As store-branded credit cards go, the Banana Republic Visa® Credit Card is fairly fruitful for fans who buy from the clothing retailer in bunches.
It won’t earn you traditional cash back, and it’s not ideal for carrying a balance. But if you’re bonkers for Banana Republic, its co-branded card has some appeal, if you can avoid slip-ups.
1. The rewards are complicated …
The Banana Republic Visa® Credit Card rewards you for shopping at Banana Republic and at sister brands under the Gap Inc. umbrella, including Gap, Old Navy and Athleta. There is a store-only version of the card, but the Banana Republic Visa® Credit Card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. It earns:
- 5 points for every $1 spent on Gap Inc. brands, in-store and online
- 1 point for every $1 spent elsewhere
Points are worth 1 cent each, but they’re not redeemable for cash and can be used only as in-store currency. In other words, $10 in rewards allows you to knock $10 off a purchase. Rewards are issued in increments of $5 — meaning you must earn a minimum of 500 points first — up to a maximum of $50 at once. There’s also a $250 total rewards cap per billing cycle.
Any orphan points you collect in a billing cycle — fewer than the minimum required, not enough to get you to the next $5 level, or more than the allowed cap — will carry over to the next month. Unused reward points expire two years after your most recent purchase.
That’s a complicated system, especially for rewards that are redeemable only for Gap Inc. products. You might do better with a simple flat-rate cash-back credit card with no minimum redemption requirements and no expiration date on rewards.
2. But the side perks are plentiful
The Banana Republic Visa® Credit Card currently offers the following to new cardholders:
- 20% off their first BananaRepublic.com purchase, as long as they do so within 90 days of account opening.
Cardholders also will enjoy:
- A $5 Reward for every $100 spent within the Gap family of brands.
- Occasional “bonus points shopping days.”
- Special offers and early access.
- No receipt required for returns.
- A surprise birthday gift (as long as your account is in good standing and you’ve made at least one purchase with your card at a qualifying store within the past 12 months).
That could add up to a fair amount of value for Banana Republic enthusiasts.
3. It’s great to ‘Luxe’ it up …
You can wring even more value out of the card if you qualify for “Luxe” status. Eligible cardholders who earn at least 5,000 points in a calendar year will be upgraded to a Luxe account, which may entitle them to multiple additional benefits, including:
- A bonus of 20% of reward points earned as of the end of each calendar quarter.
- Free shipping on all online orders with the use of the “LUXE” code.
- Free basic alterations on Banana Republic clothes.
- The ability to set up a “Choose Your Own Sale Day”
- Access to a dedicated customer service phone line
To retain Luxe status, you’ll have to meet the qualification for it each calendar year.
4. But don’t carry a balance
The Banana Republic Visa® Credit Card doesn’t offer an introductory interest-free period on purchases. The ongoing APR is 28.24% Variable. That’s around 10 percentage points higher than the average rate on credit card accounts that incur interest.
So this particular store card is neither good for financing a new wardrobe nor for carrying an ongoing balance.
5. Providing your email and going paperless earns extra rewards
As of June 2019, the website for the Banana Republic Visa® Credit Card is offering cardholders the chance to earn up to $10 in bonus rewards by submitting their email address (worth 500 points) and opting for paperless billing (worth another 500 points). It’s a no-brainer, especially since registering your email address means you’ll get news and offers relevant to a brand you’ve clearly already embraced.