Is Department Stores National Bank a Scam?

Q: I received a notice in the mail from Department Stores National Bank saying that I owe them almost $200 from a credit card. I never recall having an account with this bank. Is this some sort of debt collection scam?

A: Whether that debt is legitimately yours or not, I cannot say. But I can tell you who Department Stores National Bank (DSNB) is and what I think of their cards.

Who are they?

Dept Stores National Bank description
Judging by their name, you may assume this bank is affiliated with numerous department stores. In actuality, it’s only one; Macy’s (and Bloomingdales, which they own). So if you have an account with either one of those stores, then you have a DSNB credit card.

DSNB details

FDIC Certificate #: 58180
Federal Reserve ID: 3382547
Charter #: 24622
Date Established: October 24, 2005
Bank Holding Company (Regulatory Top Holder): Citigroup Inc. (RSSDID: 1951350, Location: New York, NY)
Mailing Address: 701 East 60th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 (note: credit card payment address may differ)

As you can see DSNB is a joint venture with Citibank, which was created in 2005. So yes, they are a 100% legitimate bank and not a scam.

Cards issued by DSNB

  • Macy’s Credit Card (for store use only)
  • Macy’s American Express (can be used at their stores and anywhere that takes AmEx)
  • Bloomingdales Credit Card (for store use only)
  • Bloomingdales American Express (can be used at their stores and anywhere that takes AmEx)

All of these cards have major disadvantages. If you have poor credit and can’t qualify for prime credit cards, then I understand why someone would apply. But for everyone else, they’re a bad idea and here’s why…

Disadvantages

Usurious Interest Rates – At the time of writing (October 2012) all of the above cards had the same high rate of 24.50%. The applications online listed that one rate (not different tiers) so it looks like everyone gets stuck with 24.50% regardless of how good or bad your credit is.

Underwhelming Rewards – You may be shocked to see that the store-only version of Macy’s does not come with a rewards program. You don’t earn points or cash back. Meanwhile the one from Bloomingdales does earn points, but they’re worth 50% less than what you might expect…
point value
(each point is only worth a 1/2 cent)

Few Benefits – Like most dept. store credit cards, the one thing they have going for them is that they occasionally send out coupons to cardholders. But aside from that, the benefits are almost non-existent on the store-only versions.

Advantages

There are a few good things to say about them…

Customer Service – I called the Department Stores National Bank phone number (FYI it’s 1-877-493-9207 for Macy’s and 1-866-593-3927 for Bloomingdales) to field some questions I had about their cards. The annoying part was that initially, the automated system wouldn’t let me speak to a rep without entering an account number (since I didn’t have one, I just kept pressing buttons – after 3 failures it connected me). Once the rep was finally on the phone, I was pleasantly surprised to (a) get an American, and (b) he was very knowledge about the card.

Easy to get – If you have half-way decent credit, you should be able to get approved for the store versions. Meanwhile the AmEx versions will require better credit scores. Something to realize is that even though they are branded as AmEx, they are managed and issued by Department Stores National Bank. All the AmEx label means is that it’s the payment network used to process the card’s transactions.

The Takeaway?

DSNB is not a scam. They are a completely legitimate financial services organization that issues cards for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. However, their cards are of questionable value due to the rewards. To see reward cards that you could qualify for that might offer more value check out this tool from Capital One:

Written or last updated February 2016

 
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 just receive a late payment notice and to add insult to injury they also send a credit mark to the credit accounting agencies.
You go onto Macy’s account which I have has since 1978 – NO where on the page does it left you down load or enter in information about the American Express . You look on the back of the American Express card they send you with the Macy’s logo and on the back it states go to : macys.com/mymacyscard – so I go to that .com , again it’s my Macy’s account (Macy’s charge card) I hit pay my bill, it states no balance due. Yet the American Express card tells me I have $318.90 . How in the hell do they expect me to be able to pay a bill (actually I have all my bills automatically paid every month (amount due) . Then the kicker they are going to lower my card to only a $400.00 credit line. I keep $400.00 in my pocket. I called pay the bill off , cancelled the card now I have to file two reports with the credit reporting agencies telling them what Macy’s did. Plus they stated I have a history of delinquent payments. I pay all my credit cards off each month via my auto debit. Macy’s has never disclosed they own 100 % of this card. Total cow murmurer.
Macy’s is really starting to go down hill. I contacted they before about this and I was told you can pay it on line using my Macy’s sign in. Another lie. I need to shop at other more credible Dept. Stores or on line. No wounder Macy’s stock is at an all time low.

The Amex card was separate from your Macy’s card. You couldn’t see it on the Macy’s website because only the Macy’s card was on your account at macys.com. You should have added the Amex card to your macys.com account as soon as you got it.

The option to add the AM EX card doesn’t work. You get an error message. I went around in circles with customer service & tech support. Do yourself a favor, folks, don’t bother getting this card even with the silly incentives. It’s not worth all the hassle. I’m closing my account.

I receive a mail from IRS saying I need to pay $180.00 for tax. I called them and they said it’s from debt collecting form Macy’s that I owed. I owed them money from my previous bill and it is going back years so they write off the amount but the taxable mount I have to pay. I was told by the IRS rep to look up Department Store National Bank and contact them if I think this is a mistake. IRS can’t give me any more information. So I am trying to locate a proper phone number to call the bank if any one has please let me know. I don’t have a Macy’s credit card for a number of years now. An I do mean a number of years. I don’t think I should have to pay this. NO one can give me specific month and year.

Thank you

First off, the IRS is not a collection agency. They would not be collecting on behalf of Macy’s for any type of debt owed to them. Re-review the contact letter, if you do not owe for taxes itself, the IRS won’t contact you about this. If the letter is from a collection agency pretending to be the IRS or anything other than a collection agency, that is against the law and you can file a complaint with the BBB and CFPB. Also, depending on what state you live in, the statute of limitations might be up on the debt and therefore you would not have to pay it.

What Lisa currently owes is taxes to the IRS, *not* a Macy’s/DSNB card balance; it does NOT appear to be a scam. Whenever a card issuer writes off a balance outside of bankruptcy, it is supposed to send a 1099 form to the taxpayer and the IRS; the IRS treats it as taxable income unless the taxpayer was insolvent. The 1099 form should have been addressed on her tax return for that year, either by reporting it as income or by claiming the insolvency exemption. Lisa needs to consult with a tax advisor to resolve her issue with the IRS.

The only reason the IRS referred her to DSNB was to dispute the 1099 form. She doesn’t owe anything to DSNB, nor is the IRS collecting DSNB debt; this is taxes the IRS claims she owes because DSNB wrote off her debt.

I have had numerous bad experiences with Citibank and this was another one. No statements were received. Multiple late fees and prompt adverse reporting from Citibank to multiple credit bureaus. I did not realize that this card was administerred by Citibank till now and will close it promptly to avoid interacting with Citibank.

Department Stores National Bank, a subsidiary of Citibank issues Macy’s and American Express Macy’s credit cards. In my experience, I consider these poorly run organizations, incompetent and incapable to provide the minimum customer service for on-line accounts. I have been a Macy’s customer for over 20 years. During the time Macy’s was in control of its credit card on-line operations I never had trouble paying my bill on line. Until they unwisely decided to outsource this function to DSNB. Since then I only had nothing but trouble.

i have just received a ltr from the IRS stating that Department stores National Bank reported to the IRS $5,667.00 And has a credit card number listed as well as my full social # and FORM 1099-C from 10/20/14. I HAVE NEVER HAD A CREDIT CARD WITH THESE IDIOTS! UNBELIEVABLE PAIN TO FIX THIS:(

CATRINA RODRIGUEZ

I DON’T KNOW WHY I GOT THIS LETTER EITHER BECAUSE I HAVEN’T GOT MY MACY’S CARD FOR A LONG TIME.

Macy’s is just one big mess. I received a card from them and never activated it. When I moved to another city all of a sudden I received a statement with a few hundred dollars charged to my account. I’ve been through customer service a couple of times and they won’t answer my question about how someone could charge to my account without appropriate ID and without an activated card. No one will give me an answer, they just ignore the question. Today I asked to speak with the fraud department and they refused to speak with me. Not only is this very poor customer service, it appears that they don’t want to take responsibility for someone in their organization screwing up. I also said I wanted to close my account and they’ve opened a new account for me. I’ll be calling often until they get their act together. I will also boycott shopping there which likely means nothing to them.

Copy of e-mail sent to Macy’s Consumer Services 10/16/2015:

DSNB is a flawed organization. They are demanding payment without providing me with a bill.
They will not allow me to view my account online. They only demand that I pay them. They did
not send me a bill electronically or via US Postal Service. They have turned my account over to
debt collector, National Enterprise Systems. They are charging me with a late fee, without any
accounting of the purchase or the service charge.

I will go to the Brea store today and pay the outstanding bill, including the fraudulent service
charge. Then I will cut up my Macy’s American Express credit card. I have instructed my bank
not to accept any more e-bills on my Macy’s account. My next action will be to close my Macy’s
account if I have any more problems or issues.

Macy’s must press the DSNB to stop this outrageous business practice, refund the collected
service charges, and issue apologies to all of the customers who have been effected by their
business conduct.

As an update, the matter was not turned over to a debt collector, that would be illegal by federal regulations. National Enterprise Systems was looking for someone other than me or my wife. I’m sorry to have given out incorrect information.

Two weeks ago, I received a notice letter from their Collection Department indicates my account is past due. Because we have not received any statement notice either by email or mail, I tried to access my account online to see what happened. However, the Bloomingdales web site linked to the Department Store National Bank is always showing errors (as attached below) during the last two weeks. I tried to call the customer service number 1-800-417-2699. After the auto messages, they always said it was not their office hours. Calling the Collection Department, the line was ringing for a while and turned into busy tone. At last, we decided going to Bloomingdales store at Standford shopping center and finally got hold of one of their representatives on the phone. I asked to pay my balance but not the penalty & interests. The account specialist named Therese told me that she can not do that until their web site is back to normal and asked me to call back the following week. However, one week has passed and their web site is still not working. This is very frustrating and annoying. I don’t know how they can do business like this and keep charging customers penalty and interests.

******
STORES & EVENTS USD MY ACCOUNT SIGN IN MY BROWN BAG
Skip to Main Content
Bloomingdale’s
Page Loaded
Sorry, We Are Unable to Provide the Service You Requested
An error occurred. You need to return to bloomingdales.com.

You’re leaving the Department Stores National Bank (“DSNB”) website and returning to bloomingdales.com. That site may have a privacy policy and security that is different from this DSNB website. DSNB, the issuer of the Bloomingdales’s credit card is not responsible for other products, services and content on bloomingdales.com.

RETURN TO BLOOMINGDALE’S

As of today (9/9/2015), the link to Department Store National Bank account is still not working. They don’t have an independent web site to be accessed directly. I guess we can only keep waiting…

I have been getting the same error message when trying to access my Macys American Express credit card statements online. Very frustrating.

Stephen Barrett, MD

After our Macy’s Card was switched to the DSNB card, we received a notice that without opting out our information would be shared with “marketing affiliates” and “nonmarketing affiliates” unless we opted out by calling 800-830-3087. When I called, the phone was answered and then silent. So I called the customer service. After six minutes of navigating very poorly designed voicemails and doing everything I could to reach an “agent,” I finally got one. But he said that since the card was in my wife’s name and she was not available to authorize them to speak with me, he could not do anything (for reasons of security”). I should call back when she is home. It’s amazing to me that a company that is willing to generate hundreds of unwanted marketing messages to me unless I opt out insists that the person doing the opting out has to be authorized. After I pointed out (more than once) how difficult it had been to reach me, he finally gave me a number (877-204-7996) which he said would reach his department “directly.” (Through an operator, he said.)

Department Stores National Bank Customer Care phone number 800-725-2089 has a message instructing you to call back during their business hours of 7-10 M-F, 9-6 Sat, and 9-4 Sun. I have called many times during those hours over the last 3 months but always get the same recording.
Does anyone know why this is or how I can get through to Department Stores National Bank?

TRAVIS CALL 1-866-596-1279, THAT IS THEIR NUMBER

Robert L Applegate

We were notified today that a transaction made previously at Macy’s under terms of a special events / no interest offer have been retroactively cancelled and that the balance was now in our regular credit account.
This is the kind of unethical behavior that the major financial institutions need to understand that we will not support.

I’ve sent this off to Macy’s (after mailing it to myself for future reference) and am trying to find a way to send it to DSNB but thought I would post it here also. Thank heavens now that I’m retired, I don’t shop all that much so their infuriating policy of offering specials ONLY to credit card holders and, when you say you don’t even know if your account is still open, looking it up and telling you it is, at which point, like an idiot, you say okay charge it, will no longer be a temptation. And, if I finally manage to get the account truly closed, I couldn’t charge if I wanted to! But here is the experience I had today:

On April 1, 2015, I called Macy’s because I received an e-mail saying my statement was ready to view on line. This was a surprise, since I had requested that the account be closed. As usual, I couldn’t sign on – I had closed my account previously because of this and the fact that every month I seemed to get little bills in strange amounts [$7.99 – $2.00, etc.] and had to end up calling and paying them by phone. Also, I had discovered an “adverse action” on my credit report due to the $7.99 payment being made late probably due to my inability to EVER get on-line with them).

So my call to them today was to make sure the account was actually closed and there wasn’t some other little balance on it. The third person I got sent to finally told me that there was, in fact, a $2.00 balance at which point I told her I had just PAID a $2.00 balance a month or so ago by phone and that I wanted to pay this one today and never, ever, get another charge for anything and that I wanted the account CLOSED. She ended up telling me that the account was a Macy’s/Amex card (which of course I didn’t know cause I no longer have the card) and that apparently “only one of them got closed” which I think is ridiculous (a card is a card – not two cards). They had my checking account info from the last time this happened so she supposedly has taken the $2.00 from my account to pay this bill and has ordered “the second account” closed also.

And if I get another statement next month with a $2.00 charge on it, I WILL NOT pay it!

i found a coat london fog in macys not my size sales associate we can order it in you’r size and send it to you’r house get so much off for opening macys credit card pay off in cash and get so much more off ok great deal coat comes wrong coat send it bsck have all my receipts can’t get my money back is everyone else having these problems what there doinng is crooked the sales associate had folded my cash receipt over and stapled it to the credit card paper work he had ordered an izod coat knew exactly what he was doing crooked!!!!citicorp i’m contacting the consumer protection agency see what happens need a class action suit oh thats against the law now??

I’ve just received a 1099-c for 2014 from Macy-DSNB. They are discharging $1093.19 . The problem is I’ve paid this debt in full in 2011-12. What should I do now?

I received a 2014 1099-C from Dept.Stores National Bank. It says they discharged 1,008.24. I do not have a Macy’s card and don’t understand what this means? Is this credit card fraud? Am I supposed to file taxes on this?

ScotttFisscher

Does anyone know why Macy’s is pushing customers to open joint credit card accounts. This past New Year’s my wife and my mother were talked into opening a joint account just so they could get the discount for opening a new account. Both already had Macy’s accounts. We were shopping in Macy’s this past weekend and it was taking awhile to check out because they clerks were opening up joint accounts for the people in front of us. The clerk also asked us if we wanted to open a joint account. We declined because we each have our own separate accounts that predate our marriage. Why the obscession with joint accounts?

Macy’s credit card took advantage of my 86 years old mother
by “helping’ her to applies for credit card in San Francisco. She is on a welfare, never have cc. How Macy’s can approved her cc? She bought something for $72 in summer 2013, and her bill was $252 in Feb. 3014. She does not speak English language. I only just recently found out she had it at all.

I agree with Alistair. The reward for using the Macy’s card is that you can get certain promotional pricing (that is, sale pricing) at the time of purchase that is not available to users of other cards. However, if you plan to spread out payments, use another card or don’t buy at all.

I would like to know the reason for a decline credit only with Macy ‘a card
I have over 700 credit score and I have. 100% approvals on all other
Credit cards. Please advise

There is one advantage of a Macy’s that you didn’t mention and that is that they have in-house promotions when using the card. High interest rates are not a problem; it is foolish not to pay off in full each month. If you don’t think you can pay it off in a month, don’t buy in the first place.