With an effective cash-back rate of 10%, the Bealls credit card (and the Bealls Florida credit card) seems like a winner. But before you click “apply,” there are some caveats you need to understand about a Bealls credit card.
In short: If you’re looking for an all-purpose, all-around credit card to collect cash back, then steer clear of a Bealls credit card and, instead, look for a more well-rounded cards such as the Citi Double Cash Card or a Capital One Venture card.
Is Bealls Credit Card Good for Me?
Are you a consummate Bealls shopper?
Having grown up in the South, I know the Bealls shoppers are legion across the Sunbelt and almost religious in their devotion to this store. If that’s you, then, yes, a Bealls card probably make a lot of sense for you because of the Payback Rewards you will accumulate and which you can then apply to your future Bealls purchases.
But if you’re an occasional Bealls shopper, or you’re looking for an everyday credit card you can use for groceries, gas, travel, restaurants meals, etc., then the Bealls card and the Bealls Florida credit card are definite no.
What You Need to Know Before Applying for Bealls Credit Card
Normally, I’d go right into the benefits and features of a Bealls credit card. But there are a couples of facts to know first to determine whether you want to even consider a Bealls credit card in the first place.
First: Bealls and its various affiliate brands only operate in 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. (Stores using the Bealls name in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are not affiliated with Bealls or its subsidiaries).
My point here is that while Bealls certainly has an online presence that would allow you to purchase items from anywhere in the country, you’re probably not going to be much of a Bealls shopper unless you’re visiting a local store, meaning a Bealls credit card makes little sense for you.
Second, a Bealls credit card is only good at Bealls (or online or at any of the company’s other brands such as Stage and Goodman).
Bealls credit card is NOT Visa or Mastercard. It means you can shop ONLY at Beals and CAN’T use it for everyday purchases.
What I’m saying is that is not a Visa or Mastercard that you can use for everyday purchases such as gas and groceries or restaurant meals. So if you want a traditional, all-purpose credit card, stop reading now and go to this hand picked list of best credit cards for everyday shopping.
Bealls Credit Card: Benefits and Features
Let’s define the Bealls card really quickly, since there are three different flavors of card you can apply for:
- Bealls credit card
- Bealls Florida credit card
- Bealls Outlet credit card
They’re all very similar, but they do have certain differences.
The Bealls Credit Card:
- $5 Payback Rewards for every 100 points earned.
- 2 Rewards points for every $1 spent on your card. (A quick bit of math tells you that you need to spend $50 to earn 100 points and the $5 Payback Reward … which implies a chunky 10% cash-back rate.)
- $10 birthday gift for preferred cardholders; $20 for platinum. Plus, a Christmas gift. (Platinum cardholders are those who spend at least $750 a year on their Bealls card.)
- Double-double points 4 times a year, in which $1 spent gives you 4 points (meaning a cash back rate of 20% … $25 in spending leads to 100 points and the $5 Payback Reward).
Bealls Florida Credit Card
- 20% on purchases the day you open your card account.
- Free shipping for gold members (those who spend more than $500 annually on their Bealls credit card).
- $5 reward for every 200 points
- 2 points for every $1 spent. (Here, the cash back rate is just 5%, since you need to spend $100 to earn the 200 points and the $5 reward.)
- Special Birthday bonus during your birthday month.
Bealls Outlet Credit Card
- $5 reward for every 200 points
- 2 points for every $1 spent (so the same 5% cash back rate as the Bealls Florida card).
- 15% off your entire purchase on Monday (if you’re 50 years old or older) and Friday (if you’re 49 or under).
What Credit Score Do I Need to Get a Bealls Credit Card?
Because this is effectively just a department-store credit card, credit worthiness is bit more lax. You will need a score in the 580 range or above, which, according to the FICO score range, is basically at the bottom end of “fair.”
What If I Don’t Qualify for a Bealls Credit Card?
Then, by definition, you have “very poor” credit, which is the next step down from “fair” credit.
If that’s the case, then you need to consider a credit card that will help you build or repair your credit … and one of the best cards for that job is the Capital One Platinum card, which was built specifically for this purpose.
The Capital One Platinum card charges no annual fee and it offers an automatic credit-limit increase after five, consecutive on-time payments. Combined, those two card benefits will bump up your credit score because of the way scores are calculated. That, in turn, will help you build or repair your credit fairly quickly.
You won’t earn any kinds of additional benefits – miles, cash-back, rewards points – nor will you receive any sort of signup bonuses with Capital One Platinum. But in a situation where you have no credit or bad credit, perks are not what you need.
Which Credit Cards Do a Better Job Than A Bealls Credit Card?
A myriad of retailers offers in-store credit cards, and which is better depends entirely on what stores each person likes. So, instead, I’m going to focus this answer on all-purpose credit cards rather than individual store cards.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
You’re not going to find anything close to the 10% cash back you’d get with the Bealls credit card. But you can get 4% cash back on dining and entertainment with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards – and statistically speaking, the average American family spends more than $6,000 a year on dining and entertainment and just $1,800 on clothing.
- Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
- Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Moreover, Capital One Savor will give you 2% on groceries (another $4,000 a year for the average American family) and 1% on everything … meaning that with Capital One Savor, you’re going to recoup much more cash than you would with a Bealls card, since a Bealls card will only save you money at Bealls and on future Bealls purchases.
And start you off in the right direction, Capital One will give you $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. The $95 annual fee is waived in the first year.
Citi Double Cash Credit Card
I’ll also point you to the Citi Double Cash Card. This card will give you 1% when you spend and 1% when you repay your outstanding balance, for a total benefit of 2% on every purchase. There’s no signup bonus with the Citi Double Cash card, but there’s also no annual fee.
Nevertheless, it’s the 2% cash back we care about, because there are very few cards on the market that will give you a 2% return on unlimited spending on all of your everyday purchases.
Chase Freedom Credit Card
Finally, a so-called “5% category card” could be just as good as a Bealls Florida credit card or a Bealls Outlet credit card. The Chase Freedom credit card lets you collect 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending on a rotating list of categories.
That means, of course, you’d have to catch a category when it rotates into department stores, and that won’t be every quarter. Still, if you plan your clothing purchases accordingly, you could capture the same 5% shopping at Bealls as you would with a Bealls credit card.
The Wrap Up: Should I Apply for a Bealls Credit Card?
If Bealls is your go-to store, then, yes, this is a decent in-store-only credit card for you because of the 5% or 10% cash back reward, depending on which Bealls credit card you get.
Which raises the point: Be aware of which of the three Bealls credit cards you apply for since each has slightly different benefits and rewards.
The standard Bealls credit card probably makes more sense, since you will earn rewards twice as fast as you would with the other two cards (and potentially even faster, if you shop during the double-double points events).
Recognize as well that there are drawbacks to a Bealls credit card. You can only use it in the closed universe of Bealls and its affiliates, and you can only spend your rewards at Bealls and its affiliates.
If you need a credit card that you can use every day for gas and groceries and everything else you buy in your life, then a Bealls card are absolutely not the right card for you since you cannot use it anywhere outside of the Bealls universe.