Finder may earn compensation from partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser Disclosure

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 for bad credit may be helpful. While most store cards require fair credit scores, select providers may accept lower scores. Compare your options using our table below. You can select up to four products and click "Compare" to see how their features stack up. You can also click "Show filters" to narrow your search.

Name Product Annual fee Purchase APR Minimum Credit Score
Merit Platinum
$299.40
N/A
300
Apply with no credit or bad credit, for use on the Horizon Outlet website.
Net First Platinum
Up to $299.40
N/A
300
Build your credit history with an unsecured line of credit.
Next Millennium Card
Up to $239.40
N/A fixed
300
Shop the items you need at myuniqueoutlet.com with up to a $1,000 credit.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Easiest store credit cards to get

Store credit cards may be a go-to option for those with bad credit because most store cards tend to have high approval rates. Even if you have poor credit, there’s likely a store credit card out there that will accept your application and grant you a card. Of course, those cards tend to lack the features or favorable rates of a card with more demanding credit requirements and some may even prove predatory. Here are a few store credit cards that are easy to get if you have bad credit, but won’t necessarily gouge your wallet.

  • Pottery Barn credit card. The Pottery Barn lets you choose between earning 10% back in Rewards or 12 months special financing on purchases of $750 or more.
  • Victoria’s Secret Angel Card. While niche, the Victoria’s Secret Angel Card is easy to obtain and surprisingly strong for rewards if you’re a frequent shopper at Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret members can earn up to 6% back on their eligible Victoria’s Secret purchases.
  • My Best Buy® Visa® Card. There are a few different versions of the Best Buy credit card, including the My Best Buy® Visa® Card, which is a closed loop option for those with lower credit.

Easiest department store credit cards to get

Department store credit cards are another option for rebuilding your credit. They have an advantage over niche store cards when it comes to flexibility since department stores tend to carry a wide variety of products.

  • Sears Credit Card. Though it’s not our favorite pick for rewards nor building credit, the Sears Credit Card could come in handy if you want the occasional coupon or deferred interest plan while you shop at Sears.
  • Belk Rewards Mastercard®. A department store without a large footprint in the US, Belk does offer a decent credit card that can net you 3% back at Belk and 2% back on eligible gas and grocery purchases.
  • Dillard’s American Express® Card. Though the American Express version of this card is superior, the Dillard’s American Express® Card still offers decent rewards on Dillards purchases without an annual fee.
  • Kohl's Credit Card. Light on the perks, this card’s main appeal is the regular discount offers you get for having the card and the card’s lack of annual fee. The absence of an annual fee is always an appreciated card feature if you need to build your credit score.
  • Nordstrom card. The Nordstrom card is a simple and straightforward credit card that offers rewards on more than just Nordstrom purchases. You can earn 3x points at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club, 2x points on dining, entertainment and travel, and 1x on all other purchases.

How to choose a store credit card for bad credit

Consider these factors when choosing a store credit card.

  • The affiliated retailer. Most likely, 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.

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 — are typically valid only at specific retailers. You can’t 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. For a no-credit check secured card, consider the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, which consistently garners great reviews.
  • Take out a credit-builder loan. When you take out a credit-builder loan, the bank will put the money into a savings account. To access the money, make regular payments over 12 to 24 months 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. Also, consider a no-credit-check secured credit card, which may be a superior option.

Frequently asked questions

Will I know in advance what credit score I need to get approved for a card?
Unfortunately, issuers will rarely tell you what credit scores you need for approval. Your best bet is knowing in advance which cards you have a decent chance of being approved for.

Why should I be selective about the cards I apply for?
Each time you apply for a card, the issuer will likely initiate a hard pull on your credit. This means it’s checking your credit report to decide whether to accept you as a customer. Hard pulls typically lower your credit score temporarily by a few points, which can be bad news if you want to apply for other cards.

How long will it take to improve my credit score?
It’s best to allow for at least several months before seeing an improvement in your credit score. A big mistake people often make is expecting their scores to shoot up right away. Be patient and aim for the long term. With consistent, on-time payments, you’ll steadily see your credit score improve.

More guides on Finder

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
    Go to site