Have you ever stood in a department store and wondered if you should get the advertised credit card? Department store credit cards can be smart, especially if you are looking to improve or repair your credit score. Major department store credit cards tend to offer great discounts with regular coupons and special offers. But which are the instant approval department store credit cards? Here are the department store credit cards that easy to get…

In This Article:

  • Credit Card Terms to Know

  • Department Stores That Offer an Instant Approval Credit Card

  • The List of All Stores Other Than Department Stores That Offer Instant Approval Credit Cards

Credit Card Terms to Know

Here’s a quick breakdown of the terms you need to know in order to know which instant approval department store credit cards are best for you…

APR: Annual Percentage Rate on purchases. This is the interest rate you’ll pay if you keep a balance on your card (ie: if you don’t pay it off in full each month). Department store credit cards are notorious for high interest rates compared to other credit cards.

Credit Status: Do you know your credit score? Free reports are available to help you check your credit. Scores defined as “low” tend to range from 580 to 619, “fair” scores range from 620 to 679, “good” scores range from 680 to 699, and “excellent” scores range from 700 to 850. Most of the department stores listed below will issue a credit card to customers with a wide range of credit scores, but the credit limit may vary based on your score. Customers with a relatively low credit score might receive a $150 card limit while other customers with a strong credit score could have a credit limit that goes well into the thousands.

Open or Closed Loop Card: Most major department store credit cards are “closed loop,” which means that you can only use the card at the store by which it was issued. Open loop cards are credit cards that you can use anywhere. They are backed by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or another major credit card company. Closed loop cards are typically easier to get for people with bad credit as compared to open loop cards. Somewhat confusingly, a major department store will sometimes offer an open loop credit card that says “Store Name,” but also says “Visa” in the corner. The list below notes which type of card each company offers to clarify your available options

Rewards Cards or Gift Cards: Many major department stores have three kinds of cards — credit cards, rewards cards, and gift cards. Gift cards never involve credit checks or credit scores, but can look like a credit card because many of them are plastic. Rewards cards are a little bit trickier because some stores use the terms credit and rewards cards interchangeably. If it’s free to sign up and does not ask for your social security number — it is a rewards-only card. If you have to fill out an application that involves your social security number — it’s definitely a credit card.

The List of Instant Approval Department Store Credit Cards

Methodology: The information below was gathered by going through the initial phases of applying for each card and reading the applicable Terms and Conditions. The information is current and up-to-date at the time of writing and we recheck this article for accuracy frequently, but please note that rates and fees may change without warning. If you decide to apply for any of these credit cards, be sure to read all of the information presented to you so that you won’t be caught unawares by unexpected fees. All of these businesses will run a credit check as part of the application process. This being said, these are the easiest department store credit card to get…

1. Belk

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: 15-20% purchases, reward dollars to spend, future deals and coupons, receipt-free returns
  • APR: 24.49%
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $35
  • Open or Closed Loop: Closed Loop
  • Credit Status Needed: Bad
  • Read the above information and more on the Belk website.

2. Bon-Ton (includes Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, or Younkers)

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: Varying discounts and coupons with double rewards, free shipping from online orders, future coupons
  • APR: 25.24%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $37
  • Open or Closed Loop: Closed Loop
  • Credit Status Needed: Bad
  • Read the above information and more on the Bon-Ton website.

3. Boscov’s

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: 15% off all purchases the day of activation, double points, birthday rewards, future coupons and rewards
  • APR: 26.24%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $35 and returned payments up to $25
  • Open or Closed Loop: Closed Loop
  • Credit Status Needed: Bad
  • Read the above information and more on Boscov’s website.

4. Dillard’s

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: 10% off purchases after spending enough to earn points, future coupons, and rewards
  • APR: U.S. Prime Rate + 6.74% to 21.74%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $37 and other transaction fees possible
  • Open or Closed Loop: Open Loop through American Express
  • Credit Status Needed: Good to High
  • Read the above information and more on Dillard’s website.

5. Kohl’s

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: 25% off that-day purchases, 12 discount offers throughout the year, free shipping offers, future coupons and discounts
  • APR: 24.24%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $37
  • Open or Closed Loop: Closed Loop
  • Credit Status Needed: Bad
  • Read the above information and more on Kohl’s website.

6. JCPenney

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: 15% off today, 5% off major appliances and Modern Bride Diamond Vault, future coupons, designated no-interest purchase periods
  • APR: 26%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $37
  • Open or Closed Loop: Closed Loop
  • Credit Status Needed: Bad
  • Read the above information and more on the JCPenney website.

7. Macy’s

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: 20% same day and next day purchases (up to $100), free shipping over $50
  • APR: 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $37
  • Open or Closed Loop: Both Open (American Express) and Closed Loop cards available
  • Credit Status Needed: Good to Excellent
  • Read the above information and more on Macy’s website.

8. Nordstrom

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: Earn $20 for $100 spent, future rewards points, enjoy early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale before it opens to the public.
  • APR: 23.15%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $38
  • Open or Closed Loop: Both Open (Visa) and Closed Loop cards available. Debit card (drawn from a personal bank account) are available as well.
  • Credit Status Needed: Good to Excellent
  • Read the above information and more on the Nordstrom website.

9. Sears (includes KMart)

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: 10% earned in points on card to spend on future purchases, sometimes no interest opportunities, future coupons and discounts
  • APR: 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $37
  • Open or Closed Loop: Both Open (MasterCard) and Closed Loop cards (home improvement and regular store/online options) available
  • Credit Status Needed: Good to Excellent
  • Read the above information and more on the Sears website.

10. TJX (TJMaxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, & Sierra Trading Post)

  • Instant Approval? Yes
  • Incentives: 10% off first in-store purchase, $10 in rewards certificates when you spend $200, reward points
  • APR: 27.24%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $35
  • Open or Closed Loop: Both Open (MasterCard) and Closed Loop cards possible.
  • Credit Status Needed: Good to Excellent
  • Read the above information and more on the TJX website.

Additional Stores That Offer Instant Approval Credit Cards

Want to apply for a credit card, but not a big department store shopper? Here are some other well-known stores that offer instant approval credit cards.

1. Amazon

  • Incentives: Free gift card after application is approved, 5% off every transaction, promotional financing, future deals, and more incentives if you are already an Amazon Prime member
  • APR: 26.24%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $35
  • Open or Closed Loop: Both Open (Visa) and Closed Loop cards available
  • Credit Status Needed: Bad
  • Instant Approval?: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on Amazon’s website.

2. Cabela’s

  • Incentives: $25 in Cabela’s Points, 2% points back on all Cabela’s purchases, free gear offers, 2% points back on participating gas stations, 1% points back on all other purchases, exclusive CLUB deals and events.
  • APR: 9.99% for Cabela’s purchases and 15.52% to 21.52% on other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $37
  • Open or Closed Loop: Open (Visa) card available.
  • Credit Status Needed: Good to Excellent
  • Instant Approval?: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on Cabela’s website.

3. Target

  • Incentives: 5% off today and every day, free shipping on most items, extra 30 days to return items, future discounts
  • APR: 23.15%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $38
  • Open or Closed Loop: Both Closed Loop and Debit Card options available.
  • Credit Status Needed: Bad
  • Instant Approval?: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Target website.

4. Walmart

  • Incentives: Up to 15% off today’s purchases, save 3% on Walmart.com purchases, save 2% on qualified gas purchases, save 1% at Walmart and other locations, free gift cards, future discounts
  • APR: 17.15 – 23.15%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $37
  • Open or Closed Loop: Both Open (MasterCard) and Closed Loop cards available.
  • Credit Status Needed: Bad to Excellent
  • Instant Approval?: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Walmart website.

In Summary

Any time you open a new credit card, it should be a weighted decision. Avoid being lured in by promises of discounts or applying because “You want it now, but can’t afford it.” Responsibly managing a store credit card will help you build credit so you’ll be more eligible for other credit card opportunities in the future. Spend wisely and enjoy those discounts! There are many department store credit cards for poor credit so as long as you harness self-control, you’ll have a great time finding one.