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Best card for clothes shopping

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Best card for clothes shopping

I'm a recent college grad (22 y/o) starting a job that requires slacks and a button down at the minumum in August (financial district in San Francisco). My entire wardrobe was in pretty bad shape from my college frat boy years and a lot of it doesn't even fit anymore (dropped from a 34 waist to a 32 waist), so in the last few months I've probably spent around 2k entirely on clothes for my job and other accesories. I've gotten new shoes, dress boots for rain, long sleeve button downs, slacks, dress pants, sport coats, rain coat, belts, messenger bag, the works. I've gotten most of it heavily discounted (I look for for 40%+ off) at outlet stores but it still comes out to a lot overall. I've put most of this either on my Amex Gold or my CFU as those are my daily driver cards but I've been left wondering if there would have been a better option in terms of rewards on these purchases.

 

Any thoughts? Thanks.

Message 1 of 22
21 REPLIES 21
Regular Contributor

Re: Best card for clothes shopping

Amex cards tend to have a lot of retail offers for extra points, depending where you shop. Make sure to check them before shopping

 

Also, get an ebates account. Lots of stores give extra points on ebates that you can take as Memberrship Rewards points on Amex. 





Message 2 of 22
Senior Contributor

Re: Best card for clothes shopping

I saved a few hundred dollars on clothing with Citi price rewind, but that's about to be discontinued. Without that, I'll also be mostly using Amex for purchase protection, offers, and Ebates.

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Message 3 of 22
Contributor

Re: Best card for clothes shopping

Cash+ could also be a good option if you're planning on shopping at department stores. eBates/Rakuten frequently have 10% back deals for Macy's and the Union Square Macy's can have some pretty nice deals sometimes but their options have been pretty limited since they merged their mens store in to the main building. They also have a select clothing stores category too.

Message 4 of 22
Established Contributor

Re: Best card for clothes shopping

It really depends on what you were looking for. If you were looking for cheap fast fashion stuff that's dressy, then places like Amazon has a surprisingly good selection of inexpensive stuff, often from their house brands. You could get 5% cashback using the various version of Amazon credit/store cards. 

 

If you wanted more upmarket stuff, then US Bank Cash+ has 5% categories in department stores, select clothing stores, and sports goods stores like REI and Cabelas. Between those 3 categories you could have probably covered most places that sell dressy clothes that you can wear to work. 

 

Another option would be to look at getting a store card if you shop at one store a lot. A good example would be Target and RedCard or the debit version that could get you 5% cashback. Many stores have store or cobrand cards that'll net you 3-5% CB. 

 

Finally, I would say that a typical wardrobe revamp is always going to hurt at the beginning. You have to plunk down a chunk of change to get at least a set of staples. Depending on what your style is and type of clothing you are after, $2K isn't unreasonable though it also doesn't need to be that high. Once that initial investment is made, future incremental upgrades and replacements should be a lot easier to swallow and you can be more strategic about it. You could probably have skimped on quality at the beginning in the interest of saving money, but that just means you sacrifice durability and at least your initial replacement cycle will be accelerated. But the advantage of the approach is that you can see which items you use the most often or favor and that'll point you in the direction where you should make future investment in terms of quality versus items where you can get away with just using the cheap stuff. 

Message 5 of 22
Established Member

Re: Best card for clothes shopping


@SBR249 wrote:

Finally, I would say that a typical wardrobe revamp is always going to hurt at the beginning. You have to plunk down a chunk of change to get at least a set of staples. Depending on what your style is and type of clothing you are after, $2K isn't unreasonable though it also doesn't need to be that high


To be fair, I didn't just buy work clothes - I also got new hiking boots, snow boots, ski pants, leather jacket, and a ton of other stuff that I won't be wearing on the reg. I wanted to just get my core shopping done with so I don't have to think about it while I'm there.

Message 6 of 22
Super Contributor

Re: Best card for clothes shopping


@solitaire96 wrote:

I'm a recent college grad (22 y/o) starting a job that requires slacks and a button down at the minumum in August (financial district in San Francisco). My entire wardrobe was in pretty bad shape from my college frat boy years and a lot of it doesn't even fit anymore (dropped from a 34 waist to a 32 waist), so in the last few months I've probably spent around 2k entirely on clothes for my job and other accesories. I've gotten new shoes, dress boots for rain, long sleeve button downs, slacks, dress pants, sport coats, rain coat, belts, messenger bag, the works. I've gotten most of it heavily discounted (I look for for 40%+ off) at outlet stores but it still comes out to a lot overall. I've put most of this either on my Amex Gold or my CFU as those are my daily driver cards but I've been left wondering if there would have been a better option in terms of rewards on these purchases.

 

Any thoughts? Thanks.


Depending on your UR point redemption plans, using CFU could be a wise choice.  1.5 UR at a 2.5cpp redemption is a nice contributor to the necessary volume of transfer points. This requires a CSP or CSR to get it to that possible value.  

 

The Cash+ is a good option, though you only get two 5% categories and have to watch the coding for the store ( which you won’t know until some time after your first purchase ).  

 

The AMEX offers are good to watch. The other path is to buy a few gift cards for a clothing retailer you know you will be visiting soon, at a grocery store that codes AMEX as groceries.  Don’t go too far with that, however, because you still have to keep track of all those gift cards, to use the value on the card.  

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Message 7 of 22
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Best card for clothes shopping

My first thought was the USB Cash+ considering that card has a Dept Store category for 5%. As others have said, Amex offers can be hugely beneficial if you get in on the right ones. Other than that, I would say a good 2% card is your best bet for no-fuss cashback with no categories to track. 

As much as I don’t love store cards, you could also pick up a card from a specific store you frequent if it’s available. 

Good luck!

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Message 8 of 22
Frequent Contributor

Re: Best card for clothes shopping

If you have a favorite store, get a store card, and be sure to take advantage of promotions. Outside of normal spending last month (Gas, Groceries, etc), I spent about $100 at Belk on some shoes and a shirt. This month, I should have about $85 coming back in rewards on that card. It pays to watch the promotions, and find ways to make them work in your favor.

 

This isn't card related, but if you're able to just browse without buying, go in your favorite store at least once a month and check the sales. Most times you probably won't get anything, but over time you can build a substantial wardrobe pretty inexpensively by just buying one shirt here or there when it's on clearance.

Message 9 of 22
Established Contributor

Re: Best card for clothes shopping


@solitaire96 wrote:
 

To be fair, I didn't just buy work clothes - I also got new hiking boots, snow boots, ski pants, leather jacket, and a ton of other stuff that I won't be wearing on the reg. I wanted to just get my core shopping done with so I don't have to think about it while I'm there.


In which case I totally understand. Having built up a wardrobe of outdoor clothes in the past few years I know how expensive quality outdoor gear can get even when on sale. 

Message 10 of 22
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