What You Need to Know Before Applying for a Kohl’s Credit Card

You might love Kohl’s for its great sales, but here you’ll learn if Kohl’s has a credit card great enough to make room for in your wallet.
5 minute read | 8/12/19Aug. 12, 2019
What You Need to Know Before Applying for a Kohl’s Credit Card

One thing Kohl’s does well is getting shoppers into its department stores. Its ecommerce game is also strong with the addition of an in-store pick-up option. Also, who can forget the coveted Kohl’s Cash?

If you are a Kohl’s shopper and have ever wanted to earn even more benefits from shopping there, you might want to strongly consider opening a Kohl’s Charge card.

The basics of the Kohl’s Charge card

Commonly called the Kohl’s credit card or Kohl’s card, the official name for this credit card is the Kohl’s Charge. This credit card operates like most credit cards, but it’s something known as a closed-loop card, which means you can only use your Kohl’s credit card at Kohl’s.

The interest rate on the card is 27.24% APR (annual percentage rate), and there’s no balance transfer or cash advance option. The card has no annual fee, but late payment fees can be up to $38.

So, if you can qualify and make on-time payments in full, your Kohl’s Charge card is literally free for you to have, and you get all the benefits of being a cardholder.

What’s great about the Kohl’s Charge card

There are some amazing benefits to having a Kohl’s Charge card, so let’s start from the beginning. As soon as you’re approved for your card, you’ll get an extra 35% off your first Kohl’s purchase using your card. This purchase can be made online or in-store. In addition, when you receive your Kohl’s credit card in the mail, it will include a 15% off coupon to use on your next online or in-store Kohl’s purchase. Also, if you opt into paperless statements, you’ll get another $10 coupon in your email inbox.

Throughout the year, you’ll receive 12 special offers in the mail. These Kohl’s Charge offers are only for cardholders. Each special offer is available for a limited time and can be applied at checkout online or in-store. These special offers include a promo code that randomly gives you an extra 15%, 20%, or 30% off your purchase when you use your Kohl’s credit card. If you can’t find or lose your special offer mailer, you’ll automatically get 15% off your purchase during the promotion time.

And we’re not done yet. Do you spend more than $600 a year at Kohl’s? Great! You just unlocked even more savings for being a cardholder. In addition to the 12 special offers each year, you’ll receive another six special offers for being a Most Valued Customer.

In addition, Kohl’s Charge cardholders get advanced notice of upcoming sales in the mail, so you can be among the first customers at the door when the sale hits the store. If you prefer online shopping, you can preload your cart before the sale date and then check out after the sale starts.

When it’s time to make a payment on your Kohl’s credit card, there are a variety of options to make doing so convenient for you. Cardholders can make payments in the store, through the mail, over the phone, through the Kohl’s app, or online when they set up their account portal.

Things to watch out for with the Kohl’s Charge card

As wonderful as the Kohl’s credit card can be, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of.

Even Kohl’s Charge cardholders aren’t eligible for discounts on some items. There are several brands online and in-store where discounts won’t apply. If you had your heart set on a pair of Levi’s jeans or a new Dyson vacuum, you won’t be able to use any promotional coupons, but you can still earn and use Kohl’s Cash during your purchase. Several sporting goods brands, professional sports team merchandise, consumable products, premium athletic brands, and select electronics also cannot be discounted using Kohl’s coupons. But these brands do occasionally run their own Kohl’s specials online and in-store. If you do end up opening a Kohl’s Charge account, it’s best to become familiar with which brands and categories of merchandise will be discount-free.

To really take advantage of the special offers you’re mailed, you’ll need to act quickly. The time frames for each special offer are short, so if you miss it, you’ll need to wait until your next special offer arrives to save on your purchase.

The APR on the Kohl’s credit card could be better. The average APR for credit cards is around 16%, so the 27.24% variable APR gives this card a very high rate when compared to other options. Also, your spending limit will likely be lower than other credit cards; however, you can request a credit increase every three months if you meet certain requirements.

Kohl’s is well-known for having lots of rewards programs, but some of them have nothing to do with having a Kohl’s credit card. For example, all shoppers are eligible for Kohl’s Cash. And you’ll have to open another account if you want to benefit from Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards program. Getting a Kohl’s Charge card doesn’t automatically enroll you in other rewards programs, and it can be confusing to keep track of everything to get the most benefit.

Who should consider the Kohl’s Charge credit card

If you already shop at Kohl’s or are considering switching over from another department store, the initial savings you get for opening a Kohl’s card is hard to pass up.

And if you’re a savvy shopper who has the discipline and flexibility to shop during special offer periods, you’ll reap the benefits of this credit card.

Also, if you’re good at tracking rewards, you’ll get the most possible out of your cardholder and rewards benefits.

How to apply for the Kohl’s card

It’s simple and easy to apply for a Kohl’s Charge card. You can see if you prequalify online without receiving a hard inquiry on your credit report. Once you know you’re qualified, you can submit an application online or in-store to open your account. There’s no required minimum credit score for being approved, so you could be approved even if your credit score isn’t great.

Alternatives to the Kohl’s Charge credit card

If you’ve started to think the Kohl’s credit card might not be the best fit for you, there are plenty of other rewards credit cards you can use at Kohl’s that still have amazing benefits.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card has no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months. That means you won’t accrue any interest on your Kohl’s purchases during that period, and you’ll earn up to 3% cash back at Kohl’s as well as all the other places you shop.

For travelers, check out the Capitol One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Your purchases earn you 10X miles on bookings with Hotels.com through January 2020 and 2X miles on every purchase, every day — meaning all those (nearly everyday) Kohl’s purchases. The annual fee is $95, but it’s waived for the first year. Couple that with a lower APR than the Kohl’s credit card, and this might be a better card if you’re a jetsetter who likes to shop at Kohl’s at home and on the go.

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