Review of the Sears Card® and Sears MasterCard®

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Aug 29, 2016 | Updated Jul 15, 2018

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Sears offers two consumer credit cards for the typical customer: the Sears Card® and the Sears MasterCard®. These cards are designed for people who shop at Sears quite a bit, and often spend a lot of money there.

They’re pretty similar, with just a few minor differences. You’ll get exclusive savings and discounts every month with both of them, as well as access to special financing options.

There are no annual fees, but watch out for the high interest rates.

Card Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars

We gave both of these cards 3 out of 5 Stars because they’re not a bad option for big spenders at Sears. They have very high rates and don’t offer many extra benefits. But if you tend to spend a lot at Sears these cards could end up saving you quite a bit, or just give you more time to pay off purchases.

These cards aren’t useful for most Sears shoppers, however, because you’ll need to spend a lot of money at once to access the most useful rewards and financing deals. But they have no annual fee, so as long as you avoid interest they could potentially be pretty useful.

Should you be using one of these cards to help you get the most out of your Sears shopping? Keep reading our review to find out.

Where Can I Use My Sears Credit Card?

The Sears Card can only be used at Sears locations and services, as well as Kmart. This includes Sears Auto Centers, Sears Dental, and Sears Optical.

The Sears MasterCard can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, which is pretty much everywhere.

Sears Card®
Apply Now

Sears Card®

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 25.49% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Monthly Savings
  • Credit Offers
  • Special Financing Offers
  • Advanced Notice of Sears Sales Events
Sears MasterCard®
Apply Now

Sears MasterCard®

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 26.49% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Monthly Savings
  • Special Financing Offers
  • Advanced Notice of Sears Sales Events
  • No Annual Fee
  • 25.49% Regular Purchase APR *Variable

Upgrading to the Mastercard

We’ve had some reports of people getting a notice from Sears that they’ll be upgraded from the regular store card (the Sears Credit Card) to the Mastercard version.

As far as we know, there is no way to opt out of this upgrade. If you don’t want the Mastercard, you could consider closing the account, but make sure you understand the impact that will have on your credit scores.

If you’re looking for a better overall rewards card, check out our top picks for cash back credit cards.

The Rewards

Initial Offer

The very first day you get your card, you’ll be able to choose one of the following:

  • $15 off your purchase ($10 for the regular Sears Card)
  • 6 months of 0% APR special financing on purchases made that day

This offer is only available on the first day that you are approved for the card and open the account.

Monthly Offers

Every month you’ll have access to a fairly wide and changing selection of discounts and financing offers. These offers are valid online and in-store, and you’ll usually have a choice between 5% off or a 0% APR period.

Some of the deals for the month of September, 2016, include:

  • 5% off select home appliances or floor care items, or no interest if paid in full within 12 months
  • 5% off electronics over $599, or no interest if paid in full within 12 months
  • 5% off intimates and accessories for women, men, and kids
  • 5% off select furniture items over $499, or no interest if paid in full by the specified time period
Insider Tip: Important! If you don’t pay off your special financing offer by the time the period is over, you’ll be charged interest going all the way back to the purchase date. This would add quite a bit to your bill, and it totally defeats the purpose of the 0% APR offer.

So, be totally sure that you’ll be able to pay off that purchase in time, and don’t forget to make those payments every month.

Shop Your Way Offer

You can also enroll in the Shop Your Way rewards program to earn even more cash back. This program will usually include one extra offer per month, and it would be great to take advantage of this because you’ll get a better discount than the basic offers above.

The Shop Your Way offer for September, 2016, is:

  • 10% back (in points) up to the first $500 spent of a qualifying apparel, footwear, or fine jewelry purchase (1% after $500)

Take note that 90% of the Shop Your Way points you earn will expire after 90 days. The rest will expire after one year.

There are also some restrictions to this deal, like not being able to combine it with other offers. So it would be smart to check with a sales associate to learn exactly what you’ll get from a particular purchase, and use those points quickly before they expire.

The Benefits

The benefits provided by these cards are almost the same, except for one Shopping benefit which is only available with the MasterCard version.

Perks

  • Advance Notice of Sears Sales Events

    Exclusive access to news about upcoming sales and specials

  • Temporary Shopping Pass

    If you forget your card, just show your I.D. to get a temporary day pass.

Account Management

  • Online Account Management & Bill Pay

    See your account and manage everything online.

  • Free Authorized Users

    Add additional users to your account at no cost.

Security

  • Fraud Protection

    You will not be held responsible for unauthorized purchases made on your card.

  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions

    Get professional help if your identity is stolen or compromised.

Shopping (MasterCard only)

  • Extended Warranty

    Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one extra year.

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Sears Card $0 25.49% *Variable N/A 27.40% *Variable N/A
Sears MasterCard $0 26.49% Variable  26.49% Variable 28.40% Variable 3%
Card Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Sears Card Up to $37 Up to $37
Sears MasterCard Up to $37 Up to $37

These cards are pretty similar in their costs and fees. Neither one has an annual fee, so you won’t need to worry about that.

The main difference is that you can use the MasterCard for balance transfers, but you can’t with the basic Sears Card. But you shouldn’t really be using that card for balance transfers anyway, because it’s a store card with a high interest rate.

Insider Tip: Looking for balance transfer cards? Check out the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards – 2016.

The interest rates for these cards are very high, at 25.49%. But you can avoid interest charges by paying off your balance in full every billing period.

If you pay them off in full each period, these cards should be completely free to use.

The Bottom Line

The Sears Card and the Sears MasterCard can be useful if you’re a very frequent Sears shopper, or tend to spend a lot of money there once in a while.

Look at the kinds of offers you’ll get in the Rewards section. Do you find yourself at Sears fairly often, making purchases that would qualify for those discount/financing offers? Unfortunately you need to spend quite a bit to be eligible for most of those categories.

If you do spend that much, these cards could be saving you a decent chunk of cash. That 5% off will add up to quite a bit when you’re making those big purchases of hundreds of dollars.

But if you’re not a very frequent Sears shopper, these cards won’t be of much use. You’ll be better off with a general-purpose rewards credit card instead.

It’s worth repeating that these cards have very high interest rates (which you can avoid). A balance of just $100 will incur an extra $25 in interest over a year!

The special financing deals also have that condition where if you don’t pay off your purchase in time, you’ll be charged interest going all the way back to the purchase date.

So don’t forget about those two aspects of these cards, and be proactive when it comes to paying your bills.

Apply for the Sears Credit Card or MasterCard

Want to apply for or learn more about one of these cards? Just click the card’s name below.

Sears Card®
Apply Now

Sears Card®

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 25.49% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Monthly Savings
  • Credit Offers
  • Special Financing Offers
  • Advanced Notice of Sears Sales Events
Sears MasterCard®
Apply Now

Sears MasterCard®

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 26.49% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Monthly Savings
  • Special Financing Offers
  • Advanced Notice of Sears Sales Events
  • No Annual Fee
  • 25.49% Regular Purchase APR *Variable

If you use one of these credit cards, how do you like it? Leave your own review of the Sears Credit Card or the Sears MasterCard, we’d love to hear from you!

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