Review: T.J. Maxx Credit Card

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What could be improved

Application process: There’s only one application for both cards. You don’t get to choose which one to apply for — you fill out the form and see which one they decide to offer you, if any. If you’re hoping for the higher-end TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® and all you get offered is the TJX Rewards® Credit Card, for example, you’ve just added another credit inquiry to your report and potentially dinged your credit score for nothing.

Poor earnings rate on non-TJX spending: Speaking of the differences between these cards, you can only use the TJX Rewards® Credit Card at TJX stores and nowhere else. You can, however, use the TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® elsewhere, but you’d be better off avoiding it if you have better rewards card options. That’s because it only earns 1 point per dollar spent on non-TJX purchases.

Limited rewards use: We hope you like these brands, because you can’t use your Rewards Certificates for anything else. You can’t get cash back or gift cards — just discounts on T.J. Maxx brands, and that’s it.

Rewards Certificates expire: It’s nice that the company sends out your rewards automatically. But that also means you have to actually use the rewards on a regular basis, because each Rewards Certificate has a two-year expiration date. In other words, you can’t save up your rewards and then redeem them on a mega shopping spree.

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High interest rate: We recommend avoiding this card entirely if you think you might carry any balance at all. If you pay off your balance each month you won’t have to pay any interest. But if you don’t, you’ll have to pay a sky-high interest rate. If you need to finance your clothes or other purchases, choose a credit card with a lower interest rate or better yet, one with a 0% intro APR offer.

No 0% intro APR offer: Speaking of 0% intro APR offers, these cards don’t have any of them. It’s pretty standard for retail credit cards to offer you some sort of discount financing after you open the card, but this one doesn’t. It’s yet another reason to never carry a balance on this card.

Lackluster perks: It’s also fairly common for retail cards to offer a jackpot sign-up bonus, fancy perks, or other nice touches to entice you. Don’t get us wrong, the T.J. Maxx cards do offer perks — they’re just not as shiny as we would expect. The only extras you get are a 10% discount on your first purchase after you sign up and access to “exclusive private shopping events,” whatever those are. We think T.J. Maxx could do much better.

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View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/credit-cards/tj-maxx-credit-card-worth-it/

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