Retail Stores with Credit Card Loyalty Incentives
Retail Chains That Offer Special Credit Card Deals and Programs
A large number of the largest U.S.-based retail chains aggressively marketed their own branded retail store credit cards in the past as a way to make it easy for credit-oriented customers to spend more and return often. This practice has been revived in a new form that rewards shoppers' loyalty when they use what are called "co-branded" cards.
The standalone in-house credit programs that retailers managed themselves have largely been replaced by credit cards that are co-branded with large national or multinational banking companies and credit services companies.
The practice is a way to coax consumers to frequent the retailer in ways that loyalty programs on their own cannot. Typically a basic rewards program allows customers to take advantage of discounts that are not available to nonmembers. The combination of rewards with a credit card creates a new paradigm where consumers also repeatedly use the financial services made available through the partnership. This access to additional funds in effect gives consumers more opportunities to shop with the retailer. For retailers, it is a way to maintain a steady flow of traffic as consumers will be able to spend more money by using credit beyond their cash reserves. The arrangement can also keep their brand in mind even when customers are making purchases elsewhere.
Co-branded credit cards may be usable with other retailers who honor payments from those financial institutions. Depending on the specific terms established for the cards, other businesses that accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover might let consumers use their store-branded cards to make purchases with them.
For example, a co-branded card for a gas station might be accepted at a grocery store or restaurant. Certain programs allow for an accumulation or use of loyalty rewards for purchases made with the cards outside of the retailer.
Such cross-promotional services have included offering consumers rewards points that can go towards discounts or free purchases of gasoline.
This allows businesses that do not offer their own co-branded credit cards to engage with customers of retailers they are aligned with. For instance, a major apparel retailer could possibly let their customers build up rewards points they can spend on local dry cleaning services or restaurant who cannot afford to establish programs of their own.
Most retail credit cards are now combined with some aspect of a retail chain's customer loyalty program.
Partnering with financial institutions mitigates a retail company's financial risk and changes the nature of retail credit cards, which traditionally had lower credit standards and more lenient terms than bank-issued cards.
The programs in this roundup include co-branded credit cards and credit cards tied in with retail customer loyalty systems.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Athleta Rewards Credit Card
Banana Republic Rewards Credit Card
Best Buy Visa
Disney Visa Card
Lord & Taylor
New York & Company
Saks Fifth Avenue
Sam’s Club Warehouse