Sears Credit Cards Review

Sears is one of the best known and most trusted names in the retail industry. For years people have been using their Sears store cards to help them pay for the Sears merchandise that they want and need but now Sears offers a MasterCard that combines – and actually provides even more – benefits than the Sears store card with the purchasing power of a MasterCard that is accepted in thousands of locations all over the world. Some people do balk at the higher interest rate but if you are a fan of both rewards cards and Sears then this may very well be the card for you.

Sears Credit Card Basics

The Sears credit card is offered in conjunction with Citibank, so prospective card holders do have the peace of mind that they will be dealing with a financial name they know.

The one thing that you should know is that you cannot apply for a Sears credit card on-line, the application can only be made in person in a physical Sears store. Once the application is finished you will usually receive a decision in a timely manner and your physical Sears credit card in the mail not too long after.

From a basic financial standpoint the Sears credit card is much like a number of other Citibank MasterCard offerings. There is no annual membership fee and the APR of 17.15 % + prime rate is on the higher side but still relatively in line with the currently norm for similar credit cards. If you have been researching Sears Credit cards on-line and have read that the Sears credit card has an APR of 25% or more you should be aware that that applies to the regular Sears shopping card, not to the MasterCard offering being reviewed here.

The big appeal of the Sears credit card for many people are the unusually high number of benefits and rewards attached to its use, especially if you enjoy shopping at Sears or KMart (who are owned and operated by the Sears company).

In addition to the various introductory offers that are offered at various times of the year to applicants the Sears credit card comes with a lot of year round perks, including the Sears Choice Rewards program.

On a regular everyday basis Sears credit card holders earn points on a 1 to 1 ratio, with one point being awarded for every $1 spent. There are however various bonus point shopping opportunities offered on a regular basis that can help Sears credit card holders build their points total a little faster. Points can then be redeemed for a wide variety of rewards including gift cards, actual merchandise offerings from Sears, KMart and Lands End (another Sears company) as well as travel and dining rewards.

In Store Sears Credit Card Benefits

As previously mentioned one of the biggest reasons some consumers chose the Sears credit card over some other credit card offerings are the extra benefits offered to card holders when they shop at Sears or Kmart. If purchases are made at either store using a Sears credit card they can be returned, even if the shopper has lost their receipt. They can even receive a “temporary shopping pass” if they happen to have left their actual physical credit card at home (provided they are carrying adequate ID to prove their identity).

Sears credit card holders also receive special merchandise offers that are not available to other shoppers on merchandise that is sold at Sears, Kmart, Lands End and at The Great Indoors.

Another unusual benefit attached to the Sears credit card is the ability to view your own credit score on-line free of charge whenever you want. Extra cards can also be issued to family members at no additional charge and there is 0% liability on unauthorized transactions, something that can prove invaluable in the event that your card is stolen.

Managing a Sears Credit Card Account

Every aspect of Sears credit card membership can be managed on-line, including paying your monthly payment. Some consumers have complained about the poor quality of the Sears credit card customer service team but many others have found them to be as helpful and knowledgeable as any other customer service team.

There are additional protections offered to Sears credit card holders if they enroll in the optional Accountcare program. For an additional monthly fee Sears credit card holders can ensure that their Sears credit card payments can be suspended, or in some cases, even canceled under certain circumstances without the card holder incurring fees or damage to their credit profile. These circumstances include involuntary job loss, the need to take a temporary leave of absence from full time employment or hospitalization.

At the time of writing the cost of the Accountcare protection was $0.96 for every $100 of new balance shown on a card holder’s monthly statement, so the protection may be worth considering, especially if you tend to carry a glance on your credit cards rather than pay them off very month.

The Sears Store Card

Those who don’t quite qualify for a Sears credit card can often get approval for a Sears store card instead as the credit requirements are a little looser. This card is not a credit card as it can only be used at Sears, Kmart , Lands End or The Great Outdoors but it does offer card holders many of the same shopping benefits that Sears credit card holders enjoy. In addition in many cases when a customer has demonstrated a good payment record with their Sears store card they will be offered the chance to upgrade to a Sears credit card instead.