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First things First. ----------------------
Although I don’t have and never have had a typical Debenhams store card as such (I had the staff discount credit card) I feel I am qualified to write this opinion due to the fact that I spent two years working for Debenhams, almost exclusively in the Customer Accounts Department.
The Basics ---------------
There are two types of store card available, the standard blue card, and the more beneficial gold card. You cannot apply for a gold card though – basically you have to fulfill the requirements (see below) and the kind people at GE Capital bank will upgrade you. If they're having a good day. To apply for a blue card you need to :
Have lived in the UK for the last 12 months
Be working (or have a partner who is working) for more than 16 hours a week in permanent paid employment
Be over 18
When you come into the store and want to open an account, you can do so at most till points or at the CAS dept. You need to provide a form of ID (another credit card, a passport, driving licence etc) and fill in a form – usually takes 10 mins max. The staff member will then try to get authorization to open the account – either over the phone or on a computer. This again takes less than 10 mins. Pretty soon they will have a verdict for you. Most accounts get accepted, but if your is declined don’t take it personally – it could well be a mistake on the bank’s part or a problem with your post code rather than to do with your credit rating. The staff members cannot tell you why you get declined as we don’t know ourselves. What they can do though is give you a nice little leaflet that explains things, and includes an address to write to if you’re still not satisfied. Don't kick up a fuss then and there - there's nothing anyone in the store can do to get you authorized in this situation, and you'll just look rather silly and desperate.
The Bonuses ---------------
So your account’s been accepted. What should you do? First thing is, go shopping! Debs account holders get 10% off almost all purchases for an entire week (some dept like Media and Entertainment offer lower percentages due to the value of the goods, and some external concessions are nasty and give you nothing at all).
Once your first week’s over though, the fun doesn’t stop. Card holders get special offers throughout the year, including first pick at sales, and extra discounts. At Christmas, when you’re short of cash, you can use your card (subject to status of your account) to withdraw cash advances – up to 100 GBP in one go, and 150 GBP over a month. You can also get an extra card for a partner or friend, but please note you still remain the main card holder and we can only discuss your account with you. The number of customers we get ranting on about how it’s sexist that we’ll only talk to their husbands is unbelievable – and at the end of the day, it’s his account. If you’re that bothered, just open your own..... When they ask why, I usually wanted to say something along the lines of “well suppose he’s having an affair, and buying his mistress things on his card. He wouldn’t really want us to tell you....” but of course I never did ;) Also, if you forget your card we can issue you with a temporary one for the day assuming you have some other ID with you which has saved many a person’s life on Christmas Eve (or so I’m told).
Gold Cards -------------
There are 2 ways in which you can be upgraded to a gold card. Firstly, by spending over 500 GBP in a set period of time (6 months or there abouts) and keeping your account in check, you may be entitled to an upgrade. Secondly, any current debs card holder who takes out a wedding list with us gets and automatic upgrade (although getting married is a bit of a drastic step to take). Gold cards have a number of extra benefits including :
Free gift bag for any purchase (if you’re in Manchester pop in and say hi and we’ll even wrap it for you while you wait)
Free delivery anywhere in the British Isles
Free lockers (in some stores – we can’t have them due to the whole “let’s make Manchester secure after the IRA bomb thing”)
Your own personal lounge (in some stores, subject to space) where you can relax with a complimentary beverage (or 20 - some customers drink for a week while they're there...) whilst flicking through "quality" readables - the Debs Direct catalgoue, The Times, Ok magazine etc
20 % discount in all instore cafes and restaurants when paying with your Gold Card
Free hem and sleeve alterations on any item bought in store, on the day of purchase
Interest Rate ----------------
You don’t want to know........ Ok, about 29.8% (might be 28.9% though – like that makes a difference). But, as is standard you’ll get up to 6 weeks interest free, and there’s no annual fee like with some other cards I could mention.
Open a Debenhams account card. Go on. I'm not there any more so there's not point going to the Market Street store just so I can get the commission, so simply pop into your local branch. Do go to CAS though because practically no one ever does, but we like comission too you know. Come on, you know you want to...........
I was naughty with my store card and always paid late, good op made me giggle
sue.51 24.10.2003 20:17
First store card I ever owned - although I seldom tend to use it apart from at Christmas (when it comes in extraordinarily useful) and for important occasions when I need a new outfit - but each time I do, I start getting harrassed to spend 'X' amount for me to be upgraded to a Gold card. Great op, although you don't seem to have covered payment facilities which are quite a few, as with all GE operated accounts, customers can pay in the Debenhams store, by direct debit, over the phone, at banks with the giro slip.
BeeHappy 18.11.2002 18:50
I love Debenhams as a store, but dare not have a card Lol :0)