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Updated August 31, 2017

Macy's Credit Card Review: Worth It?

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
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Are you thinking of filling out a Macy's credit card application? Before you sign, read the this review for the pros and cons.

Shoppers who know how to find Macy's coupons when the store has big sales and where to find the discounted racks feel a high when they walk off with their bags full of work outfits, everyday clothes, and home goods. They feel like they got a steal. Macy's knows its most loyal shoppers keep coming back for the deals and hope, of course, that they'll spend some of their money on full-price items as well. To entice them further, the store teases shoppers with extra in-store promotions available only to Macy's Star Rewards Cardholders.

Macy's offers two types of credit cards:

  • The regular Macy's store credit card that can only be used for Macy's purchases
  • The Macy's American Express that can be used wherever AMEX is accepted. This version has a few more benefits.

How to apply: You can either apply for the card in-store or online at www.macys.com.

How to access your account: Once you have an account, to access it, sign-in online at macys.com on the top bar or call 877-493-9207.

Both have no annual fee. Both cards offer rewards based on what level of customer you are: Preferred, Elite, or Premier Elite. Elite status can be achieved after a certain annual spend on Macy's purchases. We'll go over that below.

Both cards have some good benefits if you're a loyal Macy's shopper, but some drawbacks as well. Do they make a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

Read on to find out. But first, here are some current credit card promotions you should not ignore.

Macy's Credit Card Review

madhouse Macy's at Xmas
madhouse Macy's at Xmas © Eric Mueller (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Cardholder Tiers and Rewards

The way the cards work is that as you spend more on Macy's and macys.com purchases (per year), you can reach elite status, which comes with more and more rewards.

Here are the different cardholder tiers and what you get with each:

Preferred Cardholders ($1 - $499 a year):

  • 3 Macy's Star Pass mailings a year
  • Surprise savings offers at the register
  • Thanks for Sharing Rewards: 10% rewards on eligible purchases. You need to enroll in this program for $25/year.
  • Plenti members earn one point per $1 for qualifying Macy's purchases.

Elite Cardholders ($500 - $1,199 a year):

  • 6 Macy's Star Pass mailings a year
  • Surprise savings offers at the register
  • Thanks for Sharing Rewards: 10% rewards on eligible purchases. You need to enroll in this program for $25/year.
  • Happy Birthday offer
  • Plenti members earn one point per $1 for qualifying Macy's purchases.

Premium Elite Cardholders ($2,000 a year):

  • 12 Macy's Star Pass mailings a year
  • Surprise savings offers at the register
  • Thanks for Sharing Rewards: 10% rewards on eligible purchases. You need to enroll in this program for $25/year.
  • Happy Birthday offer
  • Free shipping offers 4x a year
  • Priority 800 customer service line
  • Plenti members earn one point per $1 for qualifying Macy's purchases.

Extra Macy's American Express Cardholder Benefits

If you have the AMEX version of the Macy's card, you have some extra benefits. These apply for all cardholder tiers:

  • Plenti members get 3 points per $1 at restaurants (outside of Macy's)
  • Plenti members get 2 points per $1 at gas stations and supermarkets
  • Plenti members get 1 point per $1 on qualify Macy's purchases and other purchases made on your Macy's AMEX card
  • Exclusive discounts on dining out and shopping with Macy's partner merchants
  • Exclusive deals on travel for flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages

Tip: Macy's American Express card can be used anywhere that accepts AMEX.

Macy's and AMEX are partnered with Plenti, so your spendings on the card will earn Plenti points (1000 Plenti points = $10). This gives you more options in how you redeem them. Plenti points can be used at partner merchants, including Macy's, Rite Aid, Exxon Mobile, Chili's, and Expedia.

You need to sign up for Plenti separately (it's free to join). You must remember to link your accounts to get the points. You can join online at macys.com/plenti.

Other Benefits

New account discount: When you open a Macy's credit card, you get a 20% discount on Macy's purchases made over the first 2 days. You can get a total savings of up to $100.

  • No annual fee: Neither version of the Macy's credit card charges an annual fee.

  • Less stringent credit requirements: Store cards don't have as high credit qualification as regular credit cards. If you have fair/average credit, you may have a better chance of being approved for the Macy's store card. Most cardholders have credit scores of 650+, but there are reports of people who get approved with less too.

    Of course, the AMEX version of this card has higher credit requirements.

  • Discounts: Based on your cardholder level, you'll get Macy's Star Passes throughout the year (3 for Preferred, 6 for Elite, and 12 for Premium Elite). You may also get surprise discounts at the register. They can be either a certain percentage off your purchases or a dollar amount discount.

  • Thanks for Sharing Rewards: This only available to Macy's cardholders. You do have to enroll in this program for $25/year, but you get 10% rewards on eligible Macy's or macys.com purchases. A portion of the membership fee benefits charities such as Go Red for Women, Make a Wish, and Children's Cancer Research Fund.

    How to enroll in Thanks for Sharing: You can enroll either at your local Macy's store, online at macys.com/thanks, or by phone at 1-888-933-6229.

  • Macy's Registry Star Rewards: Again, this is only available for cardholders. If you're getting married, you can enroll in the Registry Star Rewards programs. You will receive 10% rewards for eligible purchases made until your wedding day AND 5% rewards for the total value of Macy's gifts you receive (from your wedding registry and bridal shower registry). You will get the rewards as a Macy's Gift Card 45 days after your wedding date.

Macy's Cash Advance: Macy's credit cards do allow you to take out cash advances at ATMs, but the fees are high. The fee is 4% of the amount of each cash advance (or $5 minimum). There is a high APR of 26.24% and it starts applying as soon as you get the cash. So we do not ever recommend that you take out cash advances (on any credit card), unless it's a true emergency situation where you need cash and you don't have enough in your bank account. Repay the cash advance as soon as you can.

Disadvantages

  • Limited Rewards: The regular Macy's Credit Card doesn't earn any rewards at all. It only sends out coupons and may give you savings at the register. The American Express version can earn more Plenti points, but it's still not as good as getting cash back. You can join the Thanks for Sharing program for 10% rewards on Macy's purchases, but it's not free to join.

  • High Interest Rates: The variable APR for Macy's cards is 26.24%. That's toward the high end of the credit card interest rate range. You don't want to carry a balance if you can help it.

Who It's Best For

Macy's
Macy's © Tinou Bao (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

If you're a frequent Macy's shopper with decent credit (you shop there at least four times a year and have a score of at least 650), it's probably worthwhile to have the Macy's credit card in your wallet.

Even though you won't earn any rewards on your spending with the store-only version of the card, the discounts you'll receive throughout the year are likely to be much greater than what you'd earn under the rewards/cash back structure of a different credit card.

If you do join their Thanks for Sharing program for $25/year, you will receive 10% rewards on eligible Macy's purchases. This is a very high reward rate. But you'll have to spend at least $250 on eligible purchases to justify the fee.

Make sure you can pay off the balance in full each month, though. If you don't, the high interest charges will quickly erase any discounts you get.

How to pay your bill: There are various ways you can pay your Macy's credit card bill:

  • Pay online through your Macy's account
  • Autopay by linking your bank information
  • In-store at any register with cash, check, or a debit card
  • Pay by phone at 1-888-257-6757
  • Mail in checks

Alternatives

If you're only a casual Macy's shopper, you're probably better off using another card. Consider these alternatives, depending on what type of spender you are:

If you like cash back rewards:
There are cards that offer 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories. Sometimes, one of the quarters will have department stores as a bonus category. During that time, you can get 5% cash back at Macy's.

  • Discover It will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. This offer is only for new customers. This card earns 5% cash back in bonus categories that change each quarter (up to the quarterly maximum; requires free activation each quarter). All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

  • Chase Freedom lets you earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. There is a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. The balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.

    This is the fun part: You can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The cash back rewards do not expire as long as your card account remains open. There is no annual fee.

If your credit isn't so great:
If you're considering the Macy's store card because your credit isn't great, there are other options too. There are other cash back cards that caters to those with average credit, and some even offer rewards.

  • Capital One QuicksilverOne earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. After making your first 5 monthly payments on time, you can be eligible to receive a higher credit line. There is a $39 annual fee.

Bottom Line

For loyal Macy's fans, you will get use out of the regular store card. It doesn't have an annual fee and you will earn some nice discounts throughout the year. Just make sure you can pay off your balance in full each month.

If you want to go for the American Express version, then we think there are other cards out there with a better reward system, including other American Express credit cards. The AMEX version only earns Plenti points (provided you're a Plenti member). General cash back cards will also give you more flexibility in how you want to redeem your rewards.

Terms and limitations apply. The information for the Macy's Credit Card and Macy's American Express Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on August 31, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed. Please see issuer's website for details including terms and conditions.

Leah Norris is a research analyst at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Write to Leah Norris at leah@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped families make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom, Discover it® Cash Back, and Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Comments about Macy's Credit Card Review: Worth It?

  • AAAA_SD
    on June 6, 2015 12:47 PM said:

    This card is ridiculous! Do not apply if you do not have a great memory to pay it off right away! Besides the super high interest, their call center have the worst customer service! I was out of country for 2+ months, all major credit card company are willing to remove the late fees, this blood sucking monster only willing to remove $18 while charging me $105 for late fee! BTW, my outstanding balance was only $40, you see how non sense this is! You know what they say? It is your fault, and you need to take the consequence. OK~ Cut the card right after the call!

  • Paulla from California
    on September 11, 2015 5:38 PM said:

    My comment is that I authorized x amount of dollars to pay my bill online with recurring payments. They took more than I authorized and I have spent the past 2 days trying to get someone on the phone, email, and chat. With the phone I had wait times longer than 30 minutes and was disconnected more than eight times and never spoke to anyone. I emailed and they said someone would answer within 4 hours, this is 36 hours later. Then I went to their chat box and when they said that they could not help me I asked if they would stay on the line with me to try and get a person that could help me I was disconnected again. I have even called the store and used their prompts to try and get someone in credit and was disconnected on both of my tries. So now I have called a manager for our local Macy's and he has helped me to find a body to help me. But that has not happened yet, who knows maybe I will get lucky and this will get resolved. But I give Macy's call centers a big fat ZERO!

  • Laura from New Jersey
    on February 22, 2016 4:50 PM said:

    Stay away unless you enjoy getting upset with someone on the phone.

    I made a purchase of $15 in store. The statement never arrived. 5 months later, I knew from collecting service I have $100+ penalty. I paid the $15 I spent. After spending hours on the phone, talking to Macy's customer service and 4 supervisors in Macy's credit card (Citi Bank), the credit card's supervisors think I should pay the penalty. They confirmed not a single statement reached me: the mails were all returned. My address in their computer system is correct. It is not their fault the statement didn't reach me., they claimed, if the address in the system was correct, the address on the envelop should be correct. It is my responsibility to find out why their mails were not delivered. I have a dozen credit cards, which I receive statements all right. Eventually Citi Bank is willing to remove all my penalty, because they found out, the address on the statement misses the apartment number, although the address in the computer system is correct.

    As a customer, how am I supposed to track down why their statement didn't reach me, as I never see the envelope? I am horrified the credit card company thinks it is my fault their statement didn't reach me and I should pay penalty. If you want to open a Macy credit card, think again. For me, the 10% discount from using their credit card from time to time is not worthy the time and stress they cause if they print my address wrong.

Comments may be filtered for language. CreditDonkey makes no guarantee of comments' factual accuracy. These responses are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Visitors may report inappropriate content by clicking the Contact Us link.


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CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.