Review of the L.L.Bean Mastercard

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Jul 18, 2018 | Updated Oct 18, 2018

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The L.L.Bean Mastercard is a credit card that’s designed with frequent shoppers of L.L.Bean in mind.

You’ll earn 4% cash back for eligible purchases made at L.L.Bean, and 2% back at gas stations and restaurants. So you’ll want to use this card mainly for L.L.Bean shopping, and perhaps for those other categories unless you could get a better deal with a regular reward credit card.

Along with some Mastercard benefits, you’ll also get additional perks such as free monogramming, free shipping and returns, and exclusive sales and offers at L.L.Bean.

The L.L.Bean credit card is currently issued by Citi as a Mastercard. It was previously issued by Barclays, as the L.L.Bean Visa Card.

Since the switch to Citi, we’ve been seeing a lot of reports of problems using the card or dealing with customer service. You may want to review those comments before applying for this card.

This is an “open-loop” card, which means you can use it anywhere Mastercard credit cards are accepted.

If you spend a lot of money with L.L.Bean every year, the L.L.Bean Mastercard might be right for you. Keep reading to learn more and see what this card offers.

L.L.Bean Mastercard
Apply Now

L.L.Bean Mastercard

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 15.74% or 21.74% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 4% cash back at L.L.Bean stores
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants
  • Free shipping, and free return shipping
  • Free monogramming
  • Cardmember-exclusive offers and discounts
  • No annual fee
  • 15.74–21.74% APR for purchases and balance transfers

What if I Have the Older L.L.Bean Visa Card?

If you had the old L.L.Bean Visa Card, you should have received a new L.L.Bean Mastercard in July. After getting your new card you’ll need to activate it at llbeanmastercard.com.

The new card is issued by Citibank, and no longer offers L.L.Bean coupons as part of the rewards program. Instead of coupon dollars you’ll end up getting Bean Bucks, which are pretty much the same thing. If you had any L.L.Bean coupons they will be converted to Bean Bucks.

Our Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

We give the L.L.Bean Mastercard 2 out of 5 Stars. Even though it’s a store card that offers a fairly high amount of cash back, with some decent other benefits, we’ve received many complaints about this card after the change from Barclays to Citi.

Why we like this card

  • 4% cash back at L.L.Bean
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants
  • 15% discount on your first purchase with the card (with limitations)
  • Free shipping and return shipping
  • Free monogramming
  • Exclusive sales and offers
  • No annual fee
  • Relatively easy to get for people with less than great credit
  • Issued by Citi, so it has better customer support than most store cards

Why this card could be better

  • Many readers report bad customer service after the change from the Barclays Visa to the Citi Mastercard
  • The 15% discount is only available for the website visit in which you apply for the card, so you could accidentally lose it

Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • Shop at L.L.Bean Stores: Pay with the L.L.Bean card to get 4% back on eligible L.L.Bean purchases, online, in-store, or by phone.
  • Get the 15% L.L.Bean discount: The signup offer of a 15% discount is only available for the current llbean.com visit as you apply for the card, so be sure not to miss out.
  • Redeem Bean Bucks for L.L.Bean purchases: You can redeem the Bean Bucks you earn for most L.L.Bean purchases and services.
  • Enjoy free shipping: Shipping and return shipping are both free, so you can make smaller purchases without feeling guilty about shipping costs.
  • Monogram whenever you want: Free monogramming means you don’t have to wait for a special occasion.
  • Look out for special offers: Cardholders will occasionally get access to exclusive discounts for L.L.Bean merchandise or services.

The Rewards

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 4% cash back at L.L.Bean stores
  • 2% cash back at:
    • gas stations
    • restaurants
  • 1% cash back everywhere else
Signup Bonus Offer
  • 15% off your first L.L.Bean purchase in your first day after being approved
    • for online instant approvals only
    • only applicable to your current llbean.com website visit

If you spend a lot of money with L.L.Bean, it’s easy to see how this card could help save you some cash.

It offers rewards at a decent rate for gas and at restaurants as well, compared to most other reward cards. That makes it more useful than your average store card, which is often only worth using at its co-branded store.

The rewards you earn will be counted in Bean Bucks. Your Bean Bucks will expire if you don’t use the card once every 24 months.

The 15% discount is only eligible for your current website visit, in which you successfully applied for the L.L.Bean Mastercard. You’ll need to be instantly approved for the card. If you leave the website and come back, you’ll miss out on the 15% discount.

Most purchases are eligible for the 15% discount, but not all. The ineligible purchases are:

Purchases Ineligible for 15% Discount
Alterations Direct to Business orders Duty Electronics Engraving Firearms
Gift boxes Gift cards Licenses/stamps Monogramming Optics Outdoor Discovery School programs
Repairs Return Labels Select Boats Shipping Charges Taxes

Redeeming

The cash back you earn will be deposited in your Bean Bucks account. Each Bean Buck is worth $1.

Bean Bucks can only be redeemed for purchases and services from L.L.Bean. Most purchases and services are included, although express shipping and oversized freight delivery are ineligible.

You can use Bean Bucks when making purchases online, in store, or by phone.

The Benefits

You’ll receive a list of benefits in the mail when you get your L.L.Bean Mastercard. The following Perks come standard, and the Shopping and Travel protections may or not be available.

Check your card’s Guide to Benefits for details on your specific benefits and how to access them.

Perks

  • Exclusive Sales and Special Offers

    You’ll receive cardmember-only discounts and sales at L.L.Bean.

  • Free Monogramming on L.L.Bean Products

    Customize your purchases by getting a free monogram. Each line normally costs $8.

  • Free Shipping

    Free standard shipping for purchases from L.L.Bean.

  • Free Returns

    You’ll get free regular shipping on eligible returns to L.L.Bean.

Shopping

The L.L.Bean Mastercard may come with the following benefits.

  • Purchase Protection

    If an item you buy is broken or stolen, you may be eligible for reimbursement.

  • Extended Warranty

    Doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on eligible products, up to a maximum of one additional year.

  • Price Protection

    If you buy an item and then find it being sold for a lesser price, you may be eligible for reimbursement.

Travel

The L.L.Bean Mastercard may come with the following benefits.

  • Travel Assistance Services

    Provides 24/7 help with travel emergencies; includes emergency card replacement, cash advances, and more.

  • Master RoadAssist Service

    Call for help if you break down while driving, for services like towing and tire changes.

  • MasterRental Coverage

    Collision damage and theft are covered on most rental cars in the U.S., as long as you purchase the rental with your card and decline the rental company’s own insurance.

Security

  • Fraud Protection

    Cardholders aren’t held responsible for unauthorized transactions.

  • 24/7 ID Theft Resolution Services

    Help dealing with identity theft if you become a victim.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
15.74% or 21.74% Variable 15.74% or 21.74% Variable 26.99% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
$0  3% 3%, $5 minimum 5%, $10 minimum
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
See Terms Up to $37 Up to $37

The Bottom Line

Overall, the L.L.Bean Mastercard is one of the better retail store cards as far as rewards are concerned. You can use it anywhere, it provides rewards and cost-saving benefits at L.L.Bean, and you’ll even get 2% back at gas stations and restaurants.

Most people will get this card to earn the 4% cash back for purchases from L.L.Bean. This is a pretty good offer, and perhaps the best cash back deal you’ll find for shopping at L.L.Bean.

Since there’s no annual fee, there’s little risk to getting it if you spend a lot of money at L.L.Bean throughout the year, as long as you use the card responsibly.

Why not get 4% back for the purchases you’re already making? Just be sure to pay off your balance in full every month to avoid accruing any interest, which will quickly eat into your savings. Just beware of the customer service, since we’ve received many complaints.

How to Apply for the L.L.Bean Mastercard

To apply for this card just click the Apply Now button below. You can also apply in-store or by phone, although it will generally be quickest and easiest online.

If you don’t apply online you won’t get the 15% discount signup offer.

You’ll typically get an instant decision, either yes or no. In some cases it might take a bit longer, and Citi may ask for more information to process the application.

Retail store credit cards don’t have the best terms and features, but they tend to be more accessible for people with average or poor credit scores. If you’ve had a hard time being approved for better rewards cards, you might be able to start with the L.L.Bean Mastercard. After building up your credit for a while by using it responsibly, you’ll be able to qualify for more valuable cards.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must have an L.L.Bean online account
  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal identifying information, including SSN, email address, and phone number
  • Total annual income, and source of income
  • Monthly mortgage/rent payment
L.L.Bean Mastercard
Apply Now

L.L.Bean Mastercard

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 15.74% or 21.74% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 4% cash back at L.L.Bean stores
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants
  • Free shipping, and free return shipping
  • Free monogramming
  • Cardmember-exclusive offers and discounts
  • No annual fee
  • 15.74–21.74% APR for purchases and balance transfers

Do you have the L.L.Bean Mastercard? If so, how do you like it? Leave your own review of the L.L.Bean Mastercard.

Looking for other credit cards that earn great rewards? Check out our picks for the Best Credit Cards in a variety of categories.

Looking for a rewards credit card you can use anywhere?

Browse rewards credit cards on our partner’s site below.

Rewards Credit Cards

  • Earn rewards with your everyday spend, and get a little closer to your next vacation.
  • Use rewards to book hotels, air travel, gift cards, or to cover travel expenses like Uber.
  • Loyalty pays off — earn additional rewards when you use your card to book a qualifying trip with your favorite hotel or airline.
  • Enjoy additional travel perks like travel insurance, waived foreign transaction fees, and airport lounge access.
  • Terms vary by partner offer. Please see each bank’s application for terms and conditions.
  • Clicking Apply Now will take you to CreditCards.com where you can compare Travel Rewards cards from participating partners.

Apply Now!

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  • Scott

    I’ve been a card holder for years, even before it was with Barclays. The program enhancements with this new card are a considerable step forward. The one major step backwards that was not discussed for me is no Financial Software export for my transactions. I manage all my finances with the leading consumer software and for some reason this isn’t available for this card in 2018? I can do PDF, CSV, XLS, and TXT but no other. I know Citi supports it, I have other Citi cards but not for LL Bean.

    • LLBean Fan

      There are enhancements coming shortly that will allow access to quicken connect and additional enhancements coming to their online account platform that you will enjoy. I called customer service the other day; they were great and advised enhancements to the technology is coming soon.

      • Scott

        God Lord, do you work for Bean’s? Any negative comment in this thread and you are on it like the PR department. Face it, this wasn’t a great transition! To lose basic functionality like transaction downloading in 2018 is horrible planning and execution. Citi has all these capabilities, so it’s isn’t like we should be waiting for it to be developed and we are months into the transition and it’s still coming. The increased benefits are really just keeping up with the Joneses, I have kept the card because it is one of my oldest and helps the FICO score. I reached out directly to LL Bean before I posted my earlier comment last month and this is what Karen from Bean’s shared.
        “This was brought to our attention early on, by several customers.

        It is on the list of things we would like to see Citi Bank fix for our customers.

        I do not know when, it will be a added benefit, on the card. We talk with Citi Bank on a regular basis, to let them know our needs as well as our customers expectations.”

        Since this wasn’t even on the radar prior to customers bringing it to Bean’s attention I’m not cutting them any slack on this bumble.

  • Jane Green

    I’ve also had the card since it was the Barclay’s card. This new card seems to be a special side product of Citibank, so I haven’t been able to access my information on any app. Also, I seem to recall that ALL purchases counted towards the Bean bucks before, which were certificates at the time. Other than presale access with the Citi card, I can’t see an advantage to using this card since I don’t order from LL Bean often enough to justify missing out on the perks of a full perk card. I only had to call customer service once, and it was minor and they were helpful. I do like the frequent emails that I set up, I never seemed to get that right with Barclay’s.

    • LLBean Fan

      Hi Jane, I have really enjoyed the change from Barclays to Citi also. Their new online platform is different but I have found it much better than Barclays. I also really enjoy their automated system to check my balance and super easy to pay. Bean Bucks are great, I love the 2% (double what barclays had) and my coupons will never expire – such a great plus!

  • Heidi’s Mom

    The WORST customer service by Citibank. Had awful problems with my automatic payment setup and it took 3 times to fix it, and I had wrong information given to me during the first customer service call. The switchover online was poorly planned. Also initially, the website did not offer a pdf file of your statement. The whole experience left an awful taste in my mouth. I have ceased using it, at least for a while. I don’t know why Bean’s changed. The rollover was incredibly poorly done. I like LLBean products, but hesitate to use this card again.

    • LLBean Fan

      You should reconsider, once you get to know the new platform it works well. I like getting the 2% back on gas/restaraunts vs. barclays 1% and the bean bucks never expire and you can use in any increment – its really great! Give it a second chance.

  • LLBean Fan

    You should really reconsider the overall rating for this card, I have been a card holder for years and the new systems and technology at Citi are miles ahead of Barclays. The transition was smooth if you consider the size of the portfolio that converted (over 1.5 million cards) – google it. I have trust and faith in L.L.Bean and have really enjoyed my new experiences at Citi.

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