Retail Rewards Credit Cards Comparison

Earn rewards for your everyday spending and enjoy more shopping perks with a retail reward credit card.

Retail reward credit cards are designed to offer you points and other benefits for shopping with select retailers, supermarkets and petrol stations. Depending on the card you choose, you could earn a higher rate of points per $1 spent with retail partners, redeem points instantly in-store or enjoy other perks such as free shipping for online orders and VIP events.

Use this guide to compare retail reward credit cards and learn more about them so that you can decide if one of these cards is right for you.

Comparison of Retail Rewards Credit Cards

Rates last updated August 22nd, 2017
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
David Jones American Express
40,000 bonus points
1
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive benefits through David Jones including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
NAB Rewards Classic Card
25,000 bonus points
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
Earn 0.75 NAB Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
1
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Receive invitations to exclusive Season Launch Parades and fashion events, complimentary priority delivery and personal shopping perks.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
0.5
0
12.99% p.a.
$58 p.a.
Receive $50 off a Coles Supermarket shop if you apply, are approved and make an eligible purchase within the first 30 days.
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Collect 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a $100 eGift Card when you apply by 30 September 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 October 2017.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
20,000 bonus points
2
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 20,000 bonus flybuys points if you apply, are approved and make an eligible purchase within the first 30 days.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card - Qantas Frequent Flyer
37,500 bonus points
0
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Fly faster with up to 3 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance when travel is booked on your card.

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How Do Retail Rewards Credit Cards Work?

ccf-retail-cards-250x250These credit cards are similar to other reward options, earning you points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Usually, a retail reward card will also offer specific benefits when you spend with partners. These could include:

  • Points per $1 spent. You may earn a higher rate of points per $1 spent with partner retailers. For example, the David Jones American Express Platinum offers 4  points per $1 spent at David Jones, 3 points per $1 at major petrol stations and supermarkets and 1 point per $1 spent on most other eligible purchases.
  • Instant reward redemptions. Some retail credit cards let you use your points to pay for purchases with retail partners. For example, if you have a Coles credit card, you can use it as your flybuys rewards card. This means you'll be able to redeem your points for flybuys dollars and get cash off your shopping at Coles or other participating flybuys partner stores.
  • Shopping offers and discounts. Your retail reward credit card may unlock exclusive discounts such as free delivery for online purchases, monthly discounts when you pay with your card, complimentary gift wrapping or exclusive sales.

How to compare retail rewards credit cards

When you compare retail rewards credit cards, you need to check beyond the advertising. Fine print is just as important.

Narrowing this down a little, we'll take a closer look at retail rewards credit cards that exclusively offer retail vouchers in exchange for the point you accumulate.

What should I expect from a retail rewards credit card?

  • Encouragement to spend in-store. You will have the opportunity to earn points no matter where you spend on your credit card, but your redemption of points can be restricted to the store whose name is on the credit card. This is true for the cards mentioned above, although the David Jones card does also have an option on travel rewards with Qantas and other airlines. Thus, your main focus when you compare retail rewards credit cards should be on whether the store offers you the kind of products you would like to take home with you, because that's the store where you'll be spending your rewards.
  • To earn more points for loyalty to the brand. The number of points you earn per dollar will depend upon where you make your purchases. You should earn more points for shopping in-store than at other locations.
  • Short-term offers and discounts. These should come your way at regular intervals, so that you can earn more points for a limited period, or perhaps by purchasing certain items. You can also reasonably expect that discounts are applied to selected products in-store that are purchased with your affiliated credit card. In this respect, a retail rewards credit card can operate very much like a store card.

What should I look for in a retail rewards credit card?

  • A good points-to-rewards ratio. When shopping around for a retail rewards credit card, it is important to look into how many points are needed to purchase items that you desire. Rewards points aren’t created equal, so it is worth making a comparison of the rewards value of competing cards.
  • The purchase interest rate. Invariably, the purchase interest rate will be higher on a rewards credit card than any low rate credit card counterpart. Rewards cards are usually only financially rewarding for consumers who pay their balance in full each month.
  • Cap and expiry. A cap on your points means you will not be able to earn more than a certain amount in any year. This punishes you if you are a high spender. Similarly, an expiry date on your points penalises the low spenders who may have to exchange their points for a lesser reward. Worse, if you forget that your points are about to expire, they may end up disappearing for ever. Some cards have neither of these conditions, but it is worth checking. You’ve been warned.
  • Annual fees. Whilst an annual fee for the credit card itself is pretty standard for a rewards credit card, you should be wary that a fee can also be charged to be a member of the rewards scheme.
  • Interest-free days. Interest free days gives credit card users a chance to balance their balance before interest is applied. However, please be aware that there are no interest free days if you carry a balance from the previous month.

Is a retail rewards credit card for me?

That depends on whether you want to be tied to a certain retailer for your rewards. If not, then you should be looking at a more general rewards scheme that offers a wider range of redemption options. If you know your credit rating is not so hot, you may want to think twice about even making an application. These cards require a sound credit rating, and every application you make will be logged in your history, whether successful or not.

How to use a retail rewards credit card

Action you should take with your retail rewards credit card

  • Shift some regular bills and purchases to your card. You will be spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month that earn you nothing back. Anything you use cash, a debit card, or a direct debit to pay for could potentially be moved to your credit card to earn points. This action is, however, fraught with danger if you do not set aside the cash you would have used. This will be needed to cover your credit card debt at the end of the month.

Actions you should avoid with your retail rewards credit card

  • Spending just to earn points. Justifying an unnecessary purchase on the basis that you have earned some points is poor thinking. Not only could you end up with a purchase of little value, but you may take your balance into an area that you cannot pay off in full.
  • Losing track of your spending. If you have any doubts about your ability to manage a larger credit card bill, or to balance any sudden large shift from cash to plastic, then putting your everyday bills onto your retail rewards credit card would be very unwise. Your balance needs to be paid off in full each month for your points to be of some benefit. If you end up paying interest, you have lost the game.
  • Making cash transactions. These include cash withdrawals from ATMs, cash back at a cash register, traveler's cheques and foreign currency, and gambling transactions. These will not earn you points, but they will earn your a higher rate of interest from the moment they are made, as well as a cash advance feel.

Store credit risks

Know that the rate of interest following an introductory low purchase interest rate or balance transfer offer is usually very high — often in the region of 20% p.a. or so. Consumers need to be diligent working towards repaying their debts before a big interest rate swoops in.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LouiseJanuary 22, 2015

    Hi
    I have a Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Card and I have the triple rewards points feature so I get three rewards points for every dollar spent.
    I like to use the rewards points to get vouchers to the supermarket I usually shop at to reduce my grocery bills.
    Recently I had maintenance work worth $5,260.00 done to the house and I could use my credit card to pay but they charged a 2% surcharge for doing so. Would you please help me work out if the 2% surcharge extra I pay for using the credit card would be more or less of the equivalent value of the rewards points when used to get Woolworths vouchers?

    Thank you

    • Staff
      JonathanJanuary 23, 2015Staff

      Hi Louise,

      Thanks for your inquiry,

      Please refer to the email I have sent you containing the calculations determining the surcharge cost versus the equivalent value of rewards points.

      I hope this helps!

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    ChristieMarch 23, 2014

    We currently have a citibank CC which we earn points but hate the overseas customer service and layout/format for online queries. Which card would you recommend that would allow us to earn bonus points to redeem similar to citibank cards? Cheers

    • Staff
      JacobMarch 24, 2014Staff

      Hi, Christie.

      Thanks for your question.

      Please have a look at our rewards credit card comparison page.

      These cards reward you with points when you make an eligible purchase, and there are some cards offer bonus incentives when you shop at particular retailers. Cards that are linked to a lender’s rewards program (and not a frequent flyer program) allow you to redeem your points for a range of goods like electronics, experiences, white goods, gift vouchers and so on.

      You can click the table headings to arrange the cards by things like their annual fee, and if you would like a side by side comparison of multiple credit cards, click the check boxes to the left of the card name (and then click compare). You can find out more about a product, including it’s rewards structure by clicking through to the card’s review page.

      I hope this helps. Let us know if you have any further questions.

  3. Default Gravatar
    EleniFebruary 26, 2014

    I am after a card that accumulates flying points with no expiring date and also offers other ways of spending points, such as cash out.

    Any suggestions? Which would be best?

    • Staff
      JacobFebruary 26, 2014Staff

      Hi, Eleni.

      Thanks for your question.

      This page may be of interest to you. It features cards with no points capping and no points expiry.

      If you can’t find a card here, you may also want to check out our frequent flyer credit card comparison page.

      You can click the table headings to arrange the cards, and if you would like a side by side comparison of the products, you can click the check boxes to the left of the card name in the table (and the click compare!) to compare multiple cards. You can read more about each product by clicking through to the review and application page.

      I hope this helps.

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