As they say, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”
By which I mean that no matter how the Woman Within credit card dresses itself up, it’s still just a lackluster piece of plastic that offers tepid benefits at best.
Do yourself a favor and apply for a better card that gives you much better financial benefits.
Is the Woman Within Credit Card Good for Me?
This is just another in a long line of in-house, store-branded credit cards from Comenity Bank aimed at the checkout counter, where the clerk (or website popup box) will undoubtedly ask if you’d like to “earn points on your purchase today.”
To steal a line from Nancy Regan, “Just say no.” (For those too young to know … that’s the wife of former-President Ronald Regan, famously urging kids in the 1980s to say no to drugs.)
All You Need to Know About the Woman Within Credit Card: Benefits and Features
As I noted, the Woman Within credit card is an in-house credit card. By that, I mean it’s not a traditional credit card, such as Mastercard, Visa or American Express. You can only use a Woman Within credit card at stores run by FullBeauty Brands.
- Woman Within
- Jessica London
- Swimsuits For All
As for the benefits of a Woman Within credit card, prepare to be underwhelmed:
- $10 off on your current order plus a $10 bonus reward on your first billing statement (as long as you spend at least $25).
- 20% off and double points every time you spend on your card during your birthday month (but only if you’ve used your credit card in the last 12 months, otherwise no benefit for you).
- 2 points for every $1 spent, and a $10 reward certificate for every 400 points, equal to a 5% rewards rates. More on this in a moment.
- Free shipping events 4 times a year (but only if you spend $75 or more, otherwise you pay shipping).
- Buy now, pay in 90 days.
Like I said … yawn.
Even if you’re a clothes horse who regularly shops at Woman Within, you can find credit cards that give you so much greater financial benefits.
What You Need to Know Before You Apply for Woman Within credit card
So, about that offer of two points for every $1, and a $10 rewards certificate with every $400 spent. This is what I meant by “putting lipstick on a pig.”
Most other stores that run their credit card program through Comenity Bank offer one point for every $1 spent. Thus, Woman Within offering two points seems doubly generous, maybe even a bit enticing for consumers accustomed to seeing $1 = 1 point offers.
Alas, those $1 = 1 point retailers offer the same $10 rewards certificate for just 200 points – the same 5% reward rate as Woman Within. Woman Within doubles the points on your spending, but also doubles the points necessary to earn a reward. Lipstick on a pig.
As for the rewards: You can only redeem a maximum of 2,000 points per billing cycle, or a maximum benefit of $50. Better credit cards don’t limit how much of your accumulated rewards you can redeem.
Moreover, your points expire 12 months after they’re earned. If, when the year ends, you’re only part way to the $400 in spending you need to earn a certificate, well too bad so sad – all your previous spending is negated.
Also know that the certificates you receive have no cash value. Thus, they’re absolutely not equivalent to cash back you earn with a better card. You cannot deposit the certificate in a bank account, and you cannot use it repay any part of you Woman Within credit card balance.
Finally, any certificate you earn expires after 90 days, meaning 2 things:
- You have to return to Woman Within to spend more in order to use your reward, and;
- If you forget to use your certificate, it vanishes – again negating all your previous spending.
Both of those are shady practices, to me, because they’re designed to benefit the company instead of the consumer.
Think about: fashions and seasons change continuously. What if you earn your $10 reward just as the new fall collection is coming out, but you don’t need new fall clothes, or you don’t see any styles that particularly excite you. Well, the great likelihood, then, is that your reward certificate expires worthless. Once again, all your previous spending is negated.
With a better credit card, the rewards you earn never expire, and you can use your cash back to dump real money directly into a bank account or apply it to your credit card balance.
What Credit Score Do I Need to be Considered for a Woman Within Credit Card?
A “fair” credit score, meaning something in the 650 range, will do – which, frankly, means that if you really want a Woman Within credit card, you’re likely to get it, unless you have big problems on your credit report, such as delinquencies or bankruptcies.
What Are the Alternatives If I Have Poor or No Credit?
As I regularly point out, the Capital One Platinum credit card is the go-to credit card if you have poor credit or no credit history.
Capital One Platinum charges no annual fee and offers an automatic credit-limit increase after five consecutive on-time payments. Because of the way scores are calculated, those two benefits will help bump up your credit score quickly.
You’ll earn no miles, cash-back, rewards points or a signup bonus with Capital One Platinum, but perks won’t improve your credit.
Which Credit Cards Do a Better Job than a Woman Within Credit Card?
Lots of them do a better job.
If your really want rewards when you shop for clothes, then I suggest the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card. It gives you:
- 3% cash back in the category of your choice
- 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
- 1% on everything else.
This card is a much better option because the 3% offer lets you choose the category in which you want your cash back to apply … and one of the categories you can choose is online shopping, which is a perfect fit when comparing a credit card against the Woman Within card. (The other categories are: gasoline, dining, travel, drugstore and home-improvement/furnishings.)
You’ll earn 3% on the first $2,500 in spending you do each quarter in whatever category you choose. And you can switch categories monthly. So, you could choose online shopping one month if you know you want to buy clothes at Woman Within … and then you could switch to dining or travel or whatever is relevant the next month.
To me, that flexibility makes this a much more useful credit card.
Plus, the cash back you earn with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card is, literally, money in the bank. You can deposit the cash directly to a bank account or pay down your existing credit card balance. You don’t have go spend more money at Woman Within just to benefit from your previous spending.
Bank of America Cash Rewards card will give you a $200 signup bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months – a respectable 20% cash back rate. And there’s no annual fee.
I’ll also direct you to the Citi Double Cash card.
Citi Double Cash gives you 1% when you spend and 1% when you repay your outstanding balance, for a total benefit of 2% on every purchase. It’s not the 5% reward you’d get with the Woman Within credit card, but, then again, as with Bank of America Cash Reward, you can use your money however you want – save it, spend it on anything, apply it to you credit card balance, whatever.
That’s worth the three percentage-point difference because you have financial freedom. I would also argue that you’ll ultimately be better off financially with 3% cash back instead of 5% back in reward certificates.
If you spend $200 on a Woman Within credit card you earn that $10 reward certificate. Spend that same $200 at Woman Within on a Citi Double Cash card and you earn $4.
Apply that $4 to your credit card balance and you’re at $196 you have to pay off.
But with a Woman Within reward certificate, you have to go increase your existing $200 debt just to “spend” the $10 certificate.
At the end of the day, who’s really better off financially? The consumer with a $196 balance, or the one with a balance that’s $200-plus?
The Wrap Up: Should I Get the Woman Within credit card?
Look, if you’re totally devoted to this store – or the various other FullBeauty brands – and you realize that a Woman Within credit card locks you into the single ecosphere … then, sure, apply for this card.
But, honestly, for the vast majority of consumers (let’s say 99.5% of them) this card is not worth the space it will take up in your wallet. The benefits are not compelling, and far-better credit cards exist that will give you greater rewards and much greater financial freedom.