COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Multiple customers with a specific credit card have questions about a certain charge greeting them in October, and it has ties to a central Ohio company.
Google Trends showed a large spike on Thursday morning of people that searched for answers about “Bread trailing activity” in Columbus.
Customers commenting on YouTube and Twitter about the charges drew a common theme. They reported seeing a charge with the memo “Bread trailing activity” on their AAA credit card statement. Multiple people said they spotted the charge after receiving replacement cards on Oct. 9, when AAA recently switched financial partners from Bank of America.
“I finally find how to log on and there is a charge for $57.50 for Bread Trailing Activity,” a user going by Qi Ji said on Twitter. “Do we now have to contact all the companies that store the [credit card number] for monthly payments?”
Kimberly Schwind, AAA Director of Public Affairs, told NBC4 the company is looking into why its customers are seeing “Bread trailing activity” on their accounts.
“We are aware of these charges and believe they are related to a large credit card conversion [or] sale between Bank of America to Comenity Capital Bank,” Schwind said. “We are investigating and will advise of a solution to impacted members [and] cardholders as soon as possible.”
AAA offers a wide range of products related to travel, roadside assistance and vehicle repair. The company also offers AAA Visa Signature cards, which give cashback rewards at varying rates when users buy gas or groceries, or use electric vehicle charging stations. While AAA is a national company with customers across the U.S., its new partner Comenity Bank has local ties.
Comenity and its banks are a brand under the parent company Bread Financial, headquartered at 3057 Loyalty Circle in Columbus. The group is happy to talk about its tie to central Ohio, even signing on to become the home helmet partner for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Bread has written prominently on its website that it was formerly known as Alliance Data, but rebranded in March. That makeover happened after Alliance laid off 110 employees and shut down its Reynoldsburg credit processing center in 2021.
Bread Financial’s explanation for the charges on its Comenity cards was a case of mistaken identity. Emily Krizan, Manager of Corporate Affairs for Bread, told NBC4 that any charge with that memo is actually a purchase the cardholder legitimately made.
“Customers who made a purchase with their card during the brief conversion period when data files transitioned to Bread Financial from the previous credit issuer saw a charge on their statements reading ‘Bread trailing activity,’ Krizan said. “Instead of displaying the merchant name associated with the transaction, ‘Bread trailing activity’ is listed in error.”
Krizan added that the error should be resolved shortly, and that none of the charges in its AAA customer accounts should be incorrect.
This is not the first time that Bread and Comenity’s financial services have seen hiccups. A class-action lawsuit names both companies for a July 2022 credit card service outage that left their customers unable to access their accounts.
While AAA said it is looking into the “Bread trailing activity” charges to its customers’ accounts, both Bread Financial and Comenity Bank have also directly responded to cardholders’ complaints on Twitter. The two brands asked new cardholders to send them direct messages on the social media website to discuss account details privately.