Belk Credit Card Review: Good For Frequent Shoppers & Building Credit
Fans of modern southern style are likely familiar with the clothing, accessories, and home furnishings of Belk department stores. For shoppers, the store provides the Belk credit card, that you can use in Belk stores, and includes a few different perks and benefits that you won’t find with other cards. To get the most out of your purchases, it’s important that you select the right card according to your needs. If you’re considering a Belk Rewards credit card, here’s how they compare to each other and to other rewards credit cards that are available.
- No annual fee
- One point per dollar for all Belk purchases
- 400 points for $10 Belk Reward Dollars
Applying for the Belk Card and Credit Score Needed
You can apply online through the Belk credit card application and receive a decision almost instantly. Like many other credit cards, you can also pay the Belk credit card online as well, making management of your account quick and easy. Also, like other store credit cards, it’s easier to qualify for the Belk Card if you have had credit problems in the past than it is for other rewards credit cards. For instance, you could qualify with a credit score in the low 600s while other rewards cards often require credit scores in the 700s. For this reason, the Belk Card is a good option if you are working on rebuilding or building your credit rating. If you have a lower credit score, you may find it difficult getting approved for other rewards credit cards.
How the Belk Credit Card Works
While many cards that are available offer a standard rewards program, the Belk card offers rewards and extra bonuses based on three different tiers. These tiers are dependent on your annual spending, which can be valuable if you regularly shop at Belk stores. For example, the default level is the Rewards level which includes receipt-free returns and the rewards program where you get one point for every dollar you spend at Belk stores. You get $10 in Belk Reward Dollars whenever you reach 400 points, which you can use on future Belk purchases.
If you spend at least $600 in a calendar year, you reach the Premier tier, which includes everything in the Rewards tier, plus flex payment plans and other special offers. If you spend $1,500 within a calendar year, you will reach the top tier, Elite, which includes the features of the other two tiers plus free shipping, 20% personal sale days of your choice, birthday coupons, and other exclusive savings events.
Belk Rewards vs. Other Rewards Credit Cards
You can earn the equivalent of 2.5% back, which isn’t a bad rate when it comes to store card rewards programs. If you frequently shop at Belk stores, you not only earn points that you can redeem for future purchases, but you will also likely reach one of the upper tiers which provide more benefits and perks. However, there are some disadvantages to choosing the Belk credit card over other cards that award the same purchases.
5% Cash Back at Belk Stores with U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature®
There are other cards available that award more than you would receive with the Belk credit card. One option is the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® card, which awards 5% cash back at department stores, including Belk stores. This rewards program not only awards double the amount you would earn with the Belk card, but it also awards cash back that you can use toward any purchase, not just Belk purchases. Further, this card also awards at least 1% cash back for other purchase you make with the card, allowing you to earn more cash back no matter where you shop.
Get 2% Cash Back with Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Citi® Double Cash
Although the 2% rate is slightly less than the rate you get with the Belk credit card, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Citi® Double Cash cards award cash back that you can use on any type of purchase when you redeem. The Citi® Double Cash awards all purchases you make with the card at 1%, and then you get another 1% cash back when you pay your bill. On the other hand, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express awards 2% cash back at U.S. department stores, which includes Belk stores.
The advantage these cards have over the Belk card is not just the opportunity to spend your rewards on whatever you like, but also the ability to earn cash back on other purchases. The ability to earn even 1% cash back on other types of purchases can end up being worth hundreds of dollars by themselves, depending on your spending.
Cost of Using the Belk Rewards Credit Card
There is no annual fee for the Belks Rewards Credit Card, which is important when determining how much the rewards program will be worth to you. With cards that charge annual fees, you have to weigh the value of the benefits and rewards you might earn against the cost of carrying the card. There are, however, many rewards credit cards available which do not charge annual fees, like the Citi® Double Cash, U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature®, and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
Considering the High APR of Store Credit Cards
Another cost to consider when choosing a rewards credit card is the APR or interest rate. Like many other store cards, the Belk rewards card is easier to qualify for if you have a fair credit score, but it also carries a high APR of 24.49%. If you carry a balance from month to month, the amount of interest you’ll pay on your purchases will decrease the value of any rewards you earn. If you don’t pay your balance in full each month, it’s best to select credit cards with the lowest APRs in order to get the most value.
Cards like the Citi® Double Cash and Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express typically offer much lower interest rates, depending on your creditworthiness. Plus, many rewards cards also offer 0% introductory APRs for new cardholders, which can save you quite a bit of money if you’re planning a large purchase or balance transfer. The Belk card not only comes with a high APR, but it also does not offer any special financing or any opportunities to save on interest.
Belk Store Credit Card
|Belk Store Rewards Credit Card||Details|
|Annual Percentage Rate (APR) For Purchases||24.49%|
|How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases||Your due date is at least 23 days after the close of each billing cycle. We will not charge you any interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.|
|Minimum Interest Charge||If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $1.00.|
|Late Payment Fee||Up to $35|
No Special Sign-Up Offer for New Cardholders
In addition to not offering a 0% introductory APR, the Belk card also does not offer new cardholders any special sign-up bonus. Most store credit cards at least offer a small discount on the first purchase you make with the new card. Further, rewards credit cards often provide an opportunity to earn hundreds of dollars in cash back just for meeting a specific spending requirement. You don’t get any of these special sign-up offers with the Belk credit card.
Choosing the Belk Card Over Other Credit Card Options
The Belk card offers a decent rewards rate and, if you are a frequent shopper, you can qualify for the tiers offering special offers, perks, and personal sale days. These extra benefits can lead to bigger savings and increase the value of the card. Plus, if you have a lower credit rating, store credit cards like the Belk card can be valuable tools for rebuilding or building a positive credit rating.
However, if you qualify for other rewards cards, many other credit card alternatives provide better long-term cash back opportunities and rewards for all your purchases – not just the ones you make at Belk stores. Even if you choose a card with a lower rate of rewards, you may find that you get more value from the card simply because you can use it for all your purchases and redeem for cash back.