The Neiman Marcus card has a rewards program for your spending called InCircle. Here’s how it works:
- Cardholders get 2 points per dollar spent at Neiman Marcus
- The points can only be redeemed in increments of 10,000
- It takes 10,000 points to get a $100 gift card, which equals out to be a 2% rebate on spending
- If the points are redeemed for merchandise/gifts/travel, you may get less value - i.e. every 10,000 points only gets you 5,000 airline miles.
There are major credit cards that give comparable (or better) rewards at department stores:
- Blue Cash Everyday from American Express - Earns you 2% cash back at select US department stores. No annual fee.
Founded in 1907, for over a hundred years now this luxury department store has stood out for their exceptional customer service. However several years back they decided to sell their credit card business to the mega bank HSBC. So how does this affect past, present, and future Neiman Marcus cardholders?
According to court documents, after the deal took place HSBC tried to jack up rates and fees on cardholders. Neiman Marcus didn’t agree, so HSBC allegedly threatened to cancel 192,000 accounts!
Long story short, it created an ugly tug-of-war between the two companies, with the cardholders stuck in the middle. Neiman Marcus even sued HSBC for this alleged incident. The good news is that the two companies settled the suit a few years ago so it has been resolved. But don't you agree that the idea that something like that could happen just leaves a bad taste in your mouth?
The Neiman Marcus credit card customer service?
Previously these credit cards were in-house at Neiman Marcus. Now they're run by HSBC.
Even though the department store and HSBC eventually kissed and made up after the lawsuit, that fiasco has tarnished the reputation of the card's historical well regarded customer service. Some past accountholders cut up their card to never look back, and others who were contemplating the application decided to think twice after hearing the complaints and negative reviews around the time of the lawsuit.
However in defense of the store, service seems to be running much smoother during the past couple years. So is the card now worth another look?
Verdict for 2013?
As you can see, it's hard to find a good reason to apply when you take into account the inferior rewards.
That being said, the minimum credit score required for a Neiman Marcus credit card application to be approved is rumored to be reasonable. I have heard from people with FICO scores in the high 600's who claim to have their application approved.
In addition to AmEx, N.M. now accepts Visa and MasterCard too. So in my opinion using any of those would probably be a better bet, since they might give more valuable rewards than the store's card. However if you don't meet the requirements for an American Express or a good Visa/MasterCard, then shooting for the Neiman Marcus charge card to get your feet in door could be the way to go.