Macy’s Credit Card Review

If you are a frequent Macy’s shopper, or if you just want to get a discount on a larger purchase you’re making at Macy’s, you may be interested in the Macy’s credit card. In addition to letting you buy on credit, the Macy’s credit card also offers special discounts (including a discount on your first card purchase) and reward opportunities. Is the Macy’s card right for you? Let’s see…

Macy’s Credit Card vs. Macy’s American Express

First things first. Macy’s actually offers two credit cards (issued in partnership with Department Stores National Bank & Citi). The card that most people start out with is the Macy’s store credit card, which is accepted only at Macy’s. The Macy’s American Express Card is accepted at Macy’s and anywhere else American Express is accepted.

How do you get the Macy’s American Express Card? You may be offered the Macy’s Amex if you apply in a Macy’s store, but you won’t be offered it if you apply online. However, if you start out with the Macy’s store credit card, you may be offered a Macy’s American Express later on, or you may call and request one. (Macy’s does not say what the criteria are for being upgraded to the Amex, however.)

Overall, the Macy’s American Express offers only slighter better perks than the standard Macy’s credit card, so you are not really missing out if you only have the standard card.

Instant Approval & 20% Off

If you apply for the Macy’s credit card today, you may be instantly approved and be able to use the card immediately. In addition, you’ll get 20% off Macy’s purchases made with the card both today and tomorrow, with a maximum of $100 off on $500 or more in purchases made during those two days.

Macy’s Credit Card Perks

Macy’s offers cardholder-only discounts and other potential perks through its Star Rewards program. The program is a graduated program, meaning you get more perks the more you spend. Here is the breakdown of what you get at each level of spending in the Star Rewards program:

  • Silver (spend of $1-$499 in a calendar year): Occasional 25%-off “Star Passes” & 1 point per dollar on Macy’s purchases in the Plenti rewards program.
  • Gold (spend of $500-$1199): Free shipping, a birthday discount offer, 25%-off Star Passes, and 1 point per dollar on Macy’s purchases in the Plenti rewards program.
  • Platinum (spend of $1200 or more): 5% in rewards on your Macy’s purchases + Free shipping, a birthday discount offer, 25%-off Star Passes, and 1 point per dollar on Macy’s purchases in the Plenti rewards program.

Notes on the above:

  • The 25%-off Star Passes are discount coupons that can be used any day you choose. They are issued on a regular basis but there is no calendar telling you when you can expect the next one to arrive.
  • The Plenti rewards program is a loyalty program that allows you to accumulate points from any participating retailer and use them at any retailer within the program. For example, you could earn Plenti points using your Macy’s credit card but redeem them at other Plenti participants like Exxon Mobil, Rite Aid, Chili’s, etc. (And, vice versa, you could earn points through other Plenti retailers and redeem them at Macy’s.) Go here for more details on Plenti. In our opinion, Plenti is a dying program. It never got much traction and a good number of retailers have already left the program. However, you are still earning points that can be used at Macy’s, regardless of who else is part of the program. Note also that Macy’s American Express cardholders can earn additional Plenti points when using the card outside of Macy’s.
  • If you reach Platinum status, you are eligible for the 5% rewards program. It gives you 5 points per dollar on all Macy’s purchases. When you reach 1000 points, you get $10 in “Star Money” to use toward a future Macy’s purchase. Note, however, that when you actually get a $10 Star Money reward, it is good for only 30 days, so you must redeem it quickly.

Interest Rate

Like many loyalty credit cards offered directly from retailers, the Macy’s credit card has a ridiculously high interest rate — 26.49%.

Approval Chances

Macy’s is motivated to approve as many cardholders as possible. If you are new to credit or even if you have a few bad marks on your credit report, your chances of being approved are high in comparison with other credit cards. Those with lower credit scores are unlikely to be upgraded to the Macy’s American Express, however.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Macy’s credit card offers “only OK” perks and a too-high interest rate. If you shop at Macy’s often and have a history of paying off your credit card bills in full every month, there is no downside to getting the card for its occasional discount offers. However, if you tend to carry a balance on your credit cards, steer clear. You will end up paying more in interest than you will earn in discounts & rewards.

How To Apply

As mentioned, you can apply for the Macy’s credit card in a Macy’s store or online. The online application can be found here.