HBC credit card is offered by Hudson’s Bay Financial Group in Canada. It is tied to the loyalty rewards program offered by the company.
The HBC credit card is marketed as the best way to earn Hudson’s Bay rewards points at approved stores around Canada. It functions as a rewards program as well as a store card. Though people can apply separately to the rewards programs, HBC cardholders can double the points they earn at stores. Each $1 spent using this credit option can earn as much as 4 points. Regular rewards program subscribers only get 2 points per dollar spent.
Cardholders can stack up points without time limits. People who can earn up to 2,000 points receive a $10 gift voucher. Rewards points can be redeemed as Hudson’s Bay gift vouchers to use online on thebay.com and Home Outfitters.
For this credit card, HBC does not charge an annual fee. But the annual interest rate is 29.9% by default. Customers should refer to the Disclosure Statement provided following approval for detailed legal information. Cardholders who pay off their balances by the due date can enjoy an interest-free grace period for 21 days for all new purchases. Customers should note that the grace period does not apply to balance transfers or cash advances.
Cardholders can earn even more points by using this rewards credit at “exclusive events.” These events will be announced online and users can get notification of them by signing up at thebay.com. Cardholders can get the best returns by using the HBC card at Hudson’s Bay Company stores. Using it can get customers free shipping and up to 90-day returns on purchases on the thebay.com
The HBC credit program should not be confused with the Hudson’s Bay MasterCard. The MasterCard can be used anywhere regular MasterCards are accepted, both online and offline. The HBC credit card can only be used at thebay.com, Home Outfitters, and Hudson’s Bay. With the MasterCard, users can earn 2 rewards points per each dollar spent on non-Hudson’s Bay Company stores. Cardholders can earn up to a 25% bonus each year for all such points. With the credit program, each point earned can be doubled at the stores.
Though the two are separate, customers must present a Hudson’s Bay MasterCard when making purchases at Hudson’s Bay Company outlets to get store points for the HBC credit card. When the MasterCard is used at other stores, the reward points will be automatically added to the account associated with the credit card.
Earlier, The Bay allowed cardholders to convert points to Air Miles and Esso Extra points. However, this is no longer possible. The Air Miles and Esso partnerships ended on September 30, 2015. In its place, the company added a third-party service called points.com to allow cardholders to add extra points.
Certain associated transaction fees and service charges, such as for foreign currency conversions, may occur when using the attached HBC account. Customers who subscribe to the special payment plan must pay $99 unless the fee is lowered or waived upon request. Payments and cheques that bounce cost $30 each. Rush cards cost $20. The over limit for this card is $29 if the account balance per billing periods exceeds the preapproved amount. Customers will be charged a fee equal to the existing balance if the accounts are inactive for six consecutive billing periods (usually months).
Customers do not have to be enrolled in The Bay Rewards program to apply for or receive a HBC credit card. Those who are approved will be automatically enrolled in the program. Customers can earn more points with the rewards program by spending more. Customers who spend more than $1,200 using one of these accounts can get VIP benefits, which mainly mean more points per each dollar spent. VIP and Plus customers also have better chances of doubling the points they earn.
The Hudson’s Bay rewards program was quite popular in the Canada in the past. However, participation has dwindled because most Canadians don’t value the program as they used to. The new HBC rewards program that Canadians apply for is a completely revamped version not offered in previous decades. The new program rewards customers more for spending at The Bay and for combining the credit card with the MasterCard.
Pros and Cons
- No annual fees associated with the HBC credit card.
- The more a customer spends, the more points he or she can earn per dollar spent. Customers who spend more can upgrade accounts to VIP or Plus to increase chances of doubling points.
- Excellent option to save money at thebay.com and Home Outfitters.
- Rewards program can be extended to third-party stores when used with a Hudson’s Bay MasterCard.
- Free $10 gift voucher awarded to customers who earn 2,000 points.
- HBC credit cards only earn rewards at thebay.com, Home Outfitters and other Hudson’s Bay companies. Customers need a Hudson’s Bay MasterCard to earn points from third-party stores.
- High annual interest rate close to 30%.
- Rewards can only be redeemed on an annual basis.
- The number of outlets available to earn points is limited.
- Air Miles and Esso Extra points are no longer offered as redeeming option.
Comparison to Canadian Rewards Credit Cards
The most popular Canadian cash back rewards programs, such as Tangerine and American Express Simply Cash, offer wider shopping options in comparison to HBC. This card is designed mainly as a loyalty program. The shopping options of customers are largely limited to Hudson’s Bay Company stores and affiliates.
In addition, rewards programs like Tangerine offer cash back rewards on a monthly basis. With the HBC card, customers can only redeem points once a year. Customers can mostly benefit only by combining the HBC MasterCard with the credit card. On the plus side, there are no annual fees that are charged to associated accounts. But there’s a 29.99% interest rate.
This card is best suited for customers who already frequently shop at places like Home Outfitters and thebay.com.