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Hudson's Bay Mastercard powered by Neo Financial
August 18, 2021
11:50 am
Norman1
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Edit by admin: this thread was split off from a discussion about bill over-payments

HBC and Capital One ended their credit card relationship. HBC is partnering with Neo Financial instead.

One will need to re-apply with Neo Financial if one wishes to have the new Hudson's Bay branded MasterCard.

Online business and the physical stores business will separate into The Bay for the online business and Hudson's Bay for the physical stores. Both will continue within the Hudson’s Bay Company.

August 18, 2021
3:35 pm
Loonie
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Thanks for the update, Norman. I hope I can remember that. Will the Neo card be affiliated with both the Bay and HBC, then?

I'm surprised I haven't heard from Neo, wanting my business. But, then, I haven't used the card in a while. I haven't heard from The Bay or Capital One either.
I won't bother to apply unless they keep the 90-day return period. I might not bother at all.

Still, it seems very different than, for example, when Costco switched. They were falling all over themselves marketing the new card. I, for one, still don't shop in person unless I must, so they need to reach out more to previous customers

August 18, 2021
5:56 pm
Norman1
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The Neo card is called the "Hudson's Bay Mastercard". So, the card is affiliated with the physical stores.

I suspect Capital One owns the cardholders of the former HBC card and not HBC. Consequently, Neo Financial doesn't have access to the info Capital One has about the cardholders, including their contact info.

Costco used to receive a bounty for each Costco member who signed up for the affiliated credit card. Perhaps, Neo isn't paying a bounty to HBC.

August 19, 2021
1:54 am
Loonie
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I see.
Did Capital One leave Canada, then? Seems strange they didn't try to sell me a different card.
If the Neo card only applies to in-store purchases, it will be a long time before I get one, perhaps never.

August 19, 2021
2:59 pm
Norman1
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Capital One is still in Canada. You may already have another of their cards if you have the Capital One Costco Mastercard! sf-laugh

Capital One is also ending their partnership with Costco though.

The new Neo Hudson's Bay Mastercard has the branding of the Hudson's Bay physical stores. But, the card is accepted by and is recognized as the in-house credit card of The Bay online marketplace:

A card with major style points

Collect double the points at Hudson's Bay stores and thebay.com, plus earn points everywhere else you shop.2

What is different now is that The Bay web site has its own CEO separate from the president of the Hudson's Bay physical stores. The site is now an online marketplace that is open to other vendors besides the related Hudson's Bay physical stores. Kind of like Walmart.ca that has been open to other vendors besides the Walmart Canada physical stores.

I saw the lower free shipping limit benefit with the Neo Hudson's Bay Mastercard. But, I didn't see the extended return period benefit. That may have been dropped.

August 20, 2021
4:12 am
Loonie
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Thanks very much for the extra information.
I don't have a CostCo MC.

Maybe they were losing too much money on the 90 day return policy on seasonal items.

I wonder if you'll be able to return online purchases to stores. It sounds like this may not be possible. Usually it's free to return items to stores, but sending back by mail is a nuisance and an expense.

August 21, 2021
7:38 am
Norman1
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That would depend on who the seller was for the online The Bay purchase.

According to The Bay: Shipping & Returns, if the seller was Hudson's Bay, then the item could be returned to one of their stores:

Easy Returns

If you’re unhappy with your purchase for any reason, you may return it with its original packaging to any Hudson's Bay store open for in-store shopping, or ship it back to our warehouse with original receipt. Refunds and exchanges are not permitted after the allowable return period or without an original receipt. Accepted forms of an original receipt include receipts obtained in store, online packing slips/order invoice and transactional emails.

I found that 90 day extended return benefit for the in-house MasterCard:


30-Day Policy

Standard-size merchandise (received via Parcel Delivery) may be returned within up to *30 days of purchase for a refund issued to the original tender with your original receipt. Accepted forms of an original receipt include receipts obtained in store, online packing slips/order invoice and transactional emails.

90 Days with Hudson’s Bay Credit

If you purchased your standard-size merchandise with a Hudson’s Bay Mastercard, you have within up to *90 days to receive a full refund on your card with your original receipt. Accepted forms of an original receipt include receipts obtained in store, online packing slips/order invoice and transactional emails.

If the seller was not Hudson's Bay, then the item has to be shipped back:

Marketplace

Items that are sold by Marketplace sellers cannot be returned at any Hudson’s Bay stores. All Marketplace returns must be initiated through your Hudson's Bay account, and mailed to the Marketplace seller directly.

Charges may apply for shipping and returns and vary by Marketplace seller. …

August 21, 2021
11:04 am
Loonie
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Thanks for the update.
I wish it were any issuer but Neo!

A few years back I bought a few things for my mother from what I guess would be considered a "Marketplace" vendor in the Montreal store. I returned some of them in a Toronto store after she had tried them out and got my refund, within the 90 day period, but it took then ages to process the returns as they regarded it as very complicated. The receipt was in French, which probably made it harder as you can't depend on sales staff in Toronto understanding French. I was assured when I bought these items that they could be returned at the Toronto store or else I wouldn't have bought them. I guess that won't be possible in future, if I should get the card.

Do you know how long the contract between Neo and HBC is for? If it's not too long, perhaps they'll go with another issuer later and I will postpone getting a new card. I'm guessing they got a good "starter" deal because Neo is new and HBC may be desperate. I'd like to see HBC survive, but they're making it more difficult for me to patronize them.

Is the Capital One card defunct now, then? I'm wondering if I should throw it out and lighten my wallet bulge. It's strange, not having heard anything from any of the parties.

August 21, 2021
8:43 pm
Norman1
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That doesn't sound like a Marketplace vendor. It sounds like a supplier rep who was in the store promoting product that the HBC stores agreed to carry. The purchase was likely rang through the HBC store and not through a third party vendor renting space in the store.

I wished too that HBC had partnered with someone else than Neo Financial. Lots of former holders of the Capital One HBC credit cards feel that way too.

Some don't like the selfies and photos of their ID required by Neo. Some tried applying at a Hudson's Bay store instead of online or through the Neo app. However, the only difference applying at a store is that the store uses a tablet to take a selfie and photos of the ID!

At one point, before HBC sold it, the HBC credit card operations were earning as much as the HBC stores were on selling the merchandise! I suspect that Capital One found that the HBC credit cards were no longer as lucrative.

No new spending can be done on the Capital One HBC credit cards after May 3. The accounts only accept payments after that until the balance is paid off:

What do I do if I have an outstanding balance on my existing Hudson’s Bay credit card after the account closes? (After May 3rd?)

If you have an outstanding balance or any pending transactions on May 3, 2021, your account terms will continue to apply, and Capital One will send you statements until your account has been paid in full. Once Capital One issues you a statement with no balance owing and no pending transactions, your account will be closed. However, you will not be able to use the account for any purchases after May 3 - it remains active for payments only.

August 22, 2021
6:11 am
Loonie
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Hmm. I guess you must have found a consumer group that is unhappy with the Neo cards. More power to them!

I presume you meant last May? So the card is no good now. I never carry a balance.

I've made up my mind. I won't be applying for the Neo card. I feel badly about HBC, but they made a stupid decision.

Why on earth do we need these fintech companies anyway? I don't see any advantage, but significant disadvantage. Just another entity trying to elbow its way in. I don't buy that our "security" requires this much invasion of privacy; they may reduce one risk but they are creating others. If necessary I'll use cash. But of course they want to get rid of that too. It's a slippery slope.

August 22, 2021
1:40 pm
Norman1
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Yes, no new purchases on the Capital One HBC credit cards as of May 3 this year.

I saw consumers online who are unhappy about and wary of the Neo cards. I can understand why. None of the credit cards I have ever required a cellphone, a selfie, and copies of ID to be sent to a company that isn't funding the purchases.

I guess no-one else, beside Neo Financial, was interested in offering an HBC-branded credit card and paying HBC for Hudson's Bay Reward points.

ATB Financial could have been the credit card provider directly instead of through Neo. I strongly suspect that the business was not worthwhile on just the standard Mastercard interchange from the charges and the card interest from the cardholders who carried a balance.

That's a challenge with some of the fintech companies: What is the problem that they are the solution for? I think the situation is called "a solution looking for a problem to solve!" sf-laugh

August 22, 2021
2:39 pm
Loonie
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If you're interested, there was an article by David Olive in the Toronto Star yesterday about HBC and its management. It was interesting - and negative. Didn't mention credit cards. I find he's generally pretty sharp.

One of his observations is that the owner in New York, "mentored by his father" (a bad sign, I think, to be the son of rather than doing it himself), doesn't understand HBC's relationship with Canadians, or Canadians in general for that matter. I think he's right. What the owner is proposing may work for Saks Fifth but not for us. We've been dealing with HBC for over 350 years. It has changed a lot in that time, but, still, we know what it is. Dividing it into two and trying to go in two directions will not make sense to Canadians, IMO. It will need to change some more, but not in the direction he imagines.

I'm not retail expert but I do know that there is room for a store that gives me what I need. I am often driven to online shopping because I no longer know where to find an accessible store that can show me what I'm looking for. As I think about it, only Home Hardware and to a lesser extent Canadian Tire come to mind as stores where I can fairly reliably get what I'm looking for. I'd have to be really desperate to grace the door of WalMart but they have succeeded in convincing a lot of Canadians that they offer a good deal (not true in my view).

I think some of us are tired of online shopping, and especially the tedious process of returns. Today, for example, spouse spent several HOURS looking for a simple set of ear buds that will meet a couple of specifications - nothing weird. Most of that time was spent at the BestBuy site. Nonetheless, could not find the necessary info to tell us if any of their myriad offerings met our needs. And it was annoying, scrolling through all kinds of irrelevancies. In the end, we were not able to choose any of them with any confidence and bought nothing. There is lots of room for The Bay to improve on current offerings if they have the wits. A major reason I don't go to The Bay any more is because I never know what I'm going to find there as entire departments disappear or change into something I don't want. Whether it's towels or teapots there is a role for stores that will show you exactly what you are buying before you buy it. Costco succeeds at this by offering more limited variety in any given category but has consistency of quality and availability - and I shop there! No ear buds though.

Olive says someone just gave HBC a lifeline of over 800 billion dollars. Amazing! I guess they'll be round for a while yet, spending it down.

August 28, 2021
11:01 am
Norman1
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That $800+ billion wasn't for The Bay online site or the Hudson's Bay physical stores. According to the David Olive article Splitting up Hudson's Bay: stroke of brilliance or big blunder?, the money was for HBC's online Saks Fifth Avenue businesses:

One of Baker’s private equity peers, Insight Partners, has invested a total of about $885 billion this year [2021] in the online spinoffs of luxury goods purveyor Saks Fifth Avenue and off-price merchant Saks Off 5th.

HBC is not really splitting up Hudson's Bay business. The Bay site will still do the online presence for the Hudson's Bay physical stores.

Just that the site or the physical stores can now offer items that makes sense for it and not necessarily for the other. There could be items that have enough demand Canada wide but not necessarily enough demand to stock in the physical stores across Canada.

There will always be room for local physical stores. The challenge is keeping them stocked with the desired merchandise without having to have high prices.

Fortunately for Hudson's Bay, if their local store doesn't have, for example, the particular size for a shoe that's on sale, I can return home and order it from their web site. It can then be fulfilled by one of their stores in a different province.

August 28, 2021
11:21 am
BestBankerEver
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Keep in mind that the Bay had numerous stores shuttered due to non payment of rent. And from what I can see is the stores that were shut down and re-opened are stores that they would rather not have. I feel that the Bay will eventually close.

Reasons:
For years there have been numerous retrofits over looked. Look at the carpets at the store in Abbotsford, DT Vancouver, Coquitlam centre and Victoria. Langley is decent condition.

The DT Vancouver store is for sale. Selling off property is a sign. I have been there with that with another national retailer.

Maybe it is covid but maybe not.....stock in stores is pathetically slim pickings...so why bother make a fruitless shopping trip.

Furniture and appliance commissioned sales people have left in droves and the ones left are not outgoing enough to address a potential customer.

A lot of furniture sales are bungled and what is purchased vs what is delivered is a dismal surprise.

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