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Kohl’s Charge Card Review – Get Coupons & Discounts

By David Bakke

kohls charge cardWhen the first Kohl’s department store opened in my city, it failed to capture my attention.  They have very few signs outside, and it was years before I even knew what kind of store it was. Finally, curiosity got the best of me and I eventually decided to see what they had to offer.

At first glance, Kohl’s seems like your typical department store. But once I poked around a bit, I realized that this is a department store with fantastically low prices. I quickly became a regular customer.

Recently, I found out that I could increase my savings even more by applying for a Kohl’s charge card. And just as Kohl’s is no ordinary department store, their card is no ordinary charge card.

Aside from the easy sign up and fast approval process, the card offers a number of perks. Below are some of the ways you could benefit from being a Kohl’s cardholder.

Kohl’s Charge Card Benefits

  • No Annual Fee. This one speaks for itself. Kohl’s will not charge you any kind of annual fee for being a card member.
  • Sign Up Bonus. If you sign up online, you will get a coupon good for 10% off your next purchase. If you sign up in-store, you get 15% off your current purchase.
  • Monthly Discounts. Card members receive exclusive monthly discounts ranging from 15%, all the way up to 30%.
  • Most Valued Customer Program. If you spend $600 or more per year on your card, you get to select an additional six days throughout the year to enjoy exclusive savings. Basically, you get to choose your own personal sale days. Additionally, MVC members receive a monthly newsletter which includes even more ways to save.
  • Flyer Discounts. Another benefit of being a Kohl’s charge card owner is that, from time to time, you’ll get a coupon in the mail that is good for $10 off any purchase of $10 or more. I love these! Each time I get one, I stop by my local Kohl’s, pick out about $12 worth of clothes for my son (usually a shirt and a pair of pants), and end up paying about three bucks total for it.

kohls storefront

Savings Add Up

You may be thinking that these card member benefits don’t have much of a “wow factor.” However, the biggest benefits lie in the ability to get creative with your savings. Here are the two best ways to save with your Kohl’s charge card.

1. Stackable Savings
All of the coupons and discounts you get are “stackable.” This means that you can use as many of them as you want on a single purchase.

For instance, let’s say you go into Kohl’s planning to spend around $100. You see signs stating that they’re having a 30% off sale for card members. If you choose to sign up for the charge card that day, you will receive the 30% off plus an additional 15% just for signing up! Take those percentages off of your total amount, and you’re only spending $55 for $100 worth of stuff.

2. Amazing Clearance
Another fantastic way to take advantage of the stackable savings is in Kohl’s tremendous clearance section. Markdowns on quality merchandise, both online and in store, run as high as 70%. I check these clearance sections regularly, and with great success. Using coupons in combination with clearance pricing, I recently purchased a few Dockers plaid button-down flannel shirts for $5.88 apiece. Six bucks for a shirt that normally retails around $25 is pretty hard to beat.

In short, the Kohl’s charge card offers a number of ways for you to save some serious cash. The question remains, however, is it the right choice for you?

Drawbacks

Keep in mind that despite the many benefits, there are also a few less-than-attractive features to the Kohl’s charge card which may be enough reason for you to say no to retail store credit cards. Here are some things to think about:

  • Charge Card, Not Credit Card. The card can only be used at Kohl’s, and since it’s a charge card and not a credit card, you cannot transfer balances.
  • High APR. The APR on the card is 21.9% for any unpaid balance, so I’d think twice about signing up for it unless you’re absolutely sure that you can pay the balance in full each month.
  • No Rewards. The Kohl’s card does not have any rewards program associated with it (other than the discounts that you get).
  • Low Spending Limit. I have excellent credit, yet I was only approved for a limit $700. So don’t expect a high spending limit if you decide to sign up.

Remarkably, even the drawbacks can actually be used to your advantage. Since this is not a credit card, you can’t use it everywhere, and therefore won’t be tempted to pull it out every time you’re pressed for cash.

The high APR and low spending limit will motivate you to keep the balance low and pay it off every month. Finally, while the Kohl’s charge card may not offer the same kinds of rewards as traditional credit cards, it has the potential to save you money – which is a reward in and of itself.

Final Word

The Kohl’s charge card is a great way to boost the already fantastic savings offered both in-store and online.  As long as you make sure to pay off your balance each month and use the card wisely, you can reap the benefits of unbeatable coupon and clearance deals. They’ll never charge you an annual fee, and will reward you with additional savings the more you spend. With all these factors going for it, this is one card that is a must have for your wallet if you frequently buy quality clothing on a budget at Kohl’s.

Do you have a Kohl’s charge card? If so, what are some of the positive and negative experiences that you’ve had with it?

David Bakke
David started his own personal finance blog, YourFinances101, in June of 2009 and published his first book on ways to save more and spend less called "Don't Be A Mule..." Since then he has been a regular contributor for Money Crashers. He lives just outside Atlanta, GA and most all of his free time is taken up by his amazing three year old son, Nicholas.

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Comments

  • http://sunkcostsareirrelevant.com slug

    I have considered this card and the Target card. So far, I haven’t pulled the trigger on either. Both hold appeal for what they’re offering. Honestly, if I had room in my wallet for another card I might. I long for the day when I can just pay by phone for everything and all my cards are stored in one place.

    • april

      how did u get ur target card

      • Davidbakke

        April

        You can apply online or in-store.

  • http://www.moneycrashers.com david bakke

    Slug

    I can see why you’re hesitant–it can be a lot to keep up with.

    But, I love that Target card too! 5% right off the top of every purchase!

    Thanks for commenting

  • Tina

    I opened charge account few months ago. I paid my balance 2 weeks before it was due. After a week of payment, I called Kohls because the balance was not taken off my bank account. The representative was like because its not due date yet, the amount has been taken offf your account. I was like ok and waited for the due date. On the due date it was still showing my balance just wat it was . I called them again to see what was going on. On the phone I had balance of $0, so i though there must be some delay in updating online information. But two days later my balance goes up by $25 for “check return fee”. I was amazed when I didn’t even use check what was that fee? I called them, happen to find out that the bank account # that i put in was incorrect and there was no way they could take that fee coz it was mistake on my side….great. If I had no intention of paying it, i would not be calling them saying hey the money has not come off my bank….and its was just my mistake when they told me to wait till the due date for the payment to get posted….and it was just my mistake when i checked my balance on the phone on the due date and found out that i had no balance due….very poor costumer service….i closed my account right away…..

  • Joseph

    Today I just signed up for the charge card at my local Kohls, I do have a question about what exactly the ‘monthly balance’ is. You say that there is a balance to be paid every month yet there is no annual fee or monthly fee (per what the cashier said anyways). Could you clear that up for me? I seemed to have signed up out of the blue at the register because the savings seemed tempting but I’m rethinking this…

    Thanks!

    • Davidbakke

      If you pay off all your purchases on time and in full every month, then there are no fees associated with the card.

      Hope that helps!

  • David S

    My advice is DO NOT GET A KOHLS CREDIT CARD! If you miss one payment, they willissue a bad credit report to all agencies which will permanently affect your ability to get loans at a reasoable cost. I made a purchase in April for $15 and forgot to make a payment. By June – less than a month after the due date – I had a bad credit report on an otherwise perfect credit history. Kohls has lost the business of my family as a result.

    For anyone that might rely on low interest credit (fortunately I do not) the disadvantages FAR outweigh the savings. Think about this carefully before you apply.

    • Davidbakke

      David

      Thanks for sharing your experience–our readers will appreciate it.

  • Victor

    Kohl’s Charge cannot be added to my Bank e-Bill services (I checked a few others, like Wells Fargo, and didn’t see Kohl’s there either). Unless you are absolutely diligent, sooner or later, you might forget to pay one bill. Late penalty and interest might be enough to wipe out a lot of savings. Is it worth it? Deals seem good, but unless you shop there ALL THE TIME, might be worth to use your day-to-day card and rely on coupons. A few dollars difference over the course of the year might not be enough to worry about a one off card.

  • Sandra Lyell

    I have had so much trouble getting into my Kohl’s Charge account that I get so furious and have to call Customer Service. Why do they make it so difficult and sensitive to your User ID and password. I don’t get in there that much and pay my bill electronically but the aggervation of getting into the charge card account is ridiculous!!

  • Carforyou2009

    If you enjoy shopping at Kohls, it is not worth the risk of getting a Kohl’s Charge card. Forget to make one payment and they will ding your credit report. The damage can be worth far more than any of the discounts they offer you.

    What happened to me happened to many others that are complaining on credit card review sites across the internet. I forgot to pay off a balance of $15 in April. In June, I found that my otherwise perfect credit history had been ruined earlier by Kohls.

    They have a process to follow up with you that is completely flawed. There are many complaints that people cannot make online payments before they consider you delinquent.

    In short, the company’s IT, customer management and payment processes are woefully inadequate. At this time you should not trust your good reputation to this outfit.

    • http://willvincent.com/ Will Vincent

      So let me get this straight. You didn’t make a payment, and you’re blaming Kohls for reporting that you missed that payment?

      If there are in fact legitimate issues with payments posting successfully and whatnot, that’s one issue. Your missing a payment is a totally unrelated issue. Take some personal responsibility for your mistake. Sheesh.

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