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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.
In addition to joining the free TJX Rewards® program, store loyalists can also 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 Trading Post.
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 after approval||Coupon for 10% off your first purchase at a TJX store after approval|
|Rewards||Earn 5 points for every $1 you spend at TJX stores; points never expire, and there’s no limit to the points you can earn||Earn 5 points for every $1 you spend at TJX stores and 1 point per $1 you spend everywhere else; points never expire, and there’s no limit to the points you can earn|
|Point value||Redeem every 1,000 points for a $10 reward certificate that you can spend at TJX retailers in store or online; certificates are good for two years from the date of issue||Redeem every 1,000 points for a $10 reward certificate that you can spend at TJX retailers in store or online; certificates are good for two years from the date of issue|
|Variable APR||28.49% for purchases||28.49% for purchases and 29.99% for cash advances|
|Where you can use it||Only at the TJX family of stores (HomeGoods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Sierra Trading Post, HomeSense, tjmaxx.com and sierratradingpost.com)||Anywhere Mastercard is accepted|
|Cash advances||Not applicable|
- 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 where 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. 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.Are retail cards the easiest credit cards to get approved for?
If you qualify for the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®, there’s really only one reason you’d 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.
However, if you’re worried that you’ll use your plastic to spend unwisely at other retailers, getting the TJX Rewards® Credit Card 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.
Another reason to go with a TJX Rewards® Credit Card instead of the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®? If you’re ineligible for the platinum card but still want the benefits that TJX Rewards® cards offer, you may want to consider carrying the TJX Rewards® Credit Card.Credit Karma’s guide to retail credit cards
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.
Darrell Owens, SVP and general manager at Synchrony Financial, notes that Synchrony uses your credit scores and its own underwriting guidelines to determine which of the two cards you’ll be approved for.
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.What is the average APR on a credit card?
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 5 points for every dollar you spend at a TJX store every day of the year — a rarity in the world of rewards cards. However, it’s important to remember that your rewards can’t be converted into cash back. 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 1 point per dollar 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 our picks below).
Finally, there’s no getting around the massive APR — just under 30% — 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 card 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).
At a glance: Other rewards cards to consider
|Chase Freedom®||5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in quarterly rotating rewards categories each quarter you activate|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||2% cash back on every purchase, with 1% unlimited cash back when you buy and 1% as you pay for those purchases|
|Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||A straightforward and unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make|
Looking for cash back beyond the doors of TJX retailers? The Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in quarterly bonus categories, and 1% cash back after as well as on all other purchases. Keep in mind that these categories change every three months, and you’ll have to activate the bonus categories each quarter to earn 5% back.
Citi® Double Cash Card
If you want consistent cash back on every purchase with no limit, the Citi® Double Cash Card is hard to beat. You earn 2% cash back: 1% for every dollar you spend and an additional 1% back as you pay.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Want a no-hassle cash back card? The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives you 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits. And if you’re on the go, enjoy the added benefit of no foreign transaction fees.
From cardholders in the last year