About L.L.Bean Mastercard

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff Published on: Jul 17, 2018

The L.L.Bean Mastercard is a store credit card offering rewards on nearly every purchase you make, including 4% rewards on purchases you make at an L.L.Bean store or through their website.

In addition to rewards you earn on purchases, the card has several other perks and benefits that L.L.Bean fans will love.

As you consider whether or not you want to get this credit card, it’s important to take a few minutes to consider what the card offers, how it will benefit you in the long term and how its rewards measure up against cash rewards cards that you could use instead of the L.L.Bean store card.

Over the next few minutes, we’re going to review each of those things: rewards, long-term benefits and how the card compares to cash rewards cards.

By the end of this review, you’ll have a good sense why the card might be a good fit for you. And, if you’re still on the fence about your choice, we’ll offer up some general pros and cons of the card and give our thoughts on who might be a good fit for it.

The L.L.Bean Mastercard’s Rewards

Nearly every store credit card you look at will boast some sort of rewards structure that’s based on percentages you get every time you make a purchase. The “rewards” you get are usually points that convert into cash or cash.

The L.L.Bean card’s rewards points are called Bean Bucks and you earn them according to the following system:

  • 4% on L.L.Bean purchases
  • 2% on gas and restaurants
  • 1% on everything else

4% Rewards on L.L.Bean Purchases

One Bean Buck is equal to one dollar of rewards. So, if you spend $100 at an L.L.Bean store you get the 4% rewards rate, which equals four Bean Bucks. Those Bean Bucks will show up in your L.L.Bean account and you can apply them to any future purchases you make.

Basically, the card gives you a 4% discount on nearly every L.L.Bean purchase you make. Of course, the discount isn’t taken off at the register or online but is sent to your rewards account.

2% Rewards on Gas and Restaurants

Whenever you use your L.L.Bean card at a gas station or restaurant, you can earn 2% in Bean Bucks.

What makes this category so interesting is that the restrictions on what counts as a “gas station” are pretty detailed. Certain gas purchases won’t count and much of it has to do with where the gas station is located. Here are the locations at which your gas purchases will earn 1%, not 2%:

  • Superstores
  • Grocery stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Warehouse clubs

L.L.Bean also has a list of exclusions for the restaurant category. Before we list them, we want to point out that “restaurant” includes sit-down places as well as fast food, so this category is a little more expansive than the gas category.

Here’s what the fine print lists as excluded restaurants:

  • Bakeries
  • Restaurants/cafes in department stores
  • Restaurants/cafes in grocery stores
  • Restaurants/cafes in warehouse clubs

With all these things considered, we believe these two purchase categories can earn the average household about $220 per year.

When you add in the 1% bonus on the “everything else” purchases you make, we think this card can earn you $420 a year, not including your L.L.Bean purchases. But, remember, that money isn’t something you get in a check; it’s a balance you can only apply to L.L.Bean purchases.

15% Off Your Purchase the Day You’re Approved

The other big rewards you get with this card is a 15% discount on one purchase you make the day you’re approved for the card.

What makes this reward tricky is that there are specific guidelines for how you use it. First, you need to make the purchase after you’ve been approved. This one sounds simple, but it only applies to instant approvals.

So, let’s say you fill out the online application for the card, click “Submit” and you get a message saying you’ve been approved. Now, you have to go directly to the L.L. Bea website and make a purchase. Here’s how the card’s fine print explains it:

“If your application for the L.L.Bean Mastercard is able to be instantly approved, you will receive a one-time discount of 15% off your llbean.com purchase, valid during your current website visit to llbean.com when you pay with your new L.L.Bean Mastercard. Once this llbean.com visit has ended, this offer is no longer valid.”

Some other key things to know about this discount is that it’s merchandise-only, which means the 15% discount won’t apply to charges for shipping, taxes, engraving, monograms and several other categories.

Also, there is certain merchandise that are excluded from this discount. At the time of publishing, the fine print said that “select boats, optics, electronics; firearms; Outdoor Discovery Schools private lessons, custom adventures, adventure trips, and youth programs” are excluded, too.

The L.L.Bean Mastercard’s Long-Term Benefits Include Free Shipping and Returns

Aside from rewards, the card gives you three specific perks: free shipping, free returns and free monogramming.

The free shipping benefit only applies to standard shipping in the U.S. We did a quick check of the company’s website and found that standard shipping for a six-person tent would take seven days to arrive in Jacksonville, FL.

Their site noted that standard shipping takes anywhere from three to six days and that express shipping arrives in three days.

Returns have the same restrictions as free standard shipping. You won’t have to pay anything if you do a standard-shipping return.

Monogramming is free on items you buy from L.L.Bean that are shipped to the U.S.

All three of these perks only apply to purchases you make with your L.L.Bean card or Bean Bucks.

The L.L.Bean Mastercard’s Rates and Fees

All credit cards come with a list of rates and fees that you’ll pay in the event that you make a late payment or you carry a balance.

What surprises us about the L.L.Bean card is that the APR ranges from 15.74% to 21.74%, which, in the world of store credit cards, is very reasonable.

While that interest rate is about average for cash back rewards cards, it’s pretty competitive compared to travel rewards cards, whose best APR often eclipses 17%.

Other fees and rates on this card include a 5% cash advance fee that’s paired with a 26.99% APR, a 3% balance transfer fee and a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

The L.L.Bean Mastercard has no annual fee.

How the L.L.Bean Mastercard’s Rewards Compare to Cash-Back Credit Cards

Earlier we mentioned that you could earn around $420 a year with this card based on the rewards rates for gas, restaurant, and general purchases. If you add in the rewards you get from making $500 in L.L.Bean purchases each year, then your rewards total rises to $440.

All of this is based on spending $26,000 a year. With that standard in mind, here is a quick list of how much you could earn per year with the following popular cash-back rewards cards:

What these other cards don’t offer, however, is the free shipping, free returns and the free monogramming that the L.L.Bean card has.

If you buy from the site six times a year, then you’ll save $36 on standard shipping costs. Standard monogramming costs $8. So, if you buy three shirts a year from L.L.Bean among your six purchases, you’ll save an additional $24, putting the card’s yearly Bean Bucks total at $500.

Compared the cashback cards we listed above, that rewards total is formidable. The drawback, as with every store-branded credit card, is that you can’t use that money anywhere else but at L.L.Bean.

The Final Word: Pros and Cons of the L.L.Bean Mastercard

Based on our research of this card and other store credit cards, we believe the L.L.Bean Mastercard offers excellent rewards. So excellent, in fact, that it surpasses the cash rewards you could get with a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

For someone who shops at L.L.Bean regularly, this card is a great way to earn rewards that you can put toward your L.L.Bean purchase. Considering how much you can earn each year, getting this card to amass rewards you can use to buy Christmas presents would be warranted, in our opinion.

The downside to the card is that the 15% bonus you get when you’re approved only applies to purchases made at the same time. So, you should do your research ahead of time to decide what you want.

In our opinion, this card is a great fit for someone who makes frequent purchases at L.L.Bean and will use their rewards because they already have a history of shopping here. It’s easy to get caught up in a good store credit card deal, but smart consumers will stick with cards that rewards them for the type of purchases they already make.

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6 Consumer Reviews for L.L.Bean Mastercard

Average Consumer Rating: 1.8
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  3
Bottom Line: 17% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-6 of 6
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    L.L.Bean Mastercard - a horrible debacle. AVOID!

    • East Coast, USA,
    • Dec 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am a longtime devoted L.L.Bean customer. I initially had a L.L.Bean credit card with Barclays Visa. Barclays was great and their paper bills and online website account proved accurate and user-friendly. My L.L.Bean "Bean Bucks" rewards were accurate and easily viewed and redeemed. Then my L.L.Bean Barclays credit was turned over to Mastercard. My account has since been extremely difficult to follow and often inaccurate. My L.L. Bean "Bean Bucks" rewards totals made no sense and disappeared early. My balance on the L.L. Bean Mastercard website never matches, or even comes close to the balance provided by their live customer service. It’s a disaster.

    In the weeks prior to The 2018 Holidays, I went to my L.L. Bean account and began ordering the first of the saved 37+ holiday gift items that I had painstakingly and meticulously selected, and personalized with L.L.Bean’s free monogramming (free when you pay with the LLBean Mastercard), saved in my "save" file and "shopping cart." My intent was to make these numerous purchases during L.L. Bean’s pre-holiday sale (25% off), while applying my already-earned L.L. Bean "Bean Bucks" credits, and using my L.L. Bean credit card for free shipping and free gift returns/exchanges as needed, AND to accumulate additional L.L.Bean "Bean Bucks" rewards.

    I attempted to place one of many L.L.Bean holiday orders, but my L.L.Bean Mastercard was oddly suddenly denied. I had used the card for other purchases literally every day that week, and I had overpaid my L.L.Bean Mastercard account, so I was VERY aggravated. I called the number on the credit card and eventually spoke with a customer service representative. She said that due to an error on their behalf, my account was now suddenly closed, without warning. She said something about an agreement letter was mailed to my address several months ago, but that it came back to them. If this was true, then why was their no "message" or notification on my L.L.Bean Mastercard account page? Why had they not attempted to contact me all these months? I described to her my frustration at not being able to make my long and laboriously planned holiday gift purchases, and she turned into a "Talking Head," saying that MANY L.L.Bean Mastercard accounts had been suddenly SHUT DOWN, and that "she only learned about it this morning." She did not state WHEN or IF this egregious error would be rectified. UNREAL!

    I would like to mention that I had my L.L. Bean Mastercard directly connected to a gasoline savings program, so that everytime I pay with my L.L.Bean Mastercard, I save significant money per gallon. I also frequently (daily) use my L.L.Bean credit card to accumulate savings on restaurant and other daily purchases, with the promise of percentages of my purchases being returned to my L.L.Bean credit card account. These incentives have apparently not worked as promised. But anyway, my point is that I used my L.L.Bean card frequently, without interruption for months on end, expecting L.L. Bean Mastercard to honor their rewards system and, most especially, to not suddenly close my account (MANY L.L.Bean credit customers’ accounts).

    Due to the L.L.Bean Mastercard’s inaccurate and confusing billing system, I routinely overpaid, so as not to underpay and incur the wrath of any L.L.Bean Mastercard late fees. So, right now L.L.Bean Mastercard has all my money and I have no way to access it. My "Bean Bucks" rewards are inaccessible to me, and may never be honored.

    So, for the 2018 Holidays, I cannot buy my Holiday list of preselected gifts from L.L.Bean and get free monogramming, free shipping, free return shipping (if needed), apply the "Bean Bucks" rewards I already earned, nor can I earn more "rewards."

    So, the L.L.Bean sale has ended. Many of the items I intended to buy are sold out.

    Happy Holidays, family and friends...here is a crappy, impersonal gift I had to buy last minute, because my L.L. Bean Mastercard screwed me.

    This erodes my trust in L.L. Bean, as they chose Mastercard, NOT ME.

    The worst card EVER.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Unable to set up e-mail account

    • Massachusetts,
    • Nov 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been trying since this new Mastercard was issued to create an account online as I had for Visa. It has turned out to be impossible and no one has been able to figure out why. No matter what is tried, verify or register, the cursor just sits there.

    A couple of your representatives and I have tried to no avail and I'm not doing it again. The last time I tried, I got as far as putting in my account number, the problem there is, it brings up another Citibank Mastercard (also previously Visa) that I have had for over 25 years. It seems to be looking at it as another L.L.Bean card, it's not. I admit I still like the card and will use it, just by phone. I just wondered if anyone else has this problem? We did try everything we could think of, thanks for that. I hope this at least makes sense to someone.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Unreliable

    • Lisbon, ME,
    • Oct 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    When L.L.Bean changed banks, my card was compromised, and someone in Indiana bought tires and charged two $56 charges.

    I am having a hard time getting them to remove those charges from my bill. Today I received a letter saying I had to pay $25 by a due date of 10/05/2018 or be charged a $35 late fee. That is the date I received the letter. I haven't even received my last month's statement telling me what I owe. I am 73 and being harassed for something that wasn't even my fault.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Terrible Matercard

    • Jacksonville, FL,
    • Aug 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    L.L.Bean transferred (transitioned!) our former Barclays Visa to Citi Mastercard. It has been a horrible experience, and the fat lady hasn't sung yet. All of our credit limit with the old card disappeared from all three credit bureaus. We get estimates of perhaps 60 days for it to magically reappear. We have gotten misleading and contradictory information from Citi about this new card (any authorized users do, or don't, get ATM rights, for example). The experience has soured us on L.L.Bean, with whom we have done business for just 50 years.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Not off to a good start

    • Vermont,
    • Aug 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am a convert from the Barclays Visa. Barclays had a nice app and a good online system that allowed me to pay my bill every couple of days. Since transferring over to Citi's Mastercard my account has been difficult to follow and seldom accurate. My rewards totals don't even mathematically add up.

    My new card never got sent, so I had to go through the process of canceling it and getting a new one. Over the next few days, I actually received two cards. While dealing with this on the phone, the agent said I should request a credit increase, to which I was denied because I had already request too many (this was my first and only request).

    I eventually got my new card registered, and my account seems basically accurate (except for my rewards). I do like the increased benefits - running total of bean bucks instead of getting $10 at a time and the increased percentages but with a low credit limit and all of the hassles, it is hardly worth using this card given my travel card accumulates miles much faster, has a higher credit limit, and no snafus when I need something.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Convenience

    • Clinton, CT,
    • Aug 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I don’t like the fact that there is no app to easily access my account. The Barclays Card app was there and I didnt have to remember some website to log into.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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