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As you might expect from a retailer best known for its push-up bras, the Victoria’s Secret credit card, issued by Comenity Bank, is bolstered by a lot of intriguing benefits. But within the fine print, Victoria is hiding a secret: The card’s rewards are designed to make you spend more, with little opportunity to build up savings. Unless you’re already a brand loyalist who spends significantly each year, you’ll probably get better value from a general purpose rewards credit card.
Let’s spill the five biggest secrets you should know about the Victoria’s Secret credit card.
1. The card comes in multiple styles
Not unlike finding your perfect bra style and cup size, Victoria’s Secret offers four different credit card options to fit both your style preferences and your credit.
The Victoria Credit Card comes in black, bearing the scripted VS logo. It's a store-only card that can be used only on purchases through Victoria’s Secret and Pink, both in-store and online.
The Pink Credit Card comes in pink, bearing the block-lettered logo of Pink, Victoria's Secret's sister brand. It's a store-only card that can be used only on purchases through the Pink and Victoria’s Secret brands, both in-store and online.
The Victoria Mastercard Credit Card comes in black, carries the Mastercard logo and can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
The Pink Mastercard Credit Card comes in light pink, carries the Mastercard logo and can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
All four versions can be used at Victoria’s Secret and Pink stores, and all cards earn the same rewards in those stores. The four cards are managed through a single application, where you’ll be able to choose between the black and pink design styles. However, the decision as to whether you’re approved for the Mastercard versions or the store-only versions is determined by Comenity Bank, based on creditworthiness.
The Mastercard versions of the Victoria's Secret credit card offer a one-time incentive for spending at least $500 on the card outside of Victoria’s Secret in the first 90 days after account opening.
2. Big spenders and bra shoppers earn more
The big secret to maximizing rewards with all of the store-only and Mastercard versions is understanding that not all purchases are created equal. Infrequent customers making apparel and beauty purchases will find minimal support from this card's rewards. But if you're spending big on Bombshell bras, you'll see a major lift in rewards value. Here's a quick breakdown of the rewards rate earned for various purchase types. You'll earn the same amount on Victoria's Secret and Pink purchases regardless of which card you hold. But cardholders who spend more will earn higher tier status, which in turn earns more rewards.
As a frame of reference, the average bra on the Victoria's Secret website retails for around $50. That means that if you happen to be buying at least 15 bras per year, you could earn well-endowed savings.
In addition, the two Mastercard versions of the card also earn:
4 points per $1 spent, equal to 2% back in rewards on dining, travel and streaming purchases.
2 points per $1 spent, equal to 1% back in rewards on all other purchases outside of Pink or Victoria’s Secret.
3. Rewards can’t be saved for a big splurge
This is the single biggest downside of the Victoria’s Secret credit card: Rewards are issued automatically in $10 increments for every 2,000 points earned, and once issued, those $10 rewards expire in 90 days.
This makes it incredibly difficult to save up rewards for a big splurge. In fact, if you hope to use your rewards toward anything other than a travel-size Pink beauty product, you’ll easily end up spending more than you save.
Alternate Pick: Easy to redeem everyday rewards
If you’d rather skip keeping up with narrow rewards redemption timelines, consider a straightforward cash-back card like the Citi Double Cash® Card. It earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill.
4. Perks come with a minimum purchase requirement
Beyond earning rewards points, the most heavily marketed benefits of the Victoria’s Secret credit cards are the one-time discounts you earn as a cardholder. Currently, those include:
$25 toward your first credit card purchase.
$10 during your birthday month ($15 for gold-level cardholders)
For silver-level cardholders (spending $300 each program year): an additional $10 half-birthday discount and a 15% discount for your card anniversary.
For gold-level cardholders (spending $750 each program year): an additional $15 half-birthday discount and a 20% discount for your card anniversary.
Within the fine print, however, those perks come with a catch. Each one has a minimum purchase requirement in order to redeem the offer. A minimum purchase greater than $25 is required to redeem your $25 reward toward your first credit card purchase, which is reasonable. But for the rest of these discounts, Victoria's Secret won't reveal what that minimum is until after you already have the card.
You could find yourself spending more than you otherwise would in order to qualify for the discount offered. And because offers are sent to cardholders by email and not disclosed upfront, it's unclear whether all cardholders are given the same minimum purchase requirement in order to redeem their perks.
5. You won’t want to carry a balance
While Victoria's Secret's highest tier of credit card rewards may be eye-popping, it can't compete with the interest rate of its cards. As of April 2023, both the Victoria and Pink credit cards as well as the Victoria and Pink Mastercards carry a 29.74% variable APR. For comparison, that’s almost 10% higher than the average APR nationwide for credit cards that incurred interest in 2022.
That means if there’s any chance you won’t be able to pay your Victoria’s Secret credit card balance in full each month, you could easily end up paying far more in interest than you earn in rewards.