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Review

Review of the Sears Card and Sears Shop Your Way Mastercard

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Our rating
Min. credit level: Fair
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 25.24% Variable
Our rating
Min. credit level: Fair
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 25.24% Variable

Sears offers two consumer credit cards for the typical customer: the Sears Card® and the Shop Your Way 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.

Sears Card®

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Monthly coupons
  • Special financing offers
  • Advanced notice of Sears sales events
  • $0 annual fee

The information related to Sears Card® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Shop Your Way Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • $40 statement credit when you apply for an account online and spend at least $50 on eligible purchases within the first 30 days (until 3/31/20)
  • 5% in points on up to $10,000 in purchases per year at gas stations
  • 3% in points on up to $10,000 in purchases per year at grocery stores and restaurants
  • 2% in points at Sears and Kmart
  • Points expire after 12 months
  • Points become available one week after purchase
  • Special financing offers
  • Advanced notice of Sears sales events
  • No annual fee

The information related to Shop Your Way Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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 Shop Your Way Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, which is pretty much everywhere.

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

Shop Your Way Mastercard

Spending Rewards
  • 5% in points on up to $10,000 in purchases per year at Gas stations
  • 3% in points on up to $10,000 in purchases per year at:
    • Grocery stores
    • Restaurants
  • 2% in points at Sears and Kmart
  • 1% in points for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $40 statement credit when you apply online and spend $50 within the first 30 days

Monthly Offers

Every month the Sears cards provide 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 example deals:

  • 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.

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.

  • Advance notice of Sears sales events: Exclusive access to news about upcoming sales and specials
  • Special financing on eligible purchases: Get special deferred-interest financing on eligible Sears purchases.
  • Temporary shopping pass: If you forget your card, just show your I.D. to get a temporary day pass.
  • Extended Warranty: Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one extra year. (Mastercard only.)

The Terms & Fees

Card Annual Fee Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Sears Card $0 25.24% Variable None None N/A
Sears MasterCard $0 25.24% Variable  25.24% Variable 28.65% Variable 3%
Card Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Sears Card Up to $40 None
Sears MasterCard Up to $40 None

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 Shop Your Way 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.

The interest rates for these cards are very high, at 25.24% Variable. 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 Shop Your Way 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.

Do you find yourself at Sears fairly often, making big purchases that would earn a lot of cash back?

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 for 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 at least an extra $25 in interest over a year!

The special financing deals also have a 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. This could result in huge interest charges.

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 Shop Your Way Mastercard

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

Sears Card®

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges
  • Citi Identity Theft Solutions
  • Monthly coupons
  • Special financing offers
  • Advanced notice of Sears sales events
  • $0 annual fee

The information related to Sears Card® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Shop Your Way Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • $40 statement credit when you apply for an account online and spend at least $50 on eligible purchases within the first 30 days (until 3/31/20)
  • 5% in points on up to $10,000 in purchases per year at gas stations
  • 3% in points on up to $10,000 in purchases per year at grocery stores and restaurants
  • 2% in points at Sears and Kmart
  • Points expire after 12 months
  • Points become available one week after purchase
  • Special financing offers
  • Advanced notice of Sears sales events
  • No annual fee

The information related to Shop Your Way Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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Alternatives to the Sears Card and Shop Your Way Mastercard

Not a big fan of Sears? Check out some options from other department stores and retailers, including cards you can use anywhere you’d like.

Macy's American Express® Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Fair
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Macy’s American Express® Card (Review) provides rewards and benefits depending on how much you spend in a year with Macy’s.

A decent alternative if you don’t shop much at Sears, the Macy’s card features three membership tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each one adds more perks. So the more you spend, the more you’ll get out of this card.

The real draw comes from the annual benefits, like the Star Passes, which give you 25% off Macy’s purchases. That’s a pretty solid discount compared to the Sears cards. Not to mention you can use this card anywhere, and it also earns points at restaurants, on gas, and at supermarkets, making it a pretty rewarding choice when it comes to store cards.

So if Macy’s is your preferred department store (or one of them), and if you usually end up spending quite a lot there, you might want to consider adding this card to your arsenal.

Status Annual Spend Requirement Annual Star Passes Benefits
Silver $0–$499.99 3
  • Star Money Days
  • Perks and Offers
  • Birthday Surprise
Gold $500–$1,199.99 6
  • Free Shipping
Platinum $1,200+ 12
  • 5% Back in Rewards at Macy’s
Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar at Restaurants
  • 2X points per dollar at:
    • Gas stations
    • Supermarkets
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 20% off Macy’s purchases on the day you’re approved and the day after, up to $100 in savings
  • Star Passes: Get Star Passes each year, which can be used to get 25% off at Macy’s on any chosen day.
  • Perks and Offers: Receive occasional special offers at checkout, event invitations, access to exclusive sales, and more.
  • Birthday Surprise: Get a special birthday surprise during your birth month.
  • Star Money Days: These are limited-time events during which members can earn points on eligible Macy’s purchases when spending with their credit cards.
  • Amex Offers: Access the Amex Offers program, which provides opportunities to save money by earning additional points at a changing selection of retailers.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • 3X points per dollar at restaurants, 2X points per dollar at gas stations and grocery stores, 1X point for all other purchases
  • Macy’s Star Pass mailings
  • Surprise savings at checkout
  • Star Money days
  • Registry star rewards
  • Free shipping for Gold and Platinum members only
  • 5% back in rewards at Macy’s for Platinum members only
  • Birthday surprise every year
  • No annual fee

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 14.24% to 22.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review) is a great way to earn rewards on the slew of items offered through Amazon. You’ll need a Prime membership in order to get it; otherwise you can get the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review).

If Sears has it, you can be sure that Amazon most likely carries it as well. And with this card, you’ll get 5% cash back on every purchase you make through Amazon, which is more rewarding than what the Sears cards offer. The non-Prime version of the card also earns cash back on Amazon purchases, so even if you’re not a subscriber it’s still something to think about.

Both Amazon cards also offer rewards at Whole Foods, and on gas, at restaurants, and drugstores, expanding where you’ll earn cash back even further. That makes it far less limiting than the Sears cards.

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back at:
    • Amazon.com
    • Whole Foods Markets
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
    • Gas stations
    • Drugstores
  • 1% cash back for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $70 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon approval
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: At eligible hotels you’ll get a $25 food and beverage credit, automatic room upgrades when available, VIP guest status, and more.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Call any time for non-emergency assistance, like help making dining or travel reservations.
  • Shopping and Travel protections: Including Travel Accident Insurance, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, and Purchase Protection.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 14.24% to 22.24% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0 (Amazon Prime membership required)
  • Requires active Prime membership
  • Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits or at Amazon.com checkout
  • Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • Earn 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores
  • Earn 1% back on all other purchases
  • Get a $70 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level No credit check required
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 24.40% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Target REDcard™ Credit Card (Review) offers rewards and discounts for Target shoppers, providing another avenue for those who’d rather not shop at Sears.

As the name suggests, the Target card can only be used at Target, where it features some nice discounts. You’ll get 5% off every purchase, with additional annual discounts received through the mail.

Compared to the changing (and therefore somewhat restricting) 5% discount the Sears cards sometimes offer, you might end up saving more at Target and gaining some flexibility by saving with every purchase.

Spending Discount
  • 5% off eligible purchases at Target and Target.com
  • Free 2-day shipping: Get free two-day shipping on eligible purchases from Target.com.
  • 30-day extended returns: Get 30 extra days to make returns on purchases made with a REDcard.
  • Anniversary bonus savings: Sign up for Target marketing emails to receive a 10% off coupon for Target purchases by email on your account anniversary.
  • Early access offers: Receive occasional early access offers to Target events, promotions, and sales. These offers may be based on your previous purchases and location.
  • Exclusive extras: Get opportunities for exclusive deals and discounts, only available when purchasing with a REDcard.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 24.40% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • 5% off every day at Target & Target.com.*
  • Free 2 day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items at Target.com.*
  • Early Access to products and promotions*
  • Exclusive Extras including special items and offers*
  • Starbucks discount on in-store locations – get everyday 5% savings when you pay with your REDcard*
  • Cartwheel – save 5-50% on hundreds of items in store & get everyday 5% savings when you pay with your REDcard*
  • Target Subscriptions – save 5% on everyday essentials delivered on your schedule when you subscribe, plus get everyday 5% savings when you pay with your REDcard*
  • Get everyday 5% savings on specialty gift cards when you pay with your REDcard*
  • Target Wallet, easy and fast checkout. Use Wallet in the Target app to save with Cartwheel and pay with REDcard by scanning your phone at check out in store.
  • *Some restrictions apply. See Target.com/redcard for benefits and program rules

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review) is arguably one of the best cash back cards on the market, offering a flat 2% back no matter where you choose to shop, for no annual fee.

With this card you won’t be restricted at all. You could use it at Sears, or anywhere else, and reap in the cash back. That flat rate, and flexibility it provides, is the most attractive part of this card, but you’ll also get a nice balance transfer offer.

Or, if you’d like, you could get both cards. That way, you’ll still get your Sears discounts on eligible purchases, and you’ll have a go-to option when using a Sears card doesn’t make sense.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase you make (must pay at least the minimum due on time)
    • 1% back when you make a purchase
    • 1% back when you pay for that purchase

You can convert the your cash back rewards into ThankYou points. From there, you can transfer them to Citi’s airline partners, where you may find a more lucrative route for redeeming. You might be able to cash them in for a value higher than one cent, increasing your return on spend.

  • Free FICO credit score: See your Equifax-based FICO Bankcard Score 8 on statements, online, and by mobile app.
  • Citi Concierge: Get restaurant suggestions, reservations, travel arrangements, shopping research, and more.
  • Citi Entertainment: Get preferred access and pre-sale tickets to events and experiences, from music to movies.
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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

At a glance

The Sears Card and the Shop Your Way Mastercard provide discounts and standard benefits for shoppers who frequent Sears stores. They’re best suited for those who tend to make large purchases however, as that’s typically the only way to access the best rewards and financing deals these cards have to offer.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Sears Card® and Shop Your Way Mastercard® have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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