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Compare store credit cards for bad credit

Using a store card can help rebuild your credit.

If you’re trying to improve your credit, a store credit card may be helpful. While most store cards require fair credit scores, select providers may accept lower scores.

How to choose a store credit card for bad credit

Consider these factors when choosing a store credit card:

  • The affiliated retailer.
    It’s possible that your store credit card will be valid only at its affiliated retailer. If you’re opening a card purely to improve your credit score, see whether there are small purchases you can make at the retailer.
  • Annual fee.
    Many store credit cards don’t have annual fees. Before applying for a card, however, check its pricing table to confirm its cost.
  • Interest rate.
    Interest is the charge you pay for borrowing money from your credit card provider. Store credit cards typically have very high APRs, especially for applicants with bad credit. Consider paying off your balance in full each month to avoid interest.
  • Repayment terms.
    Some bad-credit products have unusual repayment terms. Before applying for a product, check its terms and conditions to see how you can pay off the purchases you make.
  • Extra fees.
    Some providers may tack on extra fees you didn’t expect. To get a handle on what you might pay, dig into the card’s terms and pricing information. Know what you’re getting into before applying.

Compare store credit cards

The table below features a number of store credit cards. Not all credit cards listed in this table may be available to you if you have poor credit. So it’s always best to contact a customer service representative before you apply to see if the card you’re interested in is available to people with your credit history – especially if you have bad credit.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
BMO IGA AIR MILES Mastercard
800 Miles
Up to 3x Air Miles for every $25 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
BMO Sobeys AIR MILES Mastercard
800 Miles
Up to 3x Air Miles for every $25 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card
2,500 points
Up to 5 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Earn 2,500 bonus SCENE points when you spend a minimum of $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months as a new SCENE Visa cardholder. Apply by July 1, 2021.
Scotiabank GM Visa Card
N/A
Up to 5% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Earn 5% in GM Earnings on all eligible purchases on the first $5,000 annual spend, and 2% thereafter.
Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card
No first year annual fee
Up to 5% cash back
19.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($79 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get the annual fee waived in the first year on the primary card as well as any supplementary cards. Apply by July 1, 2021.
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Pros and cons of store credit cards for bad credit

Store credit cards may be a great option if you have bad credit, but you might want to hit the brakes before applying. Weigh these pros and cons before settling on a store card.

Pros

  • More lenient approval requirements.
    Store-card providers are often willing to accept applicants with less-than-stellar credit. Keep in mind many store cards require at least fair scores of 580 to 669. Some providers are willing to approve applicants with lower scores, though these issuers are tougher to find.
  • Build your credit score.
    If your provider reports your payment history to the major credit bureaus, you could see an uptick in your credit score with consistent payments.

Cons

  • Limited uses for your card.
    Store credit cards — especially those open to applicants with damaged credit — may only be valid at specific retailers. In that case, you won’t be able to use them at different stores like you would with other credit cards.
  • High interest.
    Issuers charge steeper interest rates to account for the risk of lending to those with damaged credit. If possible, pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest.

Is a store credit card for bad credit right for me?

A store credit card might be ideal if you already spend at the retailer that issues the card. Open a card only if you can make payments on time. Otherwise, you’ll take hits to your credit score.

If you’re not sure about a store credit card, consider these other methods to improve your credit score:

  • Open a secured credit card with no credit check.
    This can be superior to a store card in part because you can use it almost anywhere, instead of only at a specific retailer. On the downside, you must submit an upfront security deposit before you can open an account. Learn more about no-credit check secured cards in our comprehensive guide.
  • Take out a credit-builder loan.
    When you take out a credit-builder loan, the bank will put the money into an account. To access the money, make regular payments over a few months to a couple of years and eventually pay off the entire loan.

Bottom line

Store credit cards may be an option if you have poor credit. However, many of them require at least fair credit scores of 580 and above. If you have bad credit, consider applying for one of the products we’ve listed in this article.

You can also read through our guide to rebuilding your credit score to learn about more financial options and tips you can use to improve your credit.

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