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JCPenney Credit Card Review (BONUS: 3 Better Alternative Credit Cards)

The JCPenney credit card is issued by Synchrony Bank and provides significant rewards for in-store purchases.

 

If you’re not a regular JCPenney shopper, you may not enjoy the full advantages of this credit card. While you can use it anywhere that major credit cards are accepted, it’s mostly geared toward frequent shoppers.

 

Features of the JCPenney Credit Card

When thinking about applying for a credit card, I first check the features of the card. With the JCPenney credit card, you get the following features:

  • 27.99% APR
  • 0% interest for the first 12 to 60 months
  • Savings on JCPenney purchases
  • Rewards for purchases at other retailers
  • $38 late fees

 

JCPenney has offered a variety of options to help attract buyers, especially consumers searching for major appliances.

 

You may get to enjoy 0% interest for up to 60 months, depending on the type of purchase you make when you open the card. For example, for purchases on qualifying major appliances of at least $299, you can defer interest for 18 months.

 

When purchasing qualifying furniture or mattresses that exceed $1499 or $2499, you can get up to 48 or 60 months of no-interest financing.

 

The 27.99% APR is a little steep. However, we’ve noticed that it tends to change throughout the year. You may also get a lower interest rate if you have excellent credit.

 

JCP Credit Card Benefits

Besides no interest for a limited period, the JCPenney credit card offers a handful of benefits. These benefits apply to JCPenney purchases and purchases at other retailers.

 

First, we should look at the rewards for shopping at JCPenney. You get 15% off select items purchased at JCPenney stores or through their website. This discount applies to most clothing, shoes, hair products, furniture, and mattresses.

 

However, you only get 5% off on major appliances. Luckily, you can combine this discount with all other deals and coupons. You also earn reward points for these purchases.

 

Besides shopping at JCPenney, you earn rewards when you shop in most places. You get one point for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases, up to 2000 points during a single transaction.

 

When you reach 200 points, you get a $10 JCPenney gift certificate. Unfortunately, you’ll need to spend this at JCPenney.

jcpenney credit card review

 

Pros of the JCPenney Credit Card

There are several features of the JCPenney credit card that we found beneficial. The variety of benefits is one advantage.

 

The 15% and 5% off that you get on JCPenney purchases is a significant advantage if you like to shop at JCPenney. As the company has had to shut several stores in recent years, you may not have a JCPenney in your immediate area.

 

The rewards are on par with other rewards programs. You get quite a bit of money back toward JCPenney purchases, encouraging you to keep shopping at the store and their website.

 

The various 0% interest options are also great if you plan to purchase a major appliance when you open your card. In fact, we think that this is one of the best reasons to consider opening this card. You get 12 to 60 months to pay off your balance before you start paying interest.

 

Cons of the JCPenney Credit Card

All credit cards have their disadvantages and we found a couple of issues with this card. One issue is that the rewards are not very great if you don’t shop at JCPenney frequently.

 

If you don’t shop at JCPenney, you’re only benefitting from the one point that you earn for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases. The $10 JCPenney rewards that you get after redeeming 200 points can only be spent at JCPenney, negating any value for those who don’t shop there.

 

The second issue is the APR. While you can enjoy 0% interest for an introductory period, the regular APR is 27.99%. This APR is higher compared to most secured credit card offers, even for those with poor credit.

 

Your JCPenney Credit Card Login Info

Accessing your JCPenney card account info can be done in several ways. You can wait for your monthly statements, you can visit the store, or you can log in to your account online.

 

You can also use these same options to your pay your bills. However, the online portal provides the most convenient solution.

 

You can also set up automatic payments, which is something that we always recommend. Even if you arrange to pay the minimum payment each month, you’ll at least avoid late fees. You can also pay extra at any time.

 

Who Is the JCPenney Credit Card for?

The JCPenney credit card may help you save money on your purchases at JCPenney. The 15% and 5% discounts that you receive provide major savings. You can also enjoy these savings whether you shop online or in store.

 

This card is also a good choice for those who plan to make a major purchase when they open the card. You can enjoy a long 0% interest introductory period when you purchase a qualifying item. These items typically include major appliances, mattresses, and furniture that exceeds a specific value.

 

Who Is the JCPenney Credit Card Not for?

If you don’t shop at JCPenney, you may not be interested in getting this card and we don’t blame you. There are many other offers out there.

 

Due to the high APR and limited rewards for shopping at other retailers, you only benefit when you shop at JCPenney or their website.

 

Last Thoughts on the JCPenney Credit Card

The JCPenney credit card isn’t a store card. You can use it anywhere. It’s also got great rewards. However, unless you’re a regular JCPenney shopper, you may be better off with a regular secured credit card.

 

While it offers great rewards for JCPenney shoppers, it also carries a high APR. If you’ve got decent credit, you should get better offers elsewhere.

 

It’s still a great choice if you frequently shop at the department store or online store. You may save quite a bit with the JCPenney credit card.

 

The 3 Best Alternative Credit Cards to Consider

Maybe you can do better than this credit card. If you have good credit, you should consider a few other options that will give you better benefits. The credit cards below are a few of our favorites, especially if you’re interested in traveling more. A few of these cards have signup bonuses that are big enough to redeem for multiple round trip flights. My wife and I used our Chase Sapphire Preferred signup bonus to book round trip flights for the both of us to Hawaii! It was well worth researching and getting the best credit card.

 

 Cash Back AlternativeCash Back AlternativeTravel Rewards Alternative
Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Sapphire Preferred
Signup Bonus$150 (15,000 pts)$150 (15,000 pts)60,000
Bonus Spending Categories5X on select rotating quarterly categories1.5X on all purchases2X on travel and dining
Annual Fee$0$0$95
Extra PerksBaggage insurance, trip insurance, rental car insurance
Best for People Who...Want no annual fee

Also have a Sapphire card

Want to earn bonus points on spend
Want no annual fee

Also have a Sapphire card

Want simple 1.5 bonus
points on every purchase you make
Want a large introductory bonus

Like to Travel
Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>

 

Decision Time: Which Credit Card is Really the Best for You?

Here at Travel Freedom, we like to travel, which is why we always prefer travel credit cards for ourselves. You might be the same as us or maybe you’d rather use your points as cashback. Either way, all of these cards earn Ultimate Rewards that can be used for either travel or as cash back.

 

We think that any four of these cards are a better option than the above-reviewed credit card. They earn points that are both valuable and very versatile. You can redeem them for an assortment of things including our favorite, TRAVEL!

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Advertiser Disclosure: Travel Freedom has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Freedom and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
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