Credit Cards

Dillards Credit Card Review: A Look at the Rewards

new_creditjpegDillards is a nationwide department store. The store has two credit cards — one that is affiliated with American Express, and one that is a store-branded card that offers rewards for shopping at Dillards.

People with lower credit scores are able to qualify for the Dillards card — it does not take a high credit score to get approved. The best use of this card is for people who are just starting out on credit or who want to rebuild their credit. People with excellent credit might be better off applying for all-purpose rewards credit cards, depending on their needs.

Rewards Program
The rewards program for the Dillards cards vary depending on whether the card is the store-branded version or the Amex version. The store card gets one point per dollar spent at Dillards, either online or in person. The Amex card gets 2 points per dollar at Dillards and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else.

However, these points can only be used in two specific ways. First of all, upon reaching 1,500 points, you can elect to receive a certificate that grants a 10 percent discount for one store visit. The other option is a $10 gift certificate, also for 1,500 points. The gift certificate provides a $10 savings for 1,500 points, so the discount is best used for a very large purchase.

Either way, you can only make use of the points at Dillards. This means that the rewards program is very limited if you’re looking for a credit card with very flexible rewards.

Fees and Rates
Both versions of the Dillards card lack an annual fee. This is good news. In terms of interest rates, the Dillards cards are about average. For the American Express version, they are 11.99 percent to 17.99 percent, depending on the applicant’s credit score and the market prime rate. For the store-branded version, the APR is 20.40 percent. Upon applying for the card, applicants will first be considered for the American Express version, which has lower rates and better rewards. If the applicant does not meet the requirements of the Amex card, they will automatically be considered for the store-branded version.

Other Features
One special feature of the Dillards cards is the This Is Mine program. This allows a parent to open up a portion of their credit line for a teenage child. It is a potentially useful way to introduce children to credit and money management. Of course, the requirements for this card are not that high, so it might be a better idea to have a responsible teenager apply for a card directly.

The Dillards card is hard to recommend on its benefits and rewards alone. Other cards might have better rewards for department stores. For example, the Discover It or Chase Freedom rewards credit cards have rotating categories at 5 points per dollar, so when the category is department stores, they beat the Dillards card. Similarly, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred gives 3 percent on department stores with an annual fee and other benefits.

Other rewards credit cards have both better points ratios and more uses for the points, but the Dillards store credit card can be a good option for people who have low credit scores, need to build or rebuild their credit history, want to help their kids learn to use credit cards, or just shop at Dillards often.

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