Review: Shopko Credit Card

shopko-credit-cardDepartment store chain Shopko, in partnership with First Bankcard/First National Bank of Omaha, offers two credit cards with nice rewards programs that unfortunately seem to compete with each other. Should you get one? That depends. Which one? That depends also. Our overview / review of the Shopko credit cards is below:

At first glance, the Shopko Visa seems the more desirable of the two cards. It has a lower interest rate (20.24%), and it is accepted anywhere Visa is accepted. The second Shopko card is only accepted at Shopko, and it has a much higher interest rate (25.99%).

Here at Credit Card Catalog we generally prefer cards with wide acceptance because every credit line you open is a hit to your credit score. That’s fine for those with an excellent credit history, because the hit is usually only temporary, but it could be trouble if your credit is shaky.

However, when you move on to considering the rewards programs on each card, things get tricky.

Let’s look at the Shopko Visa first. It offers this reward point formula:

  • 3 points per dollar on Shopko purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on all other card purchases.

For every 2500 points you earn, you get a $25 Shopko gift card.

That seems nice, right?

But now look at the Shopko store credit card that is only accepted at Shopko. It gives you one reward point per dollar charged to the card, and every 200 points earned gets you a $10 gift card to use at Shopko in the future. (There is also a one-time reward for new cardholders: 10% off your first purchase with the card.)

Strangely enough, the second card actually gives you a greater reward for purchases at Shopko. Think about it: If you spend $200 at Shopko with the Shopko store credit card, you earn 200 points, good for a $10 gift card. If you spend $200 at Shopko with the Shopko Visa, you earn 600 points (200 dollars multiplied by 3 points) that are only worth $6 in future rewards.

The Shopko store card is the better rewards deal!

This is very different from how most store credit cards work. Other retail cards that offer both a Visa and a store card usually make the Visa more desirable across the board: better rewards, wider acceptance, lower interest rate. Shopko muddies the waters by giving the Visa a lower rate and wide acceptance, while giving the store-only card the better rewards program for frequent Shopko customers.

In the end, we’d have to say that only the Shopko store card really makes sense to get, but only if you always pay off your credit card bills in full each month, because its 25.99% interest rate is terrible and will essentially eat up your rewards if you end up paying interest. Use it as a complementary card to a good cash back credit card and bypass the Shopko Visa.

Of course it’s up to you. You can get more information and an online application for either card at these links: Shopko Visa or Shopko Store Card.