TJ Maxx Credit Card – Are There Better Deals?

Tj Maxx credit card

TJMaxx is a solid, reputable department store chain in the United States. However, the TJ Maxx credit card is not the most prestigious card you can carry. It’s value depends on your purchasing habits.  If you’re not familiar with TJMaxx, and don’t frequently visit the store, don’t bother with their credit card.  The card offers most of its value with in-store purchases only.  If you mostly shop elsewhere, there are better choices for a credit card.

TJ Maxx Credit Card – Should You Apply? 

A TJ Maxx Rewards Credit Card can give you good savings at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra stores.  But, that’s about it and not much else. For purchases outside of these stores, most consumers are better off with another cash back card. You are given a 10% discount on your first purchase through the TJX Rewards Credit Card.  But, that one time incemtive isn’t as good as the bonuses you can qualify for through other rewards cards.

Remember that you always have the option to sign up for more than one credit card. You can get the TJ Maxx Rewards Credit Card and use it as a secondary card in your wallet. It is ok to use it whenever you are shopping at TJ Maxx brand stores.  But, use another credit card for your other everyday needs. This is the most strategic way to get the maximum benefits. The downside to consider is that taking out two credit cards can have a negative impact on your credit score. Submitting two applications will impact your average age of credit – causing it to go down.  Also, the number of hard inquiries into your credit report will jump by two.  These factors can have a negative effect on your score. However, in the long-run this will recover and will likely to not matter much.

What You Need to Know About TJM Rewards

The TJ Maxx credit card is issued by Synchrony Bank, a financial services . The card allows both credit as well as debit transactions.  Because the card is linked to your TJ Maxx account, Synchrony has access to all that information.  The information is collected so that TJ Maxx can reward users with reward points that they can later redeem. TJ Maxx offers two digfferent credit cards:

  • TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard
  • TJX Rewards® Credit Card (not a Mastercard)

These cards are not the same.  There are key differences between the two.  If you decide to sign up for a TJ Maxx credit card, it’s good to understand the differences between the two cards.  Be aware, however, you don’t really get the chance to choose the one you want.

TJ Maxx Credit Cards – What to Consider When Applying 

If you decide to apply for a TJX Rewards® card, you’ll notice that there’s no option for choosing the specific TJX Rewards® card you want. It turns out, whichever card you receive isn’t up to you at all.  Synchrony Financial Services uses your credit scores and its own underwriting guidelines to determine which of the two cards you qualify 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 wanted was the more versatile TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®.  Both TJ Maxx cards come with higher APRs (27%-29%)  than the national average. So, if you plan to get one of them, make sure you don’t carry a balance month-to-month to avoid those high interest fees.

What are the Differences Between the two TJ Maxx Credit Cards?

On the surface, the two cards appear similar and share many features. For example, both cards offer reward points for all TJ Maxx purchases. The points earned are equivalent to 5% of the item’s purchase price.  However, there are some differences that you need to be aware of. Here’s a breakdown of what the two cards offer:

TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®

The TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® operates in much the same way as a typical Mastercard. The card enables users to earn reward points on purchases in any store that accepts Mastercard.  This is irrespective of whether you make your purchase at any of the TJ Maxx family companies or not.  Either way, you are entitled to a percentage back in reward points. However, these rewards are not as good as you might expect.  The most valuable rewards come at TJX stores.  You earn 5% back in reward points for purchases made there.  In other words, for every dollar spent, you get 5 cents back in rewards points.  However, when shopping outside the TJ Maxx family of stores, you get only 1% back in reward points. That works out to just 1 penny back on every dollar spent.

TJX Rewards® Credit Card (not a Mastercard)

The TJX Rewards® Credit Card is an alternative to the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard. It has a lower interest rate, but also fewer rewards.  Just like the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®, shoppers get a 5% return in reward points on all purchases made in TJX Stores.  However, with this card, customers get no cash back rewards at all for purchases made elsewhere. In other words, you will not get the 1% back in rewards that the other card offers in non-TJMaxx stores.  As a matter of fact, you can’t even use the card outside of Tj Maxx and its affiliated stores.  The only places which accept the TJX Rewards® Credit Card are as follows:

  • TJ Maxx
  • HomeGoods
  • Homesense
  • Sierra
  • Marshalls

If you’re not a frequent shopper of these stores, there is really no benefit when signing up for this credit card.  You can’t really use it anywhere else.

How the Cards Work 

As stated above, TJX Rewards Credit Card is similar to the TJX Rewards Platinum MasterCard, but with fewer benefits. Both cards have no annual fee and can be used at all TJX Companies stores. The regular TJX credit card does not have the enhanced chip card technology, while the TJX Platinum MasterCard does.  Another major difference is that the TJX Platinum MasterCard at accepted ATMs to access cash, while the TJX Credit Card does not offer this option.

After being accepted for a TJX Rewards Credit Card, shoppers receive 5 points for each dollar spent at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post. When certain thresholds are met, rewards are paid out in certificates for customers to redeem. As an incentive, cardholders receive a one-time 10% discount off their first in-store purchase. The drawbacks come in its limited scope for use outside of TJ Maxx stores and the high APR.  Source: investopedia.com

Downside of TJ Maxx Credit Cards

Not a True Cash Back Rewards Card

Every time you earn 1,000 points, they can be redeemed for a $10 rewards certificate that can be used at any of the card’s affiliated brands. The certificate is not redeemable for actual cash, which means this card is not a true cash back credit card. Your reward certificate will also expire two years after it is issued.  Make sure you use your points promptly once you’re earned them.  If you toss the certificates in a drawyer and forget about them, you run the risk of wasting them.

High APR for Both Cards

  • TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®  the APR is 29.24%, which is higher than the national average. This is the card that gives you rewards for purchases on other stores besides TJ Maxx.  TJ Maxx’s other card,
  • TJX Rewards® Credit Card has a lower (but still high) APR of 27.24% – also higher than the national average.

Both of these interest charges are extremely high. Therefore, if you don’t know whether you can commit to your monthly payments, bear these rates in mind.  This is significantly higher than most credit cards on the market. It’s even higher than other store credit cards. If you get this card, you should never use it to carry a balance month-to-month. Make sure to always pay off your bill in full.

The 10% Discount is a One-Time Offer 

In addition to the rewards points, customers also enjoy a 10% discount on their initial purchase.  Once you sign up for a rewards credit card, you automatically receive 10% off the total cost of your first in-store or online purchase.  However, this is low in comparison to other credit card bonuses. For example, most decent cash back credit cards typically reward you with $100.  Usually, after you spend at least $500 on your card within the first 3 months of card membership. With the TJ Maxx card, even if your first in-store purchase is $500, you only receive a $50 discount.

There are some further restrictions on the 10% discount. If you apply for this card online, the discount can only be used towards an online purchase. This may be important, if you don’t want to deal with shipping costs. These will eat away into your savings. When you apply for the card in other ways, such as in-store, you will receive a coupon through the mail for the 10% discount. This can then be used in-store only.

Negative Reviews Online

Overall, the card has more negative than positive reviews. While bad reviews are not necessarily a show stopper, it is a cause for concern for anyone considering applying for, and carrying these cards.

TJ Maxx Credit Cards – Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Make my TJ Maxx Card’s Monthly Payments?

A cardholder can make their monthly payments via Synchrony Bank’s online platform.  Although that is the most common method, shoppers can also mail their payments to TJ Maxx stores.  Even though their interest rates are high, shoppers do not have to pay an annual fee for TJX store credit cards.  Consequently, if you clear your monthly balances within the allotted time, you can earn TJX rewards without incurring any card fees.

How do I Apply For a TJX Rewards Card?

Applying for a TJX credit card is a simple process. You can easily apply online through TJ Maxx’s web portal.  There, you can find a link to their credit card application form.  To complete this form, you are required to input some key personal information:

  • Personal data (full name, email address, date of birth, phone , etc.)
  • Place of residence
  • Social security
  • Annual net income

Based on the details that you input, and your credit score, you will be assigned either the Mastercard or the standard rewards card.  The exact formula is not available publicly, but your credit score plays a significant role in determining which card you qualify for.

What is the Minimum Credit Score Necessary to Get a TJ Maxx Credit Card?

You need fair credit score to get approved for the TJX credit card. This means that your card will likely be approved if you have a credit score of 620 or above. And of course, the higher your credit score, the higher the probability that you will be granted a Mastercard.

Is a TJ Maxx Rewards® Credit Card Right for You? 

If you’re a regular shopper at the TJX family of stores, it could be worth taking a look at each of the TJ Maxx credit cards. Both cards allow you to earn five points for every $1 you spend at a TJX store every day of the year.  That’s actually a pretty solid plus for these cards.  Just keep in mind that your rewards can’t be converted into cash. So if you don’t visit the TJX stores often, you could find yourself sitting on unused rewards or unredeemed points.

Plus, the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® does let you earn points for non-TJX purchases.  However, the one-point-per-$1 rewards rate isn’t the best out there. So if your aim is to maximize your overall rewards, you should consider another option.   However, there’s just no getting around the massive APR — slightly under 30% — that’s attached to both TJX Rewards® cards. If you do choose to carry a TJ Maxx credit card, make sure you 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).  Source: creditkarma.com

TJ Maxx Credit Card Verdict 

Owning a TJMaxx credit card has its benefits and its downsides.  If you are someone who makes frequent purchases from TJMaxx stores, you should consider carrying the card. That way, you can get discounts on the items that you purchase by way of reward points which you can later redeem.  However, this card should not be your primary credit card. There are other store cards that offer better bargains for purchases done in other stores.

For their Mastercard, TJ Maxx offers only 1% rebates on purchases made in all stores where Mastercards are accepted. Many other store cards that give you a better return rate on reward points.  As a result, it would not be wise to use this card for other purchases since you can get a better deal using other credit cards.  The biggest negative using the TJ Maxx credit cards is the high interest rate.  The late payment fees and interest rate for an unpaid balance is higher than other store cards.  If you miss the payment deadlines, a sizable percentage will be tacked on to  your balance.  This is a serious consideration that should not be ignored.

Nevertheless, the TJ Maxx Credit Card is a decent option for scoring 5% discounts at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra stores. However, due to the low 1% rewards rate this card gives on all other purchases, it doesn’t make for a very good primary credit card. You can get this card to use whenever you shop at TJ Maxx, but stick to another option for all your other purchases.

The Bottom Line 

If you are a regular shopper there, the TJ Maxx Credit Card can help provide additional savings. With the card, you are entitled to discounts not only at TJMaxx, but also at Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra store purchases.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is – that’s it.  The card’s cash back feature is not really honored at any other stores.  So, for purchases outside of the TJ Maxx family, most consumers will are better off sticking to another cash back credit card.  There are a host of other choices available, many that offer greater rewards to boot.

If TJ Maxx is your favorite place to shop, you will benefit from obtaining one of their credit cards.  However, because of the high interest rates, you should pay off any charges you make and never carry a balance from month to month. That interest rate is between 27%-29% APR, depending on which card you carry.  Another option, however, is to match it with another rewards card that gives cash back no matter where you charge.   If you already have a TJ Maxx credit card, that’s great.  But, you can still benefit by carrying another credit card that is honored outside of the Tj Maxx family of stores.  That way, you can maximize your reward earnings strategically no matter where your shopping takes you.

 

 

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