My husband and I spent over a year cleaning up and rebuilding our credit and we closed on our first home this past December. We still have some ways to go to be able to better cards/higher limits. My ultimate goal is to get in with Amex and Chase, but I'm not quite there yet.
Since closing, we added a couple store cards to our rotation to purchase home items. They are generally PIF each month along with our other cards. I was browsing West Elm and was preapproved for their card, but I don't want to take any more major hits on my credit. We don't need the credit to purchase what I want - I'm mostly interested in the rewards.
Should this be something I hold off on if I want to get in with a prime lender in the next year or so?
We were in a similar situation a couple of years ago. Williams-Sonoma & Pottery Barn were among the first cards approved for. We added West Elm last year. They are all Comenity backed, and all part of the Williams-Sonoma family. I've only got a $200 CLI on Williams-Sonoma, But Pottery Barn & West Elm grow more frequently. I started at $2000 on both cards, and Pottery Barn has grown to $3800 & West Elm to $3100. I probably would have more if I remembered to click the CLI increase button more often. I've really enjoyed the rewards offered. I have $200 in rewards right now that I'll probably use towards a sofa soon.
With the above being said, I've found that West Elm's delivery is slower than the other two. But furniture as a general rule has a long delivery time across the board. Yes, the prices are higher than some competitors, but the quality is much better. We wanted to buy pieces that we wouldn't have to replace in a few years. And that's what they offer. And they do have sales, so if you sign up for the emails you'll know when they are. Something is always on sale. It just may not be what you want/need.
I've found that they stand behind their products, too. We had a Breville coffee-maker that we bought in Dec '19. The sensor that tells you the pot has X number of cups of water you've poured into it broke last month. We paid $225, so I expected it to last longer than that. I went into our local store about an hour before closing on a Sunday and they told me to bring it in and they'll ship me another one at no cost. They didn't have to do that. But they did. And that's one reason they have my business and my trust.
We've bought several items from West Elm and we've been happy. I got a marble console table that was on sale and it took about 6 or 7 weeks to arrive, but the customer service agents went above & beyond keeping me looped. If you go into it understanding that most furniture is not ready to ship you'll be fine. I've found West Elm quality to be as high as anyone else.
Incidentally, Williams-Sonoma also has a home store. That is the top of the line and most expensive. But while I can't afford furniture on a $2000 credit limit, I've enjoyed the softest, most luxurious towels I've ever used.
My scores are around 650 to 670. I've never had any problem with Comenity. But I use their cards.
Good luck! Decorating a new home is a lot of fun!