Macy's American Express® Credit Card
The Macy’s American Express Card is designed for those who frequently shop at Macy’s department store. The card offers a 20 percent discount on purchases in the first two days of account opening as well as ongoing discounts. Issued by the Department Stores National Bank, this Amex credit card is partnered with the Plenti program and earns Plenti points, which can be used as cash and are worth $5 for each 500 points.
This no-annual fee credit card targets Macy’s shoppers and offers discounts, but doesn’t earn bonuses on spending at Macy’s. However, it offers exclusive coupons and surprise savings at the register. The card might not be the best option for all types of consumers, so let’s see who exactly this card will benefit.
Macy's Credit Card Features and Benefits
New Macy’s American Express cardholders can save 20 percent on all Macy’s purchases made in the first two days of card membership (the discount is capped at $100). Please note that this discount works for immediately approved customers. Applications that require a further review are not eligible.
The Macy’s Amex Card offers discounts based on your rewards program membership level: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Tiers depend on the amount of money you spend at the store annually, and perks vary according to membership tiers. Silver members spend between $1 and $499 per year and receive three Star Pass mailings per year. Gold members must spend $500 to $1,199 per year and receive six Star Pass mailings per year. Platinum members spend at least $1,200 per year and receive 12 Star Pass mailings per year. The two highest membership levels receive birthday specials, and the highest membership level offers free shipping four times per year and access to a priority customer service phone line. Platinum members also qualify for exclusive travel perks, such as hotel and cruise offers.
Additionally, the Macy’s Amex credit card members have access to Amex Offers, which is a feature designed to save cardholders money with select retailers and travel providers. The offers vary, but it’s possible to save money at Hilton hotels, Texas de Brazil, Casper and other merchants.
The Macy’s American Express Card charges no annual fees.
What You Get
- Receive 20 percent off in the first two days (savings limit to $100)
- Star Pass mailings (based on membership tier)
- Thanks for Sharing Rewards
- Macy’s Registry Star Rewards
- No annual fee
- Amex Offers
The Macy’s American Express Card does not offer any special financing to cardholders. In fact, the Annual Percentage Rate is quite high at 26.24 percent, and there’s no introductory APR offer. The high APR is a major downside of this rewards card. To avoid paying interest and negating the value of your rewards, pay off your balance in full every month.
Macy’s credit cardholders receive a special benefit—Thanks for Sharing Rewards. The perk allows shoppers to save 10 percent on each Macy’s purchase. Keep in mind that enrolling in the benefit costs $25 per year, but those who shop at the department store or at macys.com often and spend more than $250 per year will benefit from the membership.
Macy’s Registry Star Rewards is available to credit card members only and is a perk for those planning a wedding. By enrolling in this benefit, you can earn 10 percent rewards on eligible purchases made before the wedding, plus another 5 percent rewards from the gifts you receive that are purchased from your registry at Macy’s. Rewards are then sent to you in the form of a gift card 45 days after your wedding.
What is the Value of Macy’s Credit Card Points
Plenti points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed at the register or online with select Plenti partners. So, redeeming 500 points will give you $5 off your purchase. You can use points on purchases made at Macy’s, Rite Aid Pharmacy, AT&T, Chili’s, ExxonMobil, Harveys Supermarkets, Winn-Dixie and others. Point redemptions start at a minimum of 200 points.
What is CPP and How is it Calculated?
Cents Per Point (CPP) is a way to measure the value of points. It tells you how many cents you get for each point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the hotel room by the number of points of an equivalent award stay costs. This can be a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the stay in both cash and points fluctuates by season and availability.
Everyday Earnings with Macy's American Express® Credit Card
Macy’s Amex cardholders earn 3 Plenti points per dollar spent at restaurants, 2 points per dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations, and 1 point per dollar spent at Macy’s and all other purchases. The points can be redeemed with an array of merchants that partner with Plenti, including Macy’s. What’s interesting is that the card earns just 1 Plenti point on Macy’s purchases. It would be logical to think that a co-branded credit card would earn a bonus when used at that specific store, but it’s not the case here.
Should You Get the Macy’s American Express Credit Card?
The Macy’s American Express Card might offer good value to some consumers. There are multiple bonus categories, which present an opportunity to rack up lots of Plenti points. If you shop at restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets often, you’ll earn rewards in no time. The downside is that your rewards are limited to the Plenti merchants, so your redemption options are locked in that specific program.
The initial discount of 20 percent is not a bad perk, but keep in mind that the discount applies only to purchases made in the first two days of opening the credit card, and the discount is limited to $100. If you spend more than $500 at Macy’s, you’ll get $100 off your total purchases, no matter how much you spend beyond that first $500. Card membership also gives you access to more discount coupons.
If you struggle with you credit and would like to boost your score and overall credit health, store cards like the Macy’s Credit Card are much easier to be approved for, and it might not be a bad idea to get one. On-time payment history will help you increase your credit score while paying no annual fees. Just make sure to pay off your balance every month because the APR is too high to keep a revolving balance.
However, if you have a great credit score and qualify for other cards, it might be better to explore cash-back and travel cards. Bank rewards cards typically have better rewards programs and earn flexible currency that gives you more earning and redemption options. You might be earning less money in your pocket by carrying the Macy’s American Express Card instead of a cash-back card, such as Chase Freedom Unlimited, Qucksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card or Citi Double Cash Card. You could be earning up to 2 percent cash back with those cards, and it is not limited to a number of select merchants.
If you frequently shop at Macy’s and spend at least $250 per year, you will break even with the cost of participating in the Thanks for Sharing Rewards program. If you spend any more money on Macy’s merchandise, you will save 10 percent on every purchase. Overall, the Macy’s American Express card is not a bad card for someone looking to save money at Macy’s, but if your credit score is good, I recommend considering other credit card options.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Yes, the American Express version of the Macy’s card can be used at all retailers that accept Amex credit cards. However, the store version of the card cannot be used anywhere but Macy’s stores. Depending on what other rewards cards you carry in your wallet, you might want to go with those options to earn flexible bank points, airline miles or cash back.
- Depending on the card issuer and the card network, foreign transaction fees vary between 1 percent and 3 percent per transaction. Unfortunately, the Macy’s American Express credit card charges an extra 3 percent on all purchases made outside of the United States, which can add up quite a bit if you prefer using credit cards to spending cash when traveling overseas. There are plenty of rewards cards that waive those fees, and I recommend traveling with one of those cards in your wallet.
- Macy’s customers who would like to carry this rewards card in their wallet must have a Good credit score to be approved. If your score is at least 650, your chances of approval are good (but not guaranteed). If your credit score is lower, you results will vary and you might still be approved, but I recommend looking for ways to solidify your credit history first. Depending on your credit health, you might be approved for either the Amex version of this card or the regular store version. To find out where you stand with the credit bureaus, check with one of the free services, such as Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. It’s always good to know your credit score before applying for an additional credit line.
- Star Pass mailings are special discounts mailed to rewards members that can be used in-store and online to save even more on merchandise that’s on sale and clearance. Many regularly priced items qualify for the discount as well, but not all. Macy’s Silver members receive three of those mailings per year. Gold members receive six mailings per year, and Platinum members receive 12 mailings per year. Elite tiers are based on your annual Macy’s spending.
- When shopping at a participating merchant, present your Plenti card at the register and choose to redeem points. If you do not have your Plenti card with you, do not worry. Simply use your digital card or your phone number and PIN. You can also enter your Plenti number on online purchases at Rite Aid and Macy’s.
- Unfortunately, Plenti points earned with the Macy’s American Express Card expire after two years on Dec. 31 of the year they turn two if unused.
Compare Macy's Credit Cards
Macy’s department store offers two credit card versions: the Macy’s Credit Card and the Macy’s American Express Card. Let’s review their differences and similarities.
|Sign-up bonus||0 points||0 points|
|APR On Purchases||26.49% Variable±||26.49% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$0||$0|
Both the Macy’s Credit Card and the Macy’s American Express Card offer the same discount of 20 percent on purchases made in the first two days within opening an account, and both cards carry no annual fees. Program members receive the same number of Star Passes as they would, based on their spending, and surprise discounts apply at the register.
The differences are subtle, but they do exist. For example, Thanks for Sharing Rewards and Macy’s Registry Star Rewards are available to the American Express cardholders only. Also, the Amex version of the Macy’s credit card can be used anywhere American Express is accepted, and the store card can be used at Macy’s only (in-store and online). American Express cardholders also have access to Amex Offers, price and purchase protection as well as some travel benefits.
Additionally, credit cards typically require a higher credit score than store cards to be approved, and depending on your credit score, you might not qualify for the Macy’s American Express Card. Besides your credit score, your overall credit history, including outstanding balances and payment history, also affect your approval chances. It is recommended that you have at least a good score to qualify for the Amex version of the Macy’s credit card. If your score is lower than 650, it is possible you can qualify for the regular store card only. It’s good to start building a credit history and work towards being approved for better rewards cards down the line.
Some Alternative Cards for Macy’s Shoppers
Store cards generally require a lower credit score to qualify, but cash-back cards offer a lot more value in return. Although Plenti points earned with the Macy’s American Express Card can be redeemed at multiple stores, the rewards are still limited to those stores. Let’s look at a few cash-back cards whose rewards are as good as cash at any store.
- Discover it® - Cashback Match™
Up to 5% cash back offerRead Review
- Citi® Double Cash Card
1% cash back on purchases and 1% as you pay for those purchasesRead Review
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
15,000 points offerRead Review
Best Cashback Card
Citi Double Cash Card is one of the most rewarding no-fee cash-back cards out there. It earns 2.0 points per dollar spent in any category. You earn 1 percent back when you make a purchase and then another 1 percent back when you pay off the balance. Rewards are unlimited, and the card costs nothing to keep. The best part is that there’s no category restriction. Every single purchase earns cash back. Rewards can be applied toward any statement in any amount. When it comes to cashback credit cards, Citi Double Cash is one of the best options on the market right now.
Best Rotating Category Card
The Discover it Card earns 5.0 percent cash back in popular rotating categories, such as grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, gas stations and movie theaters. Although the bonus cash back is capped at $1,500 every quarter, there’s no limit to how much you can earn after the cap is reached. At the end of the first year, Discover will match all cash back earned and double it! All you have to do is sit back, relax and reap the rewards. The card doesn’t charge annual fees, and the rewards can be redeemed toward any purchase.
Best Cash-Back Card with a Cash Bonus
With the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card, you can earn $150 back in your pocket after spending just $500 in the first three months. The card earns a flat rate of 1.5 percent back on every purchase, and there’s a way to maximize that return. If you carry an Ultimate Rewards-earning card from Chase, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, then rewards earned with the Freedom Unlimited card turn into flexible points. The spending requirement is easy to meet, and the card charges no annual fees, which means all your rewards are free to keep.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Good credit score
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the benefits of the Macy’s Amex Card card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this American Express card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.49% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- American Express card members get an extra year added to the manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less. The item has to be charged to the Amex card to be eligible. A maximum of $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per year is covered.
- Purchase Protection:
- If you purchase an item and it’s damaged, lost or stolen within 90 days of purchase, your American Express card will cover it. Coverage is limited to $1,000 per occurrence and to $50,000 per cardholder per year.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.49% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
American Express and Department Store National Bank offer cardholders zero fraud liability on charges made without proper authorization. You can manage your Macy’s card account online, set up account alerts and review activity, as well as check your balance and pay off your bill on the go. The store version of the card comes with a magnetic strip, and the Amex version comes with an EMV chip for extra security.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when large transactions occur, if there’s an unauthorized withdrawal and when your bill’s due.
- Banking On the Go:
- Track your account with the mobile app
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Credit Score Monitoring/Reports:
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries made on your history.