Retail Rewards Credit Cards Comparison

Don't let rewards slip away from your everyday retail and shopping purchases

With retail rewards credit cards, earn rewards points when you shop or spend on your credit card with certain retailers, supermarkets and even petrol stations. Here, credit card providers team up with selected retail brands to get yourself more rewards for the money that you spend. Retail rewards credit card may also be known as a supermarket rewards credit card or a shopping voucher credit card or a loyalty credit card.

Comparison of Retail Rewards Credit Cards

Rates last updated December 10th, 2016.

Coles Low Rate MasterCard

Purchase rate has been updated from 9.99% p.a. to 12.99% p.a.

December 6th, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Bonus Points Annual fee
Coles Low Rate MasterCard
A low rate MasterCard with a competitive rate on purchases and a low annual fee.
0 0.5 $49 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express
Receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points and earn up to 3 Rewards points for every dollar spent on everyday item and access exclusive in-store benefits to David Jones cardholders.
1 30,000 bonus points $99 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend outside of David Jones 3 times in the first month.
1 40,000 bonus points $295 p.a. Go to site More info
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1. How Do Retail Rewards Credit Cards Work?

Credit limit

A credit card has a spending limit on it. Called a ‘credit limit’, it is assigned to cardholders based on their financial details and capacity to repay debt. Some credit card users like a small credit limit, so that there credit card spending doesn’t get out of control, while at the other end of the spectrum, some credit card users like a high credit limit because they have the necessary financial discipline and they wish to put big ticket items on their retail rewards credit cards — earning masses of reward points in the process.

Credit limits can often be extended, especially for customers who’ve had the card already for some time and have kept up with the minimum repayments. Contact your credit card provider to request any change to your credit limit.

If you want a large credit limit, apply for a credit card with a high maximum credit limit. Premium cards such as platinum credit cards typically have high credit limits to suit high-spend customers.

Variation on a theme

A retail rewards card is really just a variation of a proven formula — the rewards credit card. A retail rewards card pushes the envelope by further rewarding you for the spending you already do at your favourite store. So what can you expect with a retail rewards credit card? Earning rewards points can then be exchanged for air miles, cash back, or shopping vouchers at affiliated retailers. Points earned per dollar spent varies from card to card; so it is worth exploring in detail by clicking on a card you like to discover the specific offer.

The bonus with a retail rewards credit card is that you earn rewards points outside of the store the card is named after. So it operates in a fairly similar way to the regular rewards cards you may already be familiar with.

How do I earn retail rewards?

By spending money on eligible purchases as outlined by your credit card provider. It's that simple. However, keep in mind that many people would be better off financially with a low interest rate credit card if they don’t repay their balance in full each month — as the interest rates on rewards cards are higher. Use a retail rewards credit card wisely and it is an excellent method of creating a little extra spending power for yourself.

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2. 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-storeYou 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 brandThe 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 discountsThese 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 ratioWhen 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 rateInvariably, 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 expiryA 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 feesWhilst 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 daysInterest 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.

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3. 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 cardYou 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 pointsJustifying 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 spendingIf 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 transactionsThese 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.

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American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

0
ME Bank frank Credit Card
ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate

11.99

Annual fee

0
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

149

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6 Responses to Retail Rewards Credit Cards Comparison

  1. Default Gravatar
    Louise | January 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
      Jonathan | January 23, 2015

      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
    Christie | March 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
      Jacob | March 24, 2014

      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
    Eleni | February 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
      Jacob | February 26, 2014

      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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