HBC Credit Card – don’t bother

Just bought a Christmas gift for someone on Saturday at The Bay. The lady at the counter said that I could earn 50% more HBC Rewards points if I used my HBC Credit Card. I said something like “no, thanks anyways, but I’d prefer to pay with the cash I have in my wallet, rather than pay off a credit card bill a few months from now.” Even it it means getting a few measly rewards points. The item I was purchasing was $40 (50 rewards points per dollar means 2,000 rewards points). If I paid with the credit card, I would get an extra 1,000 points. A quick check on the HBC website reveals just how much these points are worth. Taking the average points value of the Amazon.ca, Blockbuster, and Starbucks gift cards that are redeemable using HBC rewards points, we find that 1,000 points is worth about $0.10. That is comparable to about 1 Air Mile (through the Air Miles rewards program).

So basically what the lady was offering me was an opportunity to save $0.10. This was easy to refuse. But she was persistent. She said that I could charge it to my HBC Credit Card and then she could immediately pay off the balance on the credit card right then and there using cash. I threw up my hands; what the hell, sure, charge it. She charged it and then paid off the balance. It took about 30 more seconds to do these two steps rather than just one, but that was insignificant compared to amount of time it took her to “gift wrap” the item.

Today I saw a similar item at a different store. A little bit better product, for $5 more. I thought about returning the item to The Bay to get this new item, but would I be able to get my cash back? Since I made the purchase with my HBC Credit Card, if I returned the item I would probably be given a credit on my credit card rather than a cash refund. Probably the best I could do would be to get a gift card or store credti. I would owe them some future business one way or another.

I don’t even know why I have this stupid HBC credit card. I think I got it a few years ago because I was offered 10% off my purchase that day if I signed up for one. It was a $600 purchase, so I guess it made some sense as I saved $60. But how many people save that $60, then end up spending $60 more over the course of the next year than they would have, had they used cash.

Just tore up my HBC Credit Card right now. Ripped into four pieces. It was actually good timing because I just got a PC Financial account and I need an empty slot in my wallet.

15 thoughts on “HBC Credit Card – don’t bother”

  1. You should call and have this card cancelled. Then, wait a few months, and request a credit report from one of the 2 credit unions (Equifax or Trans-something). It costs nothing to get your credit report if you do it via mail (or you can pay them and do it online instantly).

    You can then verify that the card has been removed, and at the same time, you can see if your credit report is correct. People should check their credit report once a year.

  2. I can get credit reports through a friend for free whenever I want, but I was told not to do it too often or else the too-frequent-chequing can have a negative effect on your rating. We did it several months ago and it was fine. I also know that my landlord ran a check and I think PC Financial is as well as we speak.

    You’re right, I should call and cancel it. I also have an old Mastercard that I haven’t cancelled (my wife and I both use her card now). I will probably also get rid of our AMEX Gold which we no longer use, now that I no longer care about Air Miles and no longer use credit except for online purchases. Maybe when I cancel all three cards I will do a credit check. It will be nice to just have one credit card between my me and my wife.

  3. hi there i work at zellers myself(hbc company) and i would like to tell you that the hbx xredit card is only good when you make lots of purchases at an hbx xompany other then that irs only good cuz its so easy to get…and you would have earned douvle your points for using yor hbc crdit card…and the points are very useful because you can get a 10$ gift card for only 80,000 points…

  4. Hello, I’m also a Zellers employee and would just like to point out that we’re not all illiterate.

  5. I bought some luggage in September and the sales clerk convinced me to sign up for the HBC card to save 10% on my purchase. I completely forgot about the card and the purchase until I started receiving frantic calls about my account from HBC. I went to the store and they couldn’t find my account without my account number. I didn’t have that information because they had the wrong address and the incorrect spelling of my name. After two more trips to the store they finally figured out their mistake, found my account and I was able to pay off the balance and cancel the account on the spot. I just got an invoice for finance charges of $2.87 for mistakes they made throughout this ordeal. Not only will I never have an account there again, I won’t ever shop in an HBC store or any of their affiliates again. That’s what they get for $2.87. I hope they go bankrupt.

  6. Hi.
    Im a zellers employee as well and i would like to tell you that HBC Credit card dont bother is a very biased post. Ive seen people who have accumulated $300 only through points and the credit cards so if u were shopping there for three years u wldnt have anything extra and the other customer that was shopping for three years had $100 extra each year .. in the end who do u think wins or invests smarter?

  7. zellers (hbc) does not care about the customer. they are not in the business of selling merchandise. they are in the business of signing people up for their credit card. my manager told me that without the credit card they would not be in business. she said that the credit card was their number one priority. do not be duped into signing up for one of these cards, regardless of how tempting the cashier may make it seem. some of them will say just about anything to sign you up. i have seen them tell elderly people and immigrants with little command of the english language “fill out this form and sign the bottom and you’ll save 10%” without explaining that they are signing up for a credit card. they do not explain that you lose points on your credit rating when you apply. they do not explain the criminal interest rates or the hidden “financial charges” that appear each month that you carry any kind of balance. they certainly don’t tell you that the reason they are being pushy is because their jobs depend on it. that piece of paper that is filled out with all your financial and personal information is usually left lying about out in the open for all to see. i know of one cashier who lost an application that she left lying around. if you are sick and tired of constantly being harassed about the hbc mastercard everytime you shop at zellers, tell the manager, tell head office, and shop elsewhere.

  8. For 18 years, I have had different type of credit cards, student loan and car loans. Paid off everything on time. There was $18 owing on my HBC card that I did not realize it. As soon as, I received the call from HBC, I went and paid it off the next day. They reported the payment late on my credit bureau which has affected my credit. Called them several times including speaking to the supervisors. They did not do anything at all. I canceled my card and will never ever get another card including telling all my family members, friends and colleagues. Over measly $18, they are ruining my credit.

  9. I have a power of attorney for my mother, who is now in a nursing home. Using the same POA, I have contacted and been accepted as her POA by CPP, Revenue Canada, her bank, etc. HBC will not cancel her card for me. I think she used it once, probably on a promotion when she was in another city.

    HBC – shame on you. They will not change her address, because they refuse to accept my POA. This means that her personal information is still being sent to her old apartment. If not for a change of address with Canada Post, anyone could intercept this mail.

    I’m 2 1/2 hours from her, I asked them if I drove to her and had my mother speak to them directly, would they cancel it? I was told “No, because she has a Power of Attorney.” What? It’s crazy!

  10. Be warned. This could happen to you! This past November, 2010 I signed up for an HBC credit card, the only reason being to get 10% off the purchase of a winter jacket and snowpants (I really don’t need or want another credit card besides my PC Financial, about which I have nothing but great things to say!). When I signed up the woman told me rather secretly that if I paid it off right away I wouldn’t even get sent a statement in the mail. I said, “Great. That’s what I’ll do.” When I made my purchase I showed my temporary piece of paper with my HBC credit card number (to get reward points) and paid for the full purchase with cash. The clerk was surprised I was paying it off right away. I took my receipt and left and didn’t think anything more about it.
    The next day I made another purchase, using some points coupons they had given me when I signed up for the credit card the previous day. Again I paid in cash but could not find my temporary slip with the HBC credit card number, so I did not show it.
    The third day, I made a third purchase, again using some points coupons I was given. I showed my temporary HBC credit card number slip for points and again paid in cash. Again, the clerk was surprised and said, “Oh, you’re paying it all off right away?” I took the receipt and left.
    Imagine my surprise when a few weeks later I received a statement billing me for the two purchases where I had paid in cash but had also shown my temporary HBC credit card number slip!! After calling HBC, I went down as instructed to the store but was told that on those days, the cash register balanced out. They had no evidence I had paid for these items in cash!! What’s more, when I pulled out the receipts I had walked away with from Zellers, it also did not show any record that I had paid in cash or that my account had been credited. I was not even able to launch a dipute because I was told by the HBC Manager in Customer Service that I was not disputing a purchase; I was disputing a missing payment, and for that I needed proof. Indeed, I had none except my very clear memory that I paid for those two items in cash. I asked if they could retrieve audio and video recordings of those two transactions, but was told there would not be an investigation as I had no proof. So, basically I was screwed and I am still in disbelief over what happened. My choices were not to pay and have collection agents after me for 7 years or to pay under protest. After much pressure from my husband, who did not want to live with collection agents harassing us for the next 7 years, I paid the $118.21 and included with my cheque a long description of what had happened and why I was paying under complete protest. I told them to cancel my HBC credit card account after processing my (second!) payment for the items. If I ever go in a Zellers or Bay again, which is unlikely, and they ask me if I want to sign up for an HBC credit card or rewards card, I will respond with a resounding, “NO!” I’m sticking with my trusty PC Financial card from now on. Lesson learned.

  11. I used to work at zellers and got a card.. i regret it now.. its so stupid! the only good thing is using at esso as well but frig .. when they hired me i told them i didnt want it because im still in high school adn only work part time but she said i had to have one if i was going to work there..then christmas came so i used the friggen thing, then got laid off 3 days later because i was seasonal and they failed to tell me that.. now im screwed.. thanks zellers!

  12. Just received notification that HBC’s credit card service has been sold. The letter had a small note buried in the text of the letter saying that there are some changes taking place, including the interest rate changing. I didn’t really think much about it, assuming the change couldn’t be too dramatic, but when I checked out my next bill, the rate had jumped from 20.0% to 29.9%!!

    I had been carrying a balance on this account, and to me it is disgustingly reprehensible that this change would take place without any prior warning. I will pay off my balance, cut up my card, and for what my business is worth, I don’t intend to return to Zeller’s or The Bay again.

    I will, of course, call to complain, but these days there’s nobody that really cares on the other end of the line. Every business move of this type these days is pre-calculated on the corporate side — they probably know exactly how many customers they will lose with this move, and they figure they will gain more money with the higher interest rate than they will lose through customers like me who walk.

    And for every customer who crosses from Zeller’s to Sears from being treated poorly in some way, there’s probably one who crosses back because of the Sears doing something different on their end. Bottom line… big companies are increasingly treating their customers like airline baggage.

    Still, this move by HBC is the worst anti-customer treatment I have ever received, so I will boycott their stores for a very long time, and I hope others will do the same.

  13. If you have an HBC credit card and are planning on moving, I strongly urge you pay your balance and cancel your card rather than give them a change of address. The inept, incompetent staff in their credit dept don’t know how TO DO a change of address. This can result in your statements going to the old address and your account going into arrears and affecting your credit rating. DON’T TAKE THE CHANCE!

  14. The reason why most hbc employees push you to sign up is because they have a quota of how many credit sign ups they get. They also benefit from sign ups. Employees with hbc rewards receive 20,000 points for each sign up, so four sign ups equals $10. I’ve seen employees with almost 10 sign ups in 1 shift. Employees with most sign ups in a month is also rewarded. They even make all hbc employees sign up and use their credit cards in order to get their measly 10% discount.So they even scam their own employees.

  15. I had an HBC Points card since way back when it was a Zellers card in the early ’90s. I used the card a lot, in the past year, but when I went to use the points, they said I had to go to Homesense or the Bay. Between Zellers and Homesense, I lost the card (after 20 years). Homesense could not find me in their system, so I went to The Bay. They gave me a new card and said they would put my old points on it. I found my points were at zero, so I wrote them and asked why. They say they cannot find me without my HBC Points number, even though I gave them tons of information, including the fact I used to have a credit card with HBC. I bet if I owed them money they could find me really fast.

    Anyone got any idease?

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