JCPenney Credit Card Review

JCPenney is a massive department store chain with over 800 locations across the United States. That number has been much higher in the past, but like all major offline brands, it has taken a hit in recent years and has moved many of its operations online.

JCPenney still has its fans though and it generates revenue of over $10 billion a year, with huge assets and a reputation that dates back to the early 19th century. If you’re a big fan of this brand, you may have heard of the JCPenney store credit card, which is designed to help regular shoppers save money in the store and to encourage them to spend more and stay loyal.

The JCPenney Rewards card is one of many store cards tied to major department stores and while it’s not the best or the most generous, it does have its benefits.

 Card Details

  • Credit Card Issuer: Synchrony Bank
  • Interest Rate: 27.99% APR
  • Annual Fee: No
  • Rewards Program: Earn reward points every time you spend in-store or online (1 point for $1 dollar)
  • Intro Rate: N/A
  • Balance Transfers: N/A

The JCPenney credit card can only be used on JCPenney purchases, both in your local store and at JCP.com. It’s a closed-loop card, which means it can’t be used anywhere else and has a very small credit limit, average around $500. 

The JCPenney card also has a high APR, coming in at just under 28%. If you’re a responsible user and you clear your balance in full, this rate won’t matter all that much. If you miss your payment, however, you could be hit with high interest charges and late payment fees.

JCPenney Credit Card Rewards

Cardholders will earn 1 reward point for every dollar they spend at JCPenney or JCP.com. When they reach 200 points, they will automatically be given a $10 reward certificate, which expires in just a few months. The reward points themselves, however, do not expire, so there’s no need to rush to hit those milestones.

You can also stack the rewards certificates and there is no limit to how many you can use. Got your eye on some fine jewelry, major appliances or a sought-after birthday gift? Just collect the certificates and then use them all at once. Ten of these certificates will give you a $100 discount off all qualifying purchases in the JCPenney store.

In addition to these features, cardmembers can also benefit from regular discounts and benefits. However, there is no account opening bonus or special financing option and rewards points build very slowly when compared to other store cards.

Reward Cards that are Better than the JCPenney Credit Card

The JCPenney credit card doesn’t offer the best rate of return, and that’s true even when you’re using the card in the JCPenney store. There are many general reward credit cards that offer greater rewards, more general welcome bonuses, and more numerous perks. You may need a higher credit score to apply, but if you pass this initial test, you’ll have a far better card.

Just take a look at these credit cards, all of which put the JCPenney card, and many other store credit cards, to shame:

Discover It Cash Back Credit Card

Every quarter the Discover It Cash Back credit card has a different bonus category for you to explore. You can earn 5% cash back for every dollar that you spend in these categories, which include gas stations, rideshares, grocery stores, and more. Every other dollar that you spend will earn you 1% cash back, and you can redeem your cash back for statement credit.

You won’t pay an annual fee for the Discover It Cash Back and at the end of your first year, all your cash back will be matched, essentially doubling the rate that you earn, with no limit whatsoever.

The Discover It Cash Back card is one of the best cards offered by one of the best reward card networks. Discover is not as widespread as Visa and Mastercard, but in the United States it’s more common than American Express, making it the third-largest network in terms of accepted retail points.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a cash back rewards card offering 1.5% cash back on every dollar that you spend. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s unlimited, which means you’re not tied to specific amounts or bonus categories and will earn that rate every time you use the card.

You don’t need to worry about an annual fee and there’s a 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases. If you spend $500 in the first three months, you’ll also get a bonus of $150.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of America’s most popular rewards credit cards, and with bonuses like that, it’s easy to see why.

Capital One Venture Credit Card

The Capital One Venture is a travel rewards card that gives you air miles every time you spend. These air miles can be used to book flights and accommodation or to save money on travel essentials and car rentals. There is a sizeable welcome offer of 50,000 air miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months and you’ll also get $100 credit with TSA Precheck or GlobalEntry.

Although the demands are a little on the heavy side, as many consumers will simply not spend enough to earn that bonus, the rewards rate and additional perks make the Capital One Venture a very solid rewards card all round.

JCPenney Credit Card Review

The JCPenney credit card is pretty weak when compared to the best store credit cards and reward credit cards. There are no bonus points, birthday gifts or account opening offers; you won’t earn a high rewards rate and there are very few perks and bonuses to make it worthwhile. Furthermore, the JCPenney credit card has a high interest rate and high fees.

As a result, we simply can’t recommend the JCPenney rewards card and believe there are countless better store cards and general reward cards on the market.