LL Bean Visa Credit Card: The Pros & Cons Exposed

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LL Bean Visa Credit Card: The Pros & Cons Exposed

Postby CreditCardGuru » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:53 pm

2013 LL Bean Visa review: This exposes the pros and cons of the LL Bean credit card. Find out whether or not this card will actually save you money and be worth it.

LL Bean store
Quick Overview for 2013: Their card gives 1% on purchases, with the exception of 3% at LL Bean. It has no annual fee. There is no signup bonus.

Should You Get It? With no bonus and only 1% on all other purchases, this isn't going to make sense unless you spend several thousands per year at their stores.

If that's not you, then I would recommend going with something else instead.

Founded in 1912 in Freeport, Maine, L.L. Bean is one of the most well known clothing retailers for outdoor enthusiasts. From rugged hiking boots to down jackets, they have it all. As far as their retail locations, the have less than a couple dozen locations in the US as well as nine stores in Japan, out of all places. Of course in addition, they do a bulk of their sales via mail order. Today the company has annual sales which exceed $1.5 billion.

The nitty-gritty on the LL Bean card
Also known as the LL Bean Visa, this card is issued by Barclays Bank Delaware. In the past it was issued by MBNA America. The card includes some useful added benefits such as free return shipping, monogramming, and cardholder sales.

  • Annual Fee: The card does not have an annual fee.
  • Interest Rate: There are 3 different tiers of interest; the one given depends on the cardholder’s credit score. At the time of this review the 3 tiers of interest are 13.99%, 16.99%, and 19.99%.
  • Rewards: The rewards consists of LL Bean coupons which are issued in increments of $10. When an account accumulates $10 in rewards the coupon is issued. Here’s how it works…
    -3% on LL Bean purchases (US locations only)
    -10% on enrollment fees at LL Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools (some of their stores -offer classes on outdoor activities)
    -1% on all other purchases
Previously I was very critical of the LL Bean credit card in this review because it only gave 1/2 percent on all other purchases. However the good news is they must have heeded to the customer complaints, because now it gives 1%. I applaud them for finally stepping up to the plate!

The 3% rebate on purchases from LL Bean is slightly on the low side for a store card (many typically equal out to be 4% to 5% at their associated store).

The best rebate is on the fees for their outdoor classes… but honestly how much in a given year are you really going to spend on those? They seem to cost very little in the first place, so it’s not like the 10% is going to really save you that much in terms of dollars.

L.L. Bean is a great store that makes quality merchandise. The rebate on their classes is great percentage-wise, but again, that will probably only make up a tiny percentage of your annual spending. The 3% rebate at their stores with the LL Bean credit card isn’t bad, but it’s not all that great for a store-branded card.

My grandmother had this card for the free shipping benefit that came with it. But not that they give free shipping to everyone, everyday (no credit card required) you no longer need the LL Bean Visa for that reason.

Best Competing Card Offers? (sponsored)
In addition to the one listed above, here are a couple others I really like
  1. Discover it card - Brand new for 2013, this gives 5% on categories, full 1% on everything else, and comes with a boatload of benefits. No annual fee.
  2. Capital One Venture - double miles on every purchase
  3. BarclayCard Arrival - Travel rewards worth 2.2% on all purchases
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