What Are the Easiest Department Store Credit Cards to Get?

Anna Spooner
Customer at checkout counter

Have you considered applying for a department store credit card, but refrained from doing so out of fear of rejection? This is not unusual considering the minimum credit score requirement for most credit cards, including those issued by big-name department stores. However, certain cards are believed to have relatively minimal barriers to entry.

JC Penney

The JC Penney credit card, issued by Synchrony Bank, may be ideal for those with a poor credit history. According to Credit Card Forum, they've loosened restrictions due to the steady decline in their customer base. Furthermore, it is not rare for the company to issue a credit line for as little as $150, the article adds.

To apply, complete the online application on JC Penney's website or call 800-877-1342.

Macy's

Macy's offers both an American Express and store-branded card. The latter is rumored to have less stringent qualification criteria, in terms of credit score, then what American Express requires. In fact, those who have dealt with bankruptcy, possess poor credit scores (in the 400s), or who are looking for a fresh start with their credit have been approved, notes Ask Mr. Credit Card.

To apply, complete the online application on Macy's website or call 877-493-9207.

Sears

Sears also offers a store-branded and Citi card. While Citi follows strict qualification criteria, it is also rumored that Sears also requires a FICO score of 680 or better to be approved. Fortunately, you may be approved due to the store's declining customer base. "If you have no credit history, they might be willing to take a risk on you," notes Credit Card Forum. What's also nice is that they sell a wider variety of products than many retailers on this list, making it easier to use the card.

To apply, complete the online Sears card application or call 800-917-7700.

Kohl's

The Kohl's charge card enables consumers to save money throughout the year with access to exclusive store discounts and early sales offers, and you get a special offer each month. Credit Card Forum indicates it is easier to obtain than a major credit card and estimates the minimum FICO score requirement to be in the mid-600s.

To apply, complete the online application found on Kohl's website.

Walmart

This is another department store with both a store and co-branded option. The MasterCard version will require you to get through more red tape for approval, but your chances of success with the store version are said to be much easier. Credit.com says it is ideal for those who are just starting out in the credit world or trying to rebuild their credit because of their lenient FICO score qualification criteria.

To apply, you must create a Walmart.com account. Once you have done so, you will be able to access the online application.

Compare Your Options

Account offers and information may change at any time, so always verify specifics directly with the card issuer. As of December 2016, key details include:

Introductory Offer Rewards APR Annual Fee Additional Benefits
JC Penney Save 15% on your first purchase

$1 equals 1 point when paying with credit card

200 points equals $10
26.99% $0 Possible upgrade to gold or platinum status
Macy's Save 20% for 2 days (up to $100) Seasonal program called Thanks for Sharing between September and Dec each year. $25 fee. 25.74% $0

Occasional surprise savings offer at the register

Sears

Save $10 on today's purchase Not applicable 25.24% $0 Monthly savings and special offers
Kohl's Save 30% on today's purchase and an additional 15% upon receipt of your card Not applicable 24.24% $0

Monthly discounts (10-30%)

Walmart Save 15% on today's purchase, up to $50. 1% - 3% cash back as statement credit 23.15% $0 Free monthly FICO score when you enroll in electronic statements

Responsible Use

Prior to applying for a department store card, carefully review the terms and conditions to confirm it will suit your needs. Once you get a card, use it responsibly to keep from incurring unnecessary debt. Keep in mind that the number of cards you have, how much you use them and how much credit is available to you will impact your credit rating.

What Are the Easiest Department Store Credit Cards to Get?