Shop Your Way Sears Mastercard Review

FT Contributor  | 

The Shop Your Way Mastercard is a loyalty credit card issued by Citibank for customers who regularly spend at Sears and Kmart.

Shop Your Way Mastercard

Citi’s Shop Your Way Mastercard is ideal for customers who will use their credit card primarily for gas, fuel, groceries, dining out, and shopping at Sears and Kmart. Paying for these expenses with the Shop Your Way Mastercard can increase your points significantly. The rewards points you earn can be redeemed as discounts on your purchases when shopping at either of the two retailers in the network, including the Land’s End shop within Sears stores.

Rewards

You’ll need to use your credit card wisely to earn the maximum amount of rewards. Spending on your credit card helps you earn rewards points faster, as long as you’re not overspending just to obtain more points. There are four ways to earn rewards points and get closer to some money off your next Kmart or Sears purchase:

  • Spending at gas stations: Earn 5% in rewards points on purchases at standard gas stations. Fuel purchases made at supermarkets, warehouse clubs, convenience stores, or superstores earn 1% instead.
  • Spending at restaurants and grocery stores: Earn 3% in rewards points on dining out and grocery purchases, unless the meals or groceries where purchased at warehouse clubs or superstores, which will only earn 1%;
  • Spending at Kmart and Sears stores and websites, and ShopYourWay.com: Earn 2% in rewards points on items in stock at stores, even if you purchase them online;
  • Spending on everything else: Earn 1% in rewards points on all remaining eligible purchases and on items purchased on Kmart.com, Sears.com, and ShopYourWay.com that are not sold in stores.

Fees

If you’re wondering whether the Sears Shop Your Way Mastercard would be right for you, one of the most important factors to consider is the credit card fees. Choose a card with high costs and it will offset any potential savings or rewards you would earn. Here’s what fees the card comes with:

  • Annual fee: None;
  • Balance transfer fee: 5% or at least $10;
  • Cash advance fee: 5% or at least $10;
  • Foreign transaction fees: 3%;
  • Late payment fee: Up to $40, depending on the state.

In addition to the card fees, expect to pay an annual percentage rate (APR) of 25.24%, if you maintain a running balance each month or 27.15% on cash advances.

Required Credit

If you’re considering applying for a credit card, keep in mind you’ll likely need good-to-excellent credit to qualify for the Sears Shop Your Way Mastercard. A FICO score higher than 690 could improve your odds of getting approved.

Shop Your Way Mastercard Pros

If you’re still on the fence about whether the Sears credit card is the best one for you, consider the following advantages of having one:

  • No annual fee;
  • High rewards earnings on gas, groceries, and dining out;
  • Redeem rewards at Sears, Kmart, and when you buy Land’s End products sold at Sears, in-store, and online.

Shop Your Way Mastercard Cons

There are a few drawbacks you should know about before you apply for the Mastercard. The main points are:

  • Sears has filed for bankruptcy and is closing many stores. The retailer’s future is currently uncertain;
  • The 5% gas and groceries/restaurant rewards are limited to the first $10,000 in spending and then drop to 1% earnings;
  • Gas and grocery rewards exclude spending at superstores and warehouse clubs;
  • High APR;
  • Points expire in 12 months;
  • Rewards can only be used at Sears and Kmart.

How to Apply for the Shop Your Way Mastercard

Citibank’s sign up promotion gives new cardholders $40 as a statement credit when you spend $50 or more in eligible purchases within the first 30 days of getting approved. You can apply for the card online at the Shop Your Way website and provide the following information:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Email address;
  • Date of birth;
  • Social Security number;
  • Employment and financial information.

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