Did I Get Scammed With a Catherines Credit Card from Bread Financial?

Question:

Dear Steve,

I applied for a Catherine’s Credit Card and was approved. I received the card and had it authorized. I then attempted to use it to pay for an order in the Catherine’s catalog.

When entering the Credit Card number, I get “Invalid details,” and then “China Union Plus credit” shows up. Have I been scammed????

Has Comenity Bank scammed me?

I cannot call Comenity due to their site and Customer Service being “down.” I tried and could not get through. The “customer service listed on Catherine’s website IS NOT COMENITY AND REFUSE TO HELP!!

Karen

Answer:

Dear Karen,

I had not heard of Catherines Credit Card before, so I had to do some research. At first, the card sounded a lot like the old catalog scheme where a company would offer a card, but it could only be used from their catalog of highly marked-up items.

Let’s see what I can figure out here.

Bread Financial

The Catherines Credit Card website says it is a product of Bread Financial. The Bread Financial website says the company is the new name for Comenity Bank or Comenity Capital Bank.

Did I Get Scammed With a Catherines Credit Card from Bread Financial?

Bread Financial services or issues many credit cards. Some are part of the Visa or MasterCard network. Others appear to be store cards. I don’t know what China Union Plus is but it might be a card Bread Financial manages or issues.

Catherines

From the Catherines website, it appears the card can only be used at Catherines and other specific stores as part of the Lane Bryant brand. I’m assuming it is part of Lane Bryant because one of the links I found was “catherines.lanebryant.com.”

The interest rate they charge is pretty steep, “For new accounts, as of May 2022, Variable Purchase APR of 27.24% based on the Prime Rate. Minimum Interest Charge is $2.”

The Catherines site says cardholders can access an exclusive cardmember-only customer service telephone number. I found 1-800-995-9450 but not sure if there is a different number on the back of your card.

However, that number may go to Catherines customer support, not Bread Financial, which supports the Catherines Card. It is confusing, but when a company outsources a credit card, the company with its name on it might not provide support for card issues.

The questions and concerns you have are legitimate issues, and you deserve to get answers to address them.

The Catherines Card website says, “Please know that if you need to call Customer Care, hold times may be longer due to high call volume. Our recent planned system update took longer than expected. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused by the disruption to service and we’re committed to doing better.”

That is of little comfort when it comes to financial issues. Not being able to get in touch can raise an alarm and panic.

The statements posted on the Catherines Card help page make it sound like Bread Financial has had a system upgrade go entirely off the rails for some unknown reason.

Their site does offer a secure message option you might try to use and reach them for service and support.

Wow, this must be really frustrating.

Given the fact the Catherines Card does next to nothing to help your credit score and that the interest rate is really expensive, you might be better off canceling the card when you get through and getting a credit card that will report to the credit bureaus and help your credit score.

Take a look at a secured credit card instead.

Honestly, I suggest canceling the card because you can do that when you finally get through to them and be done. It would be tragic if this is the level of customer support you have to deal with in the future.

Sincerely,

You are not alone. I’m here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don’t give up.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me for free? Go ahead and click here.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach