What is BBY/CBNA and why is it on my credit reports?

Man looking through mail and papers at homeImage: Man looking through mail and papers at home

In a Nutshell

Do you have one of Best Buy’s credit cards in your wallet? If so, you may have seen BBY/CBNA on your credit reports.
Editorial Note: Intuit Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Information about financial products not offered on Credit Karma is collected independently. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.

BBY/CBNA may appear on your credit reports if you’ve applied for one of Best Buy’s credit cards.

If you recently applied for a My Best Buy® Credit Card or a My Best Buy Visa® at Best Buy, there’s a good chance there’s a line on your credit reports referring to BBY/CBNA. Here’s what to know about why it’s on your credit reports and what to do if you’ve never applied for an account with Best Buy.

What does BBY/CBNA stand for and why is it on my credit reports?

BBY/CBNA stands for Best Buy/Citibank North America. You may see BBY/CBNA on your credit reports as a hard inquiry if you’ve applied for one of Best Buy’s credit cards, or if someone added you as an authorized user on one of their Best Buy credit cards.

Citibank offers three Best Buy credit cards.

  • My Best Buy® Credit Card
  • My Best Buy® Visa® Platinum
  • My Best Buy® Visa® Gold

If you’ve applied for one of these and authorized the bank to check your credit, you may see a hard credit inquiry on your credit reports. A hard credit inquiry can stay on your reports for up to two years, so it may be showing up even if you didn’t recently apply for the card.

Alternatively, if you tried to prequalify for a credit card from Best Buy, you might see a soft credit inquiry on your credit reports. A soft inquiry is only visible to you and doesn’t affect your credit scores.

How to remove a BBY/CBNA hard inquiry from my credit reports

If you applied for one of the three Best Buy credit cards, you probably won’t be able to remove the hard inquiry from your reports. It should fall off your reports after two years from the inquiry date.

But what happens if you spot BBY/CBNA on your credit reports and you didn’t authorize the credit pull? Dealing with an unauthorized hard inquiry on your credit can be stressful and scary.

There are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your credit if you find yourself in this situation. Consider these five tactics.

  1. Get proof. Contact the company that pulled your credit and ask for proof that you authorized the inquiry.
  2. Report the suspected fraud. Head to the Federal Trade Commission’s identitytheft.gov website to document and report the suspected ID theft. You may also want to consider filing a police report.
  3. Freeze your credit. To prevent identity thieves from further abusing your personal financial information, you may want to freeze your credit. Contact each credit bureau separately. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to get approval for new financial products while the freeze is in place, and it can delay other situations that require a credit check, such as applying for jobs. And while this won’t retroactively protect your credit, it can help stop identity thieves from opening accounts in your name while the freeze is in effect.
  4. Speaking of contacting the credit bureaus, you can request a free 90-day fraud alert from them.
  5. Dispute the unauthorized inquiry with the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus are required to investigate and remove any information that turns out to be inaccurate.

Authorized users

You may also see BBY/CBNA on your credit reports if you’ve been added as an authorized user on any Best Buy credit cards.

As an authorized user, the account activity will likely be reflected in your credit reports as well. Getting added to an account as an authorized user is one way you can build credit (especially if the primary account holder has stellar credit). You’re allowed to make purchases up to the primary account holder’s credit limit, but you’re not officially responsible for repaying the debt.

The downside is that if the primary cardholder misses a payment or has a high utilization rate, there could actually be a negative impact on your credit.

If you were added incorrectly as an authorized user to someone else’s BBY/CBNA account, you should contact the credit card issuer and ask it to remove you from the account.

What other retail credit cards are issued by CBNA?

Citibank issues retail credit cards to about 83 million people. If you carry a retail card from one of the following brands, it’s likely issued by Citi, and you’ll probably have CBNA listed somewhere on your credit reports:

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

It’s important to routinely check your credit reports to watch out for mistakes or even outright identity theft.

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit reports from all three major consumer credit bureaus periodically through annualcreditreport.com. To monitor your credit more frequently, you can use the Credit Karma app to access your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports and VantageScore 3.0® credit scores for free.

Whether you decide to keep an eye on your credit with Credit Karma or use another service, consider adding credit monitoring to your financial routine. Credit monitoring can be a useful tool in helping you identify and take action on certain errors or suspected fraud you might spot on your credit reports.

When it comes to any suspicious activity, the sooner you take action, the more likely you are to minimize any lasting damage to your credit profile.

About the author: Sean McQuay is a long-time personal finance nerd. He’s passionate about budgets, credit cards, and earning useful rewards with minimal effort. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a father to three rambunctious kids. Read more.