If you’re a bargain shopper who lives for deals at stores like TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Homesense, and Sierra Trading Post, you may be excited to hear that this collection of stores recently came out with their own co-branded credit cards. While one TJ Maxx credit card is a store credit card that can only be used within participating stores, their second card offering — the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard —is a regular Mastercard credit card. This means you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted, which is pretty much everywhere these days.
Should you sign up for one of the store brand’s new credit cards? Both the store card and the Mastercard version offer some enticing features, including 5% back for each dollar you spend in their stores. Neither card charges an annual fee either, and the Mastercard version comes with no foreign transaction fees.
Still, there are plenty of reasons not to signup for a T.J. Maxx credit card, including the fact that the rewards you earn are less than flexible. If you love T.J. Maxx and feel tempted to sign up, keep reading to learn more before you decide.
T.J. Maxx Credit Card Review — A Decent Option if You Love T.J. Maxx Stores
As we mentioned already, there are two new credit cards to choose from — a T.J. Maxx store credit card and a Mastercard version. For the purpose of this review, we’re going to focus on the T.J. Maxx Rewards® Platinum Mastercard since you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
While the T.J. Maxx Rewards® Platinum Mastercard doesn’t offer a signup bonus, you can get 10% off your first purchase when you sign up. That’s not great, but we suppose it’s better than nothing.
The real benefit is the fact that you earn 5% back on all purchases made at T.J. Maxx and other participating stores. You also earn 1% back on all purchases made elsewhere with the card. Other benefits you’ll receive include exclusive shopping events, no foreign transaction fees, price protection, and extended warranties. As we already mentioned, this card also comes without an annual fee.
Where This Card Comes Up Short
Unfortunately, this is where the good news for this card ends. While the card advertises that you’ll earn 5% back at T.J. Maxx and other stores that have co-branded with the card, the only “rewards” you’ll earn are more certificates for free stuff at T.J. Maxx. Here’s what the card’s terms and conditions have to say about it:
“Based on your point earnings: we’ll automatically mail your Rewards Certificates with your T.J. Maxx Rewards credit card statement, or you can access digital copies right here on tjxrewards.com. Every 1,000 points = a $10 Rewards Certificate. Use your Rewards Certificate at any T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Homesense or Sierra locations or online at tjmaxx.com and sierra.com.”
In other words, you’ll earn a $10 rewards certificate for each $200 you spend on your card at participating stores, which is not that great. On the flip side, you would need to spend $1,000 on regular purchases with your Mastercard to earn a $10 rewards certificate. Now, that’s a real shame.
Why You May Want to Consider Another Rewards Credit Card
Unless you only want to earn rewards good for more clothing and home decor from stores like TJ Maxx and HomeGoods, you should probably consider another rewards credit card altogether. Fortunately, there are plenty that offer signup bonuses and lucrative ongoing rewards no matter where you shop.
A good example is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®
since you can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back! On the redemption side of the equation, there is no minimum to redeem for cash back and your cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open. Plus, this card never charges an annual fee.
If you want another option to compare to, also check out the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. While this card does charge an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year and $95 after that, you can qualify for a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. You also earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
No matter which alternative rewards credit card you choose, the main detail you’ll notice is the fact that you’ll likely have more flexibility in how you redeem your points. For example, most cash-back credit cards give you the option of redeeming for statement credits or gift cards at the very least. Many travel credit cards also let you redeem for airfare and hotels, although you’ll need to do some research to find out which options you may have with the cards you’re considering.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the T.J. Maxx Rewards® Platinum Mastercard and its store card cousin are little more than gimmicks intended to rope in T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods enthusiasts. For the most part, these cards should only be considered for consumers who fit the following profile:
- Anyone who wants access to exclusive store events and sales
- People who spend thousands at T.J. Maxx and other participating stores each year
- Consumers who only want rewards in the form of gift certificates
If you still want a T.J. Maxx Mastercard or the store card to earn gift certificates in exchange for your spending, also keep in mind that you don’t really have to choose. You can pick up the T.J. Maxx Rewards® Platinum Mastercard for all your T.J. Maxx, Homesense, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post, and Marshalls spending then sign up for another cash-back or travel credit card for everything else.
Doing so might give you the best of both worlds — insider tips and sales at the stores you love and flexible rewards you can spend however you want.
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