It’s hard to build credit if you have no credit. A good credit score gives you access to opportunities such as car loans, better interest rates, or buying a house at a lesser cost. One easy way to build credit is to use store credit cards.
Store credit cards offer rewards, perks like discounts, or access to financing when you shop at certain retail stores. Plus, it’s also easier to get approved for a store credit card.
Some store cards are limited to a specific retailer or chain and can come with a sign-on bonus. These credit cards typically doesn’t have annual fees but can have a higher APR.
Let’s look at in-store credit cards for Costco, Amazon, and Starbucks and look at their pros and cons.
1. Amazon Rewards Card
You’ve probably seen the offer to apply for Amazon financing every time you go to your cart to check out.
With 3% cashback at both Amazon and Whole Foods Market and 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants, drugstores, and gas stations, this is one of the best retail credit cards available. Even if you use it at other retailers, you can still get 1% cashback when you buy items from categories that are not on Amazon’s list.
Here’s what you need to know if you want to apply for an Amazon credit card to boost your credit or take advantage of member rewards.
This card is best if you already have a credit score in the upper 600s that you would like to build or if you already have good or excellent credit. You’ll need a credit score of between 670 and 850 to qualify for the card.
The good news is that there is no annual fee associated with Amazon’s Signature Visa Card.
A fun welcome bonus includes a $60 gift card from Amazon once you’re approved. Even better, Amazon will raise the bonus amount to $100 if you already have an eligible Amazon Prime membership when approved.
This card also comes with a nice perk for cardholders in the shape of travel and emergency assistance. It’s also a great travel card since you won’t get charged any fees on foreign transactions.
If your credit score is below the 670 range, you might consider another card that can help people with zero or low credit scores build credit.
Since Amazon’s Rewards Signature Visa has an APR of 14.24% to 22.24% (depending on your creditworthiness), this card has a higher interest rate. So if you don’t pay off your entire balance every month, you could owe extra due to interest.
Wall St. Watchdog as a great comprehensive list of retail cards on their blog.
2. Starbucks Rewards Card
Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee?
With a simple iced latte or a cup of fresh-brewed drip coffee, coffee-lovers and rewards fans can combine the best of both worlds at the famous global coffee chain.
If you’re a coffee addict who also craves extra perks, the Starbucks credit card might light up your day.
Here’s what you get after approval for your Starbucks Visa card.
- When you digitally load your Starbucks card using your Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card, you will receive one star for every dollar spent.
- In addition, you’ll get 2X stars for your dollar by swiping your Starbucks card for your next coffee
- The rewards don’t stop there. Every time you spend $2 minimum at a grocery store, spend at least that amount on local transit or commuting services, or use it to pay your internet, cable, or phone bill, you can earn a star.
- In addition, for every $4 spent elsewhere, you will receive one star.
- Once you have 150 stars, you can use them to buy eligible coffee (some rules may apply).
- If you spend $500 in the first 3 months after opening a Starbucks card, you can earn a whopping 4,500 Bonus Stars.
This card is best for regular coffee drinkers who want some rewards. For instance, you can earn 300 stars the first time you use your Starbucks credit card. In addition, you can earn free drinks, food items, and packaged coffee chosen by the barista at various locations.
The Starbucks Visa Rewards card is great if you typically fork out a lot of cash on coffee and want to get some perks for your money. You might also want to use it to pay for groceries, utilities, or other services.
If you only plan to use your Starbucks Visa card for a year, you’ll appreciate the initial 0% APR welcome benefit.
It’s tempting to want to spend $500 in 3 months to get the bonus stars. However, if you’re new to building credit, consider using it to pay for other necessary purchases outside of your coffee habit. That way, you can take advantage of the bonus stars while keeping your lights on.
While this card has some great perks with star rewards on Starbucks and other purchases, this card will cost you a $49 annual fee after the first free year. Unfortunately, this means you’ll get charged almost $50 per year even if you don’t use the card.
Remember that this card also has a relatively high-interest rate at 15.99%-22.99% APR based on your credit standing.
3. Costco Anywhere Card
Cost-cutters everywhere rejoice.
Costco has an Anywhere Visa Card offered by Citibank. So when you’re stocking up on essentials, grabbing bulk items for the family, or preparing for the next apocalypse, you can also get cashback savings and exclusive member rewards.
Here’s what you get when approved for a Costco Visa card.
- 2% cashback on all your Costco or Costco.com purchases.
- Get 4% cashback when you buy eligible gas, up to $7,000 per year. Once you hit $7,000 spent on gas, which might be sooner than you think with today’s soaring energy prices, the rewards will switch to 1% for the rest of the year.
If you’d like to get more for your money when traveling or dining out, Costco’s card offers 3% cashback on these purchases. Even if you use your credit card to pay other expenses, you can still get 1% cashback.
When you’re on vacation overseas, the last thing that you want is to get saddled with foreign transaction fees. You’ll enjoy zero foreign transaction fees when traveling as a Costco member.
If you qualify for this credit card, you will also receive an annual credit card reward certificate that you can redeem. It’s a great way to get extra savings, cashback and experience some travel perks.
Let’s be honest here. While this card does have a $0 annual fee, it does have a variable 15.99% APR depending on your credit. While talking about credit, you will also need a 740-850 (excellent) credit range to get approved.
Image by [Krakenimages.com] via [Shutterstock.com].