Belk Credit Card: Are the Benefits Worth It?

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Long-time department store chain Belk offers 3 versions of its branded credit card, the Belk® Rewards Credit Card, for qualified applicants to earn special rewards when shopping in-house. But is it a better deal than some other credit card alternatives?

As one of the unsung heroes of retail, department chain Belk has offered great merchandise at affordable prices for over 100 years. A staple of shopping malls in more than 300 locations across the United States, Belk offers everything from cosmetics to home furnishings, home goods and men’s/women’s apparel. And like most retailers of its size and stature, Belk offers its own brand of retailer credit card, the Belk Rewards Card. In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of the Belk Rewards Card, determining whether qualified cardholders have better credit card options elsewhere.

Overview | Belk Credit Cards

To begin, you can apply for a Belk Rewards card in-store or by filling out an online application. Approval can either be instantaneous, or you may have to wait 7-10 days depending on individual creditworthiness. Depending on your credit score, you may either be issued a regular Belk Rewards card or a Belk Rewards Mastercard.

Belk Rewards Card

While Belk offers three versions of their store-branded card, every cardholder starts at the basic Belk Rewards Credit card until meeting requirements to earn the next tier of rewards status. Cardholders earn 3% back in Belk Reward Points for purchases up to $599/year on Belk products, as well as receipt-free returns and access to bonus points events.

New cardholders also earn a 20% discount off (15% off for Home/Shoes products) all day when they open an account and subsequently use their new Belk Rewards card to make a purchase. Additionally, Belk throws in a 1,000 bonus Belk Reward Points upon signup, which is enough for a Belk Reward Dollars redemption.

With the Belk Rewards Card, the more you spend, the greater the earning potential for points and other perks. When cardholders reach the $600 threshold, they are boosted to the Belk Premier status, which rewards cardholders with 4% in rewards points for eligible card purchases up to $1,499/year. What makes earning the Belk Premier status a great incentive is that members have access to more benefits, which includes the Belk Rewards Flex Pay Plan (to finance large purchases), special birthday coupons, and invitation-only savings days for cardholders.

And when Belk cardholders spend $1,500/year, they finally earn Belk Elite status, the top-tier rank which offers the largest rewards: 5% back on eligible purchases. While earning all of the benefits of the Belk Premier Rewards Card status, Belk Elite members earn Free Shipping In-Store (and online purchases), 20% pick your own sale day (once each quarter), and four invitations to Elite Savings Days.

Belk Rewards MasterCard

If you have a higher credit score, Belk may issue their Belk Rewards MasterCard. Similar to the rewards tiers and perks mentioned for the basic Belk Rewards Credit Card, the Belk MasterCard enables you to earn 2% back in Belk Rewards Points on qualifying purchases on groceries and gas where MasterCard is accepted. Additionally, earn 1% back in points on all other qualifying purchases.


Belk Rewards Credit CardBelk Rewards Mastercard
Cash Back Benefits3% back in Belk Rewards Points on qualifying purchases (up to $599)

1,000 Belk Rewards Points

20% discount off all day on 1st purchase (15% Home/Shoes)

Premier Status

4% back in Belk Rewards Points on qualifying purchases ($600 to $1,499)

Birthday Coupon

Elite Status

20% Pick Your Own Sale Day

4 Invitation Only Elite Savings Days
3% back in Belk Rewards Points on qualifying purchases (up to $599)

2% back in Belk Rewards Points on grocery & gas purchases

1% back in all other qualifying purchases (where MasterCard is accepted)

1,000 Belk Rewards Points

20% discount off all day on 1st purchase (15% Home/Shoes)

Premier Status

4% back in Belk Rewards Points on qualifying purchases ($600 to $1,499)

Birthday Coupon

Elite Status

20% Pick Your Own Sale Day

4 Invitation Only Elite Savings Days
Annual Fee$0$0
APR25.49% (variable)25.49% (variable)
Average FICO Score to Qualify620 and above650 and above

The Drawbacks of Belk Credit Cards

As is the case with many store-branded credit cards, unless you do a majority of shopping at Belk, there are some significant drawbacks to the Belk Rewards Card:

  • First, the APR is significantly higher than many other credit cards on the market (unless your FICO score is low and you’re considering subprime cards after all). Unless you plan on only carrying a balance for a short time, the Belk Rewards Card can land you in debt faster than you realize.
  • Second, you’ll need to spend $1,500 to reach the best benefits–which are only useful at Belk locations and Belk.com.

In comparison, there are many other cards that offer better rewards programs, higher earnings, lower APR, and a host of other benefits that are simply not included with the Belk Rewards Card.

How Belk’s Credit Card Compare to Alternative Programs

Before applying for Belk’s credit cards you should explore all-purpose cards that will offer more spending flexibility and favorable rewards programs. Three we recommend are:

Chase Freedom Unlimited

There is no annual fee on this card. New cardholders can earn up to $600 as a cashback, as during the first year you get 3% cash back on purchases up to $20,000 spent. After reaching this point all purchases get 1.5% cashback.

With a 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, after that variable APR rates apply. In comparison, Belk credit cards do not offer any introductory APR and have higher APR rates.

The reward points you can earn using Freedom Unlimited do not expire, and the cash back can be redeemed for a direct deposit, a statement credit, gift cards, travel and shopping on Amazon.com.

Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the reliable cards when combined with another such as Sapphire Preferred adds a lot of value, one could be used to earn rewards and other to maximize on the travel benefits.

Capital One Quicksilver

Quicksilver Cash Rewards is easy to use, and earning rewards is simple. There are no tiers or categories to monitor that define how cashback will be earned. You can earn cash back at 1.5% on all your purchases.

On enrollment, you can receive a $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. One of the advantages that comes along with this card is that there is no annual fee and there is no foreign transaction fee on the purchases you make abroad.

After posting rewards most store cards have an expiry period within which the reward must be used. Whereas with Quicksilver Cash Rewards the points do not expire as long as the account is active. The rewards you earn can be used to cover a recent purchase or to get a gift card or redeem it for cash/ credit statement.

0% intro APR for 15 months is available for purchases and balance transfers and after variable APR will be applicable.

Concierge service, travel accident insurance and 24/7 travel assistance are the travel benefits that are accessible to cardholders.

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express

Purchases made vary based on individuals, occasions, and seasons, so to have a card in your wallet that can fit multiple situations can come in handy. There are two new categories, transit and streaming subscriptions which may benefit youngsters.

The card offers a $300 welcome bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases using your new card within 3 months of account opening. The welcome bonus is credited in the form of a statement credit.

To meet your purchase requirements you can use Blue Cash Preferred based on its cash back percentage.

You can earn 6% at purchases made in US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year.

You can earn 6% on qualified  US streaming subscription services.

You can earn 3% on transit services

You can earn 3% when you refuel at US gas stations

You can earn 1% on every other purchase

There are some exceptions listed within these categories, to know which outlet is counted for rewards and which is excluded you can check the link below: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/rewards-info/retail.html

The card has an annual fee of $95. A multitude of shopping, entertainment and travel benefits that are packed into this card. You can get early access to presale tickets to concerts and sporting events. You can enroll for the shoprunner benefit to get 2-day free shipping from certain online stores. In addition, you also get a purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty benefits to protect your purchases.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Belk Rewards Credit Card can lead to great rewards if you commit to only spending at Belk stores to earn this credit card’s higher-tier perks. However, there are more versatile credit card options than the Belk Rewards credit card is available for those that have similar creditworthiness, but better value and perks.

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