How to Pay Off Your Macy’s (Or Department Store) Credit Card


Were you enticed by a department store credit card discount offer? These types of offers are extremely popular because department store credit cards are notoriously easier to get than any other type—allowing you to start building up your credit score—and also because you get an immediate discount on the purchase you are about to make should you get approved (instant gratification is always popular).

In fact, I used to have my own Macy’s department store credit card. It was my first job out of college, and I had an important presentation to give to our shareholders. The night before, I drove to the nearest Macy’s and purchased my first business suit ensemble. Scoring a great deal with sales and a coupon, I decided I might as well keep the discounts flowing when they asked if I wanted to receive 10% off for opening a Macy’s credit card.

What made this a good deal for me was that I paid off the credit card before the grace period was over, so I did not accrue any interest. And thank goodness that I did; it turns out that department store credit cards also have some of the highest interest rates out there!

If you are stuck with a balance on your department store credit card at an egregious interest rate, then read on to find out how you can pay it off sooner rather than later.

Stop Spending on the Credit Card

Putting even more money onto your credit card will only dig a deeper hole of debt for you, so declare an intention for yourself that you are not going to spend any more money on this credit card. To help avoid the temptation, stop carrying it around in your wallet and keep it at home instead.

Gather Documentation and Facts

You first need to figure out how much money you owe on your department store credit card and the interest rate, if you don’t know already. You can find a phone number on your bill, or just turn your credit card over and call the 1-800 number on the back. Ask to speak with a representative. After several questions to verify your account information, they will be more than happy to help you.

Attempt to Negotiate a Lower Interest Rate

Since the interest rate on department store credit cards is typically high, you should try and negotiate a lower one. That’s because the lower your interest rate, the more your monthly payment goes towards principal and not towards interest. Using that same 1-800 number from above, call your credit card company and ask to speak to a representative. Request (be assertive, but nice; remember, they are doing you a favor) that they lower your interest rate (check out this article on more specific information). If after several attempts they refuse to do so, ask if they will lower it on a temporary basis. Then be sure to call back and ask the same thing once the old interest rate is reinstated.

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Get Your Numbers Straight

Take your debt and interest rate, and plug it into a free online debt tool such as ReadyForZero. The first piece of information you will learn is how long it’s going to take you to pay the debt off if you continue making the minimum payments. The second is how much you need to make in additional monthly payments in order to pay the debt off much sooner. The slider bar is a lot of fun, so be sure to play around with it until you reach the level of monthly payment and date of payoff that makes you comfortable.

Figure Out the Logistics of Sending in Extra Payments

Credit card companies do not want you to pay your debt off early, as it takes away the amount of interest they are going to make. As such, sometimes they make it difficult to send in additional payments. For example, some companies will simply move your due date further away if you send in extra money, and then not send another bill until this new due date. This is because they took your payment and applied it to a future payment, which will do nothing to help you pay the debt off more quickly.

To get around these barriers, take a few minutes to either call your credit card company, or peruse their website and figure out how to send in extra payments so that they are applied to the principal loan amount (not towards the interest, and not towards a future payment).

Send In those Extra Payments

Mark your calendar, or set up bill reminders so that you send in not only the minimum payment each month by its due date, but also additional to pay that card off early. This could mean that you need to find ways to earn extra cash, or to lower your current monthly bills. Just remember that the sacrifices you are making now will be quite worth it when you are out of debt.

There is one last thing you need to consider. Once you have paid the card off fully (congratulations, by the way), you need to decide whether or not you want to keep the line of credit open. If you close the line of credit, then you need to know that your credit score may take a dip. Be honest with yourself: can you keep this line of credit open without spending on it (or paying it off within the grace period), or do you need to close it to put a stop to future debt? The decision is yours, and you know yourself the best.

Image Credit: mwms1916

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  • Heather Harrell

    Even if you pay off your Macys account monthly, as soon as your account is paid in full, they will charge you a $2 fee the next month! This is standard policy. They refuse to give pay off balances on their account so they can charge you this fee, and I think they really plan on you not noticing so they can charge you a $35! fee for a late/missed payment. Not worth the risk to your credit, or the headaches.

    • Wow! That is good to know. We have heard of other instances of companies adding on fees at the end to make it hard to close the account, but never specifically concerning the Macy’s card. Thanks for the tip. Now our readers can watch out for this fee as well.

    • Patricia Marjorie

      Thank you for this. I probably would have missed it!

  • Kat

    I tried to call and lower my interest rate, spoke with 2 different people and they said it was not possible! Has anyone had any luck lowering their interest rate??

    • Good for you for trying! Unfortunately, they’re not always open to it. Hopefully some other readers will respond and share their experience. Also, you could always try calling them back in a few months!

  • Charles

    The effective and fast method is to pay your debt before the due date. Ex: due date 1st of month. Pay acct on the 15th – 2-weeks before due date.

    This reduces interest cost by 50% allowing the savings on interest to be applied to the principal.

    Within 95% cases, you have the same amount of money at your disposal on the 15th as you have on the 1st. It isn’t a case that because your bill is due on the 1st your income increases allowing you to pay the acct.


  • sar

    I just called Macy’s and asked them to lower the interest rate due to financial hardships that I am having. The rep said that it was the lowest rate they have and they can’t go any lower than that ever. My rate is 24.50% and it’s killing me. I can’t afford to pay more than the minimum. What else can I do?

    • vibrant77

      I had the same issue today. Was put on hold to then be told “its the lowest at 24.5%. Interest is $100 on my balance monthly and the Card Protection is $50. Thats $150 not going to principal. Its ridiculous. I hate to cancel my card because I love shopping at Macys, but I will be contacting Credit Card Counseling service who will negotiate a lower interest for me, but card will be closed. 🙁

  • FunkSavage

    Well, I paid off my Macys card several times… balance in full… and they keep charging me interest. So every month, I have to pay the interest on the interest charge of the previous month. It never goes away! And… They don’t permit you to overpay the balance in order to avoid interest charges on the previous month’s interest charges. I’m thinking a class action lawsuit if any lawyers feel like digging into this.