How to choose the best department store credit cards
Compare credit cards for shopping at department stores in Singapore, including unlimited cashback and rewards-earning cards.
For those who frequently shop at department stores in Singapore, you may want to consider a dedicated store credit card. If you’re unsure whether this is the right credit card for you, we’ll help you compare rates, features and benefits for a range of store credit cards below. Find out how to choose the best one for your lifestyle and spending habits.
How do department store credit cards work?
Department store credit cards work in the same way as standard credit cards. You can make purchases in-store, online or on the phone and then pay off the balance before the due date. They’re still issued by regular banks or lenders and minimum repayments, annual fees, interest rates and other charges still operate in the same way.
Specific credit card’s requirements will be set out in a product disclosure statement that you can find on the individual bank’s website. All the fees and charges you pay on the card will be received and processed by the issuing bank, just like a standard bank-issued credit card. The department store will then receive a portion of the revenue earned.
Compare department store credit cards/shopping credit cards
How to choose the best department store credit card
Here are the key factors you need to consider:
- Shopping preferences. If you spend most of your money, or a significant portion of it, at department stores, a department store credit card from that specific store might help you save. You’ll need to consider where you shop the most and whether you’d be happy to be seen sporting a credit card branded with that store name.
- Exclusive benefits and perks. If you’re a loyal customer of a specific department store, such as Takashimaya, Robinson’s or TANGS, then you could benefit from choosing their specific card to feel like a VIP every time you shop there. You’ll need to consider whether gaining access to their exclusive department store perks is something you’re particularly interested in. Otherwise, there’s a wide range of shopping, rewards and cashback credit cards for you to choose from.
- Spending habits. Not all shopping credit cards offer rewards or cash rebates on online shopping, as well as on local and foreign spends. Before choosing a credit card, you should carefully consider whether you tend to shop mostly in-store or online, at local stores or on imported goods from overseas.
- Card features. Before deciding on your chosen credit card, you should compare the minimum spend requirements, rewards programs and rebates on offer. Also, consider whether there are any welcome gifts or sign-up bonuses available and how attractive these deals are to you. Some store cards may also offer other additional benefits such as free delivery on eligible shops and free weekend parking, so it’s important to weigh up the full range of card features before applying for any credit card. If you’re interested in specific card benefits, such as gaining savings on fuel, groceries and Grab rides, or accessing free travel insurance when overseas, you may also want to compare shopping, travel or everyday savings credit cards.
- Fees and charges. You should consider whether there are any fee waivers available, how much you’ll be required to spend to qualify and how much the annual fee is. If gaining supplementary cardholders is something you plan to do, consider whether there’s an additional supplementary card fee.
- Interest rates. Compare the interest charges on purchases and cash advances. Some store cards may offer 6- or 12-month interest-free instalment plans.
- Eligibility requirements. Similar to standard credit cards, you’ll have to meet the specific credit card’s income requirements when applying for your chosen credit card.
Pros and cons of using a department store credit card
- Exclusive discounts. The main reason to apply for a department store card is to gain access to exclusive member-only shopping discounts both year-round and during sales events. This can be especially worthwhile if you’re a frequent department store customer who wants exclusive access to closed-door sales events.
- Additional store perks. If you frequently haunt a specific department store, qualifying for free personal shopping services, free delivery on eligible minimum spends, free weekend parking and even free alteration services may be particularly appealing.
- Higher interest rate and annual fee. There may be a trade-off of paying higher annual fees and interest rate charges in exchange for enjoying exclusive store perks. You’ll need to weigh up whether these higher costs are worth it for you.
- Less redemption flexibility. Unlike standard credit cards that may offer cashback or rewards points on spending across local and overseas stores, a department store card can significantly limit the range of merchants you can shop and earn rewards at. However, if you already shop mostly at department stores, this might not be much of a restriction to your spending habits.
While there are a variety of department store credit cards you can choose from, but before applying for one, you should consider the full range of credit cards available that would most suit your needs. If you’re ready to find the best department store credit card, start comparing your options now.
Frequently asked questions