If you shop at Kohl’s often, you probably always hear the advertisements for the Kohl’s credit card. While they make it sound like an amazing deal, it has its downsides. Understanding the big picture can help you determine if the Kohl’s credit card is right for you and if it is, when you should use it.
Kohl’s Credit Card Overview
The Kohl’s credit card is a store-branded credit card. This means you can only use it at Kohl’s. It doesn’t work at other merchants like a Costco Visa or any other credit card with the store brand partnered with Visa.
But there are some upsides to the card, even though it only works at Kohl’s.
When you apply for the card (and are approved), you get the chance to earn 35% off your first purchase made with the Kohl’s card, but it must be within 14 days of getting approved. That’s one of the largest discounts Kohl’s offers and can be well worth it if you make large purchases there.
Like all credit cards, there is an APR if you carry a balance. Right now the APR is 25.99%. If you don’t pay your balance in full, you’ll pay this rate on any balance until you pay it off in full.
All credit card holders get exclusive discounts, usually around 12 a year that are good only for credit card holders (when you use your card). You also have the opportunity to reach Most Valued Customer status, which occurs when you spend $600 in a year. You only have to reach the status once and you have it for your lifetime.
MVCs receive even more coupons that regular cardholders and more opportunities for free shipping.
Pros and Cons of the Kohl’s Credit Card
Like any credit card, there are pros and cons of using the Kohl’s credit card. Here’s what you should know.
- There’s no annual fee
- Easy to apply and get approved within minutes either online or in-store
- Access to exclusive savings events just for cardholders
- Make returns without a receipt
- You don’t get rewarded for your spending at Kohl’s no matter how much you spend
- You can only use the card at Kohl’s
- The APR is high
When Should you Use the Kohl’s Credit Card?
Honestly, the best time to use your Kohl’s card and the only time you’ll get benefits is when you have a coupon.
For example, they may offer 30% off to cardholders when they use their credit card and only 15% off to everyone else not using a Kohl’s card. In this case, it makes sense to use your Kohl’s card.
If you don’t have a coupon, there aren’t many rewards for using the card unless you’re trying to reach MVC status. If you know you’ll spend $600 in the calendar year, even if you aren’t using a coupon (which you always should at Kohl’s), your purchase can pay off.
Tips to Get the Most of your Kohl’s Credit Card
The Kohl’s credit card doesn’t have an annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about ‘breaking even’ by using the card at certain times, but there are some ways to get even more out of your credit card.
- Take advantage of your 35% savings when you open the card. Time your application right before you will make a large purchase at Kohl’s so you can save the most money.
- Take advantage of the coupons sent only to cardholders, saving your purchases for when you have a coupon. The coupons cardholders get are usually for a much higher value than other coupons they offer.
- Take advantage of the MVC benefits if you spend $600 a year. You’ll get a free birthday gift, more savings opportunities, and chances for free shipping.
- Stack offers with your credit card coupon. Kohl’s allows you to stack coupons. You can use one department-specific dollar off coupon, one department-specific percentage off coupon, and one sitewide coupon.
- Pay your balance off in full. Carrying a balance on any credit card isn’t a good idea, but the Kohl’s credit card has a steep APR of 25.99%, which would wipe out any savings you earned with the coupons.
- Use the Kohl’s app. If you sign up for the Kohl’s app (it’s free), you can keep track of your Kohl’s credit card, coupons, and Kohl’s cash all in one place, so you never miss a deal and get the most out of your credit card.
Earning Rewards with the Kohl’s Credit Card
The Kohl’s credit card isn’t a rewards credit card, but there is a way to earn rewards. You can sign up for the Kohl’s Rewards program.
With this program you earn 5% back on every purchase, but you don’t have to be a credit card holder to earn the points. For every $100 you spend, you’ll earn $5 Kohl’s Cash that you can use the following month.
You can combine Kohl’s cash with any other coupons to lower your cost and make the Kohl’s credit card worth it.
The Kohl’s credit card isn’t the most attractive credit card available today, but if you have less than perfect credit or enjoy Kohl’s coupons, it can be worth it to apply.
The largest benefit of the credit card are the coupons. You’ll save more as a credit card holder than those that don’t, but you must use the card to make the purchases and get the savings. Kohl’s makes it easy to stack savings and enjoy the benefits, but watch out for the APR. If you carry a balance, it could quickly eat up your savings, making the Kohl’s card less worth it.