*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 Jan 14, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
If your fashion retailer of choice is Express, you might have considered the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card. For details on what the store card offers, where it falls short and whether or not it’s worth adding to your wallet, here’s what you need to know.
In this article:
- Where the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card stands out
- Additional benefits
- Where the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card falls short
- Compare it with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
- The bottom line
Where the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card stands out
Generous rewards rate. Get 20 points for every $1 spent on Express purchases. This works by joining the EXPRESS NEXT loyalty program, which lets you earn 10 points for every $1 spent, then using the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card for those purchases doubles what you earn.
Decent sign-up bonus. Get 20% off your first purchase when you open an EXPRESS NEXT Credit card.
Chance to earn A-list status. You can get A-list status if you earn 7,500 points within the program year (defined as March 1 to the last day of February the following year). Having A-list status gives cardholders an added value boost for earning rewards and also comes with free standard shipping.
Where the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card falls short
Limited points value and complicated rewards structure. Earning points counts toward what Express calls “rewards.” Earn 2,500 points and that’s a $10 reward value — or a $15 reward value for those with A-list status. Without A-list status, each point is worth less than half a cent, and with it, each point is worth just over half a cent. However, even with the points themselves not being worth as much as you may find with other rewards programs, the fact that you can earn so many points with this credit card means you’re still getting a generous rewards rate.
High APR. The regular purchase APR on this card is 28.49% variable. That’s very high, so you’ll want to avoid carrying a balance on this card at all costs.
Rewards expire. If not used, your rewards will expire a year after you earn them.
Compare it with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
- Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
- To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
- Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
- Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
One of the top flat-rate cashback credit cards available is the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Here’s how the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer stack up against each other:
|EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card||Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer|
|Sign-up bonus||Get 20% off your first purchase when you open an EXPRESS NEXT Credit card.||No bonus|
|Rewards||20 points for every $1 spent.||Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay..|
|Regular purchase APR||28.49% variable||15.49% - 25.49% (variable)|
It’s true that if you spend the same amount on both cards, the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card will earn rewards faster. For example, if you spend $125, you’d earn $2.50 in cash back with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, but the same spend amount would earn you 2,500 points on the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card, which is worth a reward of $10 to go toward Express purchases.
However, only being able to use your rewards toward future Express purchases is limiting. With the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you can redeem your cash back as a statement credit, by direct deposit, by check or convert it to Citi ThankYou® points.
And you can use the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer anywhere Mastercard is accepted, meaning you have more opportunity to earn rewards than you would with a store card like the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card.
The bottom line
While devoted Express shoppers might like the EXPRESS NEXT Credit Card, we think there are better options. The rewards earned with this card have a significantly lower value than what you can earn with many competing cards, and you’re limited to using this card at Express locations and express.com. A credit card that can be used anywhere, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, is probably a better choice that will offer more value for most consumers.
If you’re looking for a store card because you have less-than-stellar credit, and you want to use a store card to help improve your credit score, you might also consider the Target REDcard Credit Card or the Walmart Rewards Card. The Target REDcard Credit Card offers a 5% discount on Target and Target.com purchases, applied when you check out. And with the Walmart Rewards Card, you’ll get 5% back on purchases made at Walmart.com and on the Walmart app, 2% back on Walmart purchases in stores outside of the introductory offer; and 2% back at Walmart Fuel Stations.
For more options to consider, take a look at our recommendations for the best store cards.