Topman store cards, issued by the Santander Bank, can be used in a variety of stores within the Arcadia group. The card thus offers convenience to shoppers who frequent not only Topman but also Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Outfit, Burtons, and Topman.com. However consumers should be very wary of applying for the card without being fully acquainted with the terms and conditions, as the Topman card carries some rather sneaky charges.
Cardholders are liable for a £10 dormancy fee if they fail to use the card regularly, whilst those that carry a balance for three consecutive months will find an unusual credit balance fee of up to £10 levied to their account. Thus the card is unsuitable for those who regularly carry a balance of plan to use the card infrequently.
Applicants require a good credit record with no history of defaults or CCJ’s. The card is available to those over 18 who meet the criteria, but Topman shoppers who are students receive much better discounts by simply presenting their student card at the point of sale. Students receive a 10% discount on purchases, but the offer is not valid in conjunction with a Topman card. Additionally other offers are made available to students such as occassional promotions featuring discounts of 20%. Cardholders only receive a 10% discount during the first week of the sales, and a £10 voucher when they spend more than £40 after receiving the first statement.
There are other offers available to card holders but these need to be balanced against the dormancy and credit balance fees imposed. Offers include free postage twice a year for shopping online at Topman.com., exclusive access to gig and festival tickets, and free Topman vouchers and music downloads for spending on the card.
The standard variable APR is 19.9% to 24.9%, dependant upon individual credit. Cash advances are charged at 28.4% and levy a 3% or minimum £3 fee, thus best avoided at all costs. Cardholders who pay their balance in full will benefit from a 56 day grace period. Other fees are 2.75% for overseas transactions and £3 for a paper statement copy. Applicants should be aware that the credit limit can be as low as £150. Cardholders that utilize more than 30% of available credit will discover this can have a negative impact on future credit applications so should be wary of maxing out the cards.
Although the interest rate on the card is comparable to many credit cards the card does not represent a good deal unless cardholders pay their balance in full each month and ensure it is used regularly. Anyone who carries a balance would be better served with a lower interest rate credit card that does not impose the credit balance fee associated with the Topman card. Students should avoid the card completely in order to retain the advantage of the student discount.