Time was, store cards were regarded with suspicion by savvy consumers, as these cards traditionally offered high rates of interest, limited benefits and were seen as a way to hook customers in.
But, in recent years many retailers have formed banking wings, and so have credit cards not only with strong credit offers, but also interesting reward schemes that can prove lucrative to loyal shoppers.
These cards can be a good way to get something back for your spending, especially with many banks cutting down their cashback offers over the past few years.
Could using your credit card be more rewarding?
Take a look at credit cards that give you something back as you spend, whether that's reward points, frequent flyer miles or hard cold cash.Compare cards
Is there a ‘best’ store card?
There’s no easy answer for this, there’s no absolute best credit card. It depends on where you shop, what you want from a card and also what cards you’re eligible for.
For example, if you want a long 0% interest period, a card that offers a lucrative reward scheme might not be the best card for you. Just make sure you look at what points are on offer, what they’re worth and whether you’ll shop in that store often enough.
If you want to find out what cards your eligible for, our eligibility checker could help. It’s free, quick and won’t impact your credit score.
We’ve listed a few of what we think are some of the top store cards on uSwitch below, but if you are after a store card, make sure to read all the small print and check if the card you choose is right for you.
If you love shopping at high-end high-street favourite Waitrose and John Lewis, their Partnership Card could be for you.
The card offers one point for every £1 spent at John Lewis and Waitrose, or one point for every £2 if you spend on the card elsewhere; 100 points are worth £1 in John Lewis or Waitrose vouchers.
Also, as a limited offer, if you apply for a card before 28 November 2017, and spend £500 before 21 January 2018 you will receive a John Lewis voucher worth £20.
Though, it’s worth noting that with only nine months 0% interest on purchases (or 18 months 0% on balance transfers) there are much longer 0% periods available if you want a card that will help you avoid interest.
Sainsbury’s Bank are offering a table-topping 32 months 0% interest on new purchases, so you can effectively avoid paying anything for your card balance for almost three years.
All Sainsbury’s cards offer Nectar points, if this card isn’t the one for you, take a look at all of Sainbury’s credit cards here.
You can earn two Nectar points for every £1 you spend on Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel, and one Nectar point for every £5 you spend elsewhere. Sainsbury’s have a calculator to work out how much Nectar points you can earn and what they’re worth.
If you apply for the card before 28 December 2017, you can earn 1,000 bonus points each time you spend £35 or more on Sainsbury’s shopping with your credit card. You can get the bonus up to ten times in your first two months of having the card, so you can earn up to 10,000 points.
Supermarket giant Asda offer a “cashback” credit card, which gives you an effective rate of 1% on all in-store, fuel and online purchases, and 0.5% on all purchases made elsewhere.
However, the cashback comes in the form of store vouchers that you can only use in Asda, so if this is where you do most of your shopping, it could be a nice way to get money back.
The card also has an interesting 0% offer, where you can enjoy 0% interest for six months on every purchase of £200 or more made at Asda’s clothing and home store, George.com.
Asda have a few credit cards offering similar rewards, so if this isn’t the card for you, their other credit cards might be of interest.
Another high-street favourite, Marks and Spencer (M&S) offer a credit card that gives reward points as you spend.
As a special offer you can get a £20 M&S reward voucher on your first spend and double reward points on all in-store purchases for the first 12 months of card ownership.
After that you’ll get one point per £1 spent in-store, and ongoing rate of one point per £5 spent elsewhere.
As a rough guide M&S state that 500 M&S reward points are worth £5 in store vouchers.
But similar to the John Lewis Partnership card it has relatively short 0% interest period for purchases, so another M&S credit card might be of interest if you’re looking to spread the cost of your shopping and still want M&S points.
Department store Debenhams have a credit card that could be useful for loyal customers.
Cardholders will recieve a reward voucher equivalent to £5 to spend in-store, and on an ongoing three points for every £1 spent in Debenhams and one point per £2 spent elsewhere. Debenhams say that 500 points are equivalent to £5 of store vouchers.
But note, that there is no set 0% interest offer for purchases, and a relatively short 12 month 0% interest for balance transfers.
Though, Debenhams do state that “we may make promotional offers from time to time”, so for specific offers you could enjoy limited 0% offers, currently they offer 0% interest for 12 months on furniture bought in-store that’s worth over £500.
And as limited offer, there is up to 20% off online purchases for a week from account opening for qualifying customers who apply before 29 October 2017.
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