*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Nov 27, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
If you’re in need of a classic outfit for an interview, wedding or other formal occasion, you may turn to the timeless American brand Brooks Brothers, known for its quality pieces and exceptional service. As the oldest clothing retailer in the U.S. — recently celebrating 200 years — Brooks Brothers provides a wide selection of apparel. The clothing lines for men and women include dressy attire and a full selection of business casual and weekend casual clothes, as well as shoes and other accessories.
Frequent customers may have been asked to apply for The Brooks Card® or the Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® at checkout to earn rewards on their purchases. While these cards can help you earn points toward Brooks Brothers rewards certificates, are they worth considering since you can enroll in the My Brooks Rewards program for free?
We’ll answer that question, as well as compare The Brooks Card® and the Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard®, and provide alternative cards for your apparel shopping.
The Brooks Card® vs. Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard®
Brooks Brothers offers two credit cards for its customers — The Brooks Card® and the Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard®. Both cards earn you a competitive rewards rate on your eligible Brooks Brothers spending (more on that in the next section) and great new cardmember offers. But there’s one main difference between the two cards — where you can use them. The Brooks Card® can only be used at Brooks Brothers since it is a store card. Meanwhile, the Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, which is nearly everywhere. If you’re seriously considering a Brooks Brothers card, your decision mainly comes down to whether you want to use the card everywhere or only at Brooks Brothers.
- The Brooks Card®: Earn up to 6 points per $1 for every purchase at Brooks Brothers. Also, 15% off Brooks Brothers in-store purchases for 1 day.
- Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard®: Earn up to 6 points per $1 for every purchase at Brooks Brothers. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on purchases outside of Brooks Brothers. Also, 15% off Brooks Brothers in-store purchases for 1 month and a $20 rewards card when you make your first purchase outside of Brooks Brothers.
Both cards offer the same base “Earn up to 6 points per $1 for every purchase at Brooks Brothers.” But since cardholders are automatically enrolled in the free My Brooks Rewards program, the net rewards rate you earn on each purchase by using the Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® or The Brooks Card® is really only 2 points per $1. You may initially think you can Earn up to 6 points per $1 for every purchase at Brooks Brothers solely from using your Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® or The Brooks Card®, but that’s not entirely true. Points you earn with your Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® or The Brooks Card® are added together with rewards you earn from the My Brooks Rewards program. To find how many additional points you earn from using a Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® or The Brooks Card®, you just need to subtract the two rows in the rewards table below and you’ll get 2 points per $1.
The My Brooks Rewards program is free to join and doesn’t require you to have a Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® or The Brooks Card® — you can earn My Brooks Rewards with any general purpose credit card. There are three tiers to My Brooks Rewards, and depending on the tier you’re in, you can Earn up to 6 points per $1 for every purchase at Brooks Brothers in unison with your Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® or The Brooks Card®.
Here’s a breakdown of the My Brooks Rewards tiers:
|Points per dollar spent at Brooks Brothers with any form of payment||2||3||4|
|Points per dollar spent at Brooks Brothers with the Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® or The Brooks Card®||4||5||6|
How do rewards work?
- Receiving rewards: For every 1,000 points you earn, you receive a $10 reward.
- Redemption: Rewards can be redeemed in stores, online, by phone or in the mobile app at U.S. Brooks Brothers retail and factory stores. Beware: Airport stores are excluded from earning points and redeeming rewards.
- Expiration: Six months after they’re issued.
Additional cardholder benefits
- $20 annual birthday reward (at least one transaction on your card in the previous 12 months is required to receive this offer)
- Free return shipping in the U.S. on web and phone orders
- Exclusive cardholder events
- Advance special event and sale notifications
Alternative card options for department store shopping
A flat-rate cashback rewards credit card is a good alternative to The Brooks Card® and the Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® since you can earn a consistent amount of cash back on all your spending — both inside and outside of Brooks Brothers. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is our top pick for a cashback card with its rewards program — earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. You also have more options to redeem rewards such as gift cards, statement credits and direct deposit, compared to just at Brooks Brothers. Additional benefits of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer include the potentially money-saving Citi® Price Rewind feature. With this benefit, register eligible items online and Citi will search for a lower price within 60 days from the purchase date. If a lower price is found, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price.
Up to 5% cash back
A cashback card offering quarterly rotating 5% cashback categories can be a good way to earn rewards on apparel shopping. These cards often offer department stores and online shopping sites such as Amazon.com as bonus categories for one quarter out of the year. (Note, Brooks Brothers may not be an eligible category.) Using one of these cards can help you earn a good amount of cash back during qualifying quarters. Keep in mind that you’ll need to activate the bonus categories each quarter, and that the 5% cashback rate is typically limited to $1,500 of spending a quarter before the cashback rate drops to 1%.
Here are two of our favorite rotating 5% cashback cards:
0% for 14 months on purchases and Balance Transfers, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable.
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. *
Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*
- INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
- Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
- Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
- Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- No annual fee.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back
From our research, we found that using The Brooks Card® and the Brooks Brothers Platinum Mastercard® earn you pretty much the same rewards as using a flat-rate credit card for all your Brooks Brothers spending. Since that’s the case, we recommend sticking with a flat-rate credit card or one of the other alternative cards we mention above. These cards can provide you with more benefits that may include introductory 0% APR periods, more versatile rewards redemptions and more cardholder perks. Yes, you’ll miss out on some of the Brooks Brothers-specific benefits such as a birthday reward and cardholder-only events, but you shouldn’t pick a credit card solely on those things anyway.