The 6 Best Electronics Store Credit Cards

From getting the best deal to keeping your electronics safe, these carefully selected credit cards will make sure you that your gadget, phone, computer, and TV shopping are a success.

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Featured Credit Cards of 2018
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The other day, one of my computer monitors broke after years of faithful service.

When I went to buy a new one I had enough cash in my pocket to cover the purchase, but I still paid with a credit card.

I always use a credit card whenever I purchase electronics, from game consoles to drones to the laptop I'm typing on now.

That may seem to go against common financial sense, which says you should avoid putting things on credit whenever possible.

However, experts like Rebecca Blake over at Smart Asset say electronics are one of the few things you should always buy with a credit card.

Why? Well, using the right card for these purchases can get you bonus perks like extended warranties, discounts, and cash rewards.

So, what's the catch, you might be wondering?

Electronics are becoming increasingly regular purchases.

Everyone from gamers to graphic designers is under pressure to upgrade their hardware.

More than that, we all know how easily a dropped phone can break and set you back hundreds of dollars.

As both the lifespan and upgrade cycle between new versions of electronics decreases, people are purchasing new devices more frequently than ever before.

And that goes for both household and consumer electronics like phones, consumers, and televisions.

On top of that, we're becoming more reliant on our devices each day, which means there's a constant need for upgrades.

All these factors lead to new electronics and peripheral companies popping up every day, many of which offer their own credit cards.

There are more choices than ever before.

U.S. Leading Consumer Electronics Retailers

Picking the wrong card could cost you.

Pay for your device with the wrong credit card, and you could miss out on a discount or extended warranty for when it breaks, becomes outdated, or gets stolen.

If you just consider how easily something as simple as spilling your drink can lead to a destroyed device, you shouldn't use just any old credit card when buying electronics.

Everyone shops online where you can't actually see a real product these days, which increases the danger of buying a fake or knock-off device.

Again, not picking the right card could leave you without any protection if you end up getting shipped an ePhone when you bought an iPhone.

It's getting harder to choose the best electronics store card.

New electronics hit the store shelves every day as the speed of technology increases.

Again, that leads to new electronics stores flooding the market with seemingly attractive credit card offers.

All of these cards are competing for wallet space by offering bigger and better rewards.

This comes at a price, as some of these cards can charge annual fees exceeding $500 per year, according to Ben Steverman of Bloomberg.

You can't check your email without seeing ads for dozens of different credit cards, each promising special rewards or perks.

This range of choice means that there's no perfect card to cover all of your electronics purchases.

Paying with an ordinary credit card or using the wrong store credit card could mean losing out on great deals, discounts, or extended warranties.

You can start purchasing electronics the right way today.

By carefully evaluating your choices, you can choose one of the best credit cards for electronic stores that perfectly fits your purchasing habits.

You could even have one that gets 5% cash rewards on practical home office purchases like the Staples Personal Credit Card, and one that like the Best Buy Visa Card that lets you finance your expensive home theater equipment.

It's easy to do a balance transfer from one card to another. That means you could start taking advantage of a card's perks immediately.

Pick the right card and you could save money, get a great warranty, and take advantage of awesome rewards on your next electronics purchase.

Even if you feel overwhelmed with options or don't know which electronics store credit card is best for you, this guide will help you understand your best option.

Cheat Sheet

  • They offer rewards like extended warranties, cash back, financing and other perks.
  • Rewards for some cards can vanish if they're not used in a predefined time period.
  • They tend to have higher-than-average APR at 16% and up.
  • They often don't feature an intro APR offer for balance transfers.
  • Sometimes, these cards require indirect fees or membership payments, like a $99 Amazon Prime subscription.
  • Some stores accept applicants with credit scores from 550+, making these cards good for rehabbing lower credit scores.
  • Some cards are only usable at one store.
  • They may have a lower credit limit than traditional credit cards ranging from $100+.

If You Could Only Choose One

If you're struggling over which card to choose and you have good credit, the Amazon Visa Signature Card might be the best choice for many people.

Its extended warranties, high rewards, and protection against theft all put it in the top tier of credit cards for purchasing electronics.

The experts over at Advisory HQ echoed all of these points, as well as noting that you get a lot of benefits just from being a Prime member.

Two-day shipping, a huge selection, and other factors make Amazon and their card an easy go-to choice when looking for the next piece of plastic going in your wallet.

While there are two other cards offered by Amazon, this one definitely takes the cake.

Know the ins-and-outs

With some exceptions, these cards are like any of the major credit cards like Visa or Mastercard.

In fact, some of them are just specialized versions of these major cards.

Consumers Payment Choices For Big Purchases (2017)

You'll see the Visa logo on the Amazon Signature Rewards Card, for instance.

Some cards offering rewards require an annual fee for their use. These are common for most cards that offer rewards or earn cash back.

These cards come with a set credit line (also known as a credit limit), which is a defined amount for how much you can put on them every month.

That means a card with a $1,000 credit line wouldn't let you purchase an item that cost $1,001.

The amount you owe your credit card company is called your balance. This balance collects an interest rate known as its annual percentage rate, or APR.

When you don't pay off the full balance of your card at the end of the month, you get charged APR.

For example card with a $150 balance and an APR of 10% would get charged $15 at the end of the month.

Save money and build credit using a store card

These cards are primarily for shoppers at the stores offering them.

They help you save money and get better warranties and rewards on your electronics and other items.

People can also improve their credit scores with store credit cards.

Some major credit cards require an excellent credit score.

For instance, David Weliver of Money Under 30 says that you'll most likely need a credit score of 750 or higher if you want a card from Barclay.

Credit cards offered by electronics stores and other retailers are generally more accepting of people with lower credit scores.

The website Finder notes that Best Buy approves customers with credit scores from 620 on up for its cards.

This makes store cards perfect for those rebuilding their credit score.

Paying off your monthly balance on a store credit shows lenders you pay what you owe and boosts your overall credit score.

The downside is that these cards usually charge a higher APR than traditional credit cards.

If you're looking for a low-interest credit card or are focused on finding a cash reward credit card, consider a bank-issued card like the Chase Freedom card.

It provides a 0% intro APR offer, regular APR at 15.99% and up, and a rotating selection of 5 % cash back rewards.

Save cash by getting the right rewards

Many traditional credit cards offer rewards like cash rewards or airline miles. Where electronics stores differ is that their rewards are often geared towards the store issuing the card.

For instance, Best Buy's card offers 3% cash back on purchases made in-store or on its website.

Catey Hill and Annamaria Andriotis of Market Watch noted that some store cards come with other perks.

For instance, you can get initial discounts for signing up, special financing on large purchases, and cash back.

Keep your bank account healthy by avoiding these common credit card pitfalls

Since store credit cards take on people with lower credit scores, they generally charge higher interest rates than traditional cards.

According to CCN's Blake Ellis, the average APR for a traditional credit card hovers around 15.03% while store credit cards average out at 22.23%.

Some store cards can only be used at the store that issued them, making them less versatile than traditional cards.

Most of these cards don't feature an intro APR or 0% balance transfer offer that regular cards like the Chase Freedom offer.

It also carries a lower credit limits than traditional cards. This can negatively impact your credit score.

As Tiffany Patterson of Smart Asset tells it, using over 30% of your credit limit might cause your credit score to drop.

Going over 30% is easier to do with a $500 credit limit than a $5,000 limit.

The biggest thing to remember is that none of these cards will probably replace a solid rewards card for everyday purchases.

Other cards like the Chase Freedom offer many of the perks these cards don't, like extra cash back for spending at grocery stores and introductory 0% APR on balance transfers.

The Best Cards to Choose From

All of these cards are the same at their core. They all have a set credit line and APR that works like a traditional credit card, though those amounts will vary based on the card and your credit score.

Where they differ is in the APR, rewards, and other perks they offer.

How we choose the cards

They're accessible. All of these cards can be applied for online, over the phone, or in store.

For those wondering, this is why Fry's Electronics unfortunately didn't make the cut.

Their card is only available in stores, and those stores are only in nine states (but residents of those nine states can find out about the Fry's electronics credit card here).

The products are available. These stores sell internationally or nationally. They carry a full range of electronics.

Even though Gamestop and B&H Photo Video stores offer credit cards, that latter part is why it's not on this list.

Gamers and AV fans can find some great deals at these shops, but outside of that, they've got a narrow selection.

They offer high-quality electronics. These cards offer high-quality rewards for different electronics shoppers.

They're unique. For instances when two stores offered similar rewards, as was the case with the Staples and Office Depot credit cards, we only highlighted one store for the sake of simplicity.

Now we're definitely not knocking any cards we left out of this guide, and you're of course free to explore your options.

For the average consumer though, these are just the cards that will get you the most bang for your purchasing buck.

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card

Looking for this card? Apply now

Amazon already sells everything else, so they may as well offer a credit card.

This one features some of the best rewards electronics shoppers can find.

It has history. Amazon began as a humble online bookstore and has grown into one of the largest retailers on the planet.

Over the years they've rolled out the Amazon Prime program, which offers free two-day shipping and a rewards credit card that goes with it.

Buy anywhere there's internet. Amazon sells its products on and ships internationally, so just about anywhere as long as you've got an internet connection.

Perfect for Amazon shoppers. Since Amazon offers such a diverse range of products, this card is good for electronics junkies and just about anyone who frequently shops online.

Amazon's Global Brand Value

Amazon Prime is the retailer's loyalty program, giving its members free two-day shipping and access to its streaming music and video content.

Prime members get the most rewards, earning 5% back on Amazon purchases compared to 3% for non-Prime.


There's a lot to love about Amazon's card, starting with the $70 gift card cardholders get for signing up. Other perks include:

A great warranty extension. If a product offers a consumer warranty three years or less, paying for it with your Amazon card automatically extends the warranty by another year.

New purchase coverage against damage or theft for 120 days. This pays out up to $500 per claim, with a maximum lifetime limit of $50,000 per account.

Lost-luggage reimbursement for travelers. If you book a flight using your Amazon card and the airline misplaces your baggage for over six hours, you can get up to $3,000 for its replacement and $100 per day for toiletries.

Options for financing. You won't pay any APR if you pay purchases of $149 or more in six months, $599 in 12 months, or a select few HDTVs and video projects over 24 months.

If don't pay off the full amount, the APR accrued for that amount of time will come due. Make sure you don't carry a balance or you're in for a pricey shock.

Earn cash back. You get 5% back on Amazon purchases, 2% for restaurants, gas, and drugstores, and 1% back on everything else.

Get points immediately. Even if you purchase something that costs a dollar, you get points for that dollar.

If you're regularly upgrading your computer or always get the newest tablet on the market, you'll rack up a lot of points quick by getting these items on Amazon with their card.

Easily redeem by using "Pay with Points". You can apply your points when checking out on Amazon's website. Alternatively, you could convert them into travel miles, gift cards, or cash through Amazon's partnership with Visa.

Experts like Lauren Lyons Cole highlight how easy it is to use Amazon points.

That's because approximately one-third of the points Americans accrue through their credit cards don't get used every year, so anything that makes sure you get your rewards is a bonus.


Might be bad for your budget. Don't get a card if you're prone to overly-expensive shopping binges on Amazon because you'll end up spending even more.

When we opened our Amazon Prime Visa, it was a glorious moment.

Free shipping, exclusive offers, cash back rewards- we were so excited.

But, then we found out how easy it was to rack up a huge credit card bill and have statement shock when the mail came!

That's what Michael Levin and Joshua Lowitz found in a report for Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Shoppers with an Amazon Prime Rewards card spent 16% more than those without it.

No intro APR. Make your monthly payments on time, or you'll rack up some hefty interest.

No balance transfer offer. That means a balance transfer from another card onto this one will be subject to a 15.24% to 23.24% fee.

Some card holders reviews on Amazon's site complained about how their cards were put on security hold without notice out of concern they were making fraudulent or unusual charges.

This seemed to be the exception rather than the rule, however.

A question everyone wants to know…

Should I use my Amazon points or convert them to cash? Always convert them to cash.

That tip comes from Kyle over at Rather be Shopping, where he looks at how to maximize the value of your points.

Say you buy a $100 TV on Amazon and get 500 points. That's the equivalent of $5.

The thing is you don't get any points for products you buy with points. So say you buy a $5 item with those 500 points – you're back at zero.

If you convert those 500 points into $5 and then buy the item, you'd get 25 points. That's only $0.25 in this example, but it's $0.25 you didn't have before.

Credit score and other requirements

Sirtheta of Doctors of Credit found that you need a 640 or higher credit score for this card.

You'll also need a subscription for Amazon Prime to get 5% back on eligible purchases. Without it, you get 3% back.

How to get the card

You can sign up for the card by applying on Amazon's website.

After a series of questions about your income, credit score, and other items, you will either be approved or denied the card. It's that easy!

How to cancel

If you want to cancel your card, you can call the customer support line at 888-247-4080. They can walk you through the rest of the process.

Quick stats


14.99% to 22.99%

Annual fee:

None, but requires a $99 annual Prime subscription for %5 on Amazon purchases

Required to spend:



  • 5% on Amazon purchases with a Prime subscription, 3% without, 2% back on gas, restaurants, and drugstores, 1% back on all other purchases
  • 0% APR on purchases of $149 or more in six months, $599 or more for 12 months, or a select few HDTVs and video projects over 24 months
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Extends warranties three years or less by an additional year
  • Protects purchases against theft or damage for 120, paying out $500 per claim and $50,000 total per account
  • Sign-up bonus: $70 Amazon gift card

Best Buy Visa card

Looking for this card? Apply now

Best Buy is one of the most well-known electronics stores.

With its wide array of expensive laptops, desktops, TVs, and other electronics, frequent shoppers can save big with the Best Buy credit card.

Best Buy Stores in the U.S.

From a speaker shop to a nationwide chain. Starting in 1966 with a specialty in audio products, Best Buy has now grown to have 1,026 stores worldwide.

Shop in a store or online. Best Buy stores are located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China. You can also shop online at their website.

Perfect for Best Buy shoppers. They can save the most with its rewards program.

Even if you only visit Best Buy occasionally, the card's introductory offer makes it worth checking out for those with a big purchase coming up.

Your first purchase gets 10% off just for signing up and can be financed over six, 12, or 24 months depending on the price.

If you're planning on dropping a few thousand dollars on a 4K TV or overhauling your surround sound system, that can save you hundreds of dollars.

This card actually puts up the some of the biggest competition with traditional credit card rewards.

Like the Chase Freedom card, the Best Buy Visa offers rotating categories offering higher rewards for travel expenses, grocery store purchases, and other types of spending.

If you're one of those Best Buy Elite Plus members spending thousands of dollars every year at the store, grabbing this card will get you 6% cash rewards on all your purchases there.


Tons of options for earning cash back. Experts like David Rodeck of Credit Sesame particularly appreciated Best Buy's cash back rewards.

Elite Plus members get higher savings than any other card on the list, clocking in at 6% for purchases made at the store.

Non-members earn a substantial 5% as well.

Cardholders also get 2% back at restaurants and grocery stores, while everything else gets 1% back.

The company does run promotions with increased cash back on other categories throughout the year.

10% off your first purchase. You could save big if you wait to sign up until right before dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Special financing options. Six-month financing is available for purchases totaling $199 and up, and 12-month for $399 and up.

You can also get 18-month financing on appliance purchases $599 and up, and 24-month financing on home theater purchases $799 or higher.

No annual fee. Just sign up and start saving.


High APR. This card charges a 28.74% interest rate. That's incredibly high, so not making your monthly payments could land you deep in credit card debt.

This is a little high even for store cards.

While the 10% introductory offer, special financing, and 5% cash back makes this card great for large purchases, those same expensive items could come back to bite you if you can't pay off the balance in time.

Say someone with a 28% APR buys a $1,000 TV and finances it for 24 months.

They may make regular payments for 23 months, but an emergency depletes their bank account in the last month.

At that point, all the deferred interest for the previous month kicks in, and our unlucky buyer would find themselves on the hook for hundreds of dollars.

No APR or balance transfer intro offers. You'll get charged 26.24% if you put another card's balance onto this one within the first four months and $15 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer after that time period.

Low credit limits. Consumers have complained that these cards offered low credit limits.

Some were only approved for limits as low as $300, which cuts down on your ability to take advantage of its introductory rewards and save on an expensive purchase.

A question everyone wants to know…

What's the difference between the Best Buy Credit Card and the Best Buy Visa Card?

The Best Buy Credit Card can only be used at one place: Best Buy.

You still get 5% back on all purchases made at the store, the 10% introductory discount and access to its financing programs, but miss out on the rewards on purchases made elsewhere.

The Best Buy Visa Card works just like a regular credit card and can be used anywhere.

Credit score and other requirements

Finance Globe reported that a credit score of 618 or higher increased the chance of getting approved.

Members of Best Buy's Elite Plus loyalty program also get 6% rather than 5% cash back for their Best Buy purchases.

To get into that group you need to spend at least $3,500 on Best Buy purchases every calendar year.

How to get the card

You can get either the Best Buy Visa Card or Best Buy Credit Card by applying online.

After answering a few questions, you'll find out whether you're approved.

Alternatively, you can apply by visiting any Best Buy store.

How to cancel

Speak with a Best Buy representative at 1-888-574-1301 to close your account.

Quick Stats



Annual fee:


Required to spend:



  • 5% on Best Buy purchases, 6% for Elite Plus members
  • 0% APR with 6-month financing on purchases $199 and up, 12-month financing for $399, 18-month financing for appliances $599 and up, 24-month financing on home theater purchases $799 and up

Sign-up bonus:

10% discount on first purchase

Target REDcard

Looking for this card? Apply now

Target is a go-to store for a little bit of everything. The Target REDcard offers a few ways to make your next trip down its electronics aisle cheaper.

Revenue of Target in North America

A store you recognize. Target first opened in 1962 and has grown into America's second-largest discount retail store, right behind Walmart.

Its iconic bullseye logo hasn't changed much since its inception and is recognized by 96% of Americans.

Stores galore. Target offers its products in its 1,802 stores throughout the United States as well as on its website.

Perfect for Target shoppers. This card is best suited for frequent Target shoppers who aren't buying big-ticket electronics items.

Since the REDcard doesn't offer any financing options, you can't pay off a large purchase like a TV over six or twelve months.

It also offers a 5% discount on every item you purchase.

That makes it perfect for saving a little extra cash on everyday items like phone chargers or headphones that you might pick up when shopping for the essentials.


Awesome discount. Devid Weliver of Money Under 30 weighed in on the REDcard and found that its 5% discount was its strongest asset.

Since people shop for electronics and everything else at Target, that lowered price can stack up some serious savings – as in $150 every year for someone who spends $250 a month at the store.

Just note that it is a discount, not a cash back program. Cardholders just save 5% every time you shop, rather than bank 5% in points or cash on your REDcard purchases.

The savings stack. This discount can add up with other savings. This includes coupons and Target's Cartwheel app that offers savings between 5-50%.

My wife is literally a pro with the REDcard/Cartwheel combo, and she throws her paper coupons and/or manufacturer rebate checks in the mix where she can. Two items this has saved us huge dollars on is baby formula and diapers.

Imagine a $40 box of diapers for the low price of $10! Yes, it has happened!

Extended return policy. You get an extra 30 days on top of the 90 the store already gives you for most items.

Free online shipping. Using this card also gets you free shipping on most items available on

Low required credit score. This is one of the more accessible cards on this list.

You're more likely to get it than an Amazon or Best Buy card if your credit is below the 640 mark.

No annual fee. No paying for saving.


Almost too simple. Target's credit card doesn't come with many extra bells and whistles.

Aside from the extended return policy and the 5% discount, there's no financing, introductory offers, or extended warranties.

No cash back. This card doesn't offer points or rewards, just a 5% discount. There's no way to bank points and save down the road.

Bad for larger purchases. You can't save up one big chunk of points or slash 10% off the price of a new gaming console like you can with Best Buy's card.

Only works at Target. The Target REDcard is only useable at Target stores or

That means no opportunities for saving cash on gas or other items like you can with the Walmart and Costco cards.

No intro APR or balance transfer offer. If you already have a primary credit card, this shouldn't be too much of a problem though.

Hard to manage online. Reviews from Consumer Affairs noted some common themes with customers finding it difficult to pay their bills online or over the Target app.

There were plenty of complaints about these digital methods freezing or crashing, leaving them unable to cover their balance.

A question everyone wants to know…

Should I get the Target REDcard credit card or debit card? Target's debit version of the REDcard doesn't offer a line of credit, so it's easier to get approved for than the credit card.

If you frequently shop at Target but can't qualify for the credit card, you can still take advantage of the extended return policy and 5% savings by getting the debit card.

Credit score and other requirements

Finance Globe noted that a credit score of 612 is all that you need for a Target REDcard. That puts it well within reach of most people.

How to get the card

You can apply in-store at Target or online by visiting Target's website.

How to cancel

You can close out your account using your online Target REDcard account by logging into its website, clicking on your profile, and then selecting "Close My Account."

Alternatively, you can call 1-800-394-1829 and speak with a customer service representative.

Quick Stats



Annual fee:


Required to spend:



  • 5% discount
  • 30-day extension for returns
  • Free shipping for purchases on

Sign-up bonus:


Walmart Mastercard

Looking for this card? Apply now

The biggest chain of retail stores in America offers a full range of electronics and other products. If you shop at Walmart often, this card may be right for you.

Here for over 50 years. Walmart started in 1962 and hasn't stopped growing since. The company now has 11,695 stores spread across the world.

Stores everywhere. You can purchase items in Walmart's stores across 28 nations and through its website.

Walmart Worldwide (2017)

Perfect for credit score rehab. This card is perfect for those whose credit scores may not qualify them for other cards.

If you need a card to start rebuilding your credit, this one will work.

If you buy everything at Walmart, the cash back rewards the card offers could snag you some serious savings.

There's also financing available for those buying any particularly expensive electronics they plan on paying for over time.

If you're on the road quite often, the savings at the pump for Murphy USA and Walmart gas could also ease some strains on your wallet.


Decent intro offer. Just signing up for the card nets you $25 off a $75 purchase on Walmart's website.

You have to order an item before the end of the month or the offer vanishes, however.

Cash back rewards. The cash back rewards for this card are geared towards

Any purchases on the website get you 3% of your purchase back, while using the card anywhere else nets a 1% return.

Save on gas. Using your card to gas up your car at Murphy USA and Walmart stations will also get you 2% back.

In-store financing. You can get 0% APR for six months on items over $150, and 24 months for items $599 and above.

Accessible for all. As Leah Norris notes in her review on Credit Donkey, the biggest advantage Walmart offers is for applicants with a low credit score.

It's a good card to start with if you're building or rebuilding your credit score.


Weak cash back. Compared with the other options on this list, 1-3% cash back isn't anything special.

Takes time to earn points. More than that, those rewards only accrue every time you spend $500.

That means if you spend $100 the first month, $200 the second, and $300 the third, you'll only get $5 cash back at the end of the third month.

Points expire. Your rewards points expire after 13 months.

If you haven't spent $500 bucks by then, they're gone.

Low credit limits. A lot of consumers on Super Money complained about the low credit limits Walmart set on their cards, as in only-$150-low limits.

Since they take on riskier borrowers, the company isn't likely to offer them a large line of credit.

No balance transfer intro offer. You'll always pay for putting another card's balance onto this one.

A question everyone wants to know…

Should I get the Walmart Store Card or the Walmart MasterCard?

Walmart offers a program like Best Buy, where customers can choose between two cards.

The Walmart Store Card is only useable in Walmart stores or on, while the Walmart Master Card can be used anywhere.

You won't get any cash back for using the store card though, just the gas discount and financing options.

What really separates the store card is that it accepts people with an even lower credit limit than the Walmart MasterCard.

The data on Ask Mr. Credit Card found that the average credit score accepted for store card applicants came out to 555.

That's way below any other available credit card, even if you can only use it at Walmart.

If your credit score is in serious need of some revitalization, go with the store card.

Credit score and other requirements

Leah Norris of Credit Donkey notes that people with credit scores as low as 632 have been accepted for these cards.

How to get the card

You can apply online at Walmart's website, or by calling 1-877-294-7880.

How to cancel

Cancel your Walmart card by calling 1-877-294-7880.

Quick stats



Annual fee:


Required to spend:

$500 for between $5 and $15 in rewards


  • 3% cash back on all purchases, 1% on all Walmart store and other purchases
  • 0% APR 6 month financing for items over $150, 24-month financing for $599 and above
  • 2% off gas at Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations
  • Sign-up bonus:
  • $25 off any $75 purchase on

Costco Anywhere Visa card

Looking for this card? Apply now

You can buy in bulk at Costco, and its credit cards let you save in bulk as well.

Its introductory fee makes it a smart deal for people with several electronics purchases coming up.

One big retailer. Costco started in 1983 and has since opened 727 stores.

In 2016 the company swapped out its credit card partnership with American Express for one with Citi.

Plenty of locations. Costco has stores in the United States and ten other countries, as well as online at

For those that buy in bulk. Folks who regularly shop at Costco will get the most benefit out of its rewards program.

Frequent drivers will also save at the pump with its discounts on gas.

Its introductory offer of no APR for the first seven months could make it appealing to people with large upcoming electronics purchases.

If you want a card with a low APR for everyday purchases as well, Costco's card has the lowest interest of any card covered in this guide.

It's definitely not for those who want their cash back rewards right away.

Costco only pays out accumulated points once a year in February.


Get cash back. Costco's credit card gets you 3% cash back on restaurants and travel purchases, 2% on Costco's website and its stores, and 1% on all other purchases.

Where experts like Jeff Blyskal of Consumer Reports see the real strength of this card is in its cash back on gas.

The card gets you 4% cash back on the first $7,000 for filling up at any gas station and then 1% thereafter.

Low interest. The card also comes with super-low (for a store card) APR at just 16.24%.

That's comparable to the average price of a traditional credit card.

Great intro offer. The sign-up offer gives you 0% intro APR for seven months on all purchases.

If you know you'll be replacing or upgrading several electronic items soon, you could just sign up for this card and then pay them off over time.

Unfortunately, that sign-up offer doesn't waive the APR for balance transfers.

Putting an old card's balance onto this one will run you 16.24%.


Requires high credit score. That low APR comes at the price of not accepting people with a lower credit score.

You'll need an excellent score in order to qualify for Costco's credit card.

Hard to redeem rewards. What really got consumers riled up on Credit Card Forum was Costco's inflexible program for redeeming rewards.

Any accumulated points only get disbursed once per year in February.

That cuts down on your ability to use these points for a new computer monitor that hits store shelves in December.

Members only. You need a Costco membership just to apply for this card, which costs $55 per year.

If you don't shop at Costco frequently, that price could outweigh any rewards.

Costco Warehouses Worldwide

A question everyone wants to know…

What changed when Costco switched from American Express to Citi?

This switch upset some of Costco's customers.

As Eli Blumenthal explained in USA Today, the most obvious change was that the American Express cards stopped working anywhere.

Visa also became the exclusive credit card for Costco. MasterCard, American Express, and all other cards were no longer accepted.

The rewards offered by Citi for its card were a step up over those offered by American Express.

Cash back rewards went from 3% to 4% on gas, 2% to 3% on restaurants, and travel, and 1% to 2% on Costco purchases.

Credit score and other requirements

Since the card is so new, it's difficult to anticipate its required credit score.

However, David Weliver of Money Under 30 finds that you need a credit score over 750 to get approved for most cards through Citi.

How to get the card

If you're not already a Costco member, the first step is to become one. You can do that online at their website or at any Costco location.

Next, either call 1-800-970-3019 or visit the Costco Card page for a card application. You can also apply at any Costco store.

How to cancel

You can cancel your Costco card by calling 1-800-970-3019.

Quick stats



Annual fee:

$55 for a Costco membership

Required spend:



  • 4% cash back on gas for the first $7,000 and 1% after
  • 3% on restaurants and travel
  • 2% on Costco and purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • (Cash back rewards paid out annually in February)

Sign-up bonus:

0% APR for first seven months

Staples Personal Credit Account

Looking for this card? Apply now

If you sometimes shop at Staples or have a large home electronics purchase coming up, then the Staples Personal Credit Account can help you save some cash.

A long time in the office. Staples started its first store in Brighton, Massachusetts in 1986. It has since grown to 1,225 stores in the United States.

Sells about everywhere. You can visit any of its stores in America or shop online internationally at

For the sometimes Staples shopper. This card is almost exclusively useful to people who shop at Staples, but not too much (we'll get to that part in a second).

Its introductory offer and financing options also make it a good choice for those with a big electronics expense for their office coming up.


Great intro discount. One thing Kevin of Credit Shout loved is the current introductory discount of $50 off a purchase of $150 or more when you sign up for this card.

That could save you 33% on some practical devices for your home or office.

Welcome to the loyalty program. Signing up for this card also puts you into the top tier of Staples' loyalty program, which offers cash back, free shipping on, and $2 credit for every ink or toner cartridge you recycle at the store.

Financing offers. You can also get 0% APR financing for large purchases using your Staples card.

Choose between six months for items $299 and up, 12 months for $499 and up, or 18 months for $799 and up.

No annual fee.


Not a real rewards program. There's a reason why it's unnecessary for people who regularly shop at Staples to get this card: It doesn't offer a real rewards program.

Though the website advertises 5% cash back, this reward actually comes from the Staples loyalty program, not the card.

Signing up for a card just automatically bumps you up in their loyalty program to Premier status, which is only for those that spend over $1,000 per year at the store.

Beat by other cards. This program offers 5% back in rewards on Staples purchases.

If you're spending that much at the store anyways, you're better off paying with another card and getting even more cash back.

For instance, a Staples Premier member who bought a $200 printer could pay using their Amazon Visa Signature Card and earn $10 in Staples credit and $2 in Amazon points.

Only usable at Staples. While the store does have a good supply of office electronics, its selection of personal or entertainment devices is narrow.

People Who Bought Consumer Electronics at Staples

High APR. One of the biggest thing holding the Staples card back is its APR, coming in at a sky-high 28.99%.

No intro APR. Since this is a store card, there's also no option for a balance transfer from an existing card.

Some customer service concerns. Some Staples cardholders on Consumer Affairs reported that the company offers very poor customer service for its accounts, and a few noted difficulties getting refunds after returning items they had bought with the card.

A question everyone wants to know…

What's the difference between my Staples credit card and the rewards program?

Your Staples Credit Card is just a line of credit extended by the store.

You can use it to finance expensive items at 0% APR, or buy something and pay later like any other card.

The Staples Reward Program is the loyalty program offered by the store. It's broken down into three tiers.

  • Base: For those who spend up to $499 annually. They get 2% back in rewards, free shipping on, and 2$ in store credit for recycling ink or toner cartridges.
  • Plus: For those who spend between $500 and $999 annually. This includes all the perks in the base category as well as a free consultation with Staples' tech support experts every year, and up to $10 cash back for shredding and scanning.
  • Premier: Spending over $1,000 every year gets you all of these previous benefits and up to $20 cash back for Staples' design services.

Credit score and other requirements

There's currently no research readily available on the credit score needed for a Staples card.

However, members of the MyFico forum reported getting approved with scores between 686 and 696.

How to get the card

Apply online using the Staples website or by calling 1-800-733-2713.

How to cancel

You can cancel your card by calling 1-800-733-2713.

Quick stats



Annual fee:


Required spend:



  • 0% percent APR financing for 6 months on items $299 and up, 12 months on $499 and up, or 18 months for $799 and up.
  • Sign-up bonus:
  • $50 off a $150 or more purchase

Choosing the Right Card For You

All of these different electronics store cards offer their own benefits, rewards, and other perks. However, you shouldn't run out and grab all of them at once.

Writing for Lifehacker, Melanie Pinola explains that opening up a credit card temporarily takes your credit score down a notch.

Though this is usually only by a few points, you should consider this before taking out a large loan such as a mortgage.

Just one credit card application and a few points off your credit score could end up costing you thousands in interest on a mortgage- I know firsthand.

When I bought my first home, I went to one of the big home supply stores and applied for a credit card to cover the costs of a new washer and dryer.

I figured I would pay off the card after closing on the house, gain some rewards points, and not spend anything out of pocket before moving day.

What I did not know was the mortgage interest rate went up a point and a half when my credit score took a mere five point hit from that one credit card application!

To put it in real terms one credit card application cost me an additional $4500 in interest on my mortgage.

I could have paid for four sets of washers and dryers with that!

Opening and using more cards also creates more hassle.

You want to keep the number of bills you pay down to a manageable number, not an overwhelming one.

You can keep your credit score healthy and limit the number of credit card statements clogging up your mailbox by picking one or two cards perfect for your electronics purchasing habits.

Oh, and make sure you're smart with your usage by avoiding these 7 mistakes!

Do you have a card or financing technique that you use to buy (and keep safe) electronics? What's your great secret (or disaster story)?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Editorial Note:

Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.