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REI MasterCard changing to Capital One

Hello REI. I've been a happy REI member for decades. My father's REI number started with a 2 and was four digits long and my son worked at REI when he was in college. I've long admired REI and love the mission. 

However I am appalled to have received an email that REI is switching their MasterCard from US Bank to Capital One. According to Business Insider, US Bank rates #10 on the list of credit card companies with complaints about bad practices. Not particularly good. But guess who's #1: Capital One, with more than ten times the complaints about various things including egregious interest practices. 

Capital One was fined by the US government ten years ago for misleading practices leading to people getting into debt via their super high interest rates. The $210 million settlement sounds good on the surface until you understand that Capital One makes $23 billion (yes, billion) a year on interest charges. That means that the settlement was for the equivalent of a $910 fine for a company with an annual income of $100,000. Peanuts, as they say. 

And now I hear REI is going into business with them. As noted, I've been an active member of REI for decades and love the mission, but you can bet I won't be renewing my REI visa when the change happens and I'm going to have to seriously consider purchasing my outdoor gear from other retailers.

This makes me really sad and I hope REI reconsiders who they align themselves with. The company you keep is a reflection of who you are. 

18 Replies

This is disgusting. I’ll take my business to Midwest mountaineering. 

@Kyle-K @Ralph1 - One of the reasons we are excited about this community is the chance for members to share their feedback with us. Thanks for taking the time to reach out about this.

In this particular instance, feedback and questions about the REI Co-op Mastercard bank change page are being taken through the link on the bottom of the REI Mastercard page. If interested, you can also look through the REI x Capitol One FAQ page, which we will try to update based on what customers are asking.

Hopefully this helps.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thank you for your response Carter. Fair enough, but I think you're gonna get some serious push back about this. I'll check out your C-One FAQ page but C-One has such an egregious history of taking advantage of poor people (as in bankrupting people already on the brink) that I'm not sure anything is going to convince me they've suddenly atoned and changed their ways.



Actually Carter, I just looked at the page you suggested and there isn't anything about why REI's business department chose Capital One over US Bank, at least that I can find. Am I missing somehing? Neither does there appear to be a forum where I can comment about the change, which leaves this forum. 

Again, so sorry REI is making this choice. I've been a fan and loyal member for years but this makes me step back and rethink my future with REI.



I agree Kyle. Thanks for voicing your concern. I'll be cancelling my Capital One card and taking my purchasing power elsewhere. 

Fully agree with Kyle, Capital One exploited the sub-prime market for years and only recently has tried to put a kinder face upon its business model. I have not seen anything explaining why the REI board made a decision that seems to run counter to everything REI stood for.


The transition site says absolutely nothing on how to opt out. The feedback option is not sufficient for getting answers to questions. Frankly, I'm appalled that REI is teaming up with this despicable company. 

Firebarbie, there's no way to "opt out" of the transition except by cancelling your REI card. If you keep the card, it will become a Capital One card in August.

I went looking for more information when I first saw the notice on my credit card statement about cash-back rewards ending, and found this forum with other people wondering what was happening. Then the other shoe dropped with the announcement of the switch to Capital One. Like several others here, I want nothing to do with that company. So a couple of days ago I applied for a credit card through a local credit union where I already have an account. I just signed the paperwork today and will have the new card in my hands in the next week or two, at which point I'll start switching my autopay accounts to it and then cancel the REI card.

I've been an REI member for nearly 40 years and have had an REI credit card for 15 years. I still believe in the organization, but I can't go along with this change.


Capital One cannot create an account without one's consent; that's illegal. They have to give a US Bank REI credit card holder the option. If they create an account without one's consent and the person cancels the card, it's detrimental to their credit score.

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