By now, it’s a shopping standard: you get up to the check-out counter and the associate asks if you want to save money by signing up for the store’s branded credit card.
Well… of course you want to save money! But is the credit card really worth it?
In this review, we’re taking a serious look at Kohl’s and its Kohl’s Charge card to answer that question.
The Kohl’s Charge Card at a Glance
| ||Kohl’s Charge Card|
- Save 35% on your first purchase
- Access to extra savings offers year-round
- Special anniversary offer every year
- Ability to combine Kohl’s Charge discounts with Kohl’s Cash and rewards
- Opportunity to become a Kohl’s Charge MVC (Most Valued Customer)
- Additional 15% off discount when your card arrives in the mail
|Late Fee||up to $38|
The Kohl’s Charge card is also referred to as the Kohl’s credit card and can only be utilized at Kohl’s and kohls.com.
Who Is the Kohl’s Charge Card Best For?
This store-branded card is most useful for shoppers who frequent the retail chain often and those who aren’t bothered by combining multiple discount programs. You’ll need these to find the best possible price (we’ll explain more in the Drawbacks section of this review).
Who Should Skip This Card in Favor of an Alternative Rewards Credit Card?
Shoppers who don’t visit Kohl’s very often, or those who want a simple and straightforward rewards program with everyday rewards on every purchase.
Kohl’s Charge Card Benefits
The Kohl’s Charge card is a bit different than other store-branded cards in that it doesn’t give shoppers an everyday discount. Instead, cardholders get access throughout the year to extra savings offers, defined as additional discounts on its sale prices.
Cardholders receive their special offers in the form of mailers that arrive in the mail throughout the year. Printed on the cover of the mailer is a discount for either 15%, 20%, or 30% off of your entire purchase in-store or online for the offer period, which is usually a fairly limited amount of time (a couple days).
Another main benefit is the 35% discount on a customer’s first purchase in-store or online.
Of course, there are several restrictions including (but not limited to):
- Gift cards
- Beauty and fragrance
- Prestige brands of cosmetics and skincare
- Select electronics
- Premium sunglasses
- Sporting goods and sports team merchandise, including many popular brands like Nike, Columbia, Dyson, Under Armour, etc.
Additionally, shoppers get another 15% off discount when the credit card arrives in the mail. The same stipulations as the 35% off discount apply here as well.
The last main benefit of the Kohl’s Charge card is the opportunity to become an MVC (Most Valued Customer) after spending $600 on the card per calendar year. With the upgrade to MVC, shoppers will receive an additional special offers throughout the year (including a birthday gift) and free shipping events.
Additional Card Features
The Kohl’s credit card has a few additional notable features:
- $0 annual fee
- Receipt-free returns on purchases made with the card
- Advance notification of Kohl’s Charge sales events
- Access to My Kohl’s Charge online account management platform
Fees and Drawbacks of the Kohl’s Charge Card
One of the biggest drawbacks of the Kohl’s Charge card is not having the ability to use rewards anytime. Your special offers are only good for a certain period of time — if you miss it, you’re out of luck.
Additionally, your rewards can get confusing because Kohl’s offers 2 other programs independent of the Kohl’s Charge card: Yes2You Rewards and Kohl’s Cash.
- Yes2You earns shoppers 1 point for every $1 spent, earning a $5 reward for every 100 points. Yes2You members also get a free birthday gift and opportunities to earn bonus points.
- Kohl’s Cash is a program where shoppers earn $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 they spend. The coupon is sent via email if you shop online, given as a coupon when you shop in-store, or is available at an in-store kiosk. It is also available in your Kohl’s Wallet if you have an online account. You can’t use Kohl’s Cash for gift cards or Kohl’s Cares merchandise.
Hot Tip: The special offers from your Kohl’s Charge card can be combined with Yes2You points rewards AND Kohl’s Cash. They cannot be combined with Yes2You savings or percent-off offers. The Kohl’s Charge card percent-off coupon is applied after all other discounts are taken.
The bad news is that discounts can only be stacked when the promotion dates overlap. This can get really confusing if you have a tough time keeping track of your coupons and their respective promo dates. It can also really frustrating if you’ve got a busy schedule and miss out on the prime days to save or miss out on your promo dates altogether.
Another big drawback of the Kohl’s Charge card is the high APR. At 24.99%, cardholders who carry a balance will accrue hefty interest fees quickly, especially with low minimum payments stretched over long periods of time. Additionally, late fees will cost you up to $38.
Alternative Rewards Credit Cards (Our Recommendations)
If you don’t shop at Kohl’s very often or don’t think you can keep up with its confusing rewards program scheme, there are several other rewards-based cash-back credit cards that are worth your consideration.
Many of these cards can earn you savings anywhere — and some even have bonuses in popular everyday spending categories (vs. only at Kohl’s).
You should also consider these cards if you want the versatility of spending your cash-back rewards however you wish, instead of earning coupons that are only valid at Kohl’s.
Here are some other rewards cards to consider:
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express|
(at Amex's secure site)
- Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 15 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
- 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
- Annual Fee: $0
- Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday card, click here.
Must Reads: For more info on the Blue Cash Everyday Card, see our guide on its benefits and our full review.
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express|
(at Amex's secure site)
- Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
- Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.
Alternatively, if you love to travel (or want to travel more) consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card which is one of the best (if not the best) travel rewards cards. You can read about all of the Sapphire Preferred’s card benefits here.
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
(at Chase's secure site)
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 03/31/22.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $95
Must Reads: For more info on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, see our thoughts on its benefits and travel insurance coverage, which includes primary car rental insurance. Take a look at our full review to see why it’s one of our favorite cards.
These Chase points are extremely valuable when used correctly!
Applying for the Kohl’s Charge Card
You can apply for a Kohl’s Charge card in-store or online. Kohl’s indicates that if you prequalify when applying that there is no impact to your credit score, meaning no hard pull.
In general, you’ll likely need a fair credit score to be approved, although those with slightly lower scores have noted approval in the past.
Kohl’s states that upon credit review, some applicants will be approved instantly (and there are many instant approval credit cards out there). However, some applications for this credit card may need further review resulting in a 7 to 10 day waiting period. Additionally, applicants should note that the age requirement is 18 years+ to apply.
Kohl’s Charge Card Login and Account Management
Kohl’s provides cardholders with My Kohl’s Charge, an online portal where users can log in and manage their accounts.
Within this platform, users can perform the following actions:
- Access account information
- Monitor transactions
- Pay your bill
- Sign up for paperless statements
- Request a credit line increase
Cardholders can also access their account anytime once they are logged in at kohls.com.
For avid Kohl’s shoppers, the Kohl’s Charge card is a no-brainer. You’re probably already used to monitoring the promotion dates with your Yes2You Rewards and Kohl’s Cash, so what’s a few more promo periods to throw in the mix?
If you don’t shop at Kohl’s often or you simply can’t keep track of various coupons and their respective promo dates, then this isn’t the card for you.
It also isn’t the card for you if you need a card for everyday use or are looking for rewards with every purchase you make — try a more general cash-back credit card.
Finally, if you’re hopping on the points and miles train, this definitely isn’t the card for you. In that case, you’ll want a travel rewards credit card instead.
The information regarding the Kohl’s Charge Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, click here.