Comenity Bank might not be a name you hear much, but this major credit card issuer is behind many store credit cards on the market today.
Think of a retail credit card.
You probably thought of a card branded with the name of a big retailer such as Ikea, Big Lots or BJ’s, right? But retailers typically aren’t the ones issuing their cards, even if their names are on them. Instead, banks that partner with these retailers are the ones that provide and manage these types of cards.
Some credit card issuers specialize in retail credit cards, and Comenity Bank is one of the biggest. The bank offers branded cards from several retailers, many that let you earn ongoing rewards.
Whether these retail cards are a good choice for you, though, depends on your spending habits. Retail cards are limited — usually offering perks only when you shop at a specific retailer — and often come with higher interest rates. If you aren’t a frequent shopper at a specific retailer, it probably doesn’t make sense to apply for a card from it.
Which stores partner with Comenity Bank?
With so many partnering stores, Comenity Bank offers a wide variety of retail credit cards, including online stores, clothing shops, furniture stores and more. Here are some of the better-known stores for which Comenity provides a retail credit card:
- Loft Credit Card
- Bed Bath & Beyond’s Welcome Rewards store Credit Card
- Ikea Visa Credit Card
- Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards Credit Card
- Victoria’s Secret Mastercard Credit Card
- Big Lots Credit Card
- BJ’s Perks Plus Mastercard Credit Card
- BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard Credit Card
Other Comenity Bank credit cards
Comenity Bank is mostly known for its retail credit cards, but it also provides cards affiliated with other types of businesses. You can find travel rewards credit cards, auto cards, medical cards and even an insurance credit card that allows you to earn rewards while paying for your coverage.
Here’s a few non-retail Comenity card offerings:
- Worldwide Vacation & Travel Mastercard Credit Card
- Toyota Rewards Visa
- Smile Generation Financial Credit Card
- mycash Mastercard
Popular Comenity Bank cards
Comenity offers plenty of retail cards, but how do you choose the right one for you? That depends mostly on your shopping habits. If you rarely shop at a retailer, it doesn’t make sense to apply for the Comenity card connected to it — no matter how valuable that card’s rewards program might be.
But if Comenity does offer a card connected to one of your favorite stores, that card might make sense. Here’s a look at three of Comenity’s most popular rewards credit cards.
Victoria’s Secret Mastercard Credit Card
If you’re a frequent shopper at Victoria’s Secret, Comenity’s Victoria’s Secret Mastercard Credit Card might be a good choice. The card has a decent rewards program that can allow frequent shoppers to earn a steady stream of credits from the retailer. How much you earn, though, depends on what you buy.
To start, you’ll get $25 off the first purchase you make with your card at either Victoria’s Secret or Pink. As a basic cardmember, you’ll earn 5 percent back for purchases made at Victoria’s Secret and Pink, 2 percent back on dining, travel and streaming services and 1 percent on all other purchases. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on orders of $50 or more.
Built into this rewards structure is a points system in which every 2,000 points awards you $10:
- $1 spent in the 5 percent category earns you 10 points
- $1 spent in the 2 percent category earns you 4 points
- $1 in the 1 percent category earns you 2 points
- Plus, three times the points on bra purchases
After basic cardmember status, there’s Silver and Gold status, through which your rewards on Victoria’s Secret and Pink purchases can earn you up to 7.5 percent back (plus heightened perks). You’ll need to spend $250 at Victoria’s Secret per year to reach Silver status and $500 per year to reach Gold.
Ikea Visa credit card
If you can’t get enough of Ikea’s furniture — or its Swedish meatballs — you might consider applying for Comenity’s Ikea Visa credit card.
In terms of a rewards structure, you’ll earn 5 percent back on Ikea purchases, 3 percent back on dining, grocery stores and utility purchases and 1 percent back on everything else. There’s also a $25 Ikea reward dollars bonus when you spend $500 or more outside of Ikea, Traemand and TaskRabbit within the first 90 days of account opening. Plus, for every $15 in rewards you earn, you’ll receive a $15 Ikea reward certificate.
This retail card is quite interesting in that most retail-branded credit cards only reward you when you spend at their own stores, making it more difficult for consumers to earn as many points or cash back as they would with a standard rewards card. The card’s 3 percent category for dining, grocery store and utility purchases sets it apart from most other retail-branded cards.
BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard Credit Card
Frequent shoppers at wholesale club BJ’s can earn cash back quickly with the BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard Credit Card.
That’s because you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on most BJ’s purchases, in-store and online. You’ll also earn 2 percent back dining out and at non-BJ’s gas stations, plus 1 percent back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted. To sweeten the deal, cardholders also get 10 cents off every gallon of gas they charge at BJ’s Gas locations.
As with the Ikea-branded card, you aren’t limited to earning rewards only at BJ’s locations, which makes this card more valuable than many other retail-branded cards.
How to apply for a Comenity Bank card
The easiest way to apply for a credit card from Comenity Bank is to do so online. Search the card name, and find a link to the retailer site or Comenity’s website. From there, click “Apply Now” and provide the required information.
You can also apply for most of these cards in-store. The cashier may ask if you’d like to sign up for the card when you’re checking out, or you can simply request to fill out the application.
A store credit card can be a way to build your credit. You’re more likely to qualify for a store card because you generally don’t need as high of a credit score as you’d need to qualify for a traditional rewards card. And if you then use the card and pay off your balance in full each month, you’ll slowly build a solid credit history — just don’t make your payments late or run up charges that you can’t pay off in full.
Before you apply for a Comenity Bank credit card, though, be sure it’s a good option for you. Store credit cards charge some of the highest interest rates, and credit limits are typically on the lower side.
At the end of the day, such cards may only be a good choice for brand enthusiasts. Those interested in rewards might be better off with a general rewards credit card. Even if your credit isn’t in the best shape, you still may find other options.