THERE ARE TWO MAJOR TYPES OF CREDIT CARDS
FIRST TYPE: NETWORK CARDS
There are two overall credit card types, network, and cobranded retail store cards. Within these types, there are four network types of cards AMEX, Discover, VISA, and MASTERCARD as well as hundreds of cobranded retail store cards.
This can lead to a great deal of confusion in choosing what to apply for and obtain. Therefore, the goal of this post is to untangle the confusion by identifying the types, networks as well as cobranded ones that exist to distinguish and choose between them. This way, one will have the advantage of applying for and using the best cards while avoiding problematic or less valuable ones.
Besides this post’s specific information, one can find the recently published blog post series on ‘A Credit Card Rating System’. For additional reading, it is filled with information about my helpful Credit Card Rating System in a five-part series.
A CREDIT CARD RATING SYSTEM BLOG SERIES
A Credit Card Rating System Introduction
The Rating System Used for Cash Back Credit Cards (Series Part 2 – June 2019)
Excellent Cash Reward Cards (Part 3 – June 2019)
Mixed Cash Reward Credit Card Benefits (Part 4 – June 2019)
Risky Cash Reward Credit Cards (Part 5-June 2019)
CREDIT NETWORK CARDS
To begin with, there are four networks or ‘major’ Credit Cards. In fact, they are the pillars of the credit card world. Specifically, the first two listed have no bank affiliations. Within them, Discover has the most international acceptance. Then the second two partner with large banks. These cards networks are:
1. AMERICAN EXPRESS (AMEX)
SECOND TYPE: CO-BRANDED STORE CREDIT CARDS
Next are the store credit cards. There is a significant difference between them and the major network credit cards category. That is their tendency to be backed by smaller banks and their primary function which is to provide no-interest payment plans for making large purchases (hundreds to thousands of dollars) at major retail stores.
EXPLANATION OF CO-BRANDED CARDS
Here’s an explanation of why cobranded cards are so valuable to have as part of the ideal mix of the two major types of credit cards.
BEST STORE CREDIT CARDS
What banks do these cards cobrand with? Let’s take a look. This section actually has a list of of some of them as well as the bank affiliations they have.
BANKS THAT COBRAND THE BEST STORE CREDIT CARDS
According to WalletHub.com, this is a list of the banks that cobrand the best store credit cards.
Amazon.com Store Card-Synchrony Bank
TJX Store Card-Synchrony Bank
Kohl’s Credit Card-Capital One
Fingerhut Credit Account-WebBank
MORE ABOUT THE BANKS THAT COBRAND STORE CREDIT CARDS
Synchrony Bank specializes in cobranded credit cards. Offering cards that are tailored to particular customers, they have credit cards for store brands, gas stations and more.
“Most are offered with no annual fee and some have excellent rewards available. Synchrony Bank credit cards can be a good choice if you’d like to earn and redeem rewards with a particular brand.” From Synchrony Cards report by US News
Although the following also cobranded with the top retail banks, they will not be gone into in detail at this point. With one exception, Comenity bank which cobrands with 91 retailers will be explored in detail after the list of the other four top cobranding banks.
WHAT’S NEXT IN PART TWO
The following issues will be explored in Part Two of this topic, Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses. Why get network cards? Why get store brand cards? Secured versus unsecured credit cards.
COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS
Readers are welcome to comment on this blog post by scrolling down to the VERY bottom of the page. That is where you will find the comment form where the words ‘start the discussion’ are. Questions are also welcome. But it is best to contact me for Q&A on The Credit Card Maven Facebook Page.
SOURCES & RESOURCES
Types of Credit Cards from Card Rates
International Credit Card Acceptance from Nerd Wallet
2019’s Best Store Credit Cards
Synchrony bank sponsored Credit Cards from USNews.com
Comenity Bank Store Credit Cards
The 10 Worst Store Credit Cards
From thebalance.com, store credit cards are different from credit cards
Credit Card Issuers versus Networks from Credit Card Insider