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TravelJCPenney credit card review: Full details

JCPenney credit card review: Full details

JCPenney credit card overview

The JCPenney credit card comes with an interesting introductory bonus but has limited earning and redeeming options that will make it unappealing for most consumers. If you spend a lot of money at JCPenney, it could make sense for your wallet, but even then, the card has a few frustrating spending limits that will cap your earnings. Card rating*: ⭐⭐

The information for the JCPenney credit card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

The first thing to know about the no-annual-fee JCPenney credit card, issued by Synchrony Bank, is that the rewards it earns can only be used at, you guessed it, JCPenney. As such, if you don’t spend a lot at JCPenney, the card won’t be a good fit for you.

It does offer a unique one-time welcome bonus, but even that comes with a lot of strings attached. Beyond that bonus, you’ll be hard-pressed to get much value out of this card.

The JCPenney credit card has no annual fee and a recommended credit score of 670.

Here’s what else to know.

JCPenney credit card pros and cons

Pros Cons
  • Effective 5% back on JCPenney purchases
  • No annual fee
  • 0% introductory annual percentage rate for 18 months
  • Extremely limited earning and redeeming options
  • Can’t earn points on more than $2,000 spent on a single purchase with the retailer

JCPenney credit card benefits

The JCPenney credit card has a short list of benefits but does come with “special financing” on select large purchases like furniture, mattresses, fine jewelry and more.

It does have a unique one-time welcome bonus: Get between 5% and 35% back on select items on your next JCPenney purchase. You can get 35% off select original, regular and sale-priced apparel, shoes, accessories, fine jewelry and home purchases; 20% off blinds and shades, housewares, storage and organization, watches, salon products, fragrances and select JCPenney Beauty purchases; and 5% off select electronics.

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Cardholders also get access to JCPenney’s Exclusive Savings Day, plus special offers throughout the year where JCPenney Credit Card members save more on select purchases.


Those are limited perks even for a no-annual-fee retail credit card, and they offer no value for those who aren’t regularly spending lots of money at JCPenney. When it comes to benefits, most consumers will be much better off with a general cash-back or travel rewards credit card.

Related: 4 reasons store credit cards are (almost) always a bad idea

Earning and redeeming with the JCPenney credit card

The JCPenney credit card earns a straightforward 1 point per dollar spent on JCPenney purchases and a mediocre 0.2 points per dollar spent everywhere else.

Each point is worth 5 cents apiece at, you guessed it, JCPenney, so cardholders essentially earn 5% back on JCPenney purchases and 1% back on all other purchases.

That’s a solid earning rate if you shop at JCPenney regularly, although it’s worth noting that you can’t earn points on more than $2,000 spent on a single purchase with the retailer. This means that big purchases will remain limited in their earning potential, which is a real drawback at a store that sells big-ticket items like furniture and mattresses.


You can redeem your points for a $10 reward for every 200 points earned, meaning you’ll have to have at least that many points to redeem them for cash back — a frustrating limitation. Your points won’t expire as long as your account is active, but your cash reward certificates will, so you’ll have to spend within a certain amount of time to take advantage of your rewards.

These earnings rates won’t move the needle for consumers who don’t regularly shop at JCPenney. For example, TPG credit cards editor Emily Thompson can get behind a card with simple cash-back value and straightforward perks but doesn’t spend nearly enough money at JCPenney to justify this particular card.

Related: Store vs. cash-back credit cards: Which one should I get?

Which cards compete with the JCPenney credit card?

There are plenty of affordable credit cards available that will appeal to a larger audience than the JCPenney Credit Card. Here are just a few:

For additional options, check out our list of the best no-annual-fee cards.

Related: The best credit cards for online shopping

Is the JCPenney credit card worth it?

The JCPenney card will only make sense for those who spend a ton of money at JCPenney and want to earn rewards to use there. But even if that’s you, the earning maximums on the card and extremely limited redemption options mean that your value will be significantly capped compared to a lot of other card options out there. Almost everyone will be better off getting a general credit card instead.

Related: How to choose a cash-back credit card

Bottom line

The JCPenney credit card isn’t necessarily unique as a retailer-issued card with limited earning and redemption options. The card has decent earnings rates and a few meager perks, but its earning and redemption limitations will likely be a deal breaker for most.

When it comes to earning rewards, the average consumer will be much better off with a cash-back credit card.

The information for the JCPenney credit card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.


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