Full Review of Macy's American Express Card
Two-day coupon for new cardholders
Higher rewards rate at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
Travel and shopping benefits
Subpar rewards at Macy’s, except for Gold level
Confusing application process
Rewards expire after 30 days
- Two-Day Coupon for New Cardholders: If you apply for the Macy's American Express card and are approved, you'll get a 20% off coupon to use at Macy's, Macy's Backstage, or macys.com the day you’re approved and the next day. Using the coupon, you can save up to $100. That coupon can be a nice benefit if you’re planning an expensive purchase, like a new suit or handbag.
- Higher Rewards Rate at Restaurants, Supermarkets, and Gas Stations: With the Macy's American Express card, you can earn 3 points per $1 at restaurants, 2 points per $1 at gas stations and supermarkets, and 1 point per $1 everywhere else besides Macy's. Cardholders will earn 2% back in rewards at Macys until they reach a higher tier of earning.
- Travel and Shopping Benefits: As a cardholder, you'll get access to extra travel benefits, including up to 10% off on Delta Airlines flights, up to 25% off qualifying car rentals, and hotel discounts. You'll also have Entertainment Access, where you can buy tickets to major events before the general public. Depending on how much money you spend at Macy’s, you’ll also qualify for these shopping benefits:
- $1 to $499 annual spend: If you spend up to $499 per year at Macy's, you'll achieve Silver rewards status. This level gives you a 25% off Star Pass, along with special sales and a "birthday surprise." Cardholders are granted automatic Silver status.
- $500 to $1,199 annual spend: You'll reach Gold level if you spend between $500 and $1,199. At this level, you get all the perks of the Silver level, plus free shipping. You'll also earn 3% back in rewards when using your Macy's card.
- $1,200+ annual spend: If you spend $1,200 or more per year at Macy's, you’ll reach Platinum level. You get all the perks of Gold level, and you’ll also earn 5% in rewards on Macy’s purchases.
- Subpar Rewards at Macy's, Except for Gold Level: Despite being called the Macy's American Express card, this credit card doesn't offer much in the way of rewards for shopping at Macy's unless cardholders reach Gold status by spending at least $500 a year there. You'll still earn 3 points per $1 at restaurants, 2 points per $1 at gas stations and supermarkets, and 1 point per $1 everywhere else. If you attain Platinum status, your Macy’s purchases will earn 5 points per dollar.
- Confusing Application Process: The application process for the Macy's American Express Card can be confusing. When you submit your application, you’re considered for both the Macy's American Express card or the Macy's credit card, a store card that can only be used at Macy's. If your credit is good enough, you’ll be approved for both cards, and you can choose which one you want. However, if your credit isn’t good enough to qualify for the American Express card, you may still be approved for the Macy's credit card.
- Rewards Expire After 30 Days: When you earn rewards, you have to use them quickly. Once you accumulate 1,000 points, you'll receive $10 in Star Money rewards, which you can use in-store at Macy's or online at Macys.com. However, your Star Money rewards expire 30 days after they’re issued, so you’ll lose your rewards entirely if you don't use them by then. That's a major drawback. With many other rewards credit cards, your points never expire, and you can redeem them at any time. For example, the Discover it Cash Back card offers 5% cash back at different places each quarter, up to a quarterly maximum, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Your cash-back rewards never expire, and you can redeem your rewards when you’ve accumulated as little as $0.01 worth.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
The Macy's American Express card is best suited for Macy's devotees who shop regularly at the store and spend at least $1,200 per year there.
With this card, you'll earn a higher rewards rate at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets. And, if you spend $1,200 per year at Macy’s and automatically become a Platinum level member, you’ll get extra perks like 5% back in rewards on Macy's purchases, free shipping, and special discounts.
This card also gives you access to travel benefits that can help you save money, such as flight, rental car, and hotel discounts.
Macy's American Express Card Bonus
With most credit cards that offer a bonus, you have to spend a certain amount within the first few months of opening an account to qualify. The Macy's American Express card works differently.
When you're approved for the card, you'll get a two-day coupon for 20% off at Macy's, worth up to $100 in savings. While that's a decent bonus for a card with no annual fee, other cards offer more generous bonuses.
For example, with the Quicksilver card from Capital One, you'll get a $150 cash bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account. The card has no annual fee, and you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Rewards Earning Details
As a Macy’s American Express cardholder, you’ll earn the following rewards:
- 3 points per $1 at restaurants
- 2 points per $1 at gas stations and supermarkets
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, outside of Macy's
If you spend $1,200 or more per year at Macy’s and become a Platinum level member, you’ll also earn 5 points per $1 spent at Macy’s, Macy’s Backstage, and Macys.com.
Rewards Redemption Details
With the Macys American Express card, there's only one redemption method: Star Money rewards.
When you have accumulated 1,000 points, you'll automatically receive $10 in Star Money rewards. You can use your Star Money rewards at Macy’s stores or at Macys.com.
Star Money rewards can't be used to purchase gift cards, furniture or mattresses at Macys.com, or Beauty Box subscriptions. Nor can they be used at restaurants located inside a Macy’s store.
Star Money rewards expire 30 days after they’re issued. If your credit card account is closed, or if you fail to make a qualifying purchase with your card for 12 months, you’ll lose your rewards.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
If you want to get the most value from this card, you should aim to spend at least $1,200 per year at Macy's so you can reach Platinum status and earn 5 points per $1 on your Macy’s purchases.
The card offers 3 points per $1 at restaurants, which is a fairly high rate of return. You’ll also earn 2 points per $1 at gas stations and supermarkets. So use the card whenever you dine out, grocery shop, or fill up your car to earn more points for your routine expenses.
Macy's American Express Card's Outstanding Benefits
- Up to 10% Delta Airlines discount on eligible flights when booking through SwiftTrip
- 20% off at select hotels when booking through SwiftTrip
- Up to 25% off on car rentals when booking through SwiftTrip
- Entertainment Access for advance ticket sales
The Macy's American Express card is issued by Department Stores National Bank, an affiliate of Citibank. Department Stores National Bank, which also issues the Bloomingdale's American Express card, is not rated in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Citibank scored 799 out of 1,000 in that study, compared with the national average of 806.
The Macy's credit card customer service team can be reached by calling 888-257-6757. An automated system is available 24 hours a day. However, customer support is only available to answer questions Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
If you have a problem with your account after hours, you may find the limited customer support frustrating. That’s a big difference compared to most major credit cards, which offer 24-hour support.
The card has standard security features, such as liability protection and chip technology.
If you spend a significant amount of money at Macy's—$1,200 or more per year—you may find the Macy's American Express card valuable. When you reach Platinum level, you'll receive 5 points per $1 spent at Macy’s, along with the card's regular higher rewards rates at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets. The card also offers extra perks like special discounts, free shipping for select cardholders, and travel benefits. Plus, it has no annual fee.
However, this card won't be as useful if you spend less than $1,200 a year at Macy's. If you don't meet that threshold, you won't earn any rewards at all on your Macy's purchases. And, the rewards expire 30 days after being issued, so you risk losing your rewards entirely.
As an alternative, you might want to sign up for a general rewards card like the Citi Double Cash card. It has no annual fee, and you'll earn 1% cash back on all purchases plus another 1% when you pay for those purchases. Your rewards won't expire as long as you use your card at least once every 12 months.