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Kohl’s Credit Card Review

Kohl’s Credit Card Review

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Aug 27, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Some people love Kohl’s for the wide variety of items they can buy, like clothing, shoes, home furnishings and jewelry. But another big draw is the store’s seemingly endless parade of coupons and rewards designed to bring customers back again and again.

Among those coupons and rewards are the Yes2You Rewards program (get a $5 reward for every $100 spent), Kohl’s Cash ($10 cashback for every $50 spent) and regular promotions offering 15% to 30% off.

The Kohl's Charge card is designed to help its most loyal customers maximize those coupons and rewards, as well as offer extra perks exclusive to cardmembers.

But, like many retail cards, it comes with a very high ongoing 26.74% variable APR, making it extremely expensive to carry a balance from month to month.

For that reason, this card is only worth it if you’re a regular Kohl’s customer who can afford to pay their bill in full each month. Sound like you? Read on for our full review of the ongoing variable Kohl's Charge credit card.**

What we like about the Kohl's Charge credit card

The perks. New cardmembers can Take 30% off your first purchase in-store or online when you use your Khol's Charge. Also, another 15% when the card arrives. So if you spend $500 on your back-to-school shopping, that’s $150 off your total purchase right off the bat. Once that discount is applied, you can save even more by applying any of your dollars-off discounts, Kohl’s Cash® coupons, Yes2You Rewards and promotional gifts to that spending.

You also receive 12 special offers and an anniversary offer every year, and you have the ability to combine your Kohl's Charge discounts with Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You Rewards. And you can earn Most Valued Customer (MVC) status when you spend $600 on the card by the end of the year. That earns you another six offers per year, a $10 birthday gift and exclusive free shipping events every month.

Soft pull available. If you’re worried about whether you qualify for a Kohl's Charge, they offer the option of doing a soft inquiry, which doesn’t hurt your credit score if you’re not eligible. If you prequalify and decide to apply officially, a hard credit pull is performed.

Things to watch out for

The penalty APR. The regular variable APR is already quite high, and another big minus with this card is If you don’t make your minimum payment on time every month or a payment is returned, your APR will jump from 26.74% variable to 29.74% variable indefinitely. Even if you pay on time every month, the regular interest rate is on the higher range for a credit card you can only use at one store. Make sure you can pay your card off in full each month, or you really won’t be saving money, even if you score a discount.

The card can only be used at Kohl’s. You can only use it at Kohl’s stores, which really cuts back on your flexibility. You might consider getting a card that offers rewards on department store purchases instead if you’re not a regular Kohl’s customer.

Discounts can’t be used on certain brands. There’s a long list of brands that you can’t apply to your coupons, discounts and rewards for purchases, including American Girl, Levi’s, Nike, Timberland, Ray-Ban, Keurig, Nutribullet, Breville, Nikon, Beats, iHome, Nintendo and premium perfumes and cosmetics.

Discounts may tempt you to overspend.  With myriad deals on the table going on with Kohl’s, it may be challenging to use all the coupons, promo codes, rewards, Kohl’s Cash and discounts offered by the store. And you certainly don’t want to spend just for spending’s sake, as you can simply wind up in debt.

Compare it with the 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% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases*

  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% back on other purchases*

Highlights
  • $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. 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 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.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

More Info

If you don’t want to be tied down to a card that you can only use in one store, then consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express instead.

When it comes to rewards, you earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases. This card is unusual because it does offer cash back for spending at department stores, including Kohl’s. You can get the higher cash back when you use the card in the store or online.

Your cash back on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes as reward dollars that you can redeem as a statement credit or by shopping on a special website. You can redeem reward dollars for statement credits in increments of 25 whenever your total balance is $25 or more, at a credit of $1 for every reward dollar redeemed.

But the bad news is after you spend $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets, the cash back you earn on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express drops to just 1%. You may not think it’s worth the required spend to get the new cardmember welcome offer. If you make purchases outside the country, you’ll pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with the benefits you’d expect from an American Express card, including car rental loss and damage insurance; roadside assistance; travel accident insurance; access to a 24/7 global assist hotline for help with medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services; extended warranty protection; return protection on retail items; and purchase protection. Terms apply.

 

Kohl's Charge Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Annual fee $0 $95
Regular purchase APR 26.74% variable 15.24%-26.24% Variable
Rewards Get 12 special offers every year; special anniversary offer every year; combine Kohl’s Charge discounts with Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You Rewards; and receive another 15% discount when your card arrives. 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-up bonus Take 30% off your first purchase in-store or online when you use your Khol's Charge. $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Foreign transaction fee Not applicable. 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Bottom line

Here’s the deal — if you’re a regular and dedicated shopper at Kohl’s and are willing to do what it takes to wring out the benefits of every coupon, promo code, discount, Yes2You reward points and Kohl’s Cash, then the Kohl's Charge is a great option. Just remember to make your payments on time so the higher interest rate doesn’t kick in.

But if you want to get rewards for spending on more than just department stores, more flexibility in how you use your rewards and the chance to have travel/purchase protections, then the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a better choice.

**This offer and/or promotion has since changed, expired, or is no longer available.


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