Dillard’s to Introduce Co-Branded Credit Card with Citi, Mastercard
The department store Dillard’s has announced a banking partner and payment network for its credit card portfolio.
About the agreement:
Dillard’s has entered a new agreement with both Citi and Mastercard to provide the retailers credit card program. As a result, Citi will begin issuing the brand’s cards while Mastercard will serve as the exclusive payment network. This new partnership will result in a new co-branded card as well as a private-label card.
In addition to offering customer service functions for these new cards, Citi will also “support certain Dillard’s marketing and loyalty program activities.” The new program is currently expected to launch in late summer. Meanwhile, existing Dillard’s credit card customers will be moved to the new products this fall.
Dillard’s current cards:
As mentioned, these new Citi-issued Dillard’s cards will replace the department store’s current portfolio, which is issued by Wells Fargo. Known simply as the Dillard’s Credit Card, the existing program includes a private label card as well as one that operates on the American Express network. On top of that, there’s a “Classic” card as well as an “Elite” version for those who spend at least $2,000 per calendar year on the card.
With the current private label Dillard’s Credit Card, customers can earn 2 points per dollar spent in-store, online, by catalog, or via phone at Dillards. Additionally, the Amex version also offers 2x points at gas stations, 2x points at grocery stores in the United States, and 1x on all other purchases. When cardholders reach 1,500 points, they can redeem them for either a 10% off Rewards Shopping Pass or a $10 Rewards Certificate.
Other perks include exclusive events, special financing on select purchases, complimentary shipping (Elite only), complimentary in-store gift wrapping (Elite only), and more. New cardholders also get a 10% off Welcome Shopping Pass with their first statement when they spend at least $100 on their card.
At this time, it’s unclear what the updated Citi Dillard’s Mastercards will offer.
What they’re saying:
In a press release announcing the new program, Dillard’s president Alex Dillard said, “We are truly pleased to announce this new relationship with Citi and Mastercard. Our customers expect and deserve the highest level of customer care at Dillard’s and that includes providing premium credit services.” Dillard continued, “We are confident we have aligned ourselves with the best in the business to offer first-class credit choices and exceptional cardholder experiences at Dillard’s for years to come.”
Additionally, Citi’s Head of Retail Services and Head of Connected Commerce Kartik Mani said, “We’re proud to enter this new long-term agreement with such a beloved and iconic brand like Dillard’s. Citi looks forward to bringing value to Dillard’s loyal customers through access to credit, rewards, and best-in-class digital capabilities from our trusted financial institution.”
Until the announcement, I had never looked at Dillard’s credit card program. Having done so now, it’s probably one of the stranger rewards cards I’ve ever encountered. For one, the 1,500 points = $10 or 10% off structure only serves to make the 2x categories sound more exciting than they are (even though they’re lackluster to begin with). While I suppose that 10% off could amount to significant savings if played perfectly, it still doesn’t seem like a great deal to me overall.
So, the question then becomes, will the new Citi-issued cards be better? With no info to go off of as of yet, that’s unfortunately impossible to answer. However, it does seem as though shoppers are growing more savvy with rewards credit cards, so perhaps a more straightforward program could be in the works. I should also note that, with the Simon Mall credit card, customers can get 5% back at any Simon property. Seeing as my local Simon-owned mall has two Dillard’s locations, that might be a better bet at this time.