What is a store card?
Store cards give you benefits when you shop with a particular brand or retailer. For example, you could earn a higher rate of points per $1 for spending with an associated store, or enjoy complimentary shipping, exclusive sales and long interest-free offers.
Store cards also have the retailer's branding printed on the physical card but are issued by a bank or other financial institution. For example, both Coles and Kogan credit cards are issued by NAB.
Can I use a store card for other spending?
Usually you can use your store card to shop anywhere that accepts regular cards, as store cards in Australia are typically Visa or Mastercard options. Some stores do offer cards that you can only use with the associated store but this is more common cards issued overseas.
Store cards in Australia
There are 4 store credit card brands in Australia, covering supermarkets, department stores and online retailers:
- David Jones (not currently taking new applications)
- Myer (not currently taking new applications)
Right now, you can only apply for a store card from Coles and Kogan.
David Jones credit cards are currently not available for new applications, following the end of a partnership with American Express in July 2023. But existing customers can still use their cards until they are notified otherwise. DJs has also announced an upcoming credit card partnership with Latitude.
The Myer Credit Card has not been available for new applications since 2020 but is still listed on the Myer website.
Previously, Woolworths also offered credit cards. But in 2023 these cards were taken off the market and existing customers were transferred to Macquarie Bank credit cards.
What benefits do store credit cards offer?
Most store cards in Australia offer points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. You usually earn the highest amount of points for spending with the store and a lower amount for spending everywhere else.
Some store cards give you access to exclusive offers and benefits. For example, a Kogan Money Credit Card gives you access to complimentary Kogan First membership (typically $99 per year). And membership allows you to get exclusive shopping deals, complimentary shipping on eligible purchases and other perks.
Similar to buy now pay later, a credit card instalment plan lets you pay off eligible purchases or balances over a set period of time, with fixed payments. Some retail credit cards also offer low or 0% interest rates on the instalment plan.
Depending on the store card you choose, you could also get perks such as complimentary insurance, 0% foreign transaction fees and exclusive shopping, dining and travel offers through either Visa or Mastercard. And if you're a new cardholder, you could get bonus points, cashback or introductory 0% interest rate offers.
Reward credit cards with other store benefits
Beyond store-branded credit cards, there are some other rewards cards that offer extra value with particular types of stores and brands.
For example, NAB Rewards credit cards offer higher amounts of points for spending with Webjet and at major department stores (as well as for overseas spending). And CommBank Awards credit cards offer bonus points when you shop with Bonus partners. You can also redeem CommBank Awards points for shopping at Myer or travel booked through Flight Centre.
Other cards may also offer ongoing or promotional deals with stores and brands, so check your account for offers or ask your provider.
Comparison: Store card rewards, other benefits and features
To give you an idea of the potential value you can get from a store credit card, the table below includes details of reward point earn rates, other benefits and annual fees offered on 2 store cards you can currently get in Australia.
|Card||Earn rate||Other benefits||Annual fee|
| Coles Rewards Mastercard|
- 2 Flybuys points per $1 spent on eligible purchases
- Doubles as your Flybuys rewards card
- No international transaction fees
- Mobile payment options
- 24/7 concierge service
- Merchandise protection insurance
|Kogan Money Credit Card|
- 2 rewards points per $1 spent at Kogan.com
- 1 rewards point per $1 spent on all other eligible transactions
- Complimentary Kogan First Membership, with perks including member deals, free delivery on eligible products, express shipping upgrades and priority customer service
- Use points to get money off your shopping at Kogan.com, with 1 point giving you 1 cent of value
How to compare store credit cards
As well as comparing the benefits of a store card, make sure you consider the following features so you can find one that suits your needs:
Currently, the major store cards in Australia can be used anywhere Mastercard or Visa cards are accepted. But if you're not sure where you can use a store card, look for the Mastercard, Visa or American Express logo on the card or ask the provider before you apply.
Store credit card annual fees typically range from $0 to $99 or more. But just like other credit cards, they can be higher.
Store credit card interest rates typically range from 19.99% p.a. to 20.99% p.a. (variable) for purchases. But cash advance and expired promotional rates could be higher.
Payment plan rates and fees
If your store card offers long-term payment plans for in-store purchases, make sure you check for establishment and maintenance fees.
Introductory 0% interest rate offers
If you have existing card debt you’d like to transfer to a new store credit card, you may be able to get a promotional 0% interest rate if you request the transfer at the time of your application.
Sometimes, store credit cards will offer an introductory 0% interest rate for purchases, too. This can help you save on interest in the short term if you've got some big-ticket items to buy.
Just remember to check the standard rate that will apply to the debt if you don’t pay it off during the introductory period.
What to avoid with a retail 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 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.
These include cash withdrawals from ATMs, cashback at a cash register, traveler's cheques and foreign currency, and gambling transactions. These will not earn you points, but they will earn you a higher rate of interest from the moment they are made, as well as a cash advance fee.
Bottom line? Store credit cards can help you get more benefits when you regularly shop with a particular brand or store. Just remember to look at all the features and fees of the card, then compare a range of options so that you can find one that suits your needs.
Frequently asked questions
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Do store cards count as credit cards?
Most store cards in Australia are credit cards with American Express, Mastercard or Visa functionality. This means you can use them anywhere regular credit cards are accepted. It also means that details of the store card will be added to your credit history.
Can I use a retail branded credit card anywhere?
Yes, as long as the card has a Visa, Mastercard or American Express logo, you can use it anywhere these cards are accepted. Note that you may earn reward points at a different rate when you make a purchase at a retailer that has no affiliation with the retail brand. Check the terms and conditions for specific information about transactions that are eligible and ineligible to earn points.
How do I get an interest-free period on a store card?
Some store credit cards have an extended interest-free promotion on purchases. Usually you’ll need to present your store card and/or spend a specific amount on eligible purchases to use one of these 0% interest offers. Note that fees may also apply.
Most store cards also offer up to a certain number of interest-free days on purchases for each statement period. Just be sure to pay your account in full each month and you won’t get charged any interest on the purchases you make during the next statement period.
Can I transfer my credit card balance to a store credit card?
If the card you're after has an active balance transfer promotion, you can transfer your credit card debt to a store credit card. Generally, you elect to transfer a balance from another credit card at the point of application for the new product.
However, you won't be able to transfer your credit card balance to a store card that is designed only for spending at a particular store.
Can I balance transfer a store card debt to a credit card?
Yes, most balance transfer credit cards will accept debts from store cards, as well as other credit cards that are not issued by the same financial institution. You’ll just need to include details of your store card account and debt when you apply for the balance transfer.
What store cards work with Apple Pay?
Coles, Kogan and existing American Express David Jones credit cards can be added to Apple Pay. If you're interested in getting a credit card that works with Apple Pay, check out this guide to compare other options.