).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
This article updated on March 5th, 2018.