Comenity credit cards don’t get much press in the points-n-miles world since most them are cobranded offerings with small retailers, but they can be valuable to hardcore fans of those stores as well as to people trying to rebuild their credit. I thought it would be interesting to take a more comprehensive look at their offerings to see all that they have to offer in one fell swoop.
A couple of notes before we begin. First, note that Comenity Bank credit cards can sometimes be obtained via the shopping cart trick, which is a way to get a credit card without a hard pull. I’ve noted below which cards you can do this for any cards I’m aware of, please comment if you’ve had luck with the SCT. Second, you can get multiple cards from them, and the vast majority have no annual fee. I’ve only got a couple myself, but a couple of commenters below report having more than ten. And they also report that you can get credit line increases every few months without a hard pull. So if you’re looking to rebuild credit, take a look at Comenity cards.
I used this list on MyFico as my starting point. It’s a little outdated, so I’ll add in a few others I’m aware of. If I leave any out, or if I’ve missed any benefits of any of these cards, please let me know in the comments. Let’s start with the two Comenity credit cards I have:
- If you can find a gas station willing to sell you gift cards, the Marathon Visa is potentially one of the most lucrative credit cards out there. I explained here why falling gas prices and Comenity’s odd rewards scheme mean rising rewards for cardholders. Currently, the rewards are around 10%, but only if you’re able to spend $1,000 in a month at Marathon, and most Marathon stores either don’t have gift cards or else won’t sell them to you with a credit card.
- I have the Fuel Rewards MasterCard as well, but I haven’t found it to be particularly valuable. The rewards aren’t great and you don’t get much in the way of good offers once you’re a cardmember. You can skip this one and focus on cards with better gas rewards.
As for the others:
- The BJ’s MasterCard can be a pretty good value depending on how much you spend at BJ’s. Lucky for you I ran the numbers to see exactly what level of spending to make the card worthwhile, so go here and take a look. Note that if you’re on BJ’s email list you can get a preapproval for this one, though I don’t know what the credit limits will be like.
- The Bed, Bath, and Beyond MasterCard recently moved from US Bank to Comenity. The card itself is not much to speak of: you get 5% back at BBY, but only 1% back on everything else, plus 2% on gas and groceries which is nothing to write home about. If you’re not spending ridiculous amounts of money at the store–and I really hope you’re not–I can recommend about a hundred other better cards. I’m not aware of whether they’re in the habit of sending out marketing incentives to cardholders, if anybody has any experience please comment below.
- A commenter on this post identified the Sportsman’s Guide Visa as a card worth looking into:
The Sportsmans Guide Visa issued by Comenity bank often has 4x or 5x promos.I can remember at least 3 in the last year and a half. I think one in November was unlimited. Their store has a far wider variety of products than Banana. I wonder if their Gander Mountain card has similiar promos.It is a good second card for those building credit, before moving on to premium cards.
And commenter Tia writes below: “I just got the Sportsman Guide Visa with a soft inquiry using the SCT. It only wanted the last four of the SSN. I’m 14 months post BK. They soft pulled EQ 652 score and credit limit is $3,500.”
- Like the SNL card, the Virgin America Visa is a new addition to Comenity Bank’s portfolio. Unfortunately–and unlike most major domestic airline cards–this card does not have a great sign-up bonus. I don’t see much use for it unless you’re a regular VA flyer. If you’re still curious, TPG has a good rundown here. UPDATE: This card is going away due to the Alaska Airlines takeover of Virgin and the cards will be closed on January 4, 2018.
- Ann Taylor MasterCard / Love Loft MasterCard: 5 points per dollar spent at the eponymous clothing store family, plus a $15 gift certificate annually on your birthday. Only one point everywhere else, however. Pass.
- Gander Mountain MasterCard: I had never heard of Gander Mountain before learning of this card’s existence; turns out it’s an outdoors store. You can get three points per dollar on all purchases there plus an additional two per dollar if you spend more than $10,000 per year on the card. I went to a Gander Mountain store to see if they had a gift card rack, but I did not see one. Out of curiosity, I recently got this credit card, see my review here for details. UPDATE: This card is dead in the wake of Gander Mountain’s demise. I did end up turning the $60 sign-up bonus into a very nice cast iron frying pan.
- Total Rewards Visa: This is the Caesars casino co-branded card. I wrote about it here, and it seems to have some potential if you’re into that sort of thing. Scott at Travel Codex has a good rundown of the Caesars loyalty program.
- MyPoints Visa: I’m not familiar with the MyPoints site, which is apparently some sort of deal site / portal where you get rewards for buying stuff. You get one extra point for every dollar spent through MyPoints. Their website advertises 1 pt / $ on Amex gift cards, and it looks like points are worth two thirds of a cent as best as I can tell. Is 1.4% back on Amex GCs worth it? I never mess with those things so I have no idea.
- Farmers Insurance Visa: I recently reviewed this card as well. One interesting thing about it is that you can get 3X rewards on your insurance payments, although of course you are limited to getting this rewards on Farmers Insurance products. It’s also got a 3X bonus on home improvement, which is not something that a lot of cards have. But unless you’ll be spending a lot of money in those areas, this card probably isn’t worth it.
- Orbitz Visa: This card can be useful if you use Orbitz a lot. The card lets you earn 10% back on hotel bookings if you use the Orbitz app (8% if you don’t). The card also gives you gold status in the Orbitz program, which may be good for a few benefits, and also gets you a little closer to Platinum status, which gets you a few more benefits. And Gold Status is also helpful for Best Rate Guarantee claims as well.
- Victoria’s Secret card: This one may be worthwhile if you’re a big shopper at Victoria’s Secret; it’s also rumored to be an easy one to get via the shopping cart trick. Read my review here.
- I looked at the Toyota and Lexus Visas right here. Bottom line: you can safely ignore them if you’re just looking for credit card rewards. Commenter Anthony reports getting approved despite low scores: “I got approved today for the lexus visa through comenity. 750 CL. Scores were 545-562-550. Dont know what CR they pulled, but income most likely played a part in getting an approval. Its low, but its a start.” If you’re curious about other automotive credit cards, I’ve got a list here.
- I don’t have any familiarity with the Buckle credit card, one commenter below reports: “I used the SCT a couple of years ago with them and they have increased me on their own 4 times out of the blue.” So perhaps it may be good for credit building? You also get a $5 reward every year for your birthday. And commenter Lori reports getting the card with the shopping card trick.
- The Ultamate Rewards Credit Card and Ultamate Rewards MasterCard are hilarious because the Ulta beauty store card sounds so much like the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card program. The rewards are only worth–at most–2% back on your non-Ulta spend, so you’re better off sticking with a 2% back credit card. Commenter Kim says below that the shopping card trick doesn’t work with this one, but despite that you may be able to get this one with a soft pull–ask at the Ulta register to see if you’re preapproved. If you want to read a review from somebody who’s into budget makeup, here you go.
- Thanks to commenter Genelle below for pointing out she received three Comenity store cards via the shopping cart trick: Ashley Stewart, Avenue, and HSN. Commenter Darla says that to get the pop-up for the HSN card, you need to register there and enter a credit card number while you’re in the shopping cart.
- I wrote here about the Saturday Night Live MasterCard (edit: the card was eventually cancelled). The intriguing hook on this card is 4X the points on entertainment purchases on Saturdays. Entertainment includes gambling / casinos, and I don’t know of any other product that pays out that kind of bonus on that category. Unfortunately I can’t tell how much the points are worth from Comenity’s website, and I’m hours from any casino anyway. The right person with the right idea (and with a great deal of self-control and no proclivity to gambling addictions) might be able to do pretty well racking up credit card rewards, though.
- Univision Visa: Here is my review of this card. Long story short, it’s not that great. Pass! (Edit: This card was closed down in July 2017.)
That’s all the Comenity credit cards I see worth discussing. Your thoughts?
For the MyPoints credit card, you also get 2x if you shop at a grocery store or gas station. Prior to the new website redesign, the MP CC was available as the shopping cart trick, and I missed it.
My calculations come out for a MyPoint to be worth .4 United mile/$1 spent and $.008 pts/$1 if you gift card churn and redeem for Marriott gift cards
I have thought about the FRN card as I don’t do a ton of driving and think I could use it to get nearly free gas on those rare occasions when I have to fill a whole tank. Unfortunately, I have found that Shell stations are pretty inconsistent as to if the rewards actually work. Some stations advertise that they participate but only actually do the Kroger program, or there is a “link down” problem when I want to use a discount. I think Speedway has a good program but I don’t know if you can combine multiple discount into a larger discount… You can get gift cards as a reward, though.
The Virgin America card is offering 30k points (about $620 of travel) with a $149 annual fee. Nothing awesome, but decent and provides a nice opportunity to diversify airlines and banks. Just got one for my wife and myself. We also really like Virgin America for domestic travel compared to United or American.
The standard sign up is 15k, but they advertise a 30k bonus inflight. Should be able to get it my calling in and telling them you saw the advertisement on a flight and want to get the double bonus offer.
That is helpful information, thanks Trevor!
I’ve been using the marathon card for about 6 months now. Occasionally they offer double rebates for three months as a sign up bonus, which makes it worth if even for regular gas spend if you can make it into their second tier. There is one station that tracks as a Marathon that sells one specific type of gift card, so I was able to rack up, but they do but your rebates on hold after you hit an undisclosed pending rebates amount.
I like Virgin America miles. Early in December, got LAS-HNL award flight for 20K miles on Hawaiian using VA miles for a nice trip. I’ll probably get the VA card some time again in next year or two.
Be wary of Comenity if these comments are up to date: http://creditcardforum.com/blog/gander-mountain-mastercard-is-still-a-failure/
The linked post itself is a bit outdated as it lists 3% CB at Gander Mountain (GM) and doesn’t mention the 5% if you spend $10k. I found the post while searching for the value of each GM point. I’m still not 100% sure that each point is worth 1 cent, but I found somewhere else that it was in 2013 that they added the 2 point annual GM spend bonus for $10k and this post was written in 2013, so I would guess each point is worth 1 cpm. Also, another page says they send you a $20 GM cert for signing up and then send you another cert whenever you acquire 2k points, so that’s another hint they’re worth 1 cpm.
I have a friend that adores his GM card, but I forget who it is. I should ask him about his experience if I can remember. Time to Facebook message all my hunter friends… *sigh*
How do you do the shopping cart trick for Marathon Visa? I can’t see any shopping on their site and any way to prompt the popup. If you just try to apply for the card it’s definitely a HP as it asks for full social.
Good question. I’m not sure if there even is a way for this card given that it’s not a typical retailer card. Maybe Doctor of Credit would know?
Is there a way to tag him on here or are you suggesting I email him directly? Seen it listed a few places but no one mentions how to do the trick with it.
Rosemary Tobin says
My husband and I are having a bad experience with Comenity Bank and our Meijer credit card in resolving a dispute with a furniture store.(Sikers, Janesville, Wi.).The situation now is that the store took back the furniture and also have their money on the credit card. The Comenity Bank keeps asking for additional information that we have already provided to them. They(Comenity) are just stalling us refusing to give us the credit ($3,000) for this situation. Unlike Capital One, they don’t really have a Dispute Department. I would never recommend a Meijer Card(Comenity Bank) because they will not back you in a dispute with a store.
Does comenity have just a regular credit card like Visa or Master card or are they all for individual stores? I already have five cards through them but would like something for emergency backup use. Thanks in advance.
Not that I’m aware of. I’ve looked myself but didn’t find anything.
Yes they do google the bank cards they have some visa and master cards.
The BJ’s perks MasterCard is pretty nice. You have to be a BJ’s member to get it but it’s a softpull to apply for it and the rewards are pretty decent especially if you shop at BJ’s a lot.
Is the Bj’s mastercard really a softpull to apply? I always shop there and I was actually heading there today.
No Bj’s is a hard pull on EQ!!
I have 3 cards vs,express,justice and just got the buckle through the shopping trick my score is not great maybe 550 or a little higher is there another card I could get I have had the vs and express for 6 months always pay monthly and just received 750 more limit on it started at 250 what else could I get help anyone
I want to see any updates to this blog. I can’t get any of them to work…my credit is not that bad because when I apply directly, I get the card. The only one that has turned me down is TJMaxx…which of course was the one I really wanted 🙁
Yes stop applying for store credit cards you have enough they are a good start but now just keep paying them keep them under 40% of utilization for your credit score to go up then apply for a capital one credit card….. after my BK I was a 504 fico now after 10 months I’m a 683 with 43% utilization
Same here, I really wanted this card out of them all. I wonder why???
I got a marathon credit card I called n cancelled due to the fact no one in my area took the card….that sucked
I had no,problem with Tjmaxx was surprised I got it..Lil an after I got toys r us too. Grand kids luv that
William Charles says
Marathon isn’t possible as far as I know.
Aida Cutler says
Apparently, when I ordered a product, by phone, I was given a credit card application. Although I did use one of my other cards, I keep getting letters every week denying my application. This was done months ago and I still get letters asking me to reapply for credit. I don’t want a credit card and I want these letters to stop.
The letter states that, because more than one application was received, I can’t get a credit card and to reapply in 30 days. This has been going on for more than three months.
I ordered this product from Eddie Bauer.
exxon gas card is good one to get easy to get too, also shell is good, old navy, gap and bannana republic are commenity cards, also Gordmans is easy and good card as well. Great stuff there I love to shop there. Any unsecured credit is good, no matter what that guy said. If you can get 7 cards with use of only 1/4 of the credit limit your score will go up quickly. Always try to only keep your balance at 1/4th of the credit limit.
I have 5 Comenty Bank store cards, three of which were obtained thru the “shopping cart trick” Ashley Stewart, Avenue, and HSN, who ch has a 1,000 limit. I also have a Roaman’s and Carson’s cards. Those were fairly easy to get, and my TU score is at 666 (scary number lol). I just wish I could find a Comenity Visa or MasterCard *sigh*
Oops sorry for the typos!
Doggone autocorrect grrrrrr
Torrid is very hard pull brought tons of stuff and no luck
I got approved today for the lexus visa through comenity. 750 CL. Scores were 545-562-550. Dont know what CR they pulled, but income most likely played a part in getting an approval. Its low, but its a start.
I also want to add that i have 14 cards from Comenity with zero balance so i have a great relationship with them. Funny thing is i got turned down for a big lots credit card which is comenity but approved the next day for the Lexus visa. Go figure.
Try the new Ulta Master Card, it’s from Comenity… No SCT though
I cant for the life of me to get the pop up on hsn..please help me.. i want that one soooooooooooooooo bad
I just got the Sportsman Guide Visa with a soft inquiry using the SCT. It only wanted the last four of the SSN. I’m 14 months post BK. They soft pulled EQ 652 score and credit limit is 3500. Hope this helps someone.
i got an offer through the mail from HSN. Give me a CL of 1750
I have read numerous articles on the Shopping Card trick, and have read a lot of the comments that followed. There is one question that I have not seen asked or addressed.
Here goes: If I went to a website, let’s say Ann Taylor, for example. I entered my info, whether it is through registering, or checking out as a guest. I did not get a pop-up (and I followed the correct steps, opt-in, no cookies, clear cache, clear browsing history etc), so since I didn’t get a pop-up, no preapproval.
So, if I want to go back a few days, weeks, etc. later, since I would already be registered from before, would I get a pop-up preapproval? I read some people go back at a later time and get approved.
What do you do (if anything) different the second time as opposed to the first try?
Also, how do you delete or cancel your registration on those websites?
Lastly, I’m supposed to enter the info just as it appears on my credit report, well I have read from various sites that it’s Experion, but another says it’s Equifax, yet another says Transunion…does anyone really know? Thanks
Yes they have a few visa and mastercard. Got approved for Toyota Rewards Signature Visa with Comenity. $5,000 Limt. Not instantly had to call verify info ask a lot of questions. Waiting for the card in the mail. FICO 720tu 718eq 720ex good luck to all
So you know, I am a MAJOR fan of Comenity! I have about 12 cards with them. They mostly have crappy limits, but I am working to build my credit by making one or 2 purchases a year on each card. Also, you can request a credit limit increase every 3-4 mos on your card account online WITHOUT a credit inquiry! They have increased my limit by about $200 each time I requested (and was approved). I actually just got $200 limit increases today on each: Brylane Home, Roamans, King Size, and Victoria Secret. I’ve never had any issues with Comenity, or my accounts. They’re great to deal with. Also, the shopping cart thing…I created a Buckle and J.Crew account online, pretended I was making a purchase, and got the pre-approved pop-up for both of them. $250 for each one, on the same day, actually.
Hans Mast says
What’s the point?? Average age of credit lines? Are these cards without annual fees? There are far better no annual fee cards like Chase Freedom, Fidelity 2%, etc. The only possible reason I can think of is if you’re very young and wanting a sheer volume to achieve long term average age of credit lines.
Hans – you can get credit, that reports to all 3 majors bureaus, without the hard pull. I added thousands of dollars of available credit, which helps my credit utilization immensely (It is under 5%) and my score went up 50 + points in fico and vantage with all these new accounts in less than 30 days. The only thing that really suffered was age of credit but mine was already very new to begin with.
And – yes. All the cards have no annual fees,usually have a lot of coupons and discounts associated with them. With smart use this is a great trick for people looking to improve their score and get approved for other non store cards.
Hans Mast says
Is this useful if I have 5 years avg age of credit and $150k++ of CLs already?
Hans, if you have that much credit, why are you concerned about measly store cards? Or Comenity at all for that matter?
Hans Mast says
I’m just trying to understand your fandom of Comenity and what sorts of people it’s applicable to.
I have their cards for all the stores I shop at. I have the Full Beauty, Roamans, Jessica London & King Size for my parents for Christmas & Birthday shopping, the GameStop for myself & my husband, Forever21, Express, American Eagle, Buckle, JCrew, Victoria Secret & Ulta for myself and my kids, Brylane Home for odds & ends in the house, Overstock for prepper stuff like Augason Farms meal buckets & seeds (which is actually cheaper there than the Augason Farms website). And considering that’s the ONLY places I shop, other than Walmart for my monthly groceries, there’s TONS of rewards & discounts for card holders. So, as long as I’m not carrying a balance, it’s SO worth it.
Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic are Synchrony cards, not Comenity.
i was in Christmas tree shop and they offer a mastercard/visa and it is thru comenity
I just applied for and was approved for the AKC credit card. I’m kind of surprised it’s not on the list, because it seems like it has a decent rewards program: 3 points per dollar spent on pet purchases (including vet bills), 2 points per dollar spent on gas/groceries, and 1 point per dollar spent on anything else. 2500 points convert to a 25$ credit/check. The card can be used anywhere a VISA card is accepted. Maybe someone here has insight on any downsides to the card? I haven’t received the card yet, so I haven’t had a chance to use it, but it seems to me that on the surface the rewards are as good as anything else I’ve seen here.
For those who have are considering applying to a Comenity Bank card, I have a credit score of 690 to 700 (depending on whose equation you use), 2 hard inquiries on each report, and 1 other open credit card. I was instantly approved for a 1500$ CL.
I called in to get my Gander Mtn balance. Sent in the check the same day and called back to cancel the card. Now they send me a bill for $46. These crooks are the worst. I’m sending the copies to the Ohio Attorney Generals office and filling a complaint. I’m going to make sure they spent 10 times that dealing with the complaints.
Natasha Burgess says
It probably just crossed in the mail. Especially if you mail it. All you have to do is call and explain. I did that with another card. They took off charges and closed account. Next time, call to pay off and cancel at the same time.
Natasha Burgess says
Use your bank. After my bankruptcy (identity theft is a butt). I have a mutual fund, that is the backing on my card. I add money to mutual fund to increase the limit. It gets reported, every 2 weeks to once a month.
Natasha Burgess says
I suggest s secure card, through your bank. You are in control of the limit. Plus is looks great on credit.
Natasha Burgess says
VS, is not a hard one. You get lots of rewards. Who doesn’t love free underwear!!! I became a gold member in like 6 months. All I did was pay my bill on time. I recommend you request a low limit. VS can get you in trouble…haha.
I’m not sure who it’s by, but try Kohls. It was easier for me to get it.
Natasha Burgess says
I have a high number of hard inquiries. I am still able to get credit. What they see is you’re paying on time. Besides, hard inquiries are not as bad. If you buy a car or house, every place they turned in your information to, will get a hard one. Good thing is, they are usually looked as 1. So if you have 12, but 4 are from a car and 4 from a home loan. Then MOST will see that you only have 6, not the 12. Just an FYI.
Donna M says
Well, I’ve had three of Community Credit Cards though all are for the women’s clothing,HOME goods sort and until today while pondering the possibilities of applying for the Bed Bath and Beyond credit card and accidently discovered that this particular credit card just happens to be one that I just might seriously consider, as all the others (Woman Within,Ellos,Brylane aHome) I’ve had now going on 3 years and I have never had a late payment and currently all are paid in full so since 2012 my husband and I have been rebuilding,paying off all our prior credit debt that has for many reasons found their way onto each of our credit reports and many have been as a result of stolen identify and other nefarious means but back to my point, I’m just now to the point of pretty much having both our credit reports up where they need to be so we can qualify for a new home to be built on land we recently purchased. So, I wanted to ask if anyone has any good reviews on this credit card?
Merrick secured card
Darla Pearce says
You need to register at HSN and also at end in your shopping cart ~ put in your CC #. Then you get the popup.
Darla Pearce says
Popup? Or Hard pull. I guess all Visa and MC’s are hard pulls but did you get the popup or have to apply yourself?
I rarely ever see anyone discuss Buckle clothing. I used the SCT a couple of years ago with them and they have increased me on their own 4 times out of the blue. I shopped there anyhow it was, I thought it was easy to get it just popped up as I was checking out. (I was logged into a new user account I had just set up). They have something for everyone from socks to ear rings to wallets for men. I’d try them if you’re really trying for another one and in position of being able to tackle another payment.
Was approved for a VS with a $250 limit last week using the SCT. My mother in law also got approved for $500 children’s place card today with the same method. I have a 570-578 score and attempting to build. Also applied for a gordmans card directly and was approved for $200. I was very surprised. Still trying other stores. Will repost if any luck.
Melissa R Smith says
I would like to report that Wayfair and Overtock.com offer Comenity credit cards and they are both easy to get. I would recommend both of them to anyone who is interested in improving their credit.