The Shop Your Way Mastercard is not one of our top-rated rewards credit cards. You can review our list of the best rewards credit cards for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Shop Your Way Mastercard
Very competitive rewards for everyday purchases
Bonus rewards for purchases at partner restaurants and stores
No annual fee
Rewards earnings are capped
Rewards points can expire
Redemption options are limited
- Very Competitive Rewards for Everyday Purchases: The Shop Your Way Mastercard is exceptionally rewarding when it comes to everyday purchases. The 5% back in points you can earn on gas purchases and the 3% back in points available for dining and groceries are among the most competitive rewards rates around.
- Bonus rewards for purchases at partner restaurants and stores: Shop Your Way is a free membership rewards program that allows you to earn points when you shop at Sears, Kmart, and partner merchants. When you sign up for Shop Your Way and link your Shop Your Way Mastercard to your account, you can earn up to an extra percentage of cash back at participating partner stores and restaurants. This is on top of the base earning of the card.
- No Annual Fee: Annual fees can detract from the value of any points, cash back, or miles you earn with a rewards card. This card has no annual fee, however, so you don't have to worry about that.
- Rewards Earnings Are Capped: One important thing to know about this card is that rewards are not unlimited in every category. The 5% back on gas and 3% back on dining and groceries is limited to the first $10,000 in combined purchases in those categories each calendar year. Once you hit the $10,000 spending mark, you'll continue earning rewards on those purchases, but at a rate of 1% back.
- Rewards Points Can Expire: Unlike some rewards cards that allow you to rack up points until you decide to use them, the Shop Your Way Mastercard sets a deadline for redemptions. Points earned with this card expire after 12 months.
- Redemption Options Are Limited: With some rewards cards, you can redeem points for travel, cash back, statement credit, gift cards, or merchandise. This card offers only one way to use points: for merchandise from brands sold by Kmart and Sears. That's a drawback if you're looking for more flexibility in how you can put rewards to work.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
The Shop Your Way Mastercard is best for someone who regularly shops at Sears and Kmart and charges their everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries. This card may be suited to you if you're looking for rewards that you can apply to future shopping trips at Sears or Kmart, versus other uses, such as travel or statement credit. Depending on how frequently you shop and charge everyday spending, you could easily save a decent amount of money by earning a percentage of what you charge back in points.
Shop Your Way Mastercard One-Time Offer
The Shop Your Way Mastercard does offer a one-time offer but it's structured differently than what you might expect with a typical rewards card.
Instead of earning a set amount of points for meeting a minimum spending requirement, you can earn a $40 statement credit. To qualify for this credit, you need to spend $50 or more on eligible purchases within 30 days of being approved for a new account.
This is a limited-time offer and is currently good through Jan. 30, 2021. And it’s only for new cardholders who apply for the card online.
Rewards Earning Details
When you use this card, you earn a percentage of your purchases back as points. There are four different rewards tiers, based on what you charge:
- 5% back on gas
- 3% back at restaurants and grocery stores
- 2% back at Sears and Kmart
- 1% back on all other purchases
There are a few things to remember here about earning rewards with this card. First, the 5% and 3% back categories are capped to the first $10,000 in combined purchases each calendar year. So once you hit that limit, your rewards rate will revert to 1% back until the next year begins.
Also, not all purchases qualify for the 5% or 3% rewards rates. For instance, gas purchased at superstores or warehouse clubs earns 1% back instead. The same goes for groceries purchased at warehouse clubs or superstores.
You do, however, have the potential to boost your rewards earnings by shopping through the Shop Your Way Card Link program. This program allows you to use your card to earn additional rewards at partner merchants, including GasBuddy, Uber, and Hotels by Shop Your Way.
Shop Your Way is free to join, and if you aren’t already a member you’ll be automatically enrolled when you sign up for the Shop Your Way Mastercard.
Rewards Redemption Details
Redeeming rewards is simple, since there's only one option. When you log into your Shop Your Way Mastercard account, you can browse available merchandise and redeem your points to shop. Options range from everyday items like paper towels to major appliances and electronics.
Again, remember that you only have 12 months to redeem points after earning them, or else they'll expire.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Maximizing rewards is all about being strategic with how you spend and taking advantage of opportunities to earn additional points as a Shop Your Way program member. With that in mind, here's a quick look at two different scenarios for making the most of this card.
In the average case, let's assume that you spend $2,000 a year on gas and $3,000 combined on groceries and dining out. You'd earn 19,000 points on those purchases. Add in $3,000 in purchases at Sears and Kmart and $1,000 in miscellaneous purchases and you’d increase your rewards total to 26,000 points, worth $260 based on our valuation of $.01 of Shop Your Way points.
Earning 26,000 points isn't bad. But say you spend $3,000 per year on gas and $7,000 on groceries and dining out. You'd earn 36,000 points on those purchases alone. If you spent $10,000 a year at Sears and Kmart and $5,000 on miscellaneous purchases, you'd bring your rewards total to 61,000 points, worth $610 based on our points valuation.
- Exclusive coupons through the Shop Your Way program
- Online and mobile account access
- Zero liability for fraud
The Shop Your Way Mastercard is issued by Citi, which received a score of 801 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. This resulted in them being ranked 6th out of 11, a below-average finish. For perspective, the average among national card issuers was 810.
Managing your account is as simple as logging in online or through the Shop Your Way mobile app. You can also manage your account by phone at 1-800-991-8708.
This card comes with the standard security features you'd expect in a rewards card. That includes chip security protection and a zero fraud liability guarantee.
Fees to Watch Out For
The fees associated with the Shop Your Way Mastercard are typical of other store-branded rewards cards. There's no annual fee, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee. You'll also pay a fee for cash advances and balance transfers.
In addition to fees, it's important to consider the regular variable APR for purchases and balance transfers. This card's relatively high APR could make carrying a balance from month to month expensive.
The Shop Your Way Mastercard could be a good choice for someone who is loyal to Kmart and Sears and wants to earn rewards they can use toward future purchases at those stores. This card is also attractive if you spend regularly on gas, dining, and groceries and want to earn a competitive rewards rate on those purchases. Because of its relatively high APR, however, it would not be your best choice if you regularly carry a balance.
The biggest catch, however, is that you can only use your rewards toward Sears and Kmart shopping. For that reason, you may want to consider keeping a regular cash-back rewards card as a backup so you have more wiggle room when it comes to redeeming rewards. That's also a good idea if you spend more than $10,000 per year on gas, dining, and restaurants and want to earn more than 1% back on those purchases.