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Review of the L.L.Bean Mastercard

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Jul 18, 2018 | Updated Oct 01, 2019
Our rating
Min. credit level: Good
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 15.99%–21.99% Variable

L.L.Bean Mastercard

Our rating
Good Min. credit level
Apply Now See Alternatives

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

L.L.Bean Mastercard

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.99%–21.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to L.L.Bean Mastercard has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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
15.99%–21.99% Variable 15.99%–21.99% Variable 27.24% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
$0  3% 5%, $10 minimum 5%, $10 minimum
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None 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

L.L.Bean Mastercard

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.99%–21.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to L.L.Bean Mastercard has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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.
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The information related to L.L.Bean Mastercard has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

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!

    • Kasey Wack
  • 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.

    • quiet one

      Actually, their systems and technology are much less user friendly than Barclay’s. There were issues getting our new cards, issues with setting up our online account. Every time I have tried to do anything beyond seeing what my balance is and making a payment has been way more effort than it should be for online banking.

  • JB Devlopper

    I am enjoying the benefits of the LLBean Mastercard, but I recently started using my phone to make payments in stores, since my credit union card works with Google Pay. As of 12/2018, I am not able to set up the LLBean Mastercard to use with Google Pay or Masterpass. Anyone interested in signing up for this card should know that it may not be possible to use the LLBean Mastercard to make payments at stores using your phone (unless I am missing something). As a result, I am using my LLBean Mastercard much less. I only use it when I can’t pay with my phone.

  • Dawn T.

    To Citibank regarding my LL Bean Mastercard:
    I have never paid a credit card bill late, or not in full, In my life. On February 25, 2019, I called in to process my payment of the full amount of the February statement of $1,062.61. I never pay the minimum payment. I pay my full balance every month, and have done so with every bill I have ever had, from anywhere, my entire life. The due date was March 1st. When I called, it appeared that there was a problem with payment processing over the phone. So, I connected to a customer service rep. who stated that there were “issues” that day with processing payments over the phone. So, she volunteered to try and process my over-the-phone payment herself. It was futile, and the payment did not process. She told me to call back after midnight, as the problem should be rectified. She assured me that the payment did not take at the time she tried. She assured me of this six times. So, I called after midnight, as I did not want my payment to be anywhere near late. A man in customer service assisted me this time. He tried to process my payment, and he said it satisfactorily processed during this second attempt. He assured me ten times that this was the only payment and that the prior attempt a few hours earlier did not do not go through. I was very concerned, as you would have taken close to $2,200 from my checking account, which I did not have as a balance. So, I foolishly trusted your company. Sure enough, two days later I find out that you took TWO payments of 1,062.61 from me. You overdrew my account, and caused a utility bill to be returned as NSF. I called your lousy company and had the misfortune to speak with Hannah, on your “management team” in Tennessee, who couldn’t have been more disrespectful, rude, and unhelpful to me. I have never bounced a payment of any kind in 61 years of life. She told me basically to go to hell, and that I would not receive a refund of the approximately $1,100.00 that you have stolen from me, for close to one month. I demanded that this entire overpayment that YOU stole from me be immediately electronically transferred back into my bank account. She said I would not receive my refund quickly because there were approximately “three weeks of people” ahead of me waiting for refunds. Are you kidding me? This is all recorded, and you can feel free to listen to your own lousy tapes. I asked her who the head of CITIBANK is, and she said “I will not tell you. Go look it up yourself on Google”. This is all recorded. I am suing you, and I have complained to LL BEAN about their transfer of their Barclay Visas to your bank. I will never do business with LL BEAN again, either, because of you. You are going to pay mightily for this. You have depleted my entire bank account by stealing my funds, and you couldn’t care less. You are beyond despicable. I have now contacted my bank, and they are attempting to retrieve the extra payment from you. However, it could take up to ten days. I asked “Hannah” if she was willing to contact my bank and the utility company about what YOU had caused, through no fault of mine, and her answer was “this is your problem to take care of”. You are going to have very big problems when I am done with you. Oh, and, by the way, just type in “LL Bean Mastercard & Citibank”, and you will read about all of the others who have experienced what I have from your very sad company. I doubt you care at all. I am also submitting a criminal complaint with the the district attorney in MA.You are beyond pathetic.

  • quiet one

    I will chime in. Customer Service is horrible. Used to be able to do travel alerts online…simply check the states you would be traveling through and the dates, and you were good to go. Now they expect you to phone them, estimate how many transactions, total dollar amount, etc…When I use online banking, I expect online service. For someone with an anxiety disorder, this is important to me. When you try to use the Messaging feature, they respond with scripted responses. It is very clear they do not read what you wrote. You can’t search the site for specific things, you can only browse a pre-determined list of FAQs. I have shared my experience with LL Bean several times and hope they will choose a different provider. Once I’m paid off, I probably won’t use the card again.