Sears Cards: Headed for the Scrap Heap?

Sears Cards: Headed for the Scrap Heap?
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#1

(cross-posted to FWF)
Mrs. Bogalusa got herself a Sears charge card in 1976. After we got married years ago, I became an authorized user on that card. By having a 41-year-old card that is still active, we get a decent boost in our respective average credit ages (10+ years).

We understand that the average age of open credit lines has only a medium impact on our credit scores. Nevertheless, we would not want to see Sears and its credit card disappear completely.

We’re wondering whether any FDers are in a similar situation and doing anything about it (maybe getting Citi to convert it to another card while preserving the age). Thanks for any input!


#2

Where did you hear this? While my Sears card is only a mere eight years old, I haven’t heard that it’s going away. Or did news break about Sears finally going down the drain, officially?


#3

In rereading my post, I see my baked-in assumption that the world considered Sears not such a viable company.

Maybe my impression about Sears is exaggerated - or just outdated (i.e., several months ago). This impression was due to hearing things about CEO Lampert “destroying” or dismantling the company, the Sears store near us closing [huge surprise], store closings nationwide, etc.


#4

Ok. So is it fair to say (or reiterate I guess) that you’re randomly asking this question on old info? No offense intended, at all. Just clarifying.


#5

No problem, it’s a fair question.

I suppose I am asking it based on old info. On the other hand, if Sears’ fortunes are looking any brighter, I sure haven’t heard about it.


#6

No doubt. Me neither. Just making sure I didn’t miss something. I have some financial stake, so want to be aware before I get burned.


#7

You have a financial stake in Sears? I hope you’re just speculating short term.

I thought it was considered pretty well agreed that Sears is doomed. They’re like $4B in the hole and losing over $1B annually. You think they can really persist for long as they bleed a billion dollars a year and sell off all their assets while getting by off personal loans from the CEO while he milks any value out of them?


#8

I hold a position, via an alternative investment, in Sears. Yes.


#9

An alternative investment… Options?


#10

I’d be happy to hear more about this. SHLD common stock is very risky and heavily shorted. I think given the large debt tranches held by Lambert and company a couple years out, it is likely they limp along for another couple years by closing stores, trying to lose a bit less money, and selling assets. I’ve seen nothing to suggest they’ve turned around their business, just that it’s a very slow motion liquidation being run for the benefit of the insiders.


#11

Something has been going on because I’ve had six months of insane deals on my Citibank Sears Card–10 percent back at groceries, restaurants, and gas for the last six months, up to $100/month ($600 back) and for the last three months an additional 5 percent back on any spend up to $1500 (extra $150 on the basic spending I was doing). Plus I got a couple of random $50 statement credits. So I am looking at about $850 straight cash back for ~$6,000 in total spending, the vast majority organic.

It’s made hitting MS for card bonuses more of a challenge, however!


#12

I don’t hold a Sears card, but I can tell you that last year when BofA shut down my oldest card (and my entire relationship), that was a 20-year-old card with a $60k credit line, it had very little impact on my overall score.

Mind you, I have at least a dozen other cards opened ~15 years ago during AOR height days to help offset the timeline. In addition, have opened dozens of more cards up to now.

AFAIK, Citi will not convert a store card to anything else preemptively. However, if Sears ceases to exist then they will likely offer more options such as when Costco dropped Amex.


#13

UPDATE
In today’s mail, Mrs. B got an offer from Sears Credit Cards to “upgrade” her Sears store card to the Sears Mastercard®." The link at the top of the letter is cardoffer.searscard.com, which resolves to a citibankonline.com page.

Excerpts from the letter: “Great news! You’re one of a select group of cardmembers…with new terms taking effect on 01/17/18…If you would prefer not to receive this upgrade, you can decline it by calling…or visiting cardoffer.searscard.com by 01/17/18…your account history will transfer to your new card.”

In addition, it appears that Shop Your Way Rewards (pertains to Sears and Kmart) remains intact at present.

Excerpts from the FAQ: “Your Sears Mastercard will have a new account number…After you receive the Sears Mastercard, your Sears Card account will automatically be replaced on the credit bureau [sic] with the new Sears Mastercard account number. Your entire account history and original account open date will remain the same.

For Sears card holders contemplating getting another Citi card – Assuming some kind of limit on the number of Citi cards one person can have, I wonder whether it makes sense for him/her to apply for, say, Citi Double Cash before 01/17/18 to avoid hitting that limit. We may do that, or we may just ask Citi to convert a sock-drawered Citi card (Simplicity or other) to Citi Double Cash or other good Citi card.

Thoughts?

And, does anyone know whether the Sears store card counts as a Citi card for purposes of the number-of-cards limit?


#14

According to DoC: “Citi does not have a limit on the amount of credit cards you can hold with them. Unlike some other card issuers, you can have as many Citi credit cards as they’ll approve you for.”