JCPenney Credit Card – Learn How to Apply Online Today

If you frequently shop at JCPenney, you might find value in applying for a JCPenney credit card

This card offers double points on JCPenney purchases and rewards you with a $10 discount for every 200 points, along with exclusive coupons and special financing offers.


For more information about this credit card and how to apply online, continue reading.

5 Things to Know About the JCPenney Credit Card

The JCPenney credit card, with no annual fee and an introductory offer, is limited to JCPenney and Rite Aid stores. 

It offers points and special financing but has slow earning rates and restrictions. For more flexibility and value, consider a general-purpose rewards credit card with fewer limitations.


Here’s what you can expect from this card.

1. Limited Introductory Offer

As a new cardholder, you get 5%–35% back on select items on your next purchase. 

If you plan to buy fine jewelry (which gets 35% back) or make a major purchase, this offer could be valuable. 


However, most people would benefit more from a card with a better introductory offer.


For example, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card has no annual fee and offers a larger sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. 

This card is worth considering if you’re likely to meet the spending requirement with planned purchases.

2. Points Hold Value but Beware of Limits

When you buy things at JCPenney, you get 1 point for every dollar you spend. 

Even though it might not seem like a lot at first, these points are actually quite valuable—each point is worth 5 cents. This means you’re getting 5% back on what you spend at JCPenney. 

If JCPenney is a regular shopping spot for you, this is a great deal. However, there’s a limit to keep in mind. You won’t earn points on any amount over $2,000 in one go at the store.

3. Points Are Distributed as Certificates

The JCPenney credit card gives you rewards as certificates. When you earn 200 points, you receive a $10 certificate. 

Your points won’t expire if your account is active, meaning you’ve earned points in the last 12 months. 

However, the certificates have an expiration date, which will be shown on the certificate.

Limitations of Certificates

Certificates come with some restrictions. For example, if you return an item bought with a rewards certificate, you won’t get your rewards back. 

Also, you can only use up to 10 certificates at a time.

Cash-Back Credit Card Alternative

A cash-back credit card can offer more flexibility and fewer restrictions. 

The $0-annual-fee U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card earns 5% cash back on up to $2,000 spent in two categories of your choice (including department stores like JCPenney) from a list of options, 2% cash back on one everyday category from a list of options, and 1% back on everything else. 

It allows you to redeem cash back as a statement credit or a deposit into an eligible U.S. Bank account.

4. Beware of Risks in Special Financing Options

JCPenney’s credit card may provide an interest-free period for paying off purchases. However, it’s crucial to fully understand the financing offer you’re accepting to avoid falling into debt.

Types of Financing Offers

The card occasionally presents two special financing options, lasting from six to thirty months:

  • No Interest for a Set Period: Interest charges commence only after the promotional period. This is similar to a typical 0% introductory APR deal.
  • No Interest “If Paid in Full” Within a Set Period: Interest is deferred during the promotion and applied retroactively if the purchase isn’t fully paid by the deadline. Even a small remaining balance can result in interest charges for the entire promotional period, potentially leading to debt.

With a high variable APR of 31.24% (as of September 2023), it’s vital to pay off any balance within the interest-free window to avoid hefty interest charges.


Consider other rewards credit cards with clearer and safer 0% introductory offers. 

For example, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card provides a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99%.

5. Perks May Have Conditions

The JCPenney credit card provides specific benefits, but you need to meet a spending threshold to access them. 

These benefits are linked to your cardholder status, either Gold or Platinum, based on your spending. Here’s a breakdown:

Gold Status Requirements

To achieve and keep Gold status, you must spend at least $500 annually on goods or services in-store or online using the card. 

As a Gold member, you’re entitled to a $10 birthday coupon and a special passbook of coupons.

Platinum Status Requirements

For Platinum status, you need to spend a minimum of $1,000 annually on goods or services in-store or online with the card. 

This status grants you a $15 birthday coupon, extra points on certain days, and exclusive coupon offers.

How to Apply for a JCPenney Card Online

To apply for a JCPenney credit card online, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the JCPenney credit card application website.
  2. Enter your details, including your annual income and whether you rent or own your home. If you’re over 21, you can include all household income, such as rental income or your spouse’s income.
  3. Choose any additional options for your card, like electronic statements, adding an authorized user, or enrolling in card security, which is a credit card insurance that covers your minimum balance or entire balance under certain conditions.
  4. Click “Continue” to submit your application.

You might get instant approval and receive your card within seven to 10 business days. 

If approved, you can use your account 24 hours later by bringing a valid photo ID to any JCPenney store’s customer service area and requesting a temporary card. 

Some applications may take longer to approve, and JCPenney will notify you by mail within seven to 10 business days.

How to Apply for a JCPenney Credit Card in the Store

To get a JCPenney Credit Card in-store, head to a JCPenney location and apply with a staff member.

You’ll need to provide the same details as you would online. To find the closest store, check out JCPenney’s store locator

If you have any questions, call JCPenney’s customer support at 800-542-0800.

Things You Should Keep in Mind Before Applying

The JCPenney Credit Card® offers a grace period of at least 23 days. 

During this time, no interest charges will be applied to new purchases if the balance is paid in full by the due date. 

However, interest may start accruing on cash advances and balance transfers from the transaction date.

Credit Record Requirements

For a better chance of approval, applicants should have a clean credit record with no recent negative marks. 

A FICO score of 634 is recommended but not mandatory. Other factors, such as debt-to-income ratio, recent credit inquiries, 30+ day delinquencies, or current credit accounts nearing their limit, may also be considered. 

While your FICO score is important, it’s not the only factor in the approval process.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the JCPenney credit card offers valuable perks for loyal shoppers, including reward points, special financing options, and exclusive discounts. 

However, it’s essential to consider the card’s limitations and potential risks before applying. 

By understanding the terms and conditions, you can make an informed decision and maximize the benefits of this credit card.


The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. 

Always consult with a financial advisor or the credit card issuer for the most up-to-date information before making any financial decisions.