smile.co.uk withdraw credit cards

smile credit cards are no longer available to new applicants, including those with a co-op or smile current account.

smile has been around since 1999 (internet banking version 1.0 for those of us that remember it) and the retention of the brand has been in question for a decade now as the Co-op has focussed on it's primary brand. The Britannia brand has finally been wound up into the main Co-op brand in a period that felt like it went on for ever. These could be the first steps to gradually and slowly move to wind down the smile brand perhaps?   



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  • Stuart_W said:

    These could be the first steps to gradually and slowly move to wind down the smile brand perhaps?   



    Undoubtedly. It's been on life support for years.
  • WillPS
    WillPS Posts: 3,041
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    Maybe so. It would have been a sensible brand to roll out when the bank ceased to be anything to do with the (or a) co-operative, but alas that never happened.
  • Stuart_W
    Stuart_W Posts: 1,708
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    edited 3 November 2023 at 9:17AM
    WillPS said:
    Maybe so. It would have been a sensible brand to roll out when the bank ceased to be anything to do with the (or a) co-operative, but alas that never happened.
    Yes, I am presuming that's why they kept it, as any new owner faced with being made to drop the Co-operative name by the regulator could quite easily jump on the smile name as the main brand.
    With a sale of the bank looking imminent, unless it is put on hold again, seems strange to be starting the wind down now, unless the potential merger/takeover discussions with Shawbrook are indeed further ahead than known now that Aldermore seem to have backed out completely, or if this is a pre-requisite for an unknown potential new owner so it doesn't look like the new owner is killing smile.  
  • WillPS
    WillPS Posts: 3,041
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    Stuart_W said:
    WillPS said:
    Maybe so. It would have been a sensible brand to roll out when the bank ceased to be anything to do with the (or a) co-operative, but alas that never happened.
    Yes, I am presuming that's why they kept it, as any new owner faced with being made to drop the Co-operative name by the regulator could quite easily jump on the smile name as the main brand.
    With a sale of the bank looking imminent, unless it is put on hold again, seems strange to be starting the wind down now, unless the potential merger/takeover discussions with Shawbrook are indeed further ahead than known now that Aldermore seem to have backed out completely, or if this is a pre-requisite for an unknown potential new owner so it doesn't look like the new owner is killing smile.  

    All the merger/takeovers suitors have a brand of their own (probably all with better recognition than Smile now too...), and it's quite possible the new entity could continue to use the licensed Co-operative Bank name too (I'm not sure the details of that license were ever made public?).
  • EarthBoy
    EarthBoy Posts: 3,023
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    Smile's website says : "We’re not accepting new smile credit card applications at the moment."

    So it's not necessary permanent.
  • Stuart_W
    Stuart_W Posts: 1,708
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    edited 3 November 2023 at 2:46PM
    EarthBoy said:
    Smile's website says : "We’re not accepting new smile credit card applications at the moment."

    So it's not necessary permanent.
    Agreed. It could just a gradual light touch start though. It took them years to merge Britannia. 

    The next step would be for the credit card page to detail the co-op cards not the smile ones.

    Whereas the savings account page on smile page links to 2 smile and 4 co-op savings accounts, there is at least a point of difference amongst these accounts. With credit cards, both the smile versions have better alternatives with Co-op - whether it's lower interest rate or higher cashback amount - so it wouldn't really make sense to go through a period of listing them all together.

    My guess is the Co-op Members' Credit Card is finally getting a revamp (left over from the Co-op Group ownership era and not really touched since) - perhaps ditching the link to payment via the dividend account as this is a bit of a faff as Co-op Group haven't paid a divi for years (I end up getting a twice yearly statement from Co-op Group with just my credit card cashback on) - and copying the current smile cashback credit card model of paying it each month on the next bill. Also an excuse to reduce cashback from 0.3% to 0.25% to match the smile one and be in line with most of the remaining cashback cards. Or perhaps ditching cashback and renaming it an Everyday Rewards Credit Card where you get a set reward amount if you use the card (like the £2 you get on a current account). 
  • Stuart_W
    Stuart_W Posts: 1,708
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    They have now removed "credit cards" from the footer menu (still on main menu for now). The beginning of the end has started. Britannia merger took a decade so expect similar.
  • HHUK
    HHUK Posts: 99
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    Not relevant to the credit card issue, but possibly of general interest in relation to the Smile brand.

    I applied for a Smile current account two months ago, with the sole intention of using it as a burner account in any future switch. What was set up for me was a new Co-operative Bank current account. Not sure how or why this happened, maybe because I still had legacy bits and pieces remaining on the Co-op system from a few years ago? It has never shown up on Smile's site or in their app, but I was happy to retain it as a potential burner.

    Pleased how it's worked out, because I am now using it as the receiving account to take advantage of the Co-operative Bank's current switching incentive.
  • Stuart_W
    Stuart_W Posts: 1,708
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    edited 19 January at 12:05PM
    HHUK said:
    I applied for a Smile current account two months ago, with the sole intention of using it as a burner account in any future switch. What was set up for me was a new Co-operative Bank current account. 
    Perhaps this is secretly happening with all smile current account applications now. Smile current accounts come with a standard £500 overdraft so they're not quite the same (but a standard Co-op current with added £500 overdraft is now the same - it didn't used to be but charges are now identical). Smile/Co-op have always been on the same system, if you use the automated telephone service where it reads out balances and recents debits/credits, it will access all smile and co-op accounts together, I am surprised they haven't merged the customer-facing web logins yet. Perhaps that's next. Even when smile started (1999) and they launched with the higher cost phone number 0870 THE BANK (remember the days of alphanumeric phone numbers? That was brief!) you could still call the Co-op local rate 0345 number and hear all smile balances. When dial-up internet was playing up I used to transfer from my smile savings account to my smile current account using the Co-op automated phone service local rate number. A distant era...
  • WillPS
    WillPS Posts: 3,041
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    HHUK said:
    Not relevant to the credit card issue, but possibly of general interest in relation to the Smile brand.

    I applied for a Smile current account two months ago, with the sole intention of using it as a burner account in any future switch. What was set up for me was a new Co-operative Bank current account. Not sure how or why this happened, maybe because I still had legacy bits and pieces remaining on the Co-op system from a few years ago? It has never shown up on Smile's site or in their app, but I was happy to retain it as a potential burner.

    Pleased how it's worked out, because I am now using it as the receiving account to take advantage of the Co-operative Bank's current switching incentive.

    Interesting. Did you apply for an overdraft with Smile?
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