New Barnes & Noble Mastercard Issued by Juniper Bank

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Hey everyone,

Just bought a few items from and saw an advertisement for the New Barnes & Noble Mastercard. I used to have the old card before they cancelled it. It was okay but not exceptional. The new card is very interesting though and I am wondering how Juniper can make any money with the card. I mean the way the card is set up you must be a Barnes & Noble member card holder which costs $25 a year to have the card. If you cancel your Barnes & Noble membership the card will be closed. With that being said, the card offers you 5% back on Barnes & Noble purchases. Unlike other cards, however, this 5% rebate is credited at the end of each monthly statement cycle. So if you spend $500 in one month at Barnes & Noble you will receive a credit on that statement of $25.00. This is a nice feature. However, what is weird is that you don't earn any points with the card at Barnes & Noble. Instead only on non barnes & noble purchases do you earn points at the rate of 1 point per dollar. After you earn 2500 points you will get a $25 Barnes & Noble gift certificate that has no expiration date. Also, the credit card is also your Barnes & Noble membership card. But the interest rate is unattractive at a minimum of 15.24% variable.

How in the heck is Juniper going to make any money on this card though. I mean the 1 point/$ on non BN purchases is typical of all other card issuers but this only gives you the option of a BN gift certificate. So why would I or anyone else for that matter use this card over a straight 1% card, an airline credit card or the myriad of other cards that exist. I mean the 5% credit on your statement for BN purchases is nice but I can get 5% back by buying BN gift certificates at a grocery store or Drugstore. Also, with the limitation of the card only being available to Barnes & Noble membership holders how much appeal is this card really going to hold.

Personally this card makes little sense to me just like the Juniper Emigrant Direct card doesn't make sense. The target audience seems to narrowly defined for the card to actually make Juniper a decent profit and I could see many using the card strictly for BN purchases and nothing else. Also, honestly, how much can a person spend at Barnes & Noble in a month or a year. I would imagine most don't spend more than $2,000 - $3,000 and those who use the card exclusively for BN purchases probably will pay it off in full since the amount due would be relatively small (IMHO). I would think a better implementation of this card would be the 5% statement credit at BN and then giving you 1 points/$ on all purchases including BN which would give people an incentive to use the card on non BN purchases or give customers a statement credit of 5% on BN purchases and 1% on all other purchases. This would differentiate the card from the millions of others out there.

So what is everyone elses thoughts. Does this seem like a good deal or another credit card flop.

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Not sure why you're so surprised by this...this is a pretty typical affinity card setup. Borders, toysRus, BrooksBrothers, and a zillion other stores basically do the same thing. Is it a flop? Perhaps to us FW's who are a little more savvy. But to those to shop at BN, I'm sure it has its audience.

A know a million other stores have credit cards and some offer rewards programs but this is unusual because it separates the general purchase rewards from the Barnes & Noble purchase rewards. For instance borders program gives you 3 points at borders 2 at gas stations, dining, and one other category I can't remember, and 1 point on all other purchases. But this card makes it so that there is absolutely no incentive to shop at stores other than barnes & Noble with it.

Neither do those other cards I mentioned. The separation is a little different than other cards, but still, I don't see enough of a difference to make this warrant a discussion?

Thank God I now have three Dealpass memberships (21% off B&N GC's, counting 1% Chase PerfectCard ca$hback). <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif" border=0>


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