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The TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®, issued by Synchrony Bank, can be a worthy sidekick for the deal-savvy shopper who hunts bargains at T.J. Maxx and its affiliated stores.
Typically, general credit cards don’t earn bonus rewards on purchases at discount outlets, so for T.J. Maxx loyalists who are already getting a marked-down price, this $0-annual-fee card is extra valuable.
It can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, but if you don’t frequently shop under the TJX brand umbrella, you’ll rack up rewards slowly and may find redemptions limiting.
Here are five things to know about the card:
Nerd tip: There's also a store-only version of this card. It offers some of the same perks, but can be used only at T.J. Maxx and its family of stores. This review focuses solely on the open-loop TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®, which can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
1. T.J. Maxx loyalists can rake in rewards ...
The TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® offers a high in-brand rewards rate whether you’re shopping off the rack or on the web:
5 points per $1 spent at stores in the TJX family (T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post and Homesense).
1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
Points are worth a penny each, but there's only one redemption option: For every 1,000 points earned, you’ll get a $10 rewards certificate to spend on purchases in store or online at the above retailers. (Certificates can be issued in either $10 or $20 denominations.)
If you shop at T.J. Maxx at every opportunity, for all occasions — back to school, birthdays, holidays and such — you can score some serious points.
2. ... But it's not ideal for everyday purchases
Of course, you can't buy everything at T.J. Maxx. Your everyday spending on things like groceries, gas and restaurant meals will earn a paltry 1 point per $1, and you'll be locked in to using those rewards in only one place: within the T.J. Maxx family of brands.
If you're looking for more flexible earning and redemption options, a cash-back credit card will work better for you.
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, for example, offers 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill. That can add up much more quickly, and you can redeem your cash back as a qualifying bank account deposit, a statement credit or a check to use however you’d like. The annual fee is $0.
And, of course, you don't necessarily have to settle for just one card. You could use the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® on TJX purchases and the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer everywhere else.
3. There's an upfront incentive, but it won't fund a shopping spree
The TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® shaves 10% off your first purchase online or in store. That can make a decent dent in a big purchase, but a general rewards credit card may offer more valuable introductory incentives.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, for example, features a nice sign-up offer: One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. The card earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, not just at one retailer.
4. You may get first dibs on merchandise ...
The TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® snags you invitations to exclusive shopping events in store and online.
You can sort through the merchandise before other customers get access to it. Depending on the event, you might also snag some treats or prizes.
5. ... But you won't want to carry a balance
There's no introductory APR period with this card, so if you need to finance a new wardrobe for work or some furniture for a remodel, you should probably look elsewhere.
The ongoing APR is 29.24% Variable. Carrying a balance will chip away at any rewards you earn, so it's best to pay your balance on time and in full every month.
If you need breathing room on interest for a large purchase, a general rewards card like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card will again be a better choice. It offers an intro 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0.