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Difference Between Private-Label Cards and General-Purpose Cards?

Private Label Credit Cards vs. General-Purpose Cards

Many distinct credit card options exist for individuals in today's credit and financial marketplace. Private-label credit cards and general-use credit cards are the two most common types. Private-label credit cards and general-use cards are the two primary categories. These cards differ fundamentally, from their issuance to their usage and benefits.

Private Label Credit Cards: Tailored for Retailers

What is a Private Label Credit Card?

A private label credit card, often called a store card, is issued by a specific retailer or business. Unlike general-purpose cards, which banks or credit card companies typically issue, private-label credit cards are closely tied to a particular brand or store. These cards encourage customer loyalty and increase sales for the issuing retailer.

Private-label cards are a partnership between a retailer and a financial institution. The retailer collaborates with a bank to create and manage the credit card program. The card is branded with the retailer's logo and can typically only be used for purchases at that store or its affiliated locations.

Key Features of Private Label Credit Cards

1. Exclusive Rewards: Private-label credit cards often come with unique rewards and discounts tailored to the retailer's products or services. Cardholders may receive cashback on store purchases, special discounts, or access to members-only sales events.

2. Limited Usability: These cards are restricted in where they can be used. They are usually accepted only at the retailer that issued them, encouraging customers to shop exclusively at that store.

3. Partnership Benefits: Retailers benefit from increased brand loyalty, data collection on customer spending habits, and the ability to offer tailored promotions to cardholders.

4. Interest Rates and Fees: Private-label credit cards include variable interest rates and fees, so customers must read the fine print.

5. Credit Impact: Like general-purpose cards, responsible use of private-label credit cards can positively impact a cardholder's credit score. Timely payments and low credit utilization are key factors.

General-Purpose Credit Cards: Versatile Financial Tools

What is a General-Purpose Credit Card?

Banks or credit card companies issue general-purpose or traditional credit cards and are not tied to a specific retailer. These cards are designed to offer versatility and can be used for a wide range of in-store and online purchases across various merchants and businesses.

How Do General-Purpose Credit Cards Work?

General-purpose credit cards are not limited to a single retailer or brand. They can be used for everyday transactions, including shopping, dining, travel, and more. Most merchants widely accept these cards and have a credit limit based on the cardholder's creditworthiness.

Key Features of General-Purpose Credit Cards

1. Versatility: General-purpose credit cards can be used at various locations, making them suitable for different purchases.

2. Rewards Programs: Many general-purpose cards offer rewards programs that provide cashback, travel miles, or points for every dollar spent. These rewards can often be redeemed with flexibility.

3. Interest Rates and Fees: Interest rates and fees for general-use credit cards can range substantially from one issuer and card to the next.

4. Credit Limit: Cardholders are assigned a credit limit based on their credit history and income. This limit determines the maximum amount they can charge to the card.

5. Credit Impact: General-purpose credit cards significantly impact credit scores, both positively and negatively, based on how they are managed.

For your own private label card program including online banking solutions, please contact us: BancorpTrust Bankers Hall, 888 3rd Street Calgary, AB T2P 5C5, Canada Phone: +1-587-430-2692 E-mail:

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