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GE Capital Retail Bank JCPenney Credit Card – are the Rewards worth the Use?

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GE Capital Retail Bank offers the JCPenney credit card, but with today’s up-and-down publicity, both good and bad, how effective is use of your JCPenney credit card? JC Penny was founded by James Cash Penney in 1902 Wyoming. Since then, it’s been a standard department store in nearly every neighborhood across United States.  As a department store offering a variety of products from clothing to housewares to electronics and furniture, the store has been struggling in recent years, but nevertheless managed to rake in nearly $13 billion in revenue in 2013. How does the credit card do? We’ll check it out.

JCPenney Credit Card Basics

JCPenney has undergone rebranding efforts in the last few years, and under that rebranding, offers three different JCPenney credit card options; red, gold, and platinum.  Each comes with its own set of perks and privileges for the cardholder, but basically, every JCPenney credit card offers standard rewards. For example, cardholders receive $10 in JCP rewards for every 100 points earned on a monthly basis. You can earn up to ten of those rewards certificates every month just by using the card. If you have to shop anyway, you might as well make it worth your while.

In some cases, you’ll be able to take advantage of special promotional financing offers.  That means you don’t have to pay interest for a specific period of time (6, 12, 18, or 24 months), based on the promotional period you get. After a promotion ends, the APR that is applied to the promotional purchase will be applied to your account.

In addition, the JCPenney credit card also offers cardholders special birthday gifts, invitations to special bonus point events, and sales events and perks exclusively for JCPenney shoppers and cardholders. Here’s how it works:

JCPenney Rewards Program

JCPenney credit card holders (any card) are automatically enrolled into the JCPenney Rewards Program. As long as your account is in good standing, you receive one JCPenney (JCP) reward point for every dollar you spend on qualified purchases at either physical JCPenney stores or online. However, if you return a qualifying purchase item, every dollar-for-JCP reward points will be deducted for that item off your rewards accrual during the month that you make that return.

A number of products sold through JCPenney are not considered qualifying purchases, including any online purchase of Sephora, gift cards, international purchases, and of course, delivery, restocking, or shipping charges or fees.

After you earn 100 points in one calendar month, you are considered eligible to receive a $10 JCPenney rewards certificate that you can redeem on eligible purchases at the store.  As mentioned, you can earn up to ten of those $10 JCP rewards certificates on a monthly basis. The JCPenney rewards certificates are delivered by traditional snail mail unless you have a registered e-mail address at JCPrewards.com, in which case, the certificates will be delivered to your e-mail.

Most first-time cardholders with JCPenney will get the red card, but you can work your way up based on expenditures and payment history to the gold or platinum card. In order to reach gold or platinum status, you’ll need to spend $500 more on either services or products or merchandise with your JCPenney credit card over two or more shopping days in a calendar year. If you spend $1,000 or more over two or more shopping days in a calendar year you can maintain platinum status. Gold card members receive a $10 coupon, while platinum card members receive either a 10 or $15 coupon.

The JCP rewards are the same for the red, the gold and platinum card for the rewards certificates, receipt of a special gift on your birthday, your ability to earn additional special bonus points during specific yearly events, enjoy special savings, as well as special promotional financing. Only gold and platinum cards offer passbook deals with special discounts and offers as well as special gifts which include $10 and $15 coupons throughout the year. Only platinum cardholders receive free shipping.

Terms and Conditions

The GE Capital Retail Bank JCPenney credit card comes with a 26.99% annual percentage rate. That goes for the red, gold, and the platinum cards. Minimum interest charges, if applicable, will not be less than $2. A penalty fee for late payment of up to $35 will be added to your bill if your minimum payment is not paid on time.

That late fee is charged if minimum payments are not credited by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the due date.  If you’ve paid your minimum payment by the due date for the prior six months, your late payment fee is $25. If you have missed or fail to pay a minimum payment in the past six billing cycles, your late payment fee is $35. Read the fine print within the terms and conditions of the JCPenney credit card to review how minimum payments due are calculated. Visit the website for specific information regarding minimum payment determination.

Always be sure to read the fine print of any credit card offer, and that goes for the JCPenney credit card as well.  Be aware that different states have different stipulations, so read those as well. Interest rates are determined by calculating the interest on the balance of the account on a daily basis. Daily rates for purchases are APR times .07395% and interest is charged unless the balance is paid in full by the end of every billing cycle.

Bottom Line

The JCPenney store is an old standby in many neighborhoods across the country, with thousands of loyal shoppers. For generations, JCPenney has maintained a fairly good reputation on the quality of its products. If you’re a loyal JCPenney shopper, the JCPenney credit card offered by GE Capital Retail Bank is probably a good deal, but if you’re not, there’s really nothing for you to take advantage of. JC Penney shoppers appreciate the occasional promotions, events, and rewards certificates that come with use, so if you’re shopping at JCP anyway, you will find that the rewards are definitely worth using the card.

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