Shop Your Way Mastercard®
Earn a $40 Statement Credit
- Earn 5% on gas purchases
- Earn 3% on groceries and dining purchases
- Earn 2% on purchases at Sears and Kmart
- Earn 1% on purchases everywhere else
- Redeem your points with a Shop Your Way membership and access additional discounts and deals
- Regular Purchase APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 27.15% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
At a Glance
The Shop Your Way Mastercard® is a co-branded retail card that was designed to maximize savings earned through the Shop Your Way® rewards program. It offers rewards on everyday purchases throughout the year, from gas and groceries to purchases at Sears and Kmart. If you’re already a Shop Your Way member or plan to become one, this card could take your rewards to the next level, if you know how to use it.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are already members of the Shop Your Way program and want to increase their rewards
- Want a rewards card that doesn’t rotate categories each quarter, and spend the majority on gas, groceries and dining out
- Don’t plan to use the card at wholesale clubs or superstores regularly
- Regularly shop at Sears and Kmart, either in-store or online
- Will take advantage of deals and discounts offered by Shop Your Way Redemption Partners
Shop Your Way Mastercard® Review
When it comes to co-branded rewards cards, the Shop Your Way Citi Mastercard® is a doozy. Since it’s connected to the free Shop Your Way rewards program, cardholders either become new members or connect their current accounts to earn more points.
The card offers rewards for gas, groceries, restaurants and items bought through Sears or Kmart, on top of Shop Your Way points. While this seems like a great deal on the surface, the rewards program can be a little overwhelming and hard to navigate if you’re a new member. Therefore, it’s important to consider all of the details before reaching for this credit card.
Where Can I Use My Shop Your Way Citi Mastercard®?
You can use this rewards card just about anywhere to make purchases and earn points. Even though it’s sometimes referred to as the Sears Shop Your Way Mastercard®, you are not limited to shopping at Sears or other partnered stores.
However, there are restrictions to the level of points you can earn depending on how and where you shop. In order to maximize your rewards, you’ll need to understand how the points system in this program works.
Earning Shop Your Way® Points
When reading through the terms and conditions for the Shop Your Way Mastercard, you may notice that the explanation for earning rewards sounds a little complicated. For instance, points earned with your card are part of the Additional Category Earn Program. This is because you can technically sign up for the Shop Your Way program and earn some points without the credit card.
As a result, the way your points are described can get confusing. This doesn’t even include all the ways you can round up points through a Shop Your Way account alone, but that would require a whole other review. Here’s a quick and simple breakdown, so you can avoid the headache. You can earn:
- 5% cash back on qualifying gas station purchases. This doesn’t include gas available at superstores or warehouse clubs
- 3% cash back on qualifying restaurants, including fast food places, bars, and cafes. This doesn’t includerestaurants located inside of another store
- 3% cash back on qualifying grocery store purchases. This doesn’t include superstores, warehouse clubs, or convenience stores
- 2% cash back on Sears and Kmart purchases made in-store*
You’ll earn 1% cash back on everything else, which is sometimes referred to as “base points” in this program. It’s also important to note that the card limits how much you can earn in the combined 5% and 3% categories. Specifically, you can only earn rewards on up to $10,000 each calendar year. After that, these categories will earn 1%.
*You can also earn 2% on purchases through Sears.com, Kmart.com and ShopYourWay.com, when the items are available online and in-store at Sears and Kmart. You’ll need to create an account on Sears.com/Kmart.com and connect your Shop Your Way member number to qualify.
Fortunately, the system for redeeming points on the Shop Your Way Citi Mastercard isn’t quite as complex. One option is to browse around the online Shop Your Way store and redeem your points for various items. Here are just a handful of redemption categories:
- Fitness equipment
- Pet supplies
Beyond online shopping, you can also browse offers from the program’s Redemption Partners. These include restaurants and other businesses that accept Shop Your Way points.
Many of them offer additional rewards on top of that. Note that in some cases, this requires creating an account with the partner, as well. One thing you can’t do is redeem your points as a statement credit toward your Shop Your Way Mastercard payment.
The biggest downside is that your points expire 12 months from the date you earn them, unlike other rewards credit cards. This can make saving up for big purchases a bit trickier. In addition, your points may not be accessible right away, as processing takes up to a week.
Shop Your Way Mastercard®Bonuses and Fees to Keep in Mind
When you spend $50 in your first 30 days with your Shop Your Way Mastercard, you’re eligible for a $40 statement credit. This is one of the lowest bonuses out there for a hefty rewards card, though the spending requirement is a breeze.
If you’re applying for a card like this, you likely do a lot of spending each month, so $50 should be no trouble. Still, spending $50 to get a $40 credit doesn’t quite compare to introductory bonuses from other cards. More importantly, this deal is only available if you open your account online by Mar. 31, 2020.
As with most other retail cards, this one has pretty high APRs and fees. While there’s no annual fee, you still want to keep these rates and additional costs in mind. Raking in points and discounts on purchases may seem worthwhile, but your savings won’t last long if you carry a balance from month to month.
Should You Apply for the Shop Your Way Mastercard®?
If you want a credit card with a straightforward rewards program, this isn’t it. While the Shop Your Way Citi Mastercard looks flexible enough to let you earn and spend points in several categories throughout the year, it’s picky about which establishments earn bonus rewards. To truly benefit from a card like this, you need to know your shopping habits and make sure they fit within the limits of the bonus rewards program.
Make no mistake, the Shop Your Way program offers some pretty great discounts, especially for loyal Sears and Kmart shoppers. However, you can take advantage of Shop Your Way rewards without this credit card. You can even connect up to 3 Visa cards through the Cardlink program to earn more points.
Bottom line: Unless you’re a long-time Shop Your Way member that plans to take advantage of all it has to offer, there are much simpler rewards cards out there. For instance, the PNC Cash Rewards® Visa® Credit Card earns 4% at gas stations, 3% at restaurants, 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else. Though the higher categories have an earning cap, these points never expire. Not to mention, this card has a much lower APR, which is essential if you carry a balance.