With a better rewards program and a more flexible use of points, the Dillard's card wins over the Kohl's card
The Dillard's store card offers a substantial rewards program that allows cardholders to earn points from nearly every purchase they make with their card.
These points can be earned by shopping at Dillard's retail stores, through store catalogs, and online at dillards.com.
Once you reach 1,500 points, the points can then be redeemed for your choice of a 10%- off shopping pass, or a $10 discount valid for any product in the store.
This flexibility—along with the special 12-month financing on men's tailored clothing, home furnishings, or furniture purchases of $200 or more—makes this card a clear winner when compared to the Kohl's card.
Dillard's also offers 24-month financing on furniture purchases of $2,500 or more, and comes with a 0% introductory purchase APR.
The Kohl's store card, on the other hand, gives you a generous 30% discount upon signing up, and an additional 15% discount when your card arrives in the mail.
After that, however, the savings tend to dry up, whereas the Dillard's card lets you continue to earn points.
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Read on to learn more about the discounts and savings each card can get you.
Why You Should Consider These Cards
If you frequently shop at Dillard's or Kohl's, their credit cards can net you considerable savings
From active-wear to casual styles, each store's card can help you save big on fashionable clothing and accessories, as well as home furnishings.
If you frequently shop for these types of products, it makes sense to go with a store-branded credit card from the department store you shop at the most, since you'll collect rewards with and enjoy your shopping even more.
In terms of the credit score you need to qualify for the cards, both make it fairly easy.
The Dillard's card requires a "Fair" credit score (630–689) while the Kohl's card requires a "Good" score (690–719).
You're the perfect customer for a Dillard's card if you like being able to earn and redeem rewards points quickly
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if a Dillard's store card is right for you:
- Do you live in the mid-eastern U.S., Texas, New Mexico, Florida, or Illinois where Dillard's stores are most commonly found?
- Do you enjoy earning reward points with every purchase that you can redeem for your choice of discount?
- Do you often buy clothing, accessories, or home furnishings?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, a Dillard's card may be a great option for you.
You're the ideal customer for a Kohl's card if you want substantial upfront savings on your purchases
Alternatively, ask yourself these questions to determine if a Kohl's card may be a better fit:
- Do you live near, or frequently shop at a Kohl's department store?
- Do you typically pay off your credit card purchases in full?
- Do you want the ability to combine your Kohl's card discounts with other in-store savings programs like Kohl's Cash or Yes2You Rewards?
If you answered yes, then a Kohl's charge may be a better option for your shopping needs.
The Winner's Strengths
Better long-term rewards earning potential and an easy-to-meet points threshold
The Dillard's card offers a very rewarding points program that gives you two points for every dollar spent on merchandise throughout the store.
Once you hit 1,500 rewards points, you can choose between a 10% All-Day Shopping Pass, or $10 in Rewards Certificates that can be used on all of Dillard's merchandise at any time.
You'll also enjoy the flexibility of being able to use your chosen reward at any Dillard's store, online, or by phone when shopping the catalog.
You can also switch between reward types each time you hit 1,500 points.
If you want a 10% All-Day Shopping Pass the first time and $10 in Rewards Certificates the next, you can choose accordingly within your online account.
Dillard's also often holds special exclusive events for cardholders that entitle them to additional discounts and savings off regular sale prices.
Spend $2,000 or more per calendar year to upgrade to Elite status.
Elite status gives you free standard shipping and gift wrapping (both up to $16.95 per transaction), as well as monthly reward bonus points, such as 2x rewards points during double reward point events at Dillard's stores.
In addition, when you open a card and spend a minimum of $100, you'll get a 10% shopping pass discount that you can use on any item in the store the next time you visit.
People love the card because they can earn points quickly
Since you earn two points for every dollar spent, it's easy to reach the 1,500 point threshold.
Having the freedom to continue earning these points whether you shop in-store, by catalog, or online makes it even more convenient.
The biggest customer complaint concerns the high spending amount needed to reach Elite status
Perks like free shipping and free gift-wrapping are enticing, but in order to get them, you'll need to spend $2,000 per calendar year at Dillard's.
Most customers simply don't spend such a high amount at Dillard's over the course of a year, making Elite status a carrot that only the most loyal customers can reasonably reach.
The Kohl's card could be a better choice if you'd rather enjoy more savings on your first couple of purchases
When you apply for a Kohl's card, you'll get 30% off your first purchase.
This kind of discount is virtually unheard of when it comes to store credit cards, which makes it an attractive offer to customers who shop here frequently.
After the initial 30% off your first purchase, you'll get another 15% off on another purchase once your card arrives in the mail.
Unlike the Dillard's card, which lets you earn reward points on purchases you make at their stores, Kohl's does not offer reward points with their card.
Instead, you'll get 12 special offers per year.
These offers range from discounts on certain furnishings to savings on babies' clothing, and everything in between.
This means that although you may get significant savings on certain products, they may not be products that you want, or even need.
Unfortunately, customers do not get to choose which special offers they receive.
Also unlike Dillard's, which requires users to spend a minimum of $2,000 every year to maintain Elite status, Kohl's only requires that you spend $600 per year to achieve MVC status.
MVC status upgrades the number of special offers customers receive to 18 per year instead of the usual 12.
But again, nothing's changed—you only get an additional 6 offers.
You still cannot choose which special offers you'll receive or customize the offers based on the categories you actually prefer.
People love the card because they can combine discounts for substantial savings
Since customers can combine discounts from the company's loyalty program, "Yes2You Rewards," as well as the company's discount program, known as Kohl's Cash, this can give them some pretty significant savings on purchases.
The company also regularly sends out sales by mail and gives the customer Kohl's Cash to use at a future date, ensuring a consistent amount of foot traffic into its retail stores.
Kohl's returns process is the biggest complaint
Read reviews for Kohl's overall and you'll notice that customer after customer has something to say about the company's returns process.
From refusing to take back an item to getting refunds or exchanges slowly, it's clear that Kohl's supposed "Hassle Free Returns" is anything but, as far as its customers are concerned.
How the Dillard's store card compares to the Kohl's store card
|Dillard's store card||Kohl's store card|
|How high of a credit score do you need?||Fair (630-689)||Good (690-719)|
|Average APR?||24.99% (variable)||23.99%-25.99% (variable)|
|How big of a sign-up bonus do you get?||No sign-up bonus||No sign-up bonus|
|How much do you need to spend to get the bonus?||N/A||N/A|
|How many points do you get for every dollar?||Two points for every $1 spent on qualifying net purchases||No points program|
|Any restrictions?||Cash advances, interest charges, fees, money orders and traveler's checks will not qualify for rewards points.||N/A|
|If you spent $100 on the card, then how much would the points be worth in dollars?||N/A|
|How much would you need to spend on the card to make up for the fees (excluding APR/rates)?||No additional fees||N/A|
Bonuses and Benefits
Both Dillard's and Kohl's store cards offer numerous benefits to their customers, but Dillard's offers greater flexibility through its special financing program.
Kohl's has no such financing program with their card, but they do provide considerable savings when a customer first opens their card account.
All of these savings are done in an attempt to encourage you to spend more, so know what you're up against before you charge!
Kohl's offers more up-front savings on initial purchases, while Dillard's offers more long-term rewards
While Kohl's provides a 30% discount upon opening a Kohl's card compared to Dillard's 10% off Welcome Shopping Pass (valid only when you spend $100 or more), Kohl's is clearly the better deal at the outset.
But after the "new customer honeymoon" is over, it's clear that the Kohl's store card doesn't really have much to offer in the way of enticing benefits, while Dillard's offers the ability to continually earn and redeem rewards points.
Dillard's provides a better financing plan and intro purchase APR on specific purchases
If you shop Dillard's for custom tailored men's clothing, home furnishings, or furniture, you'll be glad to know that the company's store card can help make these items more affordable.
Special financing on furnishings and tailored clothing. Customers can take up to 12 months to pay off card purchases of men's tailored clothing, or home furnishing purchases of $200 or more.
For furniture purchases of $2,500 or more, customer get up to 24 months to pay.
Enticing 0% intro APR on the above purchases. Dillard's store card gives customers a 0% introductory APR on purchases of the above items.
Kohl's allows cardholders to return purchases made with their cards without the need for a receipt
One of the little-known benefits of using your Kohl's card is the ability to return products charged to it without having a receipt.
Keep in mind, however, that certain restrictions may apply depending on the type of item purchased.
Cost and Fees
Many store credit cards come with additional costs and fees on top of the APR.
You'll be glad to know, however, that neither card has a cash advance rate, a cash advance fee, or a foreign transaction fee.
There are no fees because these are store cards and can only be used at their respective brands' stores, so they don't carry the typical charges and fees associated with traditional credit cards.
The Kohl's card has a maximum penalty variable APR of 27.99%, while the Dillard's card has no maximum penalty APR.
Both cards have a maximum late fee of $37.
With either card, you'll want to pay off your card balance as soon as possible to avoid having their high-interest charges eating into your wallet.
As with any large retail outlet, there are both satisfied and unsatisfied customers.
Since both stores have multiple retail locations, service at one store could be spectacular, while it could be sub-par at another.
Generally speaking, customer service at a retail location is more prompt and accommodating than customer service conducted via phone or email.
But this is not to say that you shouldn't call up either Kohl's or Dillard's customer service if you have a question or concern about an item you purchased.
Chances are they'll ask you to bring the defective or problematic item back to the store anyway, so you may save yourself some time if you simply return the item to a store near you.
Dillard's customer service is accommodating and attentive, but customers often don't know about return and exchange rules
Certain items at Dillard's, particularly clothing and accessories, fall under different refund and exchange rules than other categories of products.
This means that in some cases, sales may be final or no refunds or exchanges are available.
Most customer service complaints about Dillard's revolve around the customer not knowing the policy, and therefore being unable to return an item that was incorrect or defective.
Here, the onus is on the customer to read their receipts carefully for the terms of the sale and understand how long they have to return or exchange a product.
Kohl's customer service is friendly and helpful, but online ordering and shipping could be improved
Many Kohl's customers report very few issues with purchasing, returning, or exchanging items at their retail stores.
But it can be a different story when shopping online, particularly during busy holidays like Black Friday or Christmas.
Items go out of stock quickly, and cannot be refunded or exchanged with similar products because of the lack of inventory.
In these cases, there is little that customer service can do to solve the issue.
But as with any online shopping experience, it's a good idea to carefully track your order and note and document any damage the moment you notice it.
Key Digital Services
In this day and age, it's more important than ever for retail stores to be competitive and remain accessible to their customers.
One of the ways in which they do this is through the use of apps for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Kohl's makes it easy to see all the deals, coupons, and savings you qualify for all in one place
Kohl's wins out over Dillard's simply by having an official mobile app.
Dillard's only has unofficial apps made by third parties, which are not recommended because of the lack of privacy and security features.
The Kohl's wallet app stores all of the offers you qualify for, as well as your Kohl's Cash and Yes2You points and rewards.
You can also store your gift card balance on your Kohl's app.
Currently, there is no app available to manage your Kohl's card balance, but having the Kohl's wallet app will help you save on clutter by not having to clip out mailer coupons every time there's a sale!
- What is the Dillard's store credit card?
The Dillard's store card is a retail-branded credit card that allows customers to enjoy ongoing savings and earn rewards points when they make purchases at the company's locations across the country.
- What is the Kohl's store credit card?
The Kohl's store credit card is a retail-branded credit card for shoppers that provides them with discounts and savings on Kohl's purchases when they use their card.
- How do you sign up for each card?
You can sign up for the Dillard's card by applying in-store or by phone.
You can check the Dillard's website to find your nearest retail store.
You can also receive an application by mail for a store-branded card by calling 1-800-643-8276.
You can apply for a Kohl's card in-store or online.
Keep in mind when you apply, that the card itself may be managed by a different credit card issuer than the store itself.
Stores often do this to help make the account management of their cards easier and more streamlined.
- What rewards and perks do each card offer?
The Dillard's card offers 12-month 0% intro APR financing on men's tailored suits, home furnishing purchases, and furniture purchases up to $200.
It also offers 24-month 0% APR financing on furniture purchases totaling $2,000 or more.
In addition, customers get to earn two reward points for every $1 they spend at the store.
Once you reach the 1,500 point threshold, you can redeem your points for a 10% off Shopping Pass, or $10 in rewards certificates that can be used on anything at the store.
When you open a Dillard's credit card, you'll also earn a welcome bonus of 10% off your first purchase when you charge $100 or more to your card.
The Kohl's store card, on the other hand, gives cardholders a 30% discount the first time they use their card.
They also get a 15% off discount when their card arrives in the mail (to be used toward a future purchase).
Both the Dillard's card and the Kohl's card offer special events and deals at various times throughout the year which are exclusive to their respective cardholder members.
- How quickly can you start using each card?
You can start to use your card right away through a temporary card that you receive in-store until your regular card arrives in the mail.
- Where can I use each store credit card?
You can use your Dillard's or Kohl's credit card at their respective stores
- Can you use these cards for non-store purchases?
You can only use these store-branded credit cards at their respective stores.
- Does either store have affiliate brands?
While each store may have private-labeled brands of their own design, there are currently no affiliate brands associated with either Dillard's or Kohl's.
- What are the terms and conditions of each credit card?
- Does either card have an annual fee?
Neither the Dillard's credit card nor the Kohl's credit card carries an annual fee.
- What is the APR on these cards?
The APR on the Dillard's store card is variable, at 24.99%.
The APR on the Kohl's store card is variable, at 23.99–25.99%.
- What is the credit limit on these cards?
Your credit limit on your store card will depend on many factors, including your creditworthiness.
- Can you withdraw cash using a store card from an ATM?
These store cards do not allow cash advances. Since they are store-only cards, you cannot withdraw cash from them as you would a typical credit card.
- What is the purpose of having a store credit card?
Store credit cards enable frequent shoppers at those stores to enjoy greater savings, discounts, and exclusive offers that non-cardholders do not get access to.
- Do you earn points on store credit cards?
The two cards differ in this respect.
You can earn two reward points for every $1 spent with the Dillard's credit card, which can be redeemed for a 10% off shopping pass or $10 in reward certificates once you reach the threshold of 1,500 points.
The Kohl's card does not have a reward points program in place.
- Do store credit cards help you build credit?
You can use store credit cards to help you build credit, although there might be a delay between the moment you pay off your card and when it gets reported to the credit bureaus.
- Who is the best candidate for each of these credit cards?
The ideal candidate for the Dillard's and Kohl's cards are the customers who shop in their respective stores frequently, and who want to get a good deal on the purchases they regularly make.
- How do I stop using these cards?
You must pay your balance off in full before you cancel your card.
You can close either your Dillard's credit card or your Kohl's credit card by contacting customer service (see next two questions).
- How do I contact a human at Dillard's?
Dillard's card-members may contact customer service toll-free at 1-800-643-8278.
The hours of operation are as follows:
Monday-Saturday: 7:00 am–12:00 am Central Time
Sunday: 10:00 am–8:00 pm Central Time
Credit card-member support is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
- How do I contact a human a Kohl's?
Kohl's card-members may contact customer service toll-free at 1-855-564-5748. The hours of operation are as follows:
Monday-Saturday: 7:00 am–9:00 pm Central Time
Sunday: 8:00 am–9:00 pm Central Time
While the Kohl's card offers great up-front discounts, the Dillard's card wins out with its flexible and ongoing rewards system
It takes little time to meet the 1,500 point threshold required to get to choose your reward with Dillard's.
This puts its card ahead of Kohl's simply because it gives the user the freedom to choose between the reward they want, and change it at any time.
This, coupled with the longer 0% intro APR financing of 24 months on larger purchases, makes Dillard's a clear leader when pitted head to head against the Kohl's card, which only provides 12 months.
It's worth noting that Kohl's certainly tries to make new customers feel welcome with significant savings on their first purchases.
After that, their program sadly flatlines with "exclusive offers" that may not always be relevant to the customer's shopping wants and needs.
In this regard, Kohl's has some catching up to do.
At the same time, Dillard's should take a confident step into the new age of mobile commerce by offering its own mobile-branded app to help users manage their points and rewards.
Do you own a Dillard's or Kohl's store card?
How have these store cards worked out for you?
Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?
Let us know in the comments below.