Customers who frequently spend at Dick’s Sporting Goods can defray the costs of clothing, gear and more with the store’s co-branded credit card — but it’s hardly an MVP compared with other rewards credit cards.
Formerly known as the Dick’s Sporting Goods credit card, the Synchrony-issued ScoreRewards Mastercard may be used at Dick’s and stores outside of its brand. If you’re not eligible, you’ll be considered for the retailer’s sibling card, the ScoreRewards credit card, which can be used only with the retailer or with related brands like Golf Galaxy, and Field and Stream.
Both cards earn points that have a relatively high value. But the modest rate at which you amass those points is a drag, as are the various redemption restrictions. Other general-purpose rewards credit cards are far superior when it comes to introductory offers, ongoing rewards and flexibility.
Here’s what to know about the ScoreRewards Mastercard and ScoreRewards credit card.
1. Rewards are mediocre and come with restrictions
Both versions of the Dick’s Sporting Goods credit card earn points in the retailer’s free-to-join ScoreCard customer loyalty program. ScoreCard members earn 1 point per eligible $1 spent with the brand, but those who hold a ScoreRewards credit card earn more:
2 points per $1 spent on qualifying purchases at Dick’s Sporting Goods brands, in-store and online.
1 point per $3 spent on purchases anywhere else. (This rate applies to the Mastercard version only).
Those rates aren’t competitive, as you can find any number of credit cards that earn 2x back per $1 spent on all purchases. But to earn even the paltry rates above requires work because — while cardholders are automatically enrolled in the ScoreCard program when they apply for the card online — you’ll have to provide proof of membership to earn points. For in-person shopping, that means providing your phone number or showing a QR code from the Dick’s Sporting Goods app. When shopping online, your ScoreCard rewards number must be entered for every purchase.
Redemption is similarly complex and disappointing. The points you earn are automatically converted into rewards certificates, and you’ll get a $10 certificate for every 300 points. That’s a high 3-cent-per-point value, but you’d have to spend $150 at Dick’s before meeting that redemption threshold. Moreover, even if you regularly drop a ton of cash at Dick’s Sporting Goods, your rewards are capped at $500 per month. In addition, you’re limited to two reward certificate redemptions per online transaction, and three certificate redemptions per in-store transaction.
Collecting multiple certificates would prove difficult anyway because they expire within 45 days unless terms specify otherwise, and they’re issued via snail mail (really!) unless you opt into eRewards. Points that don’t hit an auto-redemption threshold will expire one year from their earned date.
And finally, if your purchase with a rewards certificate is less than the reward amount, you’ll forfeit any remaining value. (Reward certificates can be used only to purchase store merchandise; you can’t use them to pay your monthly card bill.)
You could fare better with a card like the $0-annual-fee U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card, which earns 5% cash back on up to $2,000 spent in two categories of your choice from a list of options when you activate them. In the third quarter of 2022, categories included sporting goods stores like Dick’s. The card also earns 2% cash back in an everyday category from a list of options and 1% back on everything else.
2. You can supplement your rewards with physical activity
ScoreCard loyalty program members can earn points through the MOVE fitness tracker function in Dick’s Sporting Goods mobile app. You’ll get 100 points for joining MOVE (a value of $3) on the app and earn 3 points per day (a value of 9 cents) by completing daily activity goals like:
Taking at least 10,000 steps with Fitbit, Apple Health or Garmin trackers.
Reaching at least 3 miles with MapMyRun or MapMyFitness.
Engaging in 30 minutes of fitness activity.
You can also earn rewards during PGA golf club trade-in events if they’re offered.
3. The introductory offer isn’t much to write home about
The Dick’s Sporting Goods credit cards offer new cardholders a choice of upfront incentives: You can earn 3 points per $1 spent in-store or online on the day you open and use the card, or you can instead opt for a special financing offer.
If you choose the former, you’ll earn just one more point per $1 than normal, and it’s valid for only one specific day. A general-purpose rewards credit card can offer much more value long term. The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, for instance, features a healthy welcome offer, and you don’t have to meet the terms all in one day: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. The card also earns an unlimited 2% back on all purchases, not just with a specific merchant. Plus, those rewards come as actual cash back, not store rewards.
And if you choose the special financing offer from one of the ScoreRewards credit cards? Well, be careful.
4. Special financing options can throw you a curve
Both of these store cards offer special financing options between six and 24 months, depending on the amount spent. If you can pay off the entire balance before that promotional window ends, it can spare you interest charges. But if you don’t meet that deadline, it could be a costly mistake.
“Special financing” is code for a deferred interest offer, which puts interest charges on hold for the duration of the promotional period. But unlike a genuine 0% intro APR offer — where interest is waived — the interest on special financing offers still accrues in the background. And if you haven’t paid off the purchase fully when that offer ends, you’ll be charged interest retroactive to the purchase date at the card’s ongoing rate. (As of this writing, the Dick’s Sporting Goods cards featured a variable APR of nearly 30%.)
Cash-back credit cards like the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card offer a better deal, without the strings typically found on deferred interest terms. You’ll get a 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.49%-27.49% Variable APR. The clock on this interest will start once the promotional period ends, meaning you’ll only be charged for the balance remaining.
5. You’ll qualify for Gold status, which comes with some perks
You’ll get access to Gold Status when you open and use a Dick’s Sporting Goods credit card, though it may take up to 90 days to enroll after qualifying. Gold status qualifies you for exclusive offers, a triple points day, an annual $10 reward and more. Without the credit card, reaching Gold status requires spending $500 in eligible store purchases per year.
The status lasts for the remainder of that first-time enrollment calendar year and the following calendar year. You can maintain the status by keeping the card active with a purchase made through the retailer in-store or online.