Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household
Loves being the first to try something new
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
Because the L.L. Bean Mastercard offers the highest rate of rewards on L.L. Bean purchases, and because the rewards you earn are only good for L.L. Bean merchandise, this card is best for L.L. Bean enthusiasts. Even casual shoppers could get decent value from the card, given you can redeem rewards in any amount.
Nice perks for L.L. Bean shoppers
Save on your first purchase
Extremely limiting rewards program
- Nice perks for L.L. Bean shoppers: The L.L. Bean Mastercard comes with cardholder benefits that can help frequent shoppers save some cash. These include free shipping, free shipping on returns, and free monogramming on select items.
- Save on your first purchase: If you want to make a big purchase at L.L. Bean, applying for this card could help you score 15% off your first purchase. Since the store offers some pricey outdoor equipment, including tents and kayaks, this bonus could be worth $100 in savings or more.
- Rewards program is extremely limiting: Earning 4% back on L.L. Bean purchases and 2% back on gas and dining may sound enticing, but don’t forget that all rewards on this card convert to Bean Bucks. These rewards are only good for L.L. Bean purchases.
Earning Points & Rewards
With the L.L. Bean Mastercard, you’ll earn 4% cash back on L.L. Bean purchases, 2% back on gas station and restaurant spending, and 1% back on everything else you buy. Rewards accrue as Bean Bucks, which are each worth $1 in L.L. Bean merchandise.
Rewards earned with this card are unlimited, and your Bean Bucks will remain in your rewards account until you spend them or close your account.
Bean Bucks can be used for any L.L. Bean merchandise, which could include tents, footwear, hiking supplies, sleeping bags, and more. You can redeem Bean Bucks in any amount, so you can save them up for a big splurge or redeem them for smaller purchases over time.
You can redeem Bean Bucks when making a purchase on the phone, in-store, or online.
While earning Bean Bucks for L.L. Bean merchandise is probably better than nothing, keep in mind just how limiting this rewards program is. Many other cash-back and rewards programs—even those on other store cards—let you redeem for statement credits, cash deposits, travel, gift cards, and merchandise, giving you more ways to cash in your points.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Consider signing up for this card when you have a big L.L. Bean splurge coming up. The 15% discount you’ll receive on your first purchase can be worth more when you plan to spend a lot anyway. Also, make sure you’re using your card for L.L. Bean spending so you can maximize the 4% back category to the hilt. While L.L. Bean has locations in other countries, note that the 4% earnings rate only applies to U.S. purchases.
While you can earn 2% back at gas stations and restaurants and 1% back on other purchases with this card, we suggest using another rewards card for all your other spending. Many other credit cards let you earn a higher rate of rewards in categories like dining, gas, and groceries, and you’ll have the option to redeem your points for a broader range of options.
L.L. Bean Mastercard's Other Benefits
Cardholder benefits you can look forward to include:
- Free shipping when you shop at L.L. Bean
- Free shipping on returns to the store
- Free monogramming on eligible L.L. Bean purchases
Recently, J.D. Power ranked Citi sixth in its 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which means the bank performed in the middle of the pack. Citi also received 799 out of 1,000 possible points in the study, whereas the industry average was 806.
Citi does offer online chat and customer service on the phone for their credit cards. Also note that L.L. Bean has two customer service numbers set up to help answer questions about Bean Bucks and Bean Bucks redemptions.
Citi credit cards come with standard security features but have the added benefit of Citi Identity Theft Solutions, which can provide account assistance if your identity is compromised or stolen.
L.L. Bean Mastercard Fees
The L.L. Bean Mastercard charges standard fees among co-branded store credit cards. However, you should definitely take note of the 3% foreign transaction fee you’ll pay for purchases made abroad on your card.