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Macy’s Credit Cards Review

Macy’s Credit Cards Review

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This article was last updated Apr 15, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Macy’s is one of those legendary New York City department stores with a history that puts it into a league of its own. But does it make sense to apply for a department store credit card considering the wide availability of cashback rewards cards that can be used anywhere?

When you apply for a credit card with Macy’s, you’re considered for two different cards — the Macy's Credit Card, which is a store card, and the Macy's American Express Credit Card, which can be used anywhere American Express is accepted. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each, as well as look at other options that might offer better rewards and benefits.

Levels of the Macy’s Star Rewards loyalty program

Before we examine the two Macy's Credit Cards individually, let’s start with Star Rewards, the store’s loyalty program, since it’s tied to the benefits you earn with both cards. When you’re approved for a Macy's Credit Card, you’re automatically enrolled in the Star Rewards program with silver status (more on the different status tiers below).

There are four levels to Star Rewards. The beginning level is bronze, which is the only level available to non-cardholders. The next three levels — silver, gold and platinum — are only available to customers with a Macy’s card, and require spending certain amounts on that card.

Here are the annual spending requirements and benefits of each Star Rewards level:

  • Bronze (no spend requirement): 1 point per $1 spent on Macy’s purchases, Star Money bonus days (a special time to earn rewards faster), personalized offers and a birthday surprise.
  • Silver ($1-$499 annual spend): 2 points per $1 spent on Macy’s purchases, 25% off any day with Star Passes and bronze benefits.
  • Gold ($500-$1,199 annual spend): 3 points per $1 spent on Macy’s purchases, free shipping with no minimum purchase amount, and silver and bronze benefits.
  • Platinum ($1,200+ annual spend): 5 points per $1 spent on Macy’s purchases and gold, silver and bronze benefits.

It’s worth noting that the Star Rewards benefits are fairly limited. Some credit cards offer benefits like purchase protection and extended warranties, but the Macy’s credit cards do not.

Macy's American Express Credit Card pros and cons

Macy's American Express Credit Card pros

Potential for high rewards rate. Depending on your Star Rewards status, this card can get you anywhere from 2 to 5 points per $1 spent on Macy’s purchases. It also earns . (Note that, though the card’s rewards are described as a percentage back, they accrue in the form of points, with each point being worth 1 cent when converted into Star Money and redeemed for Macy’s purchases.)

Sign-up bonus.

Can be used outside of Macy’s. This card can be used anywhere American Express is accepted.

No annual fee. The annual fee on this card is $0.

Macy's American Express Credit Card cons

Rewards and redemption options are limited. You have to spend $1,200 a year at Macy’s on this card before you qualify for the highest rewards rate. And when it comes to rewards earned outside of Macy’s, your options are restricted. You won’t get extra rewards for gas purchases if you fill up at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs. Superstores and warehouses are also excluded from higher rewards in the supermarket category.

Though you’ll see the card’s rewards described in percentages, rewards accrue as points (in other words, 5% back means 5 points per $1 spent). Once you’ve earned 1,000 points, you’ll receive $10 in Star Money, which can be redeemed for purchases at Macy’s. Be aware that Star Money is only valid for 30 days after it’s issued, so you must use it quickly or it will expire.

There are restrictions on the sign-up bonus. The discount is valid on merchandise purchases made at Macy’s, Macy’s Backstage and macys.com. You have a limited time to use the discount, and you can’t use it for the following:

  • Services
  • Select licensed departments
  • Apple products
  • Smart watches/jewelry
  • Select tech accessories
  • Gift cards
  • Restaurants
  • Gourmet food
  • Wine

High APR. This card’s interest rate is , so make sure to pay in full and never carry a balance.

Macy's Credit Card pros and cons

Macy's Credit Card pros

Potential for high rewards rate. Like the Macy's American Express Credit Card, the Macy's Credit Card can earn anywhere from 2 to 5 points per $1 spent on Macy’s purchases — depending on what your Star Rewards level is.

Sign-up bonus.

No annual fee. This card has an annual fee of $0.

Might be easier to get. This is a store card, and typically, store cards are more willing to consider applicants with less-than-stellar credit. That could be a good thing if you’re considering this card as a way to establish credit history or rebuild from damaged credit.

Macy's Credit Card cons

Rewards and redemption options are limited. The issues we raised with the Macy's American Express Credit Card also apply to the Macy's Credit Card. To be eligible for the highest rewards rate, you’ll have to spend at least $1,200 a year on this card. And points can only be redeemed as Star Money, which is valid for 30 days after it’s issued and then expires.

There are restrictions on the sign-up bonus. The same restrictions on your new account discount apply with the Macy's Credit Card as with the Macy's American Express Credit Card.

Can only be used for Macy’s shopping. At least with the Macy's American Express Credit Card, you can make purchases at other merchants and earn rewards on gas and dining. But the Macy's Credit Card is a store card, meaning you can only use it at Macy’s and macys.com.

High APR. The interest rate on this card is , so don’t carry a balance.

Alternatives to the Macy’s credit cards

Maybe you’re not wedded to shopping at Macy’s. Or you may crave more flexibility when it comes to earning and redeeming rewards.

We’ve selected two cards that might fit your shopping needs. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers a unique benefit — the ability to select your 3% cashback category from six different options and change it monthly. And the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a strong choice for consumers who want to be rewarded for their purchases at supermarkets, gas stations and department stores. Neither card charges an annual fee.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.

  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases

Highlights
  • No annual fee 
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening 
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases 
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers 
  • No expiration on rewards 
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category. 
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap 

See additional details for Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

More Info

This card earns 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases.

For your 3% category, you can choose from the following:

  • Gas
  • Online shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drug stores
  • Home improvement/furnishings

The 3% category defaults to gas when you first get the card. You can change that category as frequently as every month. Note that once you hit the $2,500 spending cap in the 3% and 2% categories combined, your rewards rate drops to 1% until the next quarter.

Redemption options include statement credits, checks, deposits into a Bank of America checking or savings account, credits to an eligible account with Merrill and contributions to a qualifying 529 account with Merrill.

Read our review of the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

This offer and/or promotion may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available.

  • Earn up to $250 in statement credits. Terms Apply.

  • 3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases

  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.

Highlights
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card membership, up to $150 back.
  • Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

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

More Info

This card earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply. The department stores included in the 2% category are as follows:

  • Bealls
  • Belk
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Bon-Ton stores
  • Boscov’s
  • Century 21 Department Stores
  • Dillard’s
  • JCPenney (JCP)
  • Kohl’s
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Stein Mart

Your cash back can be redeemed as statement credits. From time to time, American Express may offer other redemption options, such as for gift cards or merchandise.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express also offers purchase protection. This benefit may cover your purchase for up to 90 days from the date of purchase in the event of damage or theft. The limit is $1,000 per purchase and $50,000 per calendar year.

Read our review of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Comparing the credit cards at a glance

 Macy's American Express Credit CardMacy's Credit CardBank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit cardBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Welcome offer$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening$100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months of card membership.
RewardsEarn up to 5 points per $1 spent on Macy’s purchases. Earn up to 5 points per $1 spent on Macy’s purchases.3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases.3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply.
Annual fee$0$0$0 $0
Foreign transaction fee3%N/A3%2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Regular purchase APR13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR13.99%-23.99% variable

To see rates & fees for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express please click here.

Is a Macy’s credit card right for you?

If you love shopping at Macy’s, think you’ll spend enough on Macy’s purchases to hit one of the higher Star Rewards tiers and don’t mind only being able to redeem your rewards for Macy’s purchases, you may find value in the Macy's American Express Credit Card or the Macy's Credit Card. However, we think most cardholders will benefit from having more flexibility in earning and redeeming rewards. If that sounds like what you need, a card like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express or the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card could be a good fit.


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