Victoria's Secret Credit Card? Buyer Beware
We all know Victoria’s Secret is a great place to buy lingerie, but read this review before you apply for the Victorias Secret credit card and compare the pros + cons.
Thanks to supermodels like Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Gisele Bundchen, Victoria’s Secret has grown into one of the most popular retailers for lingerie. But whether you're buying from one of their stores or catalogs, you can use their card to pay.
What is Victoria's Secret Angel card?
Like most stores, the company has their own credit card which they frequently tout to customers during checkout. This one is issued by Comenity/WFNNB.
You start out with the regular Angel card. Then after earning 250 points (spending $250) the account is upgraded to the Angel VIP card which offers some additional benefits.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons for the 2 cards from Victorias Secret…
The Pros For 2013:
- Rewards: This credit card does offer a fairly good rewards program. They give 1 pt. per dollar at their store, online, or from their catalog (buying gift cards don’t count). For every 250 points accumulated ($250 spent) they give a $10 reward certificate. That equals a 4% rebate. For the VIP card level, bra purchases will earn double points.
- Birthday Gift: Each year on the accountholders birthday there is a gift. The application doesn't specify what it is, but last year I heard of cardholders receiving a $10 gift card.
- Sales/Promotions: The Victoria's Secret Angel VIP card and the standard card both give early access to some sales, special promotions, etc.
The Cons For 2013:
- Approval: Is it hard to get approved for the card from VS? Not really. The credit score / history requirements are not made public, but based on feedback I've heard from people, even if you have a score in the 600's (which is fair or average) you have a good shot at approval.
*Note: A couple years ago, the Victorias Secret credit card charged you a $1.00 fee each and every month they mailed your paper billing statement! Fortunately, they have since discontinued that fee, so I'm happy to remove that from the "cons" list for 2013.
- High Interest Rate: Do you ever carry a balance? If you do then the Victoria’s Secret card is definitely a bad idea. The interest rate is an extremely high 24.99% at the time of this card review. That is really high and even if you just carry a balance a month or two, it just about makes the value of your rewards a wash when you consider the interest charges.
- Limited Acceptance: You can only use the credit card to buy from Victoria's Secret, you can’t use it anywhere else. I really don’t like this because I prefer cards that allow me to earn points everywhere I shop, because then I can earn my rewards so much faster. Why would I want to bother with another card that I can only use one place? It sounds like a big hassle to me.
- Low Credit Limits: From the customer reviews I’ve read online, the limits allegedly tend to be on the low side. Not only does this make shopping difficult, but it might also affect your credit score. Why? Because part of your score is based on what percentage of your credit limit is used. Many credit experts claim it’s best to never use more than 20% to 30% of a card’s limit. Based on that advice, that means if they were to give you a $450 credit limit, 20% would equal only $90! This is why even if you pay your bill in full each month, it's preferable to have a higher credit limit.
- Customer Service: I read dozens of customers' feedback online and the number one recurring theme I saw was that the Comenity/WFNNB Victoria’s Secret credit card allegedly had awful customer service. I read one nightmare after another. Their website said they had an “exclusive hotline” for Angel cardmembers to “always reach customer service anytime, anywhere.” Well guess what… I had tried calling that number while researching the Victorias Secret Angel card and after pressing a zillion numbers I was given a recorded message that live credit card customer service was only available during the day, Monday through Saturday… that’s not "anytime." However in their defense, the VIP Angel credit card appears to have better service because I called after-hours and got thru to a live rep.
They've improved the program compared to what was offered in the past. The rewards are pretty respectable and the VIP Angel card offers a deal on bras with its double points. However with the high APR it would be a bad choice for the ladies who don't diligently pay their card in full.
But even taking the "pros" into account, is the Victorias Secret credit card worth it for just the reward points? Think about it... if you spend $250 this year, the value of your points would be $10. For it to be worthwhile you need to be a mega-spender at their store, since the card can't be used anywhere else.
Other Good Reward Cards For 2013:
Regardless of whether you get their store card, you still need a good Visa or MasterCard for your purchases elsewhere. Here are my two favorite that are relatively easy to get approved for.
If you have excellent credit, then check out the new Discover it which gives 5% cash back.