Several longtime John Lewis credit card customers are disgruntled after being told their credit limit would be cut by up to 96%.
Many longtime John Lewis credit card customers are exasperated after being told their credit limit would be cut by as much as 96 percent.
A number of cardholders have voiced their complaints on review site Trustpilot and Twitter. In some cases, cardholders have been told they won’t be able to use their card after the end of October.
The backlash comes two weeks after John Lewis confirmed it had appointed NewDay Financial to replace HSBC to manage its card. NewDay has five million customers and is the provider behind Amazon credit cards.
Switch: The John Lewis card will be managed by finance company NewDay instead of HSBC
John Lewis cardholders have been told they can keep using their old cards – which earn them rewards for spending at the department store and Waitrose – until 6pm on 31 October. To remain a customer after this date, cardholders must reapply and obtain approval.
Retired Stephanie Buchanan, 69, of Suffolk, has had a credit card with the retailer for 16 years and was “less than impressed” when she was asked to reapply.
“No matter how wrapped up they are, they’re telling me to apply for a new credit card,” she says. “I would never open a new account with a company I’d never heard of, especially after the reviews I read about NewDay were universally horrible.”
NewDay has been around for 20 years and says they are one of the largest providers of consumer credit in the UK. Its brands include Aqua and Bip – and it has partnership agreements with Argos as well as Amazon. The deal with Amazon is set to expire in January.
“What’s John Lewis playing?” asks Stephanie, who is shopping at Waitrose in Bury St Edmunds.
Others were equally critical. Cardholder Garth Pollard left a review on Trustpilot saying NewDay had offered him half of the previous line of credit. “I have a very high credit rating and I’m going to pay [my card] in full every month. There has been no change in my financial situation. I can’t believe they treat loyal customers this way.
Sue Faulkner also complained, saying she always paid her card balance in full and never had any credit problems in the past. “A paltry £250 credit approval granted against the £7,000 I currently have. What a joke you wrote.
Another customer, David, wrote that NewDay had refused him for a new card and “could offer no explanation.”
“It would probably leave me without a credit card, because the general advice is not to apply for a new card if you’ve been denied in the past 30 days,” he added.
NewDay told The Mail on Sunday: “The vast majority of customers who switch to a new John Lewis credit card are offered the same credit limit or a higher credit limit.”
It said the interest rate on unliquidated balances will remain the same as applied by HSBC – 18.9 per cent.
NewDay added: ‘Applicants are assessed on their current financial ability and creditworthiness, in line with industry best practices and Financial Conduct Authority requirements. If there have been any recent significant changes to the customer’s financial situation, this may mean that they will not be eligible for the new card.
Trustpilot carries positive reviews for NewDay, with 52 percent of submitted reviews rating the company “excellent” — compared to 31 percent who rated it “poor.” John Lewis claimed that the feedback from the vast majority of card customers was “extremely positive”.
He said, “We are very proud of our Partnership Credit Card and work incredibly hard to address issues raised by less than one percent of customers.”
The retailer’s financial arm, John Lewis Financial Services, began trading in 2016 and offers a range of products including investments, credit cards, foreign exchange, money transfer services and home, auto and pet insurance.
In April, the division reported profits of £18.4m for the year ending 29 January 2022, up by £5.8m on the previous year.
Customers with concerns about their Partnership Card can contact the John Lewis Customer Service team on 033 0165 4868. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.