What is AMEX/DSNB and why is it on my credit report?

Woman on cellphone, looking up amex dsnb on her credit reportsImage: Woman on cellphone, looking up amex dsnb on her credit reports

In a Nutshell

AMEX/DSNB is code for American Express/Department Stores National Bank, which issues Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s American Express credit cards. If you applied for one of these cards or were added as an authorized user to someone else’s account, this could explain why it’s showing up on your credit reports.
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If you applied for a Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s American Express® credit card, you might notice AMEX/DSNB on your credit reports.

AMEX/DSNB is the acronym for American Express/Department Stores National Bank. DSNB is the bank that issues both the American Express cards and store credit cards for these two retailers.

Let’s take a closer look at all the potential reasons why AMEX/DSNB could be showing up on your credit reports.



What does AMEX/DSNB stand for and why is it on my credit report?

AMEX/DSNB stands for American Express/Department Stores National Bank.

It might show up on your credit reports if you apply for a Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s American Express credit card, because Department Stores National Bank (or DSNB) issues the credit cards for those retailers.

Hard and soft inquiries

When you apply for a new line of credit, like a store card, the issuer checks your credit before deciding whether to approve your application. This is known as a hard inquiry. In this situation, the name of the issuer that checked your credit might show up on your credit reports. A hard inquiry can have a small, negative impact on your credit scores.

But what if you didn’t apply for a Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s American Express credit card? You might see the name of the card issuer if it performed a soft inquiry into your credit.

A soft inquiry can occur when a lender proactively checks your credit before sending you a prequalified credit card offer. The good news is that soft inquiries don’t factor into your credit scores — even though they might still show up on your credit reports (this lets you know which lenders are looking at your credit profile).

So when should you be concerned? If AMEX/DSNB is appearing as a hard inquiry, but you haven’t applied for a Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s American Express card, that could be a red flag. It may simply be the result of an error, or it could indicate someone else applied for one of these cards in your name.

In either case, if you spot something that doesn’t look right, you can try to get it removed from your credit reports by disputing it with the credit bureaus.

FAST FACTS

How to remove an AMEX/DSNB hard inquiry

If you suspect a mistake or fraudulent activity that resulted in a hard inquiry, you have a right to dispute it with the major credit bureaus. Once you file your dispute, the bureaus are obligated to investigate and correct any information that proves to be inaccurate.  

Authorized users

AMEX/DSNB may also show up on your credit reports if a friend or family member adds you as an authorized user to their Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s American Express card.

As an authorized user, you’ll be allowed to make purchases on someone else’s account. Even though you aren’t legally responsible for making credit card payments, this account could show up on your credit reports.

Becoming an authorized user can be a great way to start building credit, because you can start using credit without having to open a new account on your own. But it’s a double-edged sword. If that person racks up a lot of debt or falls behind on payments, it could reflect poorly on your credit.

If you never gave the accountholder permission to add you as an authorized user, you can contact the credit card issuer and ask to be removed.

What credit cards are issued by AMEX/DSNB?

Department Stores National Bank issues four credit cards for Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

  • Bloomingdale’s Credit Card
  • Bloomingdale’s American Express® Card
  • Macy’s Credit Card
  • Macy’s American Express® Card

If you have the Bloomingdale’s American Express® Card or Macy’s American Express® Card, it will show up as AMEX/DSNB on your credit reports, because it runs on the American Express network.

But people who have the Bloomingdale’s Credit Card or Macy’s Credit Card — which can only be used to make purchases at those stores, respectively — may notice a different acronym containing DSNB on their credit reports because they do not run on the American Express network.


What to do if there’s an account you don’t recognize on your credit reports

There might be a simple explanation for why AMEX/DSNB is showing up on your credit reports. If you recently applied for a new Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s American Express card or gave a friend or family member permission to add you as an authorized user, there’s no reason to be concerned.

But if none of these situations applies to you, it could be a sign of an error or — worst case — identity theft. Check with the credit bureau that’s listing AMEX/DSNB on your report and check with Department Stores National Bank to see why it’s showing up. If your identity has been stolen, report it to the authorities right away. You may also want to place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Another step you can take is freezing your credit, which helps prevent criminals from opening new accounts in your name.

The best way to protect yourself from identity theft is to come up with a plan before it happens. Monitoring your credit can help you spot any suspicious activity. You can request your credit reports from the three main consumer credit bureaus periodically for free at annualcreditreport.com.


About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.