What is Comenity Bank? (Hint: You Probably Use 1 of Its 135 Credit Cards)

The credit card in your wallet might not say Comenity, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a Comenity credit card.
Last updated Nov. 17, 2022 | By Matt Miczulski
Woman with a Comenity credit card

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Comenity Bank has been a pretty big player in the credit card industry for more than 30 years, but there’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of it. Comenity provides retail partners with their own private-label and co-branded credit cards, so when the time comes to brand the credit card, the name “Comenity” takes a back seat.

Since Comenity has partnered with over 135 retailers to provide these credit solutions, it’s possible you have a Comenity or Comenity Capital Bank credit card account without even knowing. Whether you’re already a customer or in the market for a new credit card, understanding the financial institution behind many of these store cards might be worthwhile. Why? Because at the end of the day, Comenity is the credit card issuer, and knowing more about the bank you might do business with can’t hurt.

Let’s dive in and see what Comenity is all about.

In this article

What is Comenity Bank?

Comenity Bank provides financing solutions to many popular brands around the world — more than 135 retail partners to be precise. These financing solutions make their way to you as a consumer in the form of private-label and co-branded credit cards. If you’ve ever bought anything from a department store — which you probably have — you know exactly what I’m talking about. Those store cards the clerks always ask you if you’re interested in applying for? Those are private-label credit cards.

Comenity Bank was first formed as World Financial Network National Bank in 1989 with the goal of providing private-label credit card services to various retail establishments. While it changed its name to Comenity Bank in 2012, it continues to provide the same credit cards and high-yield savings accounts to its customers. 

The bank is a subsidiary of Bread Financial, a financial services company, which recently changed its name to Bread Savings. The parent company also oversees Alliance Data Retail Services, which is also a credit card company.

Currently, more than 50 million cardmembers hold an account with Comenity Bank. Considering that Comenity provides credit programs on behalf of so many retailers, you might already be a cardmember yourself. Some of these retailers include stores such as J.Crew, New York & Company, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ikea, Overstock, and many more.

Comenity offers both store cards and credit cards

Comenity Bank issues both private-label and co-branded credit cards for its retail partners. What are private-label and co-branded credit cards, you may ask?

Private-label credit cards — also known as closed-loop cards or store credit cards — are credit cards or credit lines issued by a bank on behalf of a store. Store cards can only be used to make purchases from a single company or retailer, such as a department store. So, for instance, if you open a store card at Boscov’s, you can only use it at Boscov’s.

Many store cards come with perks like discounts, rewards programs, special financing options, and even birthday gifts. They’re also generally easier to get approved for than regular credit cards. However, store cards also tend to have higher APRs (annual percentage rates) as well. This can be costly if you don’t pay your balances in full each month.

On the other hand, co-branded credit cards — or open-loop cards — give cardmembers more flexibility in how they spend. This type of card bears the name of both the retailer and the network it's on — Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover. These credit cards can be used in store and anywhere else that brand of card is accepted.

You'll typically need a higher credit score to be approved for a co-branded credit card, and while its APR might not be as high as a store card, the rate will vary from card to card.

To give you a better idea of what you can expect from one of these store cards or credit cards, here are a couple of examples of some of the best cards Comenity offers.

The best cards offered by Comenity Bank we recommend

BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard

Wholesale club prices are often hard to beat and make for great options for anyone looking to save while shopping. The BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard takes wholesale prices up a notch, offering cardmembers 5% back on purchases at BJ’s, 2% back on dining and gas purchases, and 1% back on everything else. Many BJ’s locations have their own gas stations as well, and cardmembers can enjoy an instant discount of 10 cents per gallon when using a BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard to fuel up.

When you’re ready to get that cash back, it comes in the form of electronic awards issued in $20 increments. These awards can only be used at BJ’s, though — either at checkout or to pay membership fees. So while this card can be a great way to earn rewards on your shopping, you’re restricted as to how you can redeem them. BJ’s cashback awards also expire six months from the date they’re issued.

There’s no annual fee for the BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard, but shopping at BJ’s requires a club membership. For the BJ’s Perks Elite Mastercard, you have to be a BJ’s Perks Rewards member, and that costs $110 per year. For the best chance of being approved for this card, you’ll need a minimum of a good credit score.

Wayfair store card

If you do a lot of online shopping, particularly for your home, the Wayfair store card might be beneficial. There's no annual fee, and new cardmembers can receive $40 off when spending $250 or more with the first use of the card.

Cardmembers can choose between earning 5% back in rewards on every order or special financing for up to 24 months (depending on the amount). Interest is deferred, so you’ll want to pay your balance in full before the end of the promotional period. Otherwise, the entire amount of interest from the date of purchase will be applied to your account.

When you're ready to cash out, you can redeem your rewards in increments of $6 for every 200 points. Wayfair runs special offers from time to time as well, so there's the potential to earn even more rewards.

With the Wayfair credit card, you aren't restricted to only shopping at Wayfair. In fact, you can use your Wayfair store card across all Wayfair-managed brands, which include Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, and Perigold.

The APR for the Wayfair store card is pretty high, but if you never carry a balance, this won’t be an issue. For the best chances of getting approved, your credit score shouldn't be any less than a fair rating. Wayfair provides a tool to check if you're prequalified for a card, and since there's no hard pull involved, checking this won't impact your credit report.

Orbitz Rewards Visa

The Orbitz Rewards Visa used to be a good credit card for some travelers, as it offered a generous rewards structure. However, Comenity Bank stopped offering it on October 4, 2021.

The card allowed its cardmembers to earn 6% back on flights, up to 10% back on hotels booked on the Orbitz mobile app, and 2% back on all other purchases. As an Orbitz Rewards Visa cardmember, you were also automatically enrolled in the Orbitz Rewards Dining program and could earn up to 7% back at eligible restaurants. 

This card came with a slew of other benefits as well, including baggage coverage, accident coverage, rental insurance, and complimentary Orbitz Rewards Gold status. This card had no annual fee, as well as no foreign transaction fees. However, the Orbitz Rewards Visa program ended in 2021 and no new applications are being accepted.

Williams Sonoma store card

Comenity bank no longer offers this card, as Williams Sonoma decided to partner up with Capital One for its card offers. 

The Williams Sonoma store card used to be another option for the avid home shopper. Cardmembers were able to take 20% off when they open and use their Williams Sonoma credit card the same day. For every purchase after that, they earned 5% back in rewards for every $1 spent at Williams Sonoma. 

New cardmembers received a $20 welcome certificate after getting their card. They also received another $25 certificate on their birthdays. This card had no annual fee, but the APR was high. Learn about the typical store credit cards' pros and cons.  

Bed Bath & Beyond Mastercard

The Bed Bath & Beyond Mastercard gives cardholders a pretty decent rewards structure. You can earn 5% back in rewards for every $1 you spend at Bed Bath & Beyond, buybuy BABY, Christmas Tree Shops andThat, Cost Plus World Market, and Harmon Face Values. You can also earn 2% back for every $1 you spend on gas and groceries, as well as 1% back for every dollar you spend anywhere else Mastercard is accepted.

Aside from rewards, Bed Bath & Beyond Mastercard holders can choose between six or 12 months of interest-deferred financing, depending on the amount of the purchase. Keep in mind that if the purchase balance isn’t paid in full within the six- or 12-month promotional period or you make a late payment, the entire amount of deferred interest will be applied to your account.

New cardmembers can get a $25-off coupon for a purchase of $100 or more, and anytime you earn $10, you’ll receive $10 in rewards. For any spending done in the first six months outside of the aforementioned brands, you’ll receive a $25 gift certificate and an additional $75 gift certificate when you spend $1,000 and $6,000 respectively.

When it comes to your interest rate, you’ll be given a standard variable APR based on your creditworthiness at the time you apply for the card. There’s no annual fee, and you’ll need a good credit score to get approved.

The complete list of cards offered by Comenity Bank

Comenity Bank credit cards

Comenity Bank store cards

Getting approved for a card from Comenity Bank

The approval odds for store cards are known to be higher than traditional, unsecured credit cards. Just how likely your approval will be depends on the store, though. The same is true with Comenity cards.

If you have less-than-stellar credit, store cards can be a good option to help you work toward rebuilding your credit. Additionally, with store cards, credit limits are often lower, thus making your spending more manageable. Make sure you pay your balance in full every month, though, as store cards are also known for having very high APRs. While the credit score needed to be approved for store cards varies from one store to the next, applicants with fair credit scores are often approved.

When you apply for one of Comenity’s co-branded credit cards, you’ll be expected to have a higher credit score than what you would otherwise need for a store card. Since credit score requirements differ across stores, the best way to improve your odds of getting approved is to always practice good financial habits.

Alternatives to Comenity cards

If you're interested in applying for a new credit card and you're looking for a flexible option that allows you to earn rewards on your everyday purchases, both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver are worth considering. Both cards offer generous cashback rewards that you can redeem for statement credits, gift cards, and more. 

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, new cardmembers can earn an extra 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, on up to $20,000, in the first year. And the benefits don't stop there. As a Freedom Unlimited cardmember, you'll also get 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. That can add up to some decent rewards on your purchases. 

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card also offers generous rewards for your everyday spending. New cardmembers can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, and this credit card offers flat-rate 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). It's a great option if you prefer straightforward and simple cashback rewards. 

If you're looking for a card with no annual fee, check out our list of the best no annual fee credit cards for our top picks.

FAQs about Comenity Bank cards

Is Comenity Bank legit?

Yes, Comenity Bank is a legitimate financial institution that's been in business since 1989. They currently have over 135 retail partners and over 50 million customers have Comenity retail credit card accounts. 

How do you contact Comenity Bank?

If you need to get in touch with Comenity Bank about your cardholder account, you have a couple of options. You can call the number on the back of your card and speak to a representative about your account, or you can log in to your Comenity account and call the number on your account statements. 

How do I close my Comenity account?

If you'd like to close your Comenity card account, you can do so by calling the number on the back of your card and speaking with a customer care representative. They should be able to help you with your request. 


Some final words on Comenity Bank

Comenity store cards can be very useful for getting things like discounts and special types of financing, but they can also come with high APRs, late fees, and excessive costs if you don’t pay off financing before deferred interest kicks in. Getting a store card might also be a good way to start creating a history if you have no credit; just make sure to pay your balances in full each month.

As with any credit card, use it responsibly and ideally pay the card off so you get the most possible benefit from the rewards or discounts it offers.

Unlimited Cash Back

Current Offer

Earn an extra 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, on up to $20,000, in the first year

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn an extra 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, on up to $20,000, in the first year
  • Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn an extra 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, on up to $20,000, in the first year
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 17.99% to 26.74% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% APR offer: 0% for 15 months then 17.99% to 26.74% (variable)

Author Details

Matt Miczulski Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer specializing in financial news, budget travel, banking, and debt. His interest in personal finance took off after eliminating $30,000 in debt in just over a year, and his goal is to help others learn how to get ahead with better money management strategies. A lover of history, Matt hopes to use his passion for storytelling to shine a new light on how people think about money. His work has also been featured on MoneyDoneRight and Recruiter.com.