Updated Sep 09, 2021 | Published Jan 17, 2020 • 8 min read
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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.
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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.
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.
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:
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
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
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 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
Balance Transfer APR
Cash Advance APR
Foreign Transaction Fee
Returned Payment Fee
Up to $40
Up to $40
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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