Best Store Credit Card
NerdWallet reviewed more than 30 store-branded credit cards. Some were “closed loop” cards that can be used only at the store; others were “open loop” cards that can be used anywhere that accepts their payment network, such as Visa or Mastercard. Only cards for national brands were considered. The cards we reviewed include products issued by NerdWallet partners and nonpartners.
How we picked the cards to evaluate:
When choosing our best store card, we looked at the rewards (or discounts) offered by the card, the value of using the card compared with using a general-purpose card at the same retailer, the range of products available from the retailer (i.e., how frequently a consumer could expect to use the card), and reward redemption options. In general, store cards do not charge an annual fee, but we also took into account any retailer membership fees required to qualify for the card.
How we chose the winner:
Cards' NerdWallet star ratings alone do not determine awards. Here's how our credit cards team distinguishes between star ratings and award selections:
- Star ratings are quantitative: We assess the features of a card, score those features according to how they compare with other options on the market, and assign the card a rating of 1 to 5 stars based on those features. In general, a card that rates 4.5 stars will be a better value for more people than a card that rates 4.0 stars. However, the 4.0 card might be better than the 4.5 card for an individual consumer depending on that person’s circumstances.
- Selection for awards is both quantitative and qualitative: Selection for the awards is based on discussion among editorial team members and relies on the same criteria used for the star ratings. However, star ratings alone do not dictate awards. Rather, the awards identify the best cards for specific uses or specific types of consumers, such as shoppers who frequent a particular retailer.
NerdWallet gets credit card information from partner issuers through automated data feeds. Information about cards from nonpartner issuers is verified on the issuers’ websites.