3 Credit Cards You Can Use to Stock Your Wardrobe

Holiday Shopping Budget

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Whether you’re a fashion-focused socialite or a busy parent with growing kids, clothing expenses can make up a big chunk of your overall spending. Some credit cards can help you afford clothes and earn rewards as you shop for fresh threads.

Here are three credit cards you can use to stock your wardrobe.

1. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual US supermarket purchases; 3% cash back at US gas stations and participating department stores; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $95
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: You’ll earn cash back at qualifying department stores.
For Your Wardrobe:
You’ll earn an impressive 3% cash back rate at 16 participating department stores, including Bloomingdale’s, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee.

2. Chase Freedom 

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for rotating categories and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash if you spend $500 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $0
APR:
0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.
Why We Picked It:
This quarter, purchases at qualifying stores earn 5% cash back.
For Your Wardrobe: Through the end of 2017, the bonus category is Walmart and department store purchases. Any clothes you buy at these retailers will earn 5% cash back.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to keep track of the rotating categories each quarter.

3. Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for varying categories of items and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers and 6 months on purchases, then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: If you shop at the right merchants, both online and in-store clothing purchases can earn you 5% cash back each year.  
For Your Wardrobe: Through the end of 2017, Target and Amazon.com purchases would earn you 5% cash back. If you get your clothes at these retailers, you can really clean up.
Drawbacks:
Bonus categories change every quarter, and they won’t always be wardrobe-focused.

How to Choose the Right Credit Card for Stocking Your Wardrobe

You should choose a credit card that rewards the types of purchases you tend to make. Some credit cards focus on department stores, while others may reward online purchases. If you tend to shop around, a credit card with a flat cash back rate on every purchase might be a great fit.

Some credit card companies have online marketplaces that offer exclusive discounts or increased rewards at select retailers, including department stores and leading fashion brands. You can get deals, coupons, or even extra cash back by shopping at participating stores. For any card you’re considering, check to see if the issuer has an online marketplace that features your favorite brands.

You may be tempted to apply for a store credit card at your favorite retailer. But be careful—store credit cards often have higher fees and interest rates, can’t be used at other stores, and have unimpressive rewards compared to major credit card brands. 

What Credit Is Required for a Card to Shop for Clothes?

The best rewards credit cards require good to excellent credit. Make sure to check your credit score before you apply, since you’ll want to be confident about your chances of getting approved. You can check your credit report free at Credit.com.

Image: istock

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, the Chase Freedom card, and the Discover it card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post 3 Credit Cards You Can Use to Stock Your Wardrobe appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Sites for Affordable Fashion

Finding affordable and stylish fashions can be easy when you know the right places to look.

There’s a revolution quietly taking place in the fashion industry. In case you haven’t been paying close attention, it’s now easier than ever to look like a well-heeled fashionista without spending like a Kardashian.

We can thank the internet, the booming sharing economy and a growing group of savvy entrepreneurs, for this development. These sites, which range from high-end fashion resellers to rental companies, have dramatically changed the way consumers shop and the way they think about fashion.

“I think both rental and resale sites are speaking to a trend in which people value the experience of wearing something over the experience of owning it,” said Tracy Dinunzio, CEO of Tradesy, one of the largest peer-to-peer marketplaces for women’s fashion. “We no longer have just one option when shopping — going to the mall to buy things. I think it’s liberating.”

The key theme among all the sites is the substantial savings they deliver, sometimes as high as 90% off original prices. Here are five sites that allow you to maintain your style game without dropping serious cash.

1. Tradesy

With about five million users, and investors as well known as Richard Branson, Tradesy is a booming site that any self-respecting fashion maven should know about.

Tradesy showcases new and preowned fashion sold by users — everything from Marc Jacobs shoes to Dior bags and David Yurman jewelry. Items from well-known brands are listed for up to 90 percent off and Tradesy offers an authenticity guarantee.

“One of the reasons I started Tradesy was I wanted better quality fashion but didn’t have the budget,” said Dinunzio, who would frequent consignment stores in pursuit of scoring deals. Tradesy is the one-stop solution for those who don’t have time to hunt through brick and mortar consignment stores. It’s Dinunzio’s attempt to bring all of those consignment shopping possibilities and the unused fashions sitting in women’s closets, to one place.

2. ThredUp.com

ThredUp.com offers another spin on the reused fashions theme. This massive online consignment and thrift store offers items for up to 90% off.

The site has also conveniently broken down offerings into categories such as “Top Designer Labels from $6,” “Summer Must-Haves Under $10” and “Dresses for under $15.” Just in case you’re skeptical of such affordable price-tags, the dresses in the under $15 category include makers such as Bebe, Calvin Klein, BCBG Max Azaria and more.

“ThredUp is my favorite way to get brand name clothes for less,” said personal finance expert and blogger Kayla Sloan. “I’ve gotten work clothes, dress clothes, active wear, and handbags on ThredUp — brands like Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors, Lululemon, Under Armour, Jessica Simpson, and some non-designer items.”

In addition, if you’d like to make extra cash (to do more shopping), ThreadUp will send you a “Clean Out Bag,” which you can fill up with your like-new women’s and kids’ clothing and send back to be sold on the site. Sellers earn cash or credit to shop on ThredUp. For even more extra cash, use a solid cash back credit card while shopping. There are a lot of great ones out there — be sure to check your credit score before applying to see if you qualify. You can check two credit scores for free with Credit.com.

3. Bag Borrow or Steal

If investing a chunk of money in a pricey handbag is something you’re loath to do, but you still have serious designer bag envy, then Bag Borrow or Steal may be the solution.

The site allows users to rent some of the most luxurious bags on the planet — Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Tory Burch and more. Bags can be borrowed in 30-day increments. If you love the bag, you can continue renting it.

At the time of publishing, rental prices range from as little as $45 per month for a large Michael Kors satchel to $600 for a Chanel Boy Bag.

4. Eleven James

Many people opt to admire expensive watches from afar due to not having the budget to dabble themselves. Thanks to Eleven James, a tight budget won’t hold you back from this accessory.

Luxury watch rental membership program Eleven James allows members to wear designer watches worth thousands of dollars, brands such as Bell & Ross, Cartier, Breitling, Rolex, Tudor, and more.

Those who sign up receive a new watch aligning with their style preferences every few months. Each watch can be worn for three months and then returned.

Membership costs vary based on the category of watches you’d like to have access to, but start between $149 to $169 per month. For that entry-level price, you’re able to sample two to four watches over the course of six to 12 months.

5. 260SampleSale

Ms. Fabulous.com creator Mariana Leung is a big fan of sample sales — events hosted by designers where you can purchase clothes for a significant discount. Long reserved for fashion insiders, these shopping extravaganzas are now being offered to the masses by such sites as 260samplesale.com and clothingline.com, said Leung.

For instance, 260SampleSale specializes in running sample sales for some of the biggest brands in fashion, including Diane Von Furstenberg, J Brand and Fivestory. The key is to sign up to be on the alert lists for these sites in order to score access to the sales.

In terms of the discount, “It’s at least 60 to 65% off.” said Leung. “I’m not even walking in if it isn’t that much. And on the last day of the sale, the prices drop even more.”

Image: Petar Chernaev

The post 5 Sites for Affordable Fashion appeared first on Credit.com.

7 Ways to Refresh Your Wardrobe Without Spending a Dime

7-Ways-to-Refresh-Your-Wardrobe-(Without-Spending-a-Dime)

Nothing beats the feeling of trying on a new outfit, but sometimes all your wardrobe needs is a breath of fresh air. Like breathing, refreshing your wardrobe is free. “Free” is in my top five favorite words and if you’re into saving big bucks, it’s probably one of your favorite words, too. This is also the perfect opportunity to pretend you’re on a television makeover show. These ways to refresh your wardrobe won’t cost you anything but a little bit of time.

1. Host a Clothes & Accessories Swap

Before the next get-together, ask your friends or family if they’d be interested in participating in an informal swap. Everyone can bring clothing, accessories and other wardrobe items they no longer want. This swap won’t cost a dime and can help you and those around you find new pieces to love.

2. Have Friends & Family Style You

Finally, you can feel like a celebrity with a squadron of stylists. Although, if your friends and family tend to be your harshest critics, it might turn into an episode of “What Not to Wear.” Have someone whose style you admire play stylist and put together some looks for you. Perhaps they’ll pair shoes and accessories you never thought could work. Everyone’s mind works differently and this can help you discover new ways to style your favorites and rediscover pieces you may have forgotten.

3. Sell Clothes You Don’t Wear Anymore

Minimizing your wardrobe is a great way to refresh it. By cutting out the excess pieces weighing down your wardrobe, you can make some cash and create more space to focus on your favorites. There are plenty of places to sell your clothes for cash. You can also pay it forward and donate pieces you no longer love or that no longer fit. If you need motivation to toss clothes, grab an empty box or trash bag and make it your goal to fill it. The empty container may ignite your inner clothes purger.

4. Craft Old Pieces Into New Ones

No need to be a do-it-yourself master for this one. Even something as simple as ironing a decorative patch onto your dated jacket or turning a T-shirt into a tank top using scissors will do. You can also play around with dye or spray paint to give accessories a new look.

5. Focus on Styling

There’s magic to be found in simple wardrobe hacks that require no tools and minimal effort. Try tying straps in a new way, re-lacing shoes, cuffing up jeans, rolling up sleeves or adjusting the straps of pieces in your wardrobe. A styling trick as simple as tucking in your shirt and cuffing your sleeves can create a more fitted and polished look.

6. Turn to Technology

There are plenty of free apps that can help you refresh your wardrobe. Apps like Closet+ and Cloth let you organize your wardrobe and keep track of the pieces you own. These apps can help you fall back in love with pieces you’ve forgotten. They also help prevent those “I have nothing to wear!” moments by allowing you to plan outfits in advance. If you’re less tech-savvy, you can plan outfits using an instant camera and a marker.

7. Take a Stab at a Capsule Wardrobe

Minimalism is in and it can even be expanded to your wardrobe. A “capsule wardrobe” is all about paring down your wardrobe to the essentials. Capsule wardrobes typically consist of 30 to 40 pieces that can be mixed and matched into different looks. Limiting yourself to a few pieces is a great way to cut down on shopping and, if you take care of your clothes, they can last for years.

Although this strategy can be done using your current wardrobe, if you choose to shop for your capsule wardrobe to invest in quality basics built for long-term wear, limit yourself to a short list and shop with caution. Overspending can lead to debt and have major consequences for your credit. (View  your free credit report snapshot on Credit.com to see how spending affects your finances)

Image: kupicoo

The post 7 Ways to Refresh Your Wardrobe Without Spending a Dime appeared first on Credit.com.