Comenity Bank is a financial services company that offers credit cards through national retail chains to consumers around the country. In fact, the 30-year old company has more than 50 million card members through its various credit card programs. So what makes Comenity Bank and its store credit cards so special?

Comenity Bank

For many people with bad credit, these cards help them access new credit by avoiding a hard pull using the “shopping cart trick.” Regardless of your credit type, you can also benefit from store-specific perks with a retail card.

Some cards are better than others, however, particularly when it comes to the quality of their rewards program. Plus, whether or not you should actually open up one or more new credit cards depends on your personal situation. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Comenity Bank credit cards and which may be the best one for you.

Which stores offer retail credit cards through Comenity Bank?

From mall shops to online stores and many others in between, Comenity Bank credit cards run the gamut when it comes to variety.

You’ll need to apply separately for each specific card you want so it’s good to know all of your options up front. Then, research the benefits you get from each one.

Comenity Bank offers nearly 150 retail store cards, including:

Other Credit Cards from Comenity Bank

In addition to retail store cards, Comenity Bank provides consumers with specialty credit cards of other types as well. For medical purchases, you can choose from a selection of medical-related cards. Some purchases can be eligible for deferred interest while other cards can help finance elective health-related procedures.

Your Tuition Solution credit card helps to pay for private school and other educational costs. There are also credit cards for certain auto manufacturers like Lexus and Toyota, as well as hotel cards from Red Roof Inn and Westgate Resorts.

Here’s the complete list:

Why are Comenity Bank credit cards so popular?

Of course, many people enjoy store-specific credit cards because of perks like a large discount on your first purchase or a gift card on your birthday. Many people take out these cards at stores they shop at frequently. Credit lines start out small around $500, but after making regular purchases and paying off your balance, you’re likely to get an automatic increase.

In fact, these credit line increases can happen at regular intervals. However, you don’t want to buy things simply because you can, especially if you can’t pay off your balance in full.

Still, that extra line of credit paired with regular on-time payments can help rebuild your credit if it’s below average. Plus, it’s easy to get qualified regardless of what your credit looks like. This is another reason why Comenity Bank cards are so popular — you can use the shopping cart trick to get a pop-up offer online for a new credit card.

If you’re not asked to enter your full social security number, then you can likely get qualified without having your credit checked. For many people, it’s a simple way to get started on the way to better credit.

What are the best credit cards from Comenity Bank?

Each store credit card from Comenity Bank typically comes with some sort of incentive. Most frequently, you’ll be given a discount on your first purchase, usually ranging between 10% and 20%. After that, you may be sent certain offers and discounts throughout the year.

Depending on the store credit card, some may have better benefits than others. After all, not all of the participating stores are owned by the same company, so they’ll each have a different strategy for their cardmember perks.

If that’s your primary reason for opening one or more Comenity Bank store credit card, do your research in advance to find out which ones give the best rewards. Here are a few of our favorites in terms of biggest benefits offered to cardholders.

Marathon Visa

This gas rewards credit card is ideal for anyone with a car who lives in the eastern half of the U.S. It offers extensive discounts on fuel at any of Marathon’s 5,500 locations in 19 states. When you sign up, you’ll automatically qualify for some strong incentives. Basically, the more you charge to your Visa card (anywhere that Visa is accepted, not just at Marathon), the greater rebate you’ll receive.

For example, in the first 90 days, if you charge $1,000 a month on your card, you’ll receive a 50-cents per gallon rebate on your Marathon purchases. When you spend between $500 and $999 per month, you’ll receive a rebate of 30-cents per gallon.

Marathon Visa

Even if you spend less than $500, you’ll still get a 10-cent rebate per gallon. Once you’ve accumulated a minimum of $25 in rebates, you’ll get a cash card to be used for any future Marathon purchase. After the initial period, you’ll get a 2-cent rebate and can cash in after accruing just $10.

If you drive a lot and commit to paying off your balance each month, this could be a very lucrative card for you. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure you live in an area with plenty of Marathon locations. But when used correctly, the Marathon Visa can put a huge dent in your monthly gas tab, making it a popular card issued by Comenity Bank.

MasterCard for BJ’s Members

My BJ’s Perks MasterCard is a fee-free credit card available for members of BJ’s Wholesale Club. Most locations are on the East Coast so if you live near one, consider taking advantage of their rewards program, especially if you shop often and like to buy in bulk. It’s a pretty comprehensive card, especially considering that there’s no annual fee.

You’ll earn cash back on different types of purchases, which can then be used towards future BJ’s purchases. For instance, depending on which membership level you choose, you get either 3% or 5% cash back on any of your BJ’s purchases.

Additionally, all cardmembers get 10-cents off each gallon at BJ’s gas stations. You’ll also get 2% cashback from dining out just about anywhere as well as from gas purchases made at any other gas station.

When you shop anywhere else with your BJ’s MasterCard, you’ll get a cool 1% in cash back. Again, as long as you stay on top of your monthly balances, you can quickly see some savings with this credit card.

Let’s look at an example. Say you spend $500 a month at BJ’s with the Elite credit card, $120 on gas outside of BJ’s, and spend $300 a month eating out. That alone can get you over $33 a month in cash back, without even including 1% back from other purchases. On an annual basis, that amounts to nearly $400 earned. Not a bad deal if you charge strategically and responsibly!

Farmers Insurance Visa Card

This is another fee-free card with a strong rewards program, and it doesn’t matter where you live. You earn points on each purchase you make, which can then be redeemed for statement credits, travel, gift cards, and more. Another major benefit is that there’s a 0% APR for the first 12 months, after which rates run between 13.99% and 20.99%.

So how do you earn points? You get 3 points for each $1 spent on Farmers products, gas, or home improvement. Plus you get 1 point per dollar spent on anything else you charge to your Farmers Visa.

Points never expire and there’s no maximum to how much you can earn. If your most expensive purchases tend to be gas or home repair items, consider this card.

It’s also a good option if you tend to carry a small balance from time to time because you won’t be charged interest for the first year. Just be sure to pay off your debt in its entirety before your introductory period is up; otherwise, your balance will be subject to a potentially high interest rate.

Is a Comenity Bank credit card right for you?

Clearly, there are countless options available when it comes to Comenity Bank credit cards. Whether one (or more) is right for you depends on your credit history and your financial goals. If you’re primarily motivated by lucrative rewards programs, explore all of your options before settling on one.

If you plan on making an expensive one-time purchase, you may benefit from opening a store card to get that big discount. But don’t do it just because a sales associate is pressuring you in the checkout line.

If you have less than perfect credit, you may want to get a Comenity Bank card because it’s possible to get approved with no credit check. Before you do, though, think about what you hope to get out of the card.

Are you trying to rebuild your credit by lowering your credit utilization ratio and making on-time payments? Then a new credit card may be helpful to your personal situation. But if you struggle with debt and aren’t very good about paying off your credit cards each month, then it may be best to hold off on getting a Comenity Bank credit card.

You also might want to avoid opening a new card if you’re gearing up for a major loan application like a mortgage. Too many credit inquiries might make it look like you’re tight on cash. Also, never feel like you need to get a credit card before you’re ready simply because of a “time-sensitive” promotion.

Comenity Bank and other issuers regularly offer perks, bonuses, and other benefits for new cardmembers. You can always either wait or try a different card to find the best deals available when you’re actually ready.

Bottom Line

Comenity Bank is in the business of attracting consumers to very specific store credit cards. The key takeaway is to maximize your rewards by consistently paying off your balances. By doing so, you get to take advantage of your rewards programs while simultaneously building your credit. It’s a great way to take baby steps back into the world of credit cards by creating good financial habits.

Once you’ve cemented a repayment routine, you can bump up to a more general credit card that might offer even better incentives. At the same time, you’ll qualify for better rates since you’ve strengthened your credit with a Comenity Bank card.