Banana Republic Credit Card Review: Should You Sign Up?

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Banana Republic Credit Card Review: Should You Sign Up?

The Banana Republic credit card (card issuers Synchrony Bank) has plenty of perks for loyal customers. It can be a great option for those looking to claim rewards. However, the high APR and other downsides make it a risky option for anyone who isn’t 100% on top of their repayments. 

If you’re looking into getting a Banana Republic credit card, you have two options: the Banana Republic Visa and the Banana Republic Store Card. While this may seem like you get to choose which card you’d like, that isn’t the case. There is a single application process and the type of card you receive will depend on your credit standing. Many of the cards features are the same, however, there are a few key differences to take note of. 

How the Banana Republic Credit Card Works

There is a variety of tempting benefits that come with Banana Republic’s card. The rewards are easy to claim and building up points is painless. Frequent shoppers at Banana Republic will definitely see the best perks of this credit card. These customers can even earn Luxe status by getting the Luxe card for added bonuses. 

Features of Banana Republic Credit Card

Source: bananarepublic.com

 

The top highlights of the Banana Republic cards include:

  • No annual fees: That’s right, there are no annual fees for the Banana Republic credit card, so cardholders can use the Banana Republic card purely as a savings device. The $0 annual fee also means that this card is $18.81 cheaper than the average credit card. 
  • 20% discount on your first online purchase: With the Banana Republic credit card, you’ll receive a huge discount on your first purchase through bananarepublic.com. The online orders must be made within the first 90 days of opening your account and doesn’t have a spending limit. Therefore, signing up for the Banana Republic card could save the authorized user a significant amount of money if you know that you have a big purchase coming up. The discount does have a few limitations as it can’t be applied to gift cards, shipping, taxes, or packaging. 
  • Up to 5% cash back on purchases: For every dollar spent at Banana Republic, other Gap Inc. brands including Gap, Old Navy, or Athleta, customers earn 5 points. Once you reach 500 points, Banana Republic will gift you back $5 of store credit which equates to a 5% cashback on all your purchases.  
  • Banana Republic Luxe bonuses: Collecting 5,000 points in a calendar year with Banana Republic card will earn you Luxe status. This provides further rewards such as a 20% of bonus points earned every quarter, free three to five-day shipping, and free standard alterations on clothing purchased from Banana Republic. If you’re already spending more than $1000 per year at Banana Republic, then this Luxe bonus will make a huge difference to your shopping experience. Luxe members also get access to “Triple Points” and “Choose Your Own Sale” days. 
  • Free birthday gift: As long as you make one purchase using your Banana Republic credit card each year, you’ll receive a free unspecified birthday gift. 
  • Online account management: Seeing your transaction history, accessing your account statements, setting up e-billing, and making payments is a no-hassle affair through the Banana Republic online portal. Users also have the choice of downloading the Banana Republic app and managing their accounts from there. 

Downfalls Of The Banana Republic Credit Card

While there are a few fantastic perks that come with the Banana Republic credit card, there are also a few downsides to be aware of. These include:

  • Not designed for financing: The Banana Republic credit card was not created for financing purposes. Therefore, it isn’t a great choice for anyone looking for help when it comes to shopping at the store or its affiliates. 
  • High APR: With a 27.74% APR, the Banana Republic interest rate is above the average of 25.70%. Cardholders that aren’t able to make repayments on time or who continually carry over their monthly balance could find themselves in financial trouble down the track. 
  • Limits on points earned: While the point system with the Banana Republic card is generally a great way to save money, it has several conditions that halt users’ efforts. For example, points expire after 24 months. Cardholders also are capped at earning 25,000 reward points in a single billing cycle. These two conditions combined mean that you need to be frequently earning points and shopping at Banana Republic to make the store credit cards worth your while. 
  • Complicated application process: Applying for the card is relatively straightforward, however, what comes after the submission of your application can be confusing. You won’t know what type of card you’ll get until you receive it. And if you end up with the Banana Republic store card, you’ll be limited to specific stores. 
  • Expensive late payment fees: Any late payments have a fee of $38 which is extremely high compared to similar providers. Users who aren’t great at paying back their credit card balance should really consider the risks that come with the Banana Republic card. If you don’t, they could find themselves in a tricky situation financially. 
  • Foreign transaction fee: With the Banana Republic Visa card, users will find that there is an expensive 3% transaction fee for any international transactions. While it would be useful to have access to the card overseas, the high fee makes that bonus practically invalid. 

Where You Can Use Your Banana Republic Credit Card

The Banana Republic points system is easy to navigate and has few restrictions when it comes to redemption. These rewards can only be used at Gap Inc. stores within and outside the United States, such as:

  • Old Navy
  • Old Navy Outlet
  • Banana Republic
  • Gap
  • Gap Body
  • Banana Republic Factory Store
  • Gap Outlet
  • GapKids
  • babyGap
  • Gap Maternity
  • Gap Factory Store
  • Athleta 

When it comes to redeeming your points, you can use up to three reward certificates for in-store purchases and up to five certificates if you’re shopping online. Cardholders are even able to combine their rewards with other Banana Republic coupons and promotions to save more money.  

Banana Republic Visa Credit Card Vs. Banana Republic Store Card

The Banana Republic Visa and the Banana Republic Store Card have a lot of similarities. From the points and minimum payments to discounts, many of the rewards offered are the same. So why does the offer two cards?

The Banana Republic Visa has added special offers such as international purchases, cash advances, and a smart chip. The Visa card also allows cardmembers to earn a 1% cashback on all purchases not made at Banana Republic or one of its three affiliate stores. The Banana Republic Visa ard can be used at any store that accepts Visa cards, however, the store card is only accepted in Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap, or Athleta. 

Finally, the Banana Republic Visa is superior in terms of bonus points. With the Visa version, cardholders earn 3,000 points, which is essentially $30, for making a purchase outside of the Banana Republic brand. 

Minimum Credit Score Needed

The Banana Card is made for people with fair to excellent credit scores, ranging from 620 to over 720.
One of the cards — the Visa — was created for users with good or excellent credit scores, while the other — the Store Card — was designed for consumers that had a fair credit score.

Alternatives To The Banana Republic Credit Card

If you’re unsure whether or not the Banana Republic credit card is the right option for you, then there are alternatives available for you to compare. Each of the following cards has similar attributes to the Banana Republic card:

  1. TJX Rewards® Credit Card: Designed for people who love to shop for clothes but hate dealing with the markups of department stores. TJX Rewards® Credit Card is specific to TJX stores and affiliates however, so is a good choice for customers who prefer their products over Banana Republic. 
  2. Old Navy Credit Card: As this is another Gap affiliated store, the Old Navy credit card has many similar attributes to the Banana Republic card. It’s almost identical in its rewards programs and uses, the biggest difference between the cards is the branding. 
  3. Gap Credit Card: Just like the Old Navy credit card, the Gap credit card has a rewards program that matches the Banana Republic card. There are a few differences between the cards, however once again, the major difference is in the branding. 

Other big stores such as Amazon, Macy’s, and Target also offer credit cards with appealing benefits.

Final Thoughts

We don’t believe that the Banana Republic credit card is for everyone. If you’re not great at paying back your monthly card payments then this rewards card could cost you more money and be a detriment to your savings. 

Frequent Banana Republic shoppers are the best candidates for this card, especially the ones that are already spending $1000+ at the store each year. This will earn you Luxe status automatically and the bonuses received from this upgrade can result in significant savings. However, for those thinking of spending more to hit this Luxe status, we have to discourage you. The perks of the Luxe bonuses are only worth it if you’re already paying that much money. The savings aren’t significant enough to justify upping your spending in the stores.