[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
TJ Maxx has branded itself as the place to buy designer duds for less. So if you’re already in one of its stores looking for affordable Steve Madden boots or a less pricey Ralph Lauren bag, there’s a good chance you’ll be tempted to pounce on an extra 10% off at the register. That’s the bonus you’ll get for opening a TJ Maxx credit card. Of course, the opportunity to score a discount doesn’t mean you should necessarily open an account. First, you’ll want to consider how much of a Maxxinista you really are. And if you decide you’re scouring TJ Maxx and/or its sister chains Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post frequently enough, you’ll have to choose which of its credit cards — the TJX Rewards Credit Card or TJX Rewards Platinum MasterCard, both issued by Synchrony Bank — is right for you. In this TJ Maxx credit card review, we’ll help you tackle both of these issues.
The TJ Maxx Credit Cards
There’s really only one major difference between the TJX Rewards Credit Card and the TJX Rewards Platinum MasterCard: The latter can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, while the former only works at TJX retailers: TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post. Here’s a quick breakdown of the cards’ major terms. (Note: Please see the card agreements for full details.)
TJX Rewards Credit Card
Rewards Details: In addition to that 10% off your first purchase, cardholders get 5 points for every dollar spent at TJMaxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post stores. You’ll earn a $10 rewards certificate for every 1,000 points you earn.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate: Variable 28.49%
TJX Rewards Platinum MasterCard
Rewards Details: You get the same 10% discount on your first purchase and 5 per points per dollar, similar to the TJX Rewards Credit Card. You can use this card anywhere MasterCard is accepted, and you’ll get one point on each dollar spent outside TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post stores.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate: Variable 28.49%
Should I Get a TJ Maxx Credit Card?
The 5% cash back on in-store purchases is certainly competitive as far as store credit cards go and could be worthwhile if you shop often at TJ Maxx stores. But, as you may have noticed, the variable APR on both cards (27.99%) is, well, pretty darn high. High APRs are commonplace when it comes to store credit cards, but they essentially mean that if you’re prone to carrying a balance — or fear the allure of rewards will lead you to overspend — then you’re probably better off passing up the offer.
If you do opt for a TJ Maxx credit card, you’ll be better served by the TJX Rewards Platinum MasterCard, since you can use it anywhere the network is accepted and you’ll get one per dollar on those purchases. Keep in mind, though, if your credit is in rough shape you may only qualify for the standard TJX Rewards credit card. (You can view two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)
Our Picks for Alternatives to TJ Maxx Credit Cards
Here’s the other thing about TJ Maxx credit cards: Whether we’re talking the standard or the Platinum, your rewards can only be redeemed at TJX stores. That may feel like less of a drawback compared to other store credit cards, given the popularity of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods. But you’ve still got some redemption hoops to jump through.
First, you’ll have to accumulate 1,000 points before you can use any of them in the form of a rewards certificate. (Those certificates are issued in $10 or $20 denominations.) Points don’t expire, but certificates do two years after the issue date, and points can’t be redeemed toward TJX-brand gift cards, gift certificates, e-gift cards, any third-party cards, cash or payment on your credit card account.
Again, the card could still be worth considering if you’re a loyal shopper and you pay your balances off in full all the time. However, if your shopping habits are more fickle and you’re looking for some more flexibility when it comes to redeeming your rewards, here are two other cards to consider.
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: Discover it Cash Back cardholders earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in revolving quarterly categories and 1% cash back everywhere else. That cash back can be redeemed in any amount, at any time, with no caps or expiration dates. Plus, Discover is matching all the cash back new cardholders earn in their first year at the end of the year. Note: You do have to activate these categories in order to earn the 5% rewards.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic
- Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
- Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
- No annual fee
Card Details +
Why We’re Mentioning It: The standard Chase Freedom card works just like Discover it, with revolving quarterly categories you have to enroll in. But its Freedom Unlimited (see full review here) may appeal to people who are looking for something even more low maintenance. The card offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no caps or expiration dates so long as your account remains open. Cash back can be redeemed at any time, in any amount.
At publishing time, the Discover it, Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
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 last updated October 2nd, 2017.