JCPenney Credit Card

Founded in 1902, JCPenney is a premium department store with over a century of experience providing consumers with quality clothing, accessories, furniture, and appliances. JCPenney stores are most commonly found anchoring suburban shopping malls, and the retailer currently has over 1,050 locations in 49 states and Puerto Rico.For those who spend a lot of time (and money) in their local store, the JCPenney Credit Card can be a valuable tool for finding savings. However, those who are prone to making late payments may find their limits cut and/or accounts closed.

JCPenney Credit Card (1)

JCPenney Credit Card

  • Earn 1 point for every $1 of qualifying purchases
  • Save 20% on select apparel, shoes, accessories, fine jewelry, salon products, home, furniture and mattresses, custom blinds and shades; save 5% on major appliances (select stores only) and Modern Bride Diamond Vault. The 20% offer can be combined with another coupon and earn JCPenney Rewards.
  • Earn additional JCP Rewards and discounts when you reach Gold or Platinum status with qualifying purchases and points
  • Provide your email address to get your $10 rewards via email.
  • Get a JCPenney Visa® Prepaid Card in mail worth $100 - $500 on purchase of 2 or more qualifying major appliances starting at $398.
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Alternative Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
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What JCPenney Credit Cards Are Available?

JCPenney has 2 store-branded cards issued by Synchrony Bank: a basic credit card and a Mastercard.

Potential cardholders do not get to choose which card they apply for; the initial application is submitted for a basic JCPenney credit card. When/if a current cardholder meets certain criteria, they may then be upgraded to the JCPenney Mastercard (at the card issuer’s discretion).

Previously, JCPenney gave cardholders an avenue to achieve gold/platinum card status (with additional benefits) by hitting certain spending levels.

However, as of 2014, the gold and platinum programs were discontinued.

Benefits of JCPenney Credit Card

JC Penney as some of the best credit card rewards in the retail industry. For each dollar you spend at JC Penney, you earn 1 point. For every 100 points you earn, you receive a $10 gift card to the store. You can earn up to 10 gift cards every single month, which means that for every $1000 you spend, you get $100 extra to spend. That’s a pretty significant earnings reward; and that’s just one of the many reasons customers love this card so much.

Rewards are earned on every purchase, and all purchases earn the same amount. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the photo department, the salon or buying home goods or clothing for the entire family; you will get 1 point for every $1 spent.

What You Should Consider Before Applying For The Jcpenney Credit Card

The JCPenney Credit Card isn’t without its drawbacks. Watch out for these not-so-great features.

High purchase APR: This card comes with an interest rate that’s no joke. The purchase APR on this card is a whopping 27.99%. If your balance carries over month-to-month, your interest due could be astronomical.

Cap on your transactional earnings: If you’re hoping to rake in the rewards on a huge single purchase, think again. You’re limited to 2,000 Rewards Points per transaction, regardless of the price of your purchase.

Ticking clock on rewards certificates: Your points may not expire while your account is active, but those $10 rewards certificates don’t last as long. Note the expiration date on each certificate you have — it’ll be at least 45 days from the date of issue — and be sure to use your rewards certificates before that date.

So-so sign-up bonus: JCPenney is currently offering a sign-up bonus when you open a store card. You’ll receive your choice of a 20% discount on select apparel, shoes, accessories, fine jewelry, or home and salon supplies, or 5% off your purchase of select major appliances or modern bride diamond vault items. Neither discount is a super impressive option compared to sign-up bonuses that come with other cards.

Bottom Line: Is The JCPenney Card Right for You?

All in all, the JCPenney Credit Card is best for those who regularly shop at JCPenney, particularly those who spend $500 or more a year and can take advantage of the additional perks of the Gold and Platinum programs. While the card's high interest rate and low tolerance for late payments means cardholders should always pay their full balance on time each month to avoid fees or reduced credit limits.

As with most store cards, there’s zero benefit to carrying this one if you’re not a regular shopper at JCPenney. And if you tend to carry a balance from one month into the next, you could wind up paying more in crazy-high interest rates than you recoup in rewards.

But JCPenney fans can enjoy the deluge of special deals and the 5% year-round store rewards rate. And the card application can be completed both in store and via an online application.

Want the best of both worlds? Put your JCPenney purchases on the JCPenney Credit Card to earn 5%, and then pay off your balance on time and in full to avoid high interest costs.

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