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John Lewis Partnership Card holders furious after NewDay rejections

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Loyal and creditworthy customers with the John Lewis Partnership Card are confused and angry after being rejected by the latest provider NewDay, while others have had credit limits slashed.

Existing customers who were invited to apply for the re-launched John Lewis Partnership Card have vented their anger and frustration after being either rejected for the new credit card or having their previous spending limit cut.

In May, John Lewis confirmed it was no longer accepting applications for its popular Partnership Card as it looked to end its relationship with provider HSBC in favour of NewDay.

Last month, customers were told their current John Lewis Partnership Card would stop working at the end of October and they would need to reapply with NewDay in order to continue to earn points on spending at John Lewis and Waitrose, as well as other retailers.

But as this is a new product with a new provider, credit checks are carried out; existing customers weren’t automatically migrated to NewDay.

And now, many are complaining that despite holding the John Lewis Partnership Card for years, spending thousands of pounds and meeting monthly payment balances, they are being rejected by NewDay.

‘I am left totally confused’

YourMoney.com reader, Victor Henderson, said: “I have had a John Lewis card for 12 years or so and have paid off the balance religiously every month in full for as long as I can remember.

“I applied for the new card using my unique reference and was refused. I rang the number as suggested to ask why and no reason was given. I was only given an apology.

“Could this be because I always paid off the full amount and I was therefore not charged interest or is it because I am a pensioner? I am left totally confused.”

On Twitter, a customer told us: “Have just been refused a NewDay John Lewis credit card with no explanation. A longstanding customer who pays off every month and solvent. They have refused many people like me.”

And another told YourMoney.com: “It’s a shambles. I just reapplied for the new NewDay card and my credit limit has been reduced by 75%. Flawless payment record. Six-eight week wait time for them to respond to my complaint.”

Many more complaints appear on social media, finance forums and TrustPilot. But others have also been complimentary about the process.

One poster wrote: “The new card is easy to register and use and I’m hoping is as well managed as the old John Lewis card if and when they are any problems.”

Another wrote: “I was advised that I would need a different credit card issued by John Lewis and would be contacted in due course. I was contacted, filled out the form and in due course received the card. No problem.”

Existing John Lewis Partnership Card will stop working

The current form of the John Lewis Partnership Card will stop working at 6pm on 31 October 2022, though customers have been advised to stop using it a few days before.

If you are rejected by NewDay, John Lewis confirmed customers can continue to use their existing card until the account closes on 31 October.

If your account has a zero balance on or after 1 November 2022, it will be automatically closed – you won’t need to do anything. Customers can close accounts ahead of that time by calling 0345 300 3833.

If your account has an outstanding balance on or after 1 November 2022, you should continue to pay as usual (and pay at least the minimum each month) until it is paid in full. Your account will then automatically be closed when the balance is repaid in full.

If your account is in credit, you can ask for this to be returned to you at any time.

John Lewis confirmed customers will receive their vouchers this October as usual, and any points remaining on their existing card will either be transferred to their new Partnership Card, or issued as vouchers (minimum 500 points) in November in a one-off mailing.

‘Lending responsibly’

Financial services company NewDay has been operating in the UK for two decades and has around five million customers. It said it issues one in six UK credit cards and provides credit and store cards with retail partners such as Amazon, AO and Argos. Its brand also includes the Aqua card.

A NewDay spokesperson, said: “The vast majority of existing cardholders applying have been approved for the new John Lewis Partnership Credit Card. As a regulated financial services provider, we must comply with rules set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and complete an appropriate creditworthiness and affordability assessment to ensure we are lending responsibly.

“We consider a variety of information including, but not limited to, information held at the credit reference agencies, payment history and data provided by the customer. Unfortunately, there may have been a change in the customer’s financial situation since being accepted for the previous card which means they do not meet the acceptance criteria.”

NewDay added they “understand this may be disappointing for some John Lewis customers”, and said where individuals have concerns or further questions, they can contact the John Lewis customer services team: New Card Application: 033 0165 4868 (lines open 10am to 7:30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5:30pm Saturday).

Are you a longstanding customer who has been declined or had your credit limit curbed? Please share your experience with paloma.kubiak@ae3media.co.uk.