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Credit Cards

[WARNING] Hot Topic Credit Card Review // A ‘Guest List’ To Avoid


By Mark Huntley, J.D.

Real estate investor, lawyer, personal finance writer, and Co-Founder of Credit Knocks


Advertiser Disclaimer - Some links on this page may pay us advertising fees.

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Have you ever noticed how our favorite YouTube Influencer's, Instagram Public Figures and some entertainers eventually sellout for the money? I mean, they stop being authentic and just focus on making money, or selling ad space without regard for the crap they are selling. That is kind of what happened with the Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card. Hot Topic got into bed with Comenity Bank to issue their credit card and they promptly turned around and happily screwed Hot Topic card holders. You should consider the Comenity Hot Topic Card if you are looking for extremely high interest rates, low value rewards, and shitty customer service. Choosing a more traditional card over the Hot Topic Comenity Bank Card could literally save your credit score and thousands of dollars in interest payments over your lifetime. 

Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card

2.0

Annual Fee
$0

APR 
26.49% Variable

Credit Needed 
FAIR/GOOD/EXCELLENT

REWARDS

Points value extremely low

RATES & FEES

One of the highest APR's we reviewed

EASE OF USE

Limited to Hot Topic companies

SUPPORT

Only concerned about you making your payments

    Credit Knocks Overall Star Rating:     

  • No Annual Fee 
  • Rewards Program
  • Reports To Major Credit Bureaus
  • Rewards Low Value
  • High APR
  • Limited Use
  • Poor Customer Service

SUMMARY: 

The Hot Topic Credit Card has a very high variable APR rate and you have 45 days from the time you earn a reward to redeem it or it is lost forever. 

Keep in mind that the Comenity Bank Hot Topic Store Card cannot be used anywhere else but at Hot Topic Comenity owned stores. 

A major problem with this card is the issuer, Comenity Bank, who will cancel your card if you do not keep a balance and pay them interest regardless if you always pay on time or how long you have been a customer. 

When a revolving credit card account is closed it can hurt your credit score which plays a major role in the interest rates you receive on future credit card offers, auto loans and even home mortgages. 

There are many traditional credit cards that would be a better choice over the Comenity Hot Topic Card if you are looking for a credit card. 

This Hot Topic Credit Card review was written so that you can understand how their card works, its short comings, and better alternatives.


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What's The Hot Topic Credit Card?

The Hot Topic Guest List Credit Card accounts are issued by Comenity Bank for use only at the Hot Topic stores and their online website. 

Just to be clear, this card cannot be used anywhere but on the Hot Topic website or in their stores. 

You will not find a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, logo on this card. 

Customers who use the Hot Topic Card to make purchases will receive 1 reward for every dollar they spend.

hot topic credit card review

Once they reach 100 points Hot Topic automatically issues a $5 reward THAT EXPIRES 45 DAYS FROM THE DATE YOU REACHED 100 POINTS. 

The Guest List credit card from Hot Topic also offers 15% off of your first purchase and two $20 rewards a year when you spend $50. 

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Of course, everything expires 45 days after being issued. 

In addition there are Guest List Anniversary discounts along with discounts during your birthday month. 

Can you guess when these expire? 

Yep, shortly after they are issued... Such a bullshit rewards program! 

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In a 2019 Credit Card Insider survey, they found that 40% of retail store credit card holders regretted applying for their store card. We recommend that you apply for a traditional credit card. 

Check out today's most popular credit cards with the best rates.  

While all of these rewards will save you a couple of dollars, the actual savings is very low as compared to many other rewards programs. 

But here is the best part, you don't need a HT credit card to get these rewards, you can sign up for free as a guest list member and get the exact same rewards. 

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Basically what you get with a HT CC is a high interest rate card that can't be used anywhere but Hot Topic. 

Regardless of your credit score there are many better alternatives to the Hot Topic Guest List option that will save you more money which we will discuss. 

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Who Is Comenity Bank?

Comenity Bank and Comenity Capital Bank are owned by Data Alliance and together manage multiple customer loyalty programs. 

Generally, they work with retail locations and provide them with store credit cards, rewards programs and marketing information to retain customers. 

They have a horrible reputation for cancelling customers store credit cards of people who pay off their credit cards regularly and don't pay interest. 

It doesn't matter how much you charge on your card, or how long you have had it, if they are not making money in the form of interest or late payments, and you pay off your card... 

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They will cancel it! 

Many Comenity Bank Reviews can be found complaining about how bad their credit score was affected after having their revolving credit account closed for no reason. 

Beware, signing up for a store credit card issued by Comenity Bank or Comenity Capital Bank can cost you a lot of money. 

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Comenity Hot Topic Card Basics

Below are some of the basic features of the Comenity Hot Topic CC:

  • Card type: Unsecured
  • Interest rate: 26.49% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards: Earn 1 point for every $1 spent, automatic reward of $5 for every 100 points
  • Security deposit: None
  • Foreign transaction fee: N/A
  • Credit reporting: Reports payment history to all three credit bureaus.
  • Cash advance fee: N/A
  • Cash advance APR: N/A
  • Late payment fee: Up to $39.00
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $39.00
  • Over The Credit Limit: None

Remember that if you payoff the complete balance of your card regularly, Comenity Bank may close your Hot Topic Credit Account which could hurt your credit score. 

Hot Topic Comenity Bank Benefits

The Hot Topic Comenity Card offers the exact same benefits that are also available to you if you just sign up to be a Hot Topic Guest List Member and not for their credit card. 

These Hot Topic Rewards include: 

  • 1 point for every $1 spent, automatically earn $5 reward (expires in 45 days) for every 100 points earned
  • Exclusive offers
  • Special birthday month deals and guest list anniversary
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What Is The Starting Comenity Hot Topic Credit Limit 

Your initial Hot Topic credit limit will be determined by a number of factors including your credit history and income. 

There is no way of predicting the credit limit you will be given.  

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Hot Topic Credit Limit Increase

Your Comenity Bank Hot Topic CC will periodically be reviewed for eligible credit limit increases. 

If you make you payments on time, Comenity Bank will consider you for a credit limit increase. 

You can also request a credit limit increase on your customer dashboard or by calling Comenity Bank directly. 

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The above is actually true for most credit cards and should not be a determining factor in choosing a high interest, low reward, Hot Topic Card. 

What makes credit limit increases so great is that they allow you to:

  • Decrease Your Credit Utilization
  • Increase Your Available Credit
  • Obtain New Credit Without Affecting Your Age Of Accounts

Hot Topic Credit Card Pros & Cons

PROS

CONS

Reports To Major Credit Bureaus

Rewards Program

$0 Annual Fee

26.49% Variable APR

Limited Use

Bad Customer Service

Low Rewards Value

Best Alternatives To The Comenity Hot Topic Card

Comenity Bank is the 'Nancy' of credit card companies, only caring about their profits with little concern for their customers. 

Before applying for a Comenity Hot Topic CC I hope you understand that you will be paying much more in interest rates than a more traditional credit card. 

Hot Topic Rewards program offers some of the lowest value of rewards compared to their competitors.

In addition, Comenity Bank Hot Topic has a long history of closing good customers accounts and hurting their credit score if they do not carry a balance and pay interest. 

Read some of the recent reviews submitted below about Comenity Bank which is the issuer and company you are actually working with if you apply for the Hot Topic Comenity Credit Card. 

comenity-bank-reviews-zero-balance-closed-account
comenity-bank-reviews
comenity-bank-bbb-customer-complaint-reviews

Steps To Take After You're Approved

The real work starts once you have been approved for your Hot Topic Comenity Credit Card.

Monitor Your Credit

One of the most overlooked areas of building credit, is monitoring your credit

This is truly your first line of defense when trying to build or rebuild your credit.

You should try to find a service that allows you to monitor all 3 of your reports.

Helpful Tip

If your application goes to "Pending" status it doesn't mean Declined. Usually, more information may be needed.

Make On Time Payments

Making on time payments sounds like a super simple thing to do; however, we all live in the real world where things almost never go as planned.

Be sure, no matter what, to make your payments on time because it is super important and is one of the largest factors in your credit score.

No matter what, avoid late payments.

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It's quick, easy, and free.

Keep Credit Utilization Low

Another factor to consider is credit utilization, you really want to keep this under 3% of total credit if you can but try to never get it over 15%.

For example, if your Guestlist card has a $300 limit and you spend $60.

Spending $60 on a $300 card limit means you are utilizing is around 20% of your credit on that card and it is above the recommend credit utilization percentage, so be mindful of how much you spend.

How Do I Cancel My Hot Topic Comenity Bank Credit Card?

You can cancel your account at any time by contacting their Customer Service Department at the phone number listed on your billing statement or on the back of your credit card.

Is There A Fee For Closing My Account?

Outside of the fees associated with your remaining balance, there is no fee for closing your account.

I would recommend keeping the card active as long as you can, there really isn't a reason to cancel the card any time soon.

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Taking Action On Your Credit

Hopefully, you found this Hot Topic Credit Card Review helpful because applying for their card could be a terrible mistake. 

Click on any of the orange buttons in this article to be taken to a page with a detailed list of many better alternative credit cards. 

Today is a great day to apply for a new credit card that you can use anywhere and be charged fair APR interest rate, but the Hot Topic Card is not that card. 

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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