John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Card review 2021
A versatile rewards card that earns points anywhere Mastercard is accepted and offers perks tailored to loyal customers.
Finder rating: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 4.5/5
In a nutshell:
0% interest on balance transfers
0% interest on purchases
|Issuer||John Lewis Financial Services|
|Balance transfers||0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%|
|Balance transfer fee||2.9% (min. £5) at anytime reverting to 3% (min. £5)|
|Purchases||0% for 9 months reverting to 18.9%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Min credit limit||£250|
|Max credit limit||Not specified|
|Additional cards available||3|
|Incentive||Earn 5 points for every £4 spent in store or online at John Lewis, Waitrose and John Lewis Insurance. Earn 1 Point for every £4 spent elsewhere. Vouchers issued once customer reaches 500 points in Feb, Jun or Oct when vouchers are automatically issued to customers. Every 500 points is worth £5.|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
If you’re a fan of John Lewis and Waitrose, this credit card can earn you loyalty points wherever you use it, and at an enhanced rate when you use it at John Lewis or Waitrose. The points you accumulate can be exchanged for John Lewis and Waitrose vouchers three times a year, in units of £5. Any extra points above the nearest £5 are carried over into the next reward period. Points can be spent online or in-store at any John Lewis store, or Waitrose supermarket.
To draw in new customers, there’s an introductory bonus plus introductory 0% periods on both purchases and balance transfers. So if you already have an outstanding balance with another credit card provider, you can apply to bring it across to this card, and pay no interest on that balance for a set period (after which the card’s standard rate kicks in). Alternatively if you’re anticipating a large expenditure, you can use the card’s 0% on purchases period to spread the cost without incurring interest.
You’d expect decent customer service from John Lewis and Waitrose, and indeed it does offer a 24-hour customer support helpline, charged at local rate. You can also register for online account servicing or download the free mobile app, to carry out a range of tasks including making payments, viewing your current balance and recent statements, requesting a balance transfer or credit limit change or switching to paperless monthly statements.
You can also request cards for up to three other nominated people on your account, which could help you earn points faster (just remember you’ll be solely responsible for the card debt). This can be done online, via the app, or in a John Lewis Partnership or Waitrose store.
Ultimately, there are longer 0% deals around for both purchases and balance transfers, and there are better ongoing interest rates out there. However, for regular Waitrose/John Lewis shoppers who don’t need longer offers, and don’t plan on carrying a balance from month to month, the perks could make this a card worth carrying.
Pros and cons
- Over a year of 0% interest to focus on reducing existing card debt
- Earn points on day-to-day spending
- No annual fee
- Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible
- Don't forget that balance transfer fee! If cutting the interest on existing card debt is your main reason for considering this card, check out no-fee deals first
John Lewis stores have been a fixture of our major high streets since 1864, when the first one opened on London’s Oxford Street. The company is one of the best-known employee-owned businesses in the UK, with its staff all given a share of its annual profits.
Like many of its competitors, John Lewis’ expansion of its business has seen it set up its own financial services arm, which offers a range of other products besides the John Lewis credit card. Its card is provided by HSBC banking group, and is issued on the Mastercard network, which means it’s accepted in more than 35 million outlets around the world.
How does this card compare?
The Partnership card
You can make manual repayments through John Lewis Financial Services's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0345 300 3830). Alternatively, you may wish to set up a direct debit.
A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee (£12) or losing any promotional rates as a result.
You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.
Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:
|Minimum amount||Fixed amount||Fixed percentage||Full amount|
How to apply for the Partnership Card
Completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes, or alternatively you can apply in store. But first, check that you meet the eligibility requirements. You'll need to be a resident of the UK (excluding the Channel Islands), unless you're serving in the Armed Forces. Your annual income should be more than £6750, and you'll need a good credit history, with no history of County Court Judgments or bankruptcy. You must ensure that you can meet the repayments as missed payments incur a charge and could have severe consequences on your ability to obtain future credit.
Frequently asked questions
What credit limit will I get with the John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard?
If John Lewis Financial Services is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on John Lewis Financial Services's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £250 and John Lewis Financial Services does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown John Lewis Financial Services that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.
Can I withdraw cash using the John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard?
Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (such as withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino or buying currency) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.
The cash advance fee on the John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard is 2.5% (min. £2.5). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £2.50. Withdraw £250, and you'll incur a fee of £6.25.
The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 23.9%, which is 26% more than the standard purchases rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 56 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).
Can I transfer a balance from another John Lewis-branded card to the John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard?
How much does it cost to use the John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard abroad?
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£169.26), it'll cost you around £4.65 in fees.
What is the minimum payment on the John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard?
Each month you must pay at least 3% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the two figures is greater. So if you had, say, £150.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £666.67 outstanding, you'd pay £20.00.
Paying only the minimum required amount each month is generally not advisable as it makes it much harder to get debt-free before that introductory 0% period expires.