Introduction to the TJ Maxx Credit Card
To be clear, the mega-department store chain TJ Maxx accepts most major credit cards. The list includes Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. All of those credit cards, as well as others, are perfectly fine for purchases at TJ Maxx. The same can be said for their other stores, including Marshalls, HomeGoods, and the ever-popular Sierra Trading Post.
Nonetheless, like many major department stores, TJ Maxx also offers their own credit card. While this card can be a phenomenal choice for those who shop at TJ Maxx on a regular basis (or at any of the other stores), others may want to decide carefully about this card. There are some significant benefits to keep in mind. Many of these benefits are particular to those who shop at these specific stores.
In other words, if you’re looking for a new primary credit card, there are several things to consider with giving that distinction to the TJ Maxx credit card.
TJ Maxx Credit Card Pros And Cons
Let’s start with the benefits of your card. Again, many of these benefits are tied into shopping at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, or Sierra Trading Post. If you shop at these places on a regular basis, you can expect to earn and redeem rewards with relative ease. The points you can earn through this card will be instantly issued as certificates at the conclusion of any given billing cycle. These certificates will be given to you in increments of $10 or $20. Furthermore, you can also combine these rewards with other offers being made through the store.
Once more, if you shop at these stores on a consistent basis, it isn’t going to take very long to unlock and enjoy these perks. You don’t have to worry about any limits on the amount of rewards you can potentially earn either. Even better, the points never expire. As far as store-centric credit cards are concerned, this is a very good example of what you can find. You can get 10% off your first online order, in addition to getting 5% back on your purchases at TJ Maxx, or through any of their affiliates. There are also zero annual fees to worry about.
The downside to all of this? If you aren’t shopping at TJ Maxx, or at one of those affiliates, the rewards and benefits are essentially non-existent. This is particularly so with the TJX Rewards Credit Card, which is available to those with fair/poor credit. However, that card is entirely exclusive to TJ Maxx stores. If you want a credit card that can be accepted elsewhere, the TJX Rewards Platinum Credit Card will be the way to go. This card can be used anywhere in which MasterCard is accepted. Still, the benefits are more impressive for those who use the card at TJ Maxx or its affiliates. Using the card at TJ Maxx can earn you five points per dollar spent. At any other store, the number drops down to one point per dollar spent.
Another downside is the fact that while the points do not expire, the rewards certificates can. Keep in mind that these certificates have a lifespan of two years. This won’t be a problem for most people, but it is something that is worth keeping in mind all the same.
A major con to this credit card concerns the extremely high regular APR. Trust us when we tell you that you do not want to have your balance being carried from one month to the next, as far as this card is concerned. The interest rate you can expect to receive will be absolutely brutal. We are talking about a figure of 28.99% (V). Just to give you an idea of how high that is, consider the average credit card APR. For someone with good credit, that falls in the neighborhood of 19.88%. Even the average store-centric credit card tends to hit a range of 25.48%. Imagine paying down a balance of $1500. Paying that down over a period of approximately six months would also include approximately $123 from the finance charges. In other words, this credit card definitely shouldn’t be utilized as your primary. The APR is just too high for such a possibility. Even if you only ever use it as a store card at TJ Maxx, you will still want to exercise a certain measure of caution. With a card like this, it won’t take very much to find yourself in the midst of some credit-related headaches.
TJ Maxx Credit Card Rewards
We’ve discussed the rewards behind TJ Maxx credit cards, but let’s go over them again in slightly more detail.
As we mentioned earlier, the rewards definitely make sense for someone who shops at one of these stores a lot. Between the TJ Maxx stores, as well as the stores that are part of their family, you can shop for many of the things you need in the way of clothing, home goods, electronics, and much more. There are more than 1200 TJ Maxx stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. There are nearly 500 stores under the Marshalls name. In other words, if you get one of their credit cards, it seems likely that you will have an ongoing opportunity to use it. You can earn discounts on your first online purchase, as we mentioned in the past. At the same time, while that APR is dreadfully high, this may be offset for you by the points and certificates you can earn. On that front, we would say there is a lot about TJ Maxx that is well worth studying in greater detail.
By comparison, most of these rewards are pretty on-par with what you can get with other store-specific credit cards. However, we would argue that the lack of traditional credit card bonuses is a little frustrating. Yes, the TJ Maxx credit card tries to offset this by giving you 10% off that first online order. If this benefit didn’t pale in comparison to other credit cards, we wouldn’t feel compelled to mention how lackluster this element of the card really is.
TJ Maxx Credit Card Terms And Fees
With a high regular APR, you don’t want to fall behind on payments with a credit card like this. The minimum interest charge stands at $2 with each given billing cycle. You will also want to keep in mind that the cash advance APR for this credit card is 29.99%.
There are no foreign transaction fees with either versions of the TJ Maxx credit card. Late fees can hit numbers upwards of $35. Because the TJ Maxx credit card is issued through MasterCard, you can take advantage of both price protection and extended warranties. The price protection terms state that if you purchase something and find that same product at a lesser price immediately after, you will be reimbursed for the difference. With the extended warranty element, you will want to understand that this only applies to certain purchases.
Also, if you apply for this card while online, you will run into certain restrictions with regards to that 10% discount. Applying for the card online means that you will only be able to utilize the discount with an online order. If you don’t want to be bothered with shipping costs, this is assuredly something you will want to keep in mind. This is something that will eat into the benefits of the discount. Applying for the card in a TJ Maxx store will mean having the discount sent to you through traditional mail. However, the discount can only be used with in-store orders. If you visit a TJ Maxx in your area on even a semi-regular basis, it might be in your best interests to apply for the credit card during your next trip. This is only if you want to get the most of that discount.
While discounts, special offers, points, rewards, and fees are all about, don’t forget that good customer service should be a major consideration on your part, as well. This seems to be an area in which TJ Maxx falters to a disheartening degree.
If you do some online research, you will find that TJ Maxx has one of the worst customer service reputations around. This is specifically in regards to their credit cards. Many customers have complained that TJ Maxx reps failed to help them. There have also been complaints of strange charges that are not dealt with in a timely fashion. This is not a unique experience. These are complaints that have been leveled against the TJ Maxx credit card on numerous occasions. You can learn more by reading up on customer reviews at Credit Karma.
At the end of the day, the
David is a financial expert who graduated from the University of Fordham (Master in Finance) in 2001. He has 10+ years of experience in private equity and wealth management. With strong expertise in senior-level financial planning, personal financial analysis, and mortgages, David knows his way around personal finance. Before working at CCR he used to be a financial analyst at McKinsey.
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