Are you a Maxxinista?
You know you are if you’re always on the hunt for style and a great deal at T.J. Maxx, a major player in the discount department store market. And if you are a frequent shopper at the popular discount store or its sister stores, you may be wondering if a T.J. Maxx® store credit card is right for you.
Store loyalists can apply for the TJX Rewards® credit cards offered through Synchrony Bank that allow you to earn rewards at the TJX family stores, including T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Homesense and Sierra.
If you’re interested in taking your relationship with T.J. Maxx and TJX stores to the next level, you might want to consider the TJX Rewards® Credit Card or TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®. But which card is better? Read on to get our take.
At a glance: TJX Rewards® Credit Card vs. TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®
|TJX Rewards® Credit Card||TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®|
|Sign-up bonus||Coupon for 10% off your first purchase at a TJX store||Coupon for 10% off your first purchase at a TJX store|
|Rewards||5 points for every $1 you spend at TJX stores (points never expire)||5 points for every $1 you spend at TJX stores and 1 point per $1 you spend everywhere else (points never expire)|
|Point value||Redeem every 1,000 points for a $10 reward certificate to spend at TJX retailers (certificates expire two years from date of issue)||Redeem every 1,000 points for a $10 reward certificate to spend at TJX retailers (certificates expire two years from date of issue)|
|Variable purchase APR||26.99%||26.99%|
|Where you can use it||Only at TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Homesense, Marshalls, Sierra, tjmaxx.com and sierra.com||Anywhere Mastercard is accepted|
|Cash advances||Not available||Available at 29.99% APR and for a fee (4%, min. $10)|
- The winner: Why we prefer the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®
- Counterpoint: Why you might want the TJX Rewards® credit card instead
- Heads up: What to consider when applying for a TJX Rewards®
- Bottom line: Is a TJX Rewards® credit card right for you?
Simply put, the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® gives you everything the TJX Rewards® Credit Card includes and more. With both cards, you earn identical rewards from the TJX family of stores and operate under the same variable purchase APR.
But while the TJX Rewards® Credit Card can only be used in TJX stores, the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® gives you the freedom of a globally accepted credit card (and without foreign transaction fees). With the platinum card in your wallet, you can swipe anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Plus, the card may come with some additional perks and protections afforded to certain Mastercard holders.
Plus, in addition to earning 5% rewards for every TJX purchase you make with either TJX Rewards® card, your TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® can earn you 1% on every non-TJX purchase you make with your card. And there’s no limit to the number of rewards points you can rack up on your card.
If you qualify for the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®, why would you want to downgrade to the TJX Rewards® Credit Card? After all, if you want a card you can use to earn store rewards at your favorite TJX retailers, both cards accomplish that goal equally well.
But what if you’re worried that you’ll use your plastic to spend unwisely at other retailers? Getting the TJX Rewards® Credit Card instead could be a way to keep your impulses in check. You can’t make purchases at non-TJX stores with your TJX Rewards® Credit Card even if you want to, which could help curb your spending.
If you decide to apply for a TJX Rewards® card, you’ll notice right away that there’s no option for choosing the specific TJX Rewards® card you want to apply for. In fact, which card you receive isn’t up to you at all.
If your application qualifies you for the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®, that’s the one you’ll get. And you’ll be considered for the TJX Rewards® Credit Card if you’re not approved for the platinum card. As a result, it’s possible that you’ll receive the TJX Rewards® Credit Card even if what you really want is the more versatile TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®.
And, as with many retail credit cards, both TJX Rewards® cards come with higher APRs than the national average. So if you plan to get one of them, make sure you can avoid carrying a balance month-to-month to avoid high interest fees.
If you’re a regular shopper at the TJX family of stores, it could be worth taking a look at each of the TJX Rewards® cards. Both cards allow you to earn five points for every $1 you spend at a TJX store every day of the year — a rarity in the world of rewards cards. But it’s important to remember that your rewards can’t be converted into cash. So if you don’t visit the TJX stores often, you may find yourself sitting on unused rewards or unredeemed points.
Plus, while the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® does let you earn points for non-TJX purchases, the one-point-per-$1 rewards rate isn’t the best out there. So if your aim is to maximize your overall rewards, we recommend you consider one of our favorite cash back rewards cards (see some of our picks below).
Finally, there’s no getting around the massive APR that’s attached to both TJX Rewards® cards. If you do choose to carry a TJX Rewards® card, make sure you’re prepared to pay your balance in full and on time every month to avoid costly interest fees. Otherwise, you may find that the sky-high interest rate quickly surpasses your rewards (and then some).
Not sure either card is for you? Consider these alternatives.
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Consider this card if you’re looking for a strong cash back rate on every purchase you make.
- Petal® 1 Visa® Credit Card: This is a decent starter card with no annual fee — and the opportunity to earn cash back on some purchases.
- Discover it® Cash Back: This card is a good option for earning cash back wherever you shop.