The MasterCard Issued by The Juniper Bank Review

This card is issued by Juniper Bank which is located in Wilmington, Delaware and also known as Barclays Bank Delaware.

In early 2000, Juniper Bank was founded as a full service online bank with savings and checking accounts, credit and debit cards and an online bill payment option.

At the time, the goal was to establish an online bank that would be state of the art and could compete with traditional offline financial institutions.

The Juniper Bank business grew rapidly as the bank partnered with multiple manufacturers to provide brand labeled credit cards. By 2005, Juniper was the fastest growing lender in the credit card market in the US.

By 2008, Juniper Bank which was also called Barclaycard, had become one of the top 10 credit card issuers in the country.

By late 2007, the consumer complaints were growing. Most complaints concerned a practice of holding payments for up to 10 days before applying them to credit card accounts.

Advantages

Initially, the advantage offered to consumers who applied for the Juniper Bank MasterCard was having a credit card associated with standard banking accounts where all transactions could be completed through one online website.

As the credit card business exploded between 2000 and 2007, the growth in the credit card business for Juniper/Barclays was not in the granting of credit cards but in the business partnerships with other retailers and manufacturers.

If you have one of the credit cards listed below, it is likely that card is a Juniper Bank MasterCard though the label reflects the business branded by the credit account.

These account applications are processed by Juniper and management of the accounts is also handled by the bank rather than the name on the card.

  • Barnes and Noble
  • Best Western
  • Buck Masters
  • Carnival Sea Miles
  • Carter's
  • Casey's General Store
  • Century 21 Stores
  • Clark Gasoline
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Harvard Alumni Association
  • Icelandair
  • JoAnn Stores, Inc
  • Lukoil
  • Market America
  • Midwest Airlines
  • Orbitz
  • OshKosh
  • Performance Bike
  • RaceTrac
  • RaceWay
  • Southern Living At Home
  • Spirit Air
  • Tesoro
  • TiVo
  • Travelocity
  • US Airways

All of the brand name listed above - and more - have labeled credit cards provided by Juniper MasterCard. Consumers apply for the specialized account due to rewards offered by the merchant or to coupons sent to those with new credit card accounts.

Using a company's labeled credit card may be a great option for those who purchase frequently from that manufacturer or service provider.

Most of the accounts listed above have bonuses that apply after you have made your first purchase. Others, such as the airlines, have generous air mile awards for account holders.

Disadvantages

The Juniper card is now issued almost exclusively in the form of merchant labeled credit accounts. Finding the interest and terms is not an easy matter and when you do find the details for the accounts, they seem designed to be confusing.

The small print terms and conditions are very long. To understand how payments are handled you must read several pages of information and then read at least one addendum which changes some of that small print.

Minimum payments are 1% of the balance on the account plus the finance charges accrued in the preceding month. Clearly, paying the minimum due each month will not pay off the balance for many years.

The APR listed is 7.24% to 22.99% variable rate. This range of APR has become common since the new credit regulations took effect in 2010. What consumers do not know is what the average APR is for most applicants.

The cash advance APR (21.99%) and the Penalty APR when applied (up to 30.24%) are clearly stated are charges consumers would be wise to avoid paying.

Annual Fees may be $0 to $495 per account and $0 to $195 for additional authorized users on a credit card.

Summary

The Juniper card terms are hard to understand, interest rates are not clearly defined before application is made and consumers have complained loudly about poor customer service and late payment problems.

The Juniper card is gaining more customers through its sub-prime credit card business conducted in its own name.

Details for those credit accounts aimed at consumers with poor credit cannot be accessed until a credit application has been submitted through the bank.

Unless you make frequent purchases through one of the merchants with Juniper card providing their branded credit accounts, this is not an attractive credit card offer.