Citi buys $1.5B L.L.Bean credit card portfolio from Barclays

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Citigroup has acquired a $1.5 billion portfolio of credit card loans to L.L.Bean customers from Barclays. Additionally, Citi will begin issuing a cobranded L.L.Bean card through Mastercard.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The transaction closed in mid-June, a Citi spokeswoman said in an email Monday. Customers of the Barclays L.L.Bean Visa card had been informed earlier this summer of the upcoming changes in the card partners.

The new Citi-L.L.Bean credit card can be used at any merchant that accepts Mastercard, the bank said in a news release. Citi has similar cobranding card relationships with Costco and American Airlines.

“This new agreement with L.L.Bean is a tremendous addition to Citi Retail Services’ family of industry-leading brands, and we look forward to bringing innovative offerings to their customers throughout the years ahead,” Craig Vallorano, head of Citi Retail Services, said in the release.

Barclays had been partners with L.L.Bean and Visa on the credit card for nine years, a company spokesman said.

The card features several rewards for purchases, including a 4% reward on purchases at L.L.Bean’s physical stores and online platform. L.L.Bean, headquartered in Freeport, Maine, sells clothing and outdoor gear from 55 stores and on its website.

Citi also maintains a separate business of issuing private-label cards on behalf of numerous retailers, including Home Depot and Best Buy, that can only be used at those stores. However, delinquency rates on private-label cards have recently soared to levels not seen in at least seven years. In May, Citi paid $425 million to extend its relationship with Sears to issue both private-label and cobranded cards for the financially struggling retailer.

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Credit cards Consumer banking Payments M&A Citigroup Mastercard Barclays Visa