The JCPenney credit card offers valuable rewards and discounts for regular JCPenney shoppers. As one of the largest department store chains in the U.S. with over 650 locations, JCPenney is a popular destination for apparel, home goods, and more. But is its credit card worth getting? Let’s explore the pros and cons.
With this card, you can earn points for purchases that translate into discounts on future trips. However, these cards also have significant limitations compared to general cash-back cards. In this post, we will explore if the JCPenney credit card makes sense for shoppers despite missing flexibility.
How the JCPenney Credit Card Works
First, let’s look at the basics of earning and redeeming rewards with the JCPenney credit card:
- Get 1 point per $1 spent at JCPenney stores/website
- Earn 1 point per $5 on non-JCPenney purchases
- 2,000 points maximum per purchase
- 200 points = $10 rewards certificate
- Certificates expire 60 days after issuance
- Can redeem up to $100 per transaction
Now let’s explore why this card appeals to devoted JCPenney shoppers.
Top Benefits and Perks
Between its rewards rate and discounts, the JCPenney card offers valuable perks:
- 35% New Cardholder Discount: Save 35% on your first purchase in-store or online within the first 30 days. Excludes certain brands.
- Exclusive Cardholder Savings: Ongoing access to special financing offers, bonus discount days, and more.
- Points Earn Faster: Earn 2x the rate on JCPenney purchases compared to basic members.
This card has appeal for true JCPenney devotees. But there are also limitations to weigh.
Drawbacks to Consider
While the JCPenney credit card has nice perks for loyal shoppers, it lags general rewards cards in two key areas:
Limited Rewards Uses
- Certificates only redeemable at JCPenney
- Can’t cash out points for statement credits
Low Earning Rate Elsewhere
- Just 1 point per $5 spent outside of JCPenney
- Other cards earn 2%+ everywhere
These factors make the overall value less competitive. Now let’s compare some alternatives.
Alternatives Card You Can Consider
Given the restrictive nature of the JCPenney card, flexible cash-back cards provide useful alternatives:
Citi Double Cash
- Earns 2% cash back (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay)
- No limit on how much you can earn
- Can convert rewards to ThankYou® Points for more value
Chase Freedom Unlimited
- 1.5% cash back on every purchase
- 3% back on dining and drugstores
- $200 bonus after $500 spent in 3 months
Both cards above let you earn at higher rates without worrying about expired rewards. Their flexible redemption options also give them an edge.
Is the JCPenney Card Right for You?
The JCPenney credit card makes the most sense if you regularly shop at JCPenney and maximize its rewards certificates.
For casual shoppers or those wanting more flexibility, there are better options. But devotees can get solid value from its discounts and financing offers.
How to Apply for a JCPenney Credit Card
You have three options to apply for a new JCPenney credit card:
- Apply online at jcpenney.com
- Apply in-store at checkout
- Apply by phone: 1-800-342-0653
You’ll provide personal information and agree to a credit check. If approved, enjoy your new card perks right away.
To apply online:
- Go to www.jcpenney.com and click on the “Apply Now” button at the top of the page to start the online application. You can also apply in-store at any JCPenney location.
- Select the type of card you want to apply for – there are a few different card options like the JCPenney Credit Card, JCPenney Mastercard, etc. Each has different benefits and rewards.
- Provide your personal information including name, address, date of birth, social security number, and contact details.
- Provide your income, housing, and employment information so they can determine your credit eligibility. You’ll need info like your annual income, housing payment, employer name, etc.
- Read through the terms and conditions of the account carefully before submitting your application. This will outline things like APR, fees, etc.
- Apply and authorize JCPenney to run a credit check. This allows them to review your credit history.
- Wait for a response on your application, which may take 1-2 weeks. You’ll receive a letter by mail letting you know if you’re approved or denied, and your credit limit if approved.
Once you get the card, you need to activate your new card when it arrives in the mail. You’ll need to sign the back and call the number provided to activate it before using it.
Next, Register your account online to manage your new credit card and make payments.
How to log into Your JCPenney Credit Card Account
To access your JCPenney credit card account online:
- Go to jcpenney.com and click “My Account”
- Enter your username and password
- Here you can view statements, make payments, check balances, and more
Tips to Make Payments on the JCPenney Card
Make at least the minimum payment by the due date each month to avoid late fees and interest charges. The minimum payment amount will be listed on your statement.
You have a few options to pay your JCPenney credit card bill:
You can pay online through your JCPenney account. Log in and click on “Make a Payment” to pay with a bank account, debit card, or another credit card.
- Login to your account and select “Make a Payment”
- Pay from a bank account, PayPal, etc.
- Take your payment to any JCPenney customer service desk
- They accept various payment methods
Pay By Phone
You can also pay by phone.
- Call 1-800-542-0800 to reach their credit services team, and ensure you have your account number ready.
- Speak to a representative to process your payment
For the fastest processing, make your payment at least 5 days before the due date. Payments made on the due date or later may not be processed in time.
Pay more than the minimum when possible to pay off your balance faster and reduce interest charges. Any extra amount over the minimum goes directly towards lowering your principal balance.
Set up automatic payments to have your monthly payment automatically deducted from your bank account each month. This ensures you never miss a payment.
Always pay on time. Late or missed payments can result in late fees, penalty APRs, and negative impacts on your credit score.
If you’re having trouble making payments, contact JCPenney customer service right away to discuss alternative payment arrangements or hardship programs.
JCPenney Credit Card Customer Service
If you have any questions or issues with your JCPenney credit card, contact customer service at:
- Phone: 1-800-542-0800
You can inquire about payment issues, redeeming rewards, card benefits, and more.
The JCPenney credit card provides nice rewards for loyal JCPenney patrons thanks to its new cardholder discount and exclusive savings.
Yet its low earning rate beyond JCPenney as well as restrictive reward certificates reduce overall appeal. Consider both benefits and limitations carefully before applying.