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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4 Consumer Reviews for L.L.Bean Mastercard

Average Consumer Rating: 1.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  2
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-4 of 4
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  • 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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  • 2 out 2 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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  • 1 out 1 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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  • 1 out 1 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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