Kohl’s Credit Card Review: Store Card Offers Savings at Kohl’s, But Not Much Else

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Kohl's Card

Kohl’s Card

Editor’s Score: (2.95/5)
Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

  • Intro bonus: 35% Off
  • Annual fee: None
  • Regular APR: 25.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Kohl’s Credit Card can be a useful tool if the budget-friendly department store is your go-to for clothing and home decor. But for any other purchase, you won’t get much benefit from this card. It’s a closed-loop store card, meaning you can’t use it anywhere other than Kohl’s. 

You will get discounts on Kohl’s purchases as a cardholder, but you won’t get the chance to earn points or cash back like you would with a traditional rewards credit card.

At a Glance

  • Get 35% off your first Kohl’s purchase when you pay with your card within 14 days of approval
  • Qualify for special sales and discounts throughout the year, which you can combine with Kohl’s Cash and Kohl’s Rewards
  • Spend $600 with your Kohl’s Card in a calendar year to reach Most Valued Customer (MVC) status
  • No annual fee 
  • 25.99% variable APR for purchases
  • Prequalification offer

Pros

  • Discount on your first purchase after approval

  • Receive extra coupons and shopping incentives throughout the year

  • Store cards can be easier to qualify for than traditional credit cards

Cons

  • No rewards on your spending

  • Store card can only be used at Kohl’s

  • High APR if you carry a balance

Additional Card Details

Since the Kohl’s Credit Card is a very basic store card, you won’t get a lot of benefits as a cardholder. The biggest upside of this card is the coupon discounts you’ll receive throughout the year, which offer up to 30% off. That’s up to double the 15% off coupons rewards members without the card generally receive. You can access these savings through your online account or via coupons you’ll receive by mail and email.

Each calendar year you spend at least $600 with your Kohl’s Card, you’ll qualify for Most Valued Customer (MVC) status with the retailer. This designation makes you eligible for more coupons throughout the year as well as free shipping opportunities.

Should You Get this Card?

If you shop at Kohl’s on a regular basis, the Kohl’s Credit Card may be worth signing up for. 

But even if you are a frequent Kohl’s shopper, this store card won’t offer much benefit for everyday spending. You won’t be able to use it outside of Kohl’s, and it doesn’t offer any of the security features, rewards options, or added benefits we like to see from credit cards. 

Another thing to consider before applying is your own spending habits. Store cards like this one can be helpful if you want to build credit but you’ve had trouble getting approved for credit cards in the past. They’re often easier to access than other rewards cards for people with bad credit or little credit history. But cards limited to one retailer can also make it easier to overspend on things you don’t need — and risk taking on debt and worse credit over time. Make sure you have a budget in place and won’t be encouraged to overspend just because you can get a good deal.

Nonetheless, the frequent coupons, which can often save you $30 for each $100 you spend, can lead to significant savings if you buy most of your wardrobe, kitchen appliances, or home decor at Kohl’s. And because there’s no annual fee, you can reap the benefits without any cost as long as you pay off your balance in full each month.

But without any rewards structure, your savings may be limited. Kohl’s Card benefits are based primarily on the added coupons you’ll qualify for. You’ll earn the same Kohl’s Cash and Kohl’s Rewards as non-cardholding shoppers. These coupons also may not apply for the items you frequently purchase — Kohl’s has a long list of items excluded from coupons, which includes popular brands like Columbia, Land’s End, and Levi’s, as well as beauty and fragrance items, select electronics, and more.

Pro Tip

The Kohl’s Credit Card is a store card, so you can’t use it anywhere besides Kohl’s. If you need a credit card you can use for everyday expenses, make sure to compare traditional credit cards that feature the Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover logo.

How to Use Kohl’s Credit Card

In most cases, you’ll get the best value from the Kohl’s Credit Card by using it only when you have a coupon to redeem, since this is the main benefit of the card. You can also combine Kohl’s Card coupons with any Kohl’s Cash you earn from past purchases, “stacking” your savings to get an even better deal.

You’ll need to pay with your Kohl’s Credit Card to use the coupons you receive in the mail. Even though you’ll get the discount this way, you’ll miss out on any rewards you would otherwise earn on the purchase if you paid with another credit card in your wallet.

If you don’t need to use your Kohl’s Card to redeem a coupon, consider charging your purchases to a traditional rewards credit card instead. With a cash back credit card like the Citi® Double Cash Card, you can earn up to 2% back on every purchase you make, including at Kohl’s.

Also make sure to pay your Kohl’s purchases off by the time your statement is due each month. If you don’t and you wind up carrying a balance, the high interest rate — a whopping 25.99% variable APR —  will eliminate any coupon savings you earn from the card.

Kohl’s Credit Card Compared to Other Cards

Kohl's Card

Kohl’s Card

Editor’s Score: (2.95/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    35% Off
  • Annual fee:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    25.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Editor’s Score: (4.4/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Target REDcard™

Target REDcard™

Editor’s Score: (3.5/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    22.90% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Bottom Line

The Kohl’s Credit Card can offer good discounts for no added cost if you shop with this retailer frequently. Just keep in mind that, as a store card, it’s only good at Kohl’s, so it’s rather limiting for regular use. And when you don’t have a coupon to use, you’ll be better off paying for your purchases with a regular cash back credit card or rewards credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does a Kohl’s card help you build credit?

The Kohl’s Credit Card may be a store credit card, but it still reports to the three credit bureaus. Using your Kohl’s Credit Card responsibly can help you build credit over time.

Which bank issues the Kohl’s Credit Card?

The Kohl’s Credit Card is a store card issued by Capital One.