JCPenney Credit Card: Sensational or Typical?

If you are near one of JCPenney’s stores and often shop there, you might find a good value in a JCPenney credit card. It is a closed-loop CC that offers straightforward use, from earning to redeeming points. However, does this simplicity benefit you, or does it just make the card limiting for your spending needs?

JCPenney credit cards

JCPenney Credit Cards

Intro Bonus: 15% off and an extra 5% off on select merchandise

Regular APR: 25.99% (Variable)

Credit Score: Fair

Annual Fee: $0


  • The point maximum for earning JCPenney Rewards points is up to $2,000.
  • There are three tiers for the cards: standard cardmember, Gold, and Platinum.
  • It is a store card that can only be used at JCPenney.
  • You can earn 1 point per $1 spent using JCPenney Credit Card and 1 point for every $2 spent using different payment methods.
  • Two hundred points are equal to a $10 reward.
  • You can manage your rewards using the JCPenney app.
  • Cardholders can enjoy birthday gift coupons, bonus events, 150+ credit savings days, special financing, a passbook of coupons, bonus points days, exclusive sale days with an extra 30% off, and more.

Full Review:

Getting a JCPenney can be easy for almost anyone fond of store cards. It only requires fair credit scores (601 to 660 for VantageScore or 580 to 669 for FICO) and charges no annual fees. With this, maintaining the card active is easy. You will also receive a welcome bonus in the form of discounts. Besides the initial 15% discount (on select apparel, shoes, accessories, fine jewelry, salon products, furniture, mattresses, In-Home Custom Design, and home), you can also get another 5% off on select purchases (electrics/electronics, Modern Bride® Design Your Dream Ring, Tempur-Pedic, and smartwatches).

If you are already a Rewards Member of JCPenney, you are probably enjoying some of the store benefits. Yet, the JCPenney credit cards can help you unlock more perks when you get one since they can earn “2 times faster” than a regular Rewards Member. Cardholders can acquire 1 JCPenney Rewards point for every dollar spent using the JCPenny credit card and 1 point per $2 spent any other way you pay. Each point is worth 0.05 cents, giving you 0.5% back on your purchases. It is not the most enticing reward you can get from a closed-loop card, but it is better than nothing, especially if you’re JCPenney is a staple shopping place for you.

After accumulating 200 points, you can redeem them online or in-store for a $10 JCPenney Reward Certificate. However, if you are planning to collect your points first before redeeming them, keep in mind that points expire after 12 months of inactivity. With this, make sure to use your card for a purchase at least once a year.

JCPenny Credit Card tiers

Three Tiers of JCPenny Credit Cards: Standard, Gold, and Platinum

There are three tiers for the card, and it starts with the standard card member status, which has no spending requirement. As your spending progresses, you can move to higher tiers: $500 or more for Gold status and $1,000 or more for Platinum status. The cardholders can reach and maintain the said positions by spending the same amounts mentioned above every calendar year.

Getting into the higher tiers of the card can offer you numerous benefits to enjoy. All cards are eligible for extra earnings during bonus events, 150+ credit savings days, and special financing (but be careful, especially if the offer is deferred financing!). The two higher tiers, however, can enjoy more benefits. This includes the higher amount of birthday gift coupons up to $15 each year and a passbook of coupons, including a Pick Your Own Sale Day and special offers. On the other hand, as the highest tier of the JCPenney credit card, the Platinum status gets additional exclusive sale days with an extra 30% off and bonus points days.

The JCPenney credit card is a good option if you are trying to improve your credit score. However, make sure to pay off your statement balance in full each month to prevent accruing interest on your balance. Keep in mind that the card has a regular variable APR of 25.99%, and the late payment fee can hit up to $38. Properly using the card will help you keep it in good standing and enjoy its full benefits without problems.

Should you get it?

Needless to say, the use of the JCPenney credit card is indeed limiting. Since it is a closed-loop credit card, you can only use it on your purchases at JCPenney. Its rewards rate is not appealing, but it can offer JCPenney shoppers many benefits. With this, we can only suggest it for those who genuinely enjoy frequent shopping at the said store. If you want a card that will help you earn rewards wherever you shop, we suggest general rewards cards such as those from Discover, Capital One, Chase, and more.