A Review of What to Expect From Comenity Bank
Let us talk about Comenity Bank. Never heard of it? Don’t worry you are not alone. This is not your usual brick and motor bank. It’s not an online savings and debit account holding bank either. This bank is more of a behind-the-scene banker to some of the store credit cards that you get at your favorite stores and service providers.
Understanding back-end vs front-end card issuance
Whenever a retail store, airline or hotel issues you with its own branded credit card it technically advances you money. However, the retail store does not advance you its own money. The money comes from a bank somewhere. The bank is also responsible for authorizing your transactions and maintaining your credit account. If anything, the store issuing you a card is just a front that gets a cut for the card issuance and transactions.
These cards can be backed by normal banks that also engage in commercial banking activities such as the issuance of loans, saving and current accounts. On the other hand, the back-end issuer of the card can be an entity, which solely deals in the issuance of cards. Comenity Bank falls in the latter category.
Brief background on Comenity bank
Formed in 1989 under the name World Financial Network bank, the bank is a composite of two subsidiaries; Comenity Capital and Comenity Bank. Both the subsidiaries are active participants in the credit card issuance and maintenance business.
What services does the bank offer?
• Card issuance: The bank issue users of its service with credit cards via front end merchants. They offer cards that are tailor mad e to fit with the front end merchant requirements. Most of their cards are issued with a credit limit of $ 500 which can be upgraded upon a customer proving his creditworthiness. Should you lose your card they are responsible for card replacement which they do for free.
• Credit Card account management: For each credit card issued out a corresponding account is opened to manage the fund usage. A client is given access to view his account or query on his account through an online account, post mail statements or via phone. The account management system also allows the client to clear any balances on the account.
• Credit cards payment authorizations and management: As a back-end issuer the bank is responsible for settling the payments on all the purchases that you make on your card. They are also responsible for analyzing cards transactions to ensure that cards are not being used fraudulently. They do this by making call backs to seek for authorization as well as recording pre authorized store fronts for convenience purchases.
Features of Comenity Bank credit card service
Standard features that you should expect to receive from the bank’s service include:
1. 24/7 Customer Service
Comenity Bank offers a round the clock customer service. It has a chat portal to enable clients to interact with its agents. Additionally, you can call their customer service lines if you need to get through to a customer service executive for quick verbal advice. Their online portal also has a customer service toggle that allows in mail messaging.
2. Serve a large pool of merchants
The bank offers branded cards to more than 200 merchants and more than 50 million customers. This makes them a premier service provider. As such you can be sure that they are able to provide you with whatever service they promise to give you
3. Ease of access to their cards
Their cards are relatively easy to access. This is because the bank does not use credit scores to determine eligibility for most of their cards. This makes the process of airing the card easier for anyone irrespective of your credit history.
4. Card Replacement
In case of a card loss, Comenity card promise to offer a replacement within the shortest time possible. Additionally, if there were any offers and rewards attached to the previous card from the front end merchant, Comenity are able to organize for retention.
5. Payment systems
Comenity allows the merchant to choose their own payment system whether it is Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. Most cards though are issued on Visa due to its widespread use and compatible POS availability. This functionality allows the merchants the ability to tailor their cards according to their clients’ needs.
6. Credit limit and upgrades
This bank offers cards at a base credit limit of $500. If after a period of nine months you have a number of high-volume or value of purchases then you are eligible for credit limit upgrade. Depending on your supposed liquidity you may get limits of up to 20,000.
7. Antifraud protection
Fraud is a major concern among credit card holders. Comenity claims to have one of the strongest anti-fraud systems. It has put in place efficient check to guard against fraud and identity theft.
8. Nonpayment of unauthorized charges and payments
In relation to fraud, the banks claim that it does not place the liability of payment for an unauthorized transaction on the customer. Furthermore it has an investigative unit that is charged with the duty of analyzing cases of fraud that might be aimed at their customers. Through case reviews, they are able to prevent future cases of financial loss suffered being suffered by their clients.
9. No hard pulls on your credit history
Hard pulls for credit history can be detrimental to one’s credit scores. This is especially true if there are numerous pulls on one’s credit file within a short time span. The fact that they do not have credit score pulls makes it good enough to take more than one card within a short time in order to gain from offers and rewards.
10. Reporting to CRB
Needless to say, this is an important factor for people who are taking cards for the benefit of improving their credit scores. For ease and positive reports always ensure that you have no balance on your card. Also makes appoint of transacting marginally on your card.
11. Ease in settling your account balances
This card comes with easy ways to settle up on your account balance. You can pay via online means or you can set payment to be deducted from your main bank account and also you may pay via a number of stores like from a payment coupon to the Bank.
There are a few noted drawbacks that you can expect from Comenity
• Customer service: Comenity has been cited before for having poor customer service. A number of customers have complained of their front merchants not being able to assist either.
• Full non-disclosure: Comenity has additionally been cited for not having clear disclosure practices. As an example, it has been noted that at times it fails to let people know that their interest-free balance period is almost over. Moreover, through a suit that was raised in 2015 and ruled in favor of consumers, the Bank was accused of misleading clients that its services do not have annual (zero) fees, yet they charge monthly maintenance fee.
Clearly Comenity Bank offers a lot of positive features for its credit cards. The fact that it is does not practice hard pulling on credit files makes it ideal for bad credit holders. However its credibility issues and cases of poor customer service should be reason enough to make you think twice. Additionally most of the cards issued by store fronts and merchants tend to be expensive and as such you are safer keeping away from their use if you can. Meanwhile if you are up to the task, get down to Comenity Bank’s website and start searching for your ideal card.