Kohl's Credit Card Review: Is It a Good Store Credit Card?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

Although the Kohl's Charge card offers better perks than some store credit cards, it comes with limited use and underwhelming perks compared to what you could get with most cash-back credit cards.

That said, the card does offer some unique benefits to Kohl's customers. If you frequently shop at Kohl's department stores and you're willing to strategically plan out your purchases, the Kohl's credit card may be worth keeping in your wallet.

Read more for a full review of the Kohl's Charge card and its benefits.

Kohl's Benefits: What Do I Get With the Kohl's Charge?

Kohl's Charge cardholders can benefit in three different ways by using their Kohl's credit card: rewards points, special discounts and sales. The Kohl's Charge is a closed-loop card, meaning it can only be used to shop at Kohl's. But if you shop there frequently, the rewards and savings can add up.

Yes2You Rewards® Points

Kohl's offers its own rewards program called Yes2You Rewards®. You can join this program regardless of whether you carry a Kohl's Charge card. But when you use your card in tandem with the Kohl's rewards program, you can take advantage of some great deals.

Under the rewards program, Kohl's will give you 1 point per $1 spent at the store. Once you've earned 100 points, you can redeem them for $5 in Kohl's Cash®. Be aware that points expire one year after you earn them, so you need to make sure you redeem them in time.

But where does the Kohl's Charge card come into play? When you decide to cash in those points toward a larger purchase.

Kohl's Charge Discounts

As a Kohl's Charge cardholder, you'll receive a code for 30% off your first purchase, and another 15% discount after your card arrives in the mail. These discounts can be applied after you redeem any Kohl's Cash® you've accrued over the year.

Special Offers

Finally, Kohl's Charge cardholders will receive 12 special offers every year. You can't predict what these offers will be, but they present the opportunity for significant savings on Kohl's merchandise.

By combining Kohl's Cash®, Kohl's Charge discounts and Kohl's Charge special offers, you can get great deals on the right Kohl's purchase.

If all of this sounds like too much work, you'll be better off going with a flexible cash-back credit card, such as the Discover it® Cash Back (described below). But if Kohl's has some big ticket items you're interesting in buying, such as new luggage, and you can wait for the right deal to make your purchase, holding onto the card might make sense.

How Do I Qualify for the Kohl's Charge?

One of the perks of the Kohl's Charge is the fact that it's relatively easy to obtain. You only need a fair credit score to qualify, compared to the good credit score required by most cash-back cards.

Is the Kohl's Charge Right for Me?

The Kohl's Charge is a pretty lackluster card. That said, it might make sense to sign up if you frequent Kohl's department stores. Not only will you get some discount perks, but it also makes returning items easier; if you paid with your Kohl's Charge card, the store clerk can look up your purchase history even if you've misplaced your receipt.

If you have good credit and shop at other stores as often as Kohl's—or if you're interested in travel rewards—we recommend going with another card.

Kohl's Bill Pay: How to Submit a Kohl's Credit Card Payment

Due to the Kohl's Charge card's high APR, making timely payments is imperative. To submit a Kohl's credit card payment, login to your account on the Kohl's home page, then click "My Kohl's Charge" to access your account history and pay your bills.

Currently, you can submit payments by connecting your bank account or providing a debit card number. Credit card payments are not allowed.

The information related to the Kohl's Charge card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

How Does the Kohl's Charge Compare to Other Store Cards?

There are dozens of other no-annual-fee cash-back credit cards that offer more flexibility and higher rewards than the Kohl's Charge. Here are a few of our favorites.

The Discover it® Cash Back is one of our favorite cash-back credit cards available. It offers far more flexibility in where you can use it and how you can redeem rewards.

Rewards

Every purchase with the Discover it® Cash Back will earn you at least 1% back, which can be redeemed as a statement credit, for Amazon purchases or for a gift card to one of hundreds of participating vendors.

Discover also offers quarterly rotating categories that allow you to earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in purchases OR up to the quarterly maximum (activation required). Here are this year's categories:

MonthsCategories
January–March:Grocery Stores

April–June:

Gas Stations, Uber & Lyft

July–September:

Restaurants and PayPal

October–December:

Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com

Welcome Bonus

As an added bonus, Discover will double your cash back at the end of your first year for new cardmembers, creating the opportunity for some serious cash back if you strategically spend within the card's 5% categories.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is another excellent cash-back credit card with $0 annual fee. Although you could potentially earn higher rewards with the Discover it® Cash Back, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is more flexible than both the Discover it® Cash Back and the Kohl's Charge.

1% Now, 1% Later

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • On Citi's Secure Website

No Annual Fee

13.99% - 23.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% - 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
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You'll Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another flexible cash back card with no annual fee.

Decent Rewards Rate

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, new cardmembers can earn $150 after spending $500 within the first three months of account opening. After that, you'll earn 1.5% cash back offer. regardless of where you spend your money, making this an easier card to utilize than the Kohl's Charge.

The information related to the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Comparison Tool

Your unique spending habits will determine which card works best for you. Enter your monthly spending habits into our tool below to see how these cards will perform over a two-year period.

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Daniel is a former Staff Writer at ValuePenguin, covering insurance, retirement and other personal finance topics. He previously wrote about compliance and best practices for K-12 school districts at Frontline Education.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).