Let’s be honest, life is just more convenient with a credit card. The way the world operates today, pulling out a piece of plastic is just much easier than carrying cash around with you in your wallet all the time, not to mention, you don’t always have the cash in your bank account when you come across something you need or want. Although you want to always use your credit cards wisely, it is good to have a couple to help you build your credit. And the ones you have should be the ones you tend to use; stores you are more apt to shop.
Macy’s is one of the most well-known and respected department stores with a history dating back to mid-1850. Over the years it grew from a simple dry goods store to selling clothing, and eventually other goods such as china and other goods. Today, Macy’s sells a wide variety of higher end brands and products and is most recognized with the star logo. When many people think of Macy’s, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is what comes to mind. Macy’s is one of the most popular stores of all time.
In the beginning, Macy’s was a cash-only store but as of the early 50’s, Macy’s began accepting credit and eventually, Macy’s began to issue its own, brand specific rewards card. If you aren’t familiar with Macy’s credit card, this is how it works and what you can expect when you apply for, or are a Macy’s credit card holder.
What you should know before you apply
Before you apply for a Macy’s credit card, there are a few things you should know so that you can increase your chances of being accepted for the card. Macy's credit cards are for those with good to perfect credit. The following are things the card issuer, Department Stores National Bank, will look for when deciding if you are creditworthy to be a Macy’s card holder. FICO recommendations include:
- Clean record – The applicant needs a clean credit record, though certain issuers may accept minor blemishes on your credit report. This may affect your credit limit or other limitations or restrictions.
- Credit score – FICO recommends a credit score of 631 or better. Lower than a 631 score does not mean you cannot qualify for Macy’s credit card, but it decreases your chances.
- Debt to income ratio – Although your credit score is a major factor for attaining a card, your debt to income ratio may play a role. If you have high debt but only make a lower income, this tells the issuer that you may have a hard time paying back all you owe.
- Recent inquiries – Whenever you apply to get a credit card, buy a car, a house or anything that has to do with credit, these companies inquire about your credit and it goes against your credit score. Before trying to apply for a Macy’s card, try to minimize financial transactions that would require an inquiry into your credit.
- Delinquencies – You cannot have delinquencies on your report. Thirty-plus day delinquencies will be viewed as a negative against your credit.
- Maxed credit cards – Other credit cards you hold should not have high balances. Cards with high or maxed balances will be marked against your credit standing.
Does it cost anything to hold a Macy’s credit card?
Once approved for a Macy’s credit card, you will be subject to the interest charges that you qualify for with your credit rating, however, the lowest standard APR is 24.49% (Variable). There is not an introductory APR, so your interest charges will be applied after the first grace period for your first purchases. With this card, there is also no annual fee, which Macy credit card holders consider a perk.
Benefits of using a Macy’s credit card
If you are a frequent shopper at Macy’s, your card can come in handy for you and benefit you in ways of rewards for shopping at Macy’s. When you use your card, you may be entitled to rebates on your purchases, rewards determined by Macy’s and gift certificates. You will be kept up to date on the offers and rewards being made by Macy’s, as a card holder. The more you shop and use your card, the bigger the rewards.
The best way to use your card
When you shop Macy's online, at a store location or by catalog, use your Macy's card to make your purchase. The best way to use your card is to make purchases you were going to pay cash for anyway and then pay the bill on your card as soon as possible to avoid interest accruing. If you get used to paying your bill in full every month, you will not only get the benefits and rewards offered to card holders, but your credit rating will start increasing because now you are a responsible credit card user.
What are the drawbacks to using a Macy's credit card?
Any credit card has drawbacks and using Macy's credit card is no different. If you are not a responsible credit card holder, you can accrue big balances between the purchases and credit charges. Paying your bill on time and in full, as mentioned, helps avoid this, but if you don't, it can be hard to get on top of your bill and pay it down.
Another drawback of using a Macy's credit card is that should you miss a payment for any reason, the credit issuer has the option to increase your APR to a higher percentage. This can make it even harder to get your bill paid down as well as, if you happen to go past 30 days to get a payment made, your credit score can take a big hit.
When it comes to getting any credit card, including a department store card, you are essentially taking your credit score into your hands. If your credit score is important to you, then it's important to be a responsible credit card holder.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker