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Buckle Store Credit Card Review: High Interest and Fine Print

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Buckle Store Credit Card Review: High Interest and Fine Print

Buckle is a retail store that sells women’s and men’s clothing along with footwear and accessories. If you’re a shopper who frequently shops at Buckle stores, there’s a store credit card program that will reward you for patronage.

Buckle has a three-tier credit card program that starts with the basic Buckle Classic card. There are also two exclusive tiers, Buckle BLACK and Buckle EXCLUSIVE.

Cardholders must spend a certain amount of money during the Buckle rewards year to get upgraded to the exclusive tiers. The perks of the top tiers are extra benefits like free domestic shipping.

In this post we’ll cover:

  • Card details and card benefits
  • Interest rates and fees
  • How to apply for the card
  • How to make the most of the card

Buckle Store Credit Card Details

Comenity is the company that manages the Buckle Credit Card program. You may be familiar with this company because it manages many retail store credit card programs.

The Buckle rewards program gives you 1 point per dollar spent at the store. Occasionally, there are special promotions where you can earn more than 1 point per dollar on merchandise as well.

Here are the Buckle Credit Card tiers and how to obtain them:

  • Buckle Classic – Has no spending requirement
  • Buckle BLACK – Requires $500 of annual spend (excluding tax and shipping)
  • Buckle EXCLUSIVE – Requires $1,000 of annual spend (excluding tax and shipping)

The Buckle rewards year goes from January to December. You will upgrade to the next credit card tier automatically if you meet the spending requirement during the rewards year.

To maintain Buckle BLACK or Buckle EXCLUSIVE status, you need to continue to spend $500 or $1,000 during program years. Otherwise, your account can be downgraded.

Redeeming Points Earned

There are three Buckle rewards point earning periods. Buckle will give you a $10 B-Rewards Card for every 300 points you earn during a rewards earning period.

The periods are:

  • January 1 – April 30
  • May 1 – August 31
  • September 1 – December 31

Here’s where the fine print comes in. Points expire at the end of each earning period, and you’re only allowed to roll over 200 or more points to the next one.

In addition, the expiration date for the $10 B-Rewards Card is about five weeks after being issued, so if you earn it, you need to use it right away at a Buckle store or online.

Additional Buckle Credit Card Card Perks

The Buckle store card program offers additional benefits by cardholder tier.

Buckle Classic

Aside from the opportunity to earn a $10 B-Rewards Card, Buckle Classic cardholders get a $5 birthday reward each year and other store mailings and exclusive offers.

Buckle BLACK

Buckle BLACK cardholders get a $10 birthday reward and other exclusive offer mailings.

Buckle BLACK members also get an extended redemption period for the $10 B-Rewards Card. As mentioned, the standard expiration date of the B-Rewards card is about five weeks after being issued. However, Buckle BLACK cardholders get seven weeks to use the card.

Buckle BLACK cardholders also get free domestic ground shipping on merchandise.

Buckle EXCLUSIVE

Buckle EXCLUSIVE cardholders get a $15 birthday reward. Like the Buckle BLACK card, the Buckle EXCLUSIVE card gets you an extra two weeks to use the $10 B-Rewards Card. It also comes with the free domestic shipping perk.

The “exclusive” aspects of this card level are bonus points and annual gifts. You get to choose your own Bonus Points Day during the rewards year where you earn more than 1 point per dollar. You also get an annual “Thank You” gift.

Interest Rates and Fees

The Buckle store cards have no annual fee, but a high interest rate. The interest rate is 25.24% APR, which is higher than most other major credit cards. We’ll discuss a few later in this post.

The late fee is up to $37, and the returned payment fee is up to $25.

Applying for the Buckle Credit Card

You can sign up for the Buckle Credit Card online or in the store. New applicants get 10% off of the first purchase made after getting approved.

Cardholders report getting approved with credit scores in the 500s and above. To see if you qualify, there is a way to get pre-approved without a hard inquiry on the Buckle website.

Here’s how:

1. Go Buckle.com.

2. Add an item to the shopping cart and hit “checkout.”

Buckle Online Checkout Page

3. Fill in your name and billing information.

Online Form at Checkout Page

4. When you move forward to “continue payment,” the website will pre-qualify you for the credit card with a spending limit. The actual credit limit and terms will be subject to final approval.

Buckle Credit Card Online Pre-Approval

Tip: If the pre-approval doesn’t work the first time, double-check your billing address. Then, go back to your shopping cart and press “checkout” again. This refreshes your billing address, which needs to be exactly right to pull your records for pre-approval.

Is a Store Card Worthwhile?

At a minimum, the Buckle Credit Card offers about 3% back in rewards for spending if you meet the point balance threshold each earning period (300 points earned divided by the $10 B-Rewards Card equals 3.33% back).

You may get even more back per dollar depending on the type of promotions you qualify for such as bonus point days if you’re a Buckle EXCLUSIVE cardholder.

Earning 3% back from shopping and a $5 to $15 birthday reward isn’t terrible.

However, a store card has major restrictions, with the biggest one being you can only earn and redeem rewards for spending in one place.

Do you need to spend $200 to $300 at Buckle each earning period to get the rewards card? Will you be inclined to shop more than necessary to receive the elusive $10 B-Rewards Card?

These are two important questions you’ll want to consider before taking out this store card.

Alternatives that may offer more value than a store-specific card

The Chase Freedom and U.S. Bank Cash+ are two other credit card options to think about that will reward you more in various areas.

The Chase Freedom card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.

You get unlimited 1% cash back on other purchases. The rewards categories for each quarter in 2017 can be found here.

If you’re considering the Buckle Credit Card to buy apparel, the Chase Freedom card could be worthwhile when they allow you to earn 5% cash back at department stores. Other past quarterly revolving categories have included restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores.

The interest rate on the Chase Freedom card is also more competitive, with a range of 15.49% to 24.24% APR. It has a 0% introductory APR period for 15 months.

If you’re looking for a little more control over your cash back, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card lets you choose the quarterly 5% and 2% cash back categories. One of the 5% categories you can select is department stores. There are also other categories for every day and specialty spending such as:

  • Bookstores
  • Cellphones
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Restaurants
  • Specialty clothing stores
  • Sporting goods stores

The interest rate on the U.S. Bank Cash+ card offers interest of 13.49% to 23.49% APR. It also has a 0% introductory period for 12 months.

Who Will Benefit Most from the Buckle Credit Card?

Faithful Buckle shoppers will get the most use from this card. However, even loyal customers should consider the value they’ll be receiving. The interest rate is high, and your ability to earn rewards is restricted.

The Buckle Credit Card is not one you should sign up for just to receive 10% off on a big purchase that you can’t pay off right away. Paying the balance off slowly will mean paying interest costs that can surpass the rewards and benefits you get from the card. 

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