Brooks Brothers Credit Card – The Pros & Cons

Brooks Brothers is well known as being one of the premier retailers for upscale clothing. In fact, they’ve been around since 1818 and are the nation’s oldest apparel chain for men. Most recently, they’ve gotten quite a bit of attention for their suits, shirts, and ties reportedly being used to dress the stars of the hit show, Mad Men. There’s no denying they make sharp clothes, but is the Brooks Brothers credit card a wise decision? Let’s find out…

There are two different offers:

Brooks Brothers card – This is their store-only version credit card. It can only be used for purchases at their store or orders through their website and catalog.

Brooks Brothers MasterCard – There is only one Brooks Brothers credit card application, but those with qualifying credit will be given the MasterCard instead of the store-only version. It can be used at their stores and wherever MasterCard is accepted.

Interest Rates – As with most store cards, the APRs are definitely on the high side. At the time of this review the store card carries a 22.99% APR and the Platinum MasterCard carries an APR ranging from 14.24% to 21.24% (depending on your credit).

Annual Fee – neither of the Brooks Brother credit cards charge an annual fee.

Rewards – Here’s what they offer

  • 4 points per dollar spent at Brooks Brothers (both cards give this)
  • 1 point per dollar at all other places MasterCard is accepted
  • $20 Brooks Brothers reward certificates are given for every 2,000 points

Fine Print – Reward certificates cannot be used on catalog or internet orders. Certificates will expire after only 6 months from date of issue (except when prohibited by law).

Should You Apply?
The Brooks Brothers credit card isn’t bad, but the rewards are only average for a store-affiliated card. Because there doesn’t appear to be any other unique, worthwhile benefits offered, you may want to think twice before filling out a application.

A More Rewarding Option?

Here are 3 cards I would recommend instead:

Updated for 2013

 
Comments
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

I applied for the BB MasterCard because I saw an advertised interest rate of 10.9%, then once approved the interest changed to 14%. Screw them, I have visa’s and MasterCard in the 9% range and don’t need these guys. In fact when I called them to discuss, the customer service was so bad I cancelled my card on the spot. If anyone out there is that crazy and desperate to apply for a card with these clowns… good luck…. Very poor card choice

This review misses the only reason to get this card. 15% of of purchases, stackable with Brooks Bros sales. 30%+15% off a 1,000 suit is a great deal if you want to take your suit wardrobe to the next level.

Yes, it also misses the fact that this is a terrible card choice and really makes no sense on reflection.

I like the charge card because I just wanted to be part of the Brooks Brothers family again. I had an account with them over 20 years ago and just missed having it. I am one of those who did not receive the MasterCard upon first application. But I understand that after about six months of spending and on-time payments they may extend an offer to upgrade it to the MasterCard. Note: when you first use the card, they will hold that for an extended period against your credit line. So if your credit line is 1,000 and you charge 900 and you pay 900 back even the next day, your available credit is going to remain at 100 probably for 20 days. The agent told me it would be like this for many months with a new account. I guess you could charge 1000 pay it back charge 1000 and pay it back and so on and then dispute the payments through your bank. I hadn’t thought about that potential exposure, but I guess GE Capital does.

The Brooks Brothers Mastercard is not worth it. The promo material makes it sound as if you get a $20 credit, immediately, if you use your card for a non-BB purchase within sixty days of receiving it. On closer inspection you find that offer is just the regular rewards plan requiring a high amount of purchases to earn a qualified number of points for the $20. I wrote the company and credit card provider three times, for clarification, including snail mail and email, and NEVER heard back from them. I do not recommend this card.

The BB MasterCard is managed by GE capital. The customer service is horrific and because they do not give you a CVV code until the card arrives, you will be unable to shop online (and take advantage of sale offerings) until you have the physical card in hand. I closed my account within a week of opening it and would strongly suggest that anyone would find a better means of revolving credit. I ended up using my Amex and BB graciously gave me the 15% off of my order (the reason I applied for the card to begin with) in goodwill.

If you must have a branded Brooks Brothers card, go with the in house card. Otherwise, run away screaming.

Mastercard has great rewards. Always getting brooks brothers gift certificates from using the mastercard, and it’s not an in-store-only card.

High interest rates i must say. Can’t they come any lower?

No, because they think you should be privileged to have their card and not smart enough to know you can do much better. Plus Brooks Brother clothing is not all that anyway.