Newest Review: ... it seems to be fairly reasonable in this respect, and there is no annual fee. There is even a choice of colours: pink, black, silver or g... more
The Caring Credit Card Company?
Partnership John Lewis Waitrose Credit Card
Member Name: OscarsWilderness
Partnership John Lewis Waitrose Credit Card
Date: 10/03/10, updated on 22/04/10 (1035 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent service, you earn money every time you use it
Disadvantages: None, really
Of all the credit cards I have used over the years, the Partnership John Lewis Waitrose one is my favourite. Perhaps it's an odd thing of which to have a favourite, but you see, it's not just about the card (mine is black, which I rather like), but the service behind it. Being in my late twenties, maybe it is a little early for me to be mourning the loss of service in this country, but I am finding more and more that large companies in particular are often incompetent. Not so with Partnership Card Services, however. This organisation actually seems to have struck a balance between the friendliness of a smaller company and the benefits of a large one.
One of the best features of this credit card is that you earn points every time you use it at any of the 25 million Mastercard outlets around the world, with John Lewis, Waitrose and Ocado earning you more than non-affiliated outlets. With a typical APR of 16.9%, it might not be the lowest possible rate available, but it seems to be fairly reasonable in this respect, and there is no annual fee. There is even a choice of colours: pink, black, silver or green. Despite having had this Mastercard for several years, when I enquired about transferring a balance from another card last year, JL Partnership offered me a very low rate of just 2% for six months. This was sufficient time in which to clear the outstanding balance, so it made the balance transfer fee of 2.5% well worthwhile in this case.
The points you earn are converted into vouchers, which are sent out every few months in £5 denominations, and since I now buy everything on this card that I would normally pay for with cash or a debit card and then pay it off in full, these do start to add up over the months. As I mentioned earlier, my experience of the customer service behind this organisation has been second to none, and it's available 24 hours a day. The staff are always polite, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. I don't know how they manage to ensure this on such a large scale, but having become accustomed to apathetic call centre staff who often give you the wrong information, this makes a refreshing change. I'm not saying they never get it wrong; I'm sure it must happen. Just not to me. And not in the six years I have been a customer. In fact, ever keen to stay on top of my finances, I recently overpaid my credit card by mistake! When I requested the difference back - something that had taken an alternative credit card provider three weeks to organise - JLP told me a cheque would be issued within the next seven to ten days. It arrived in three.
Another thing that impressed me with this company was when someone tried to use my card fraudulently via the internet. Partnership spotted the suspicious transaction immediately, despite the fact that it was carried out on a website I had previously used myself - without being intercepted by the Fraud Squad! Yet, somehow, they knew that on this occasion, it did not fit with my normal spending habits and stopped the card there and then. The only irritation was that I had to wait for a replacement before I could use it again, but better that than have to dispute the transaction and wait to get my money back.
One other point that I would like to make is that I'm always slightly annoyed by companies using the issuing of your credit card statement as an opportunity for marketing their other financial services. JLP was no exception and every month, without fail, I would receive information about various products and services that they thought may be of interest to me - and which I invariably threw in the bin without reading. It occurred to me how many trees might have been saved over the years, so the next time I opened my statement, I put all the leaflets back in the envelope they came in and wrote a note to explain that, (whilst I'm not obsessed with environmental issues), I didn't like the idea of all that glossy paper being produced and thrown in the bin by me for no good reason. My next statement arrived minus the leaflets. I turned the envelope upside down and shook it. Nothing. Just a statement. This is a company that actually listens. Such a thing does exist.
Summary: Who said customer service was dead.
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