For consumers looking for the perks of VIP shopping, but don’t necessarily have the means to be spending tens of thousands of dollars annually on clothing, look no further than the Barneys Credit Card. Aside from the discount perks, which don’t kick in until higher spending, we think the store card comes with other useful benefits for shoppers in the form of alterations, online shopping, dining (at a Barneys restaurant) and parking perks.
The features we like best about the Barneys New York Credit Card
- Multitude of ancillary perks, including complimentary valet parking and free international shipping
- Access to private sales and pre-sales at Barneys
Where we think the Barneys New York Credit Card falls short compared to other cards
- No spending rewards on the first $2,000 in purchases
- Need to spend at least $17,000 annually for the discounts to outperform some of the best cash back credit cards
- High APR of 23.99% means very high interest rates on outstanding balances
We think the Barneys credit card provides excellent spending rewards to dedicated and high-spending customers who make over $17k (more below) in purchases at the store each year. Even if you don't spend that much at Barneys, we'd still recommend the credit card because it offers a number of useful or exclusive perks, such as access to private sales and pre-sales, and free valet parking. Since the card has no annual fee, it is worthwhile signing up for it just to take advantage of these extra features. So regardless of whether you shop at their metropolitan locations or the flagship Barneys New York, the credit card can make a nice addition to your wallet.
The best non-spending related feature of the Barneys store credit card is that it allows for access to private online shopping events/pre-sales. This is an important perk because oftentimes Barneys sells designer items and seasonal trends that are exclusive to their store. Once an item from a particular designer is sold out, the stock may not be replenished and the item can’t be found anyplace else (aside from sites like eBay, etc) for that shopping season. This perk comes in handy for someone on the lookout for specific brands or pieces, and although they might not be spending an amount to get them a significant discount, they still place value on the VIP access to the merchandise.
Remember that this credit card also has no network (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc.), and you will not be able to use your Barneys credit card at any other store. That means all purchases that earn you points towards discounts will all be in-store purchases. If you are someone who doesn't like to carry around too many credit cards or don't want to deal with different accounts to manage, then we recommend staying away from this card. Also, if the card remains inactive for long enough, Barneys is within its right to shut down the account. Because of this, you should make a small purchase from time to time to keep the card active to continue enjoying the perks. Getting the card will not be good for your credit score.
|Rewards||$2,000 - $4,999 = 1% Discount|
|$5,000 - $9,999 = 2% Discount|
|$10,000 - $24,999 = 3% Discount|
|$25,000 - $49,999 = 4% Discount|
|$50,000+ = 5% Discount|
Barneys Store Credit Card Discount Rate: The discounts you get from the Barneys store credit card are tiered, and more generous the more you spend. Spending a single dollar will get you one point, and spending more on your card will bump you into a higher tier. As you see, you get no rewards until you spend at least $2,000 at Barneys. As an example, charging $8,500 onto your Barneys card doesn't mean you get 3% back on all of it. The first $2,000 won't earn anything, the next $3,000 earns 1%, and only the remaining $3,500 earns a 2% discount. That means the actual average discount you get for spending $8.5k from Barneys will be 1.2%, which is below average when compared to other cash back credit cards.
To get the most out of this card from a savings perspective, someone needs to spend at least $17,000 annually to start receiving any significant rewards rate. Until you reach that point, we think you'll actually get better value using any of the other rewards credit cards. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Credit Card gives users 1% back on all purchases, and another 1% when those purchases are paid off. In order for your savings with the Barneys credit card to match that of the Citi® Double Cash Credit Card you must spend $17,000 - at this point both cards will have given you back approximately $340 in rewards. If you don't meet this spending minimum you should not be getting this card for the above in-store discounts. Instead, you should consider some of the card's side benefits.
This graph shows how much a Barneys shopper could earn in rewards with the store's credit card, or a general cash back credit card like the Citi® Double Cash Credit Card.
Discounts are automatically applied to your Barneys store card statement.
The card comes with an APR of 23.99%, which is pretty consistent with a lot of other major department store cards. It is far from good, however - this APR is much higher than the average credit card APR, which tend to be around 13% to 15%. If you end up purchasing something with the Barneys Store Credit Card we recommend you pay off your balance completely at the end of the month, in order to avoid needlessly paying high interest.
For every $500 spent, $50 is reimbursable for alterations. Barneys offers this for free, but only as an in-store service. If you order an item online and need to get it tailored, you do not need to worry about there not being a Barneys nearby. If you present Barneys with the receipt, they will reimburse you. Alterations can be expensive, so this is an important perk. Below is an average cost breakdown for alteration services, according to Real Simple Magazine, keeping in mind that if done at an alterations specialist the charge will be more than if done by a regular dry cleaner (dry cleaner pricing breakdown below):
|Clothing Alteration Type||Estimated Cost|
|Shorten sleeves on a dress shirt||$19|
|Shorten sleeves on a jacket (without buttons, with buttons)||23 - 28|
|Take in the body of a jacket (two seams, three seams)||40 - 52|
|Take in a dress shirt||20|
|Adjust the shoulders of a jacket||35|
|Hem a skirt or a dress||14.50|
|Hem a pair of jeans or pants||10|
|Take in a sheath dress||45|
With the Barneys credit card, you receive free shipping to international addresses (nothing expedited, only standard shipping methods). There are no international locations for Barneys - most of the cities are clustered around major metropolitan areas in America. If you are an expat or temporarily living outside of the U.S., this is a great perk of having the card. International shipping costs are expensive for U.S. goods, and can end up saving you a lot of money.
Another cardholder feature worth mentioning is the complimentary valet parking/validated parking. This is a nice benefit for people outside of the NYC area who drive to Barneys. Since there aren’t many stand-alone Barney stores, this perk comes in handy because if you are driving and parking, you're likely at a mall of some sort, and can save on this charge for the entire day regardless of their time inside Barneys. As a benchmark comparison, at the Barneys in Miami (located at the Bal Harbour Shops) the cost of parking is $5 an hour IF NOT validated. If Barneys validates your parking ticket, the cost is then dropped down to $1.50 an hour. This is a nice 70% savings just for taking 2 minutes to walk in to the store and show your card.
If you're a Barneys cardholder you will also receive a complimentary glass of wine when dining at a Barney’s restaurant (Freds New York, Freds Chicago, and Barney Greengrass). A glass of wine ranges from $8-$20 at these places, so depending on what your preference is, this can be a nice way to top off some retail therapy.
It is also worth mentioning that Barneys offers “complimentary in-store beauty services” as a benefit to having this card. However, when we called to confirm what type of services this actually included, neither the Barneys credit services representative nor the customer service representative at the beauty counter in the Barneys New York on Madison Avenue knew what we were talking about.
All things considered, this card seems to be most beneficial for big spenders, but if this is not you, you can still take advantage of the benefits of VIP shopping, alterations, dining (at a Barneys restaurant) and parking.
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