The Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card, or just the Hot Topic Credit Card, is an underwhelming store card that comes with a few benefits and discounts. You can earn the same rewards by signing up for the free Hot Topic Guest List program as you’d earn on the Hot Topic Credit Card.

Even better, using a cash-back or rewards credit card will earn you additional rewards. For most people, that’s the better way to go. The CardCruncher tool will help you figure out which credit card will give you the most rewards for your money. But read on to find out everything you need to know about the Hot Topic Credit Card.

Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card Highlights

Here are the highlights of the Hot Topic Credit Card:

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 27.24%

Sign-Up Bonus: 15% off your first purchase

Hot Topic Credit Card Benefits:

  • Earn 1 point per $1 for the first $500 you spend at Hot Topic each year
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 for each dollar spent in excess of $500
  • Get $5 off your next purchase for every 100 points earned
  • 2 coupons for $20 off a purchase of $50 or more each year
  • Exclusive discounts and offers

Hot Topic Credit Card Minimum Payment:

The minimum payment will be:

  • A minimum of $27, or
  • The full statement balance if less than $27, or
  • The sum of all minimum payments for any payment plans attached to your card

Hot Topic Credit Card Fees:

  • Up to $38 for late payment
  • Up to $38 for returned payment

Why Apply for the Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card

There are a few reasons to consider applying for the Hot Topic Credit Card.

You want to save money on a large purchase at Hot Topic

When you sign up for the Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card, you’ll automatically receive a sign-up bonus of 15% off your first purchase. This can be a significant amount of money if you’re already planning to spend a lot in one shot at the store. If you don’t mind picking up a new credit card for the one-time discount, there are worse sign-up bonuses out there.

You can take advantage of the ongoing benefits

The Hot Topic Credit Card offers a variety of useful perks for frequent Hot Topic shoppers. Twice a year, you’ll receive a voucher to save $20 on a purchase of $50 or more. Cardholders automatically receive these vouchers and other exclusive coupons.

You also get early access to Hot Topic sales and events. That means that you’ll have the chance to sign up for exclusive events before anyone else does.

Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides

Before you apply for the Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card, read up on these downsides.

You don’t need the card to earn rewards points

The Hot Topic Credit Card is simply an extension of Hot Topic’s Guest List loyalty program. You can sign up for the program without signing up for the card. In fact, you don’t earn any additional points with the card, and don’t accelerate toward VIP status.

You’ll earn 1 point for every $1 that you spend, with or without the card. Once you spend $500 in a year, you’ll qualify for Guest List VIP status and earn 1.25 points per $1 spent. Just be advised that your $5 reward expires 45 days after being issued.

In fact, by not signing up for the card, you can double dip. Use another card that earns rewards, then accrue points from the Guest List program.

You can only use the card at Hot Topic stores

The Hot Topic Credit Card works only at Hot Topic stores. That’s the problem with store cards. If you don’t want to carry too many credit cards in your wallet, you’ll have to decide whether you’re willing to carry a card just to shop at Hot Topic.

Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card Alternatives

If you’re thinking about applying for the Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card, you should also consider these alternatives.

Citi Double Cash Card

If you want a credit card that earns 2% cash back everywhere, you should think about signing up for the Citi Double Cash Card. It earns 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% when you make your payment. This card is great for people who want one card that they can use everywhere. Best of all, it’s accepted everywhere that takes MasterCard.

Chase Freedom

If you want a card that can earns flexible rewards close to the Hot Topic Credit Card’s earning rate, opt for the Chase Freedom card. Though the Hot Topic Credit Card earns an effective 5% or 6.25% cash back, but those rewards are only useful at Hot Topic. The Chase Freedom card offers 5% cash back on categories that rotate each quarter, giving you the ability to earn a lot of cash back if you shop at the right merchants. Plus, you’ll earn 1% cash back on non-bonus spending, too.

Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card FAQs

Here are other things that you should know about the Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card.

How do you redeem Hot Topic Guest List rewards?

Rewards are added to your account automatically when you accumulate 100 points, and automatically applied to your next purchase in-store on online.

Rewards expire 45 days after being issued. You cannot receive a refund for rewards redeemed on a product that you purchased and later returned.

Does Hot Topic offer free shipping?

Many store credit cards offer free shipping for online purchases, but the Hot Topic Credit Card isn’t one of them. The only way to get free shipping from Hot Topic is to choose the ship to store option at checkout.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card?

There’s little reason to apply for the Hot Topic Credit Card. Even if you shop at Hot Topic on a regular basis, you earn the same rewards just by signing up for the standard Guest List loyalty program. You’re better off signing up for the loyalty program and then using a cash-back credit card to double-dip on rewards. Use the CardCruncher tool to find the card that’ll bring you the most rewards.

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