2017 Banana Republic Credit Card Review – WalletHub
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The Verdict: If you love Old Navy, Gap and Athleta but have a special affinity for Banana Republic, then either the Banana Republic Visa Credit Card or the Banana Republic Store Credit Card is for you, depending on your credit standing. The Visa is for people with good credit or better, whereas the store-only card accepts those with limited/fair credit. And both enable you to shop at their namesake, Banana Republic, in addition to the trio of aforementioned retailers. Both also offer terms identical to Old Navy’s and Gap’s own cobranded credit cards, which can in turn be used at Banana Republic.
The highlights include 15% off your first purchase at BananaRepublic.com following account approval; the lack of an annual fee; and 5% back on purchases at Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap and Athleta. That all applies to both the Visa and the store card. The Visa will also earn you 1% back on all other purchases, which is about average for a rewards card, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report.
Neither Banana Republic credit card is built for financing, however, as both lack reduced introductory rates and charge interest at an expensive 25.24% APR. So it’s best that you always pay your monthly bill in full when using one of these cards.
More information about both offers, with discrepancies noted where applicable, can be found below.
15% Off Your First Online Purchase: You will receive a discount of 15% on any BananaRepublic.com purchase made within 90 days of account approval, with no limit to the dollar amount to which you can apply the savings. So if you know that you’ll be buying a lot from Banana Republic in the near future, opening this card and strategically packaging your purchases into a single order could save you a lot of money.
The only things this discount does not apply to are gift cards, packaging, taxes and shipping costs.
Up To 5% Back On Purchases: You will receive 5 points in return for each $1 that you spend at Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap and Athleta. For every 500 points that you earn, you will receive $5 in Banana Republic store credit. That means you’ll effectively earn 5% cash back on all Banana Republic-family purchases.
If you get approved for the Banana Republic Visa, you will also earn 1% back on all other purchases.
- No Annual Fee: Without an annual fee to worry about, both the Banana Republic Visa and the Banana Republic Store Card can be purely vehicles for saving money. The lack of a fee also makes them $16.43 cheaper than the average credit card.
- Points Expire After 24 Months: Failing to make a purchase for two years will result in the forfeiture of any unredeemed rewards you’ve earned. This, together with the fact that you can’t redeem more than 25,000 points in a single billing period, makes it imperative to redeem on a regular basis when using a Banana Republic credit card.
- Not Built For Financing: Neither the store card nor the Visa version offers 0% financing on new purchases, or even allows balance transfers, and both charge interest at a 25.24% annualized rate that is above the 23.88% average for store credit cards. As a result, you should avoid carrying a balance from month to month with either card.
Other Things To Consider
Modest Bonuses: If you’re approved for the Visa, you’ll receive 3,000 bonus points (worth $30) for making a single purchase outside the Banana Republic family of brands.
No matter which offer you get, signing up for email account updates will score you 500 points, and opting in for paperless statements gets you another 500. That’s an easy $10 right there, assuming the changes won’t hamper your account management. Furthermore, as long as you make at least one Banana Republic purchase every 12 months, you will receive an unspecified birthday gift each year.
- 3% Foreign-Transaction Fee: Only the Visa version can be used to make international purchases, but even that should be avoided due to the 3% foreign fee that will unnecessarily inflate your expenses.
- Luxe-Status Benefits: Banana Republic credit-card users who spend the $1,000+ per year needed to amass at least 5,000 points qualify for “Luxe” status. This gets you a 20% quarterly rewards bonus, free basic alterations on Banana Republic purchases, free shipping on online orders across the Banana Republic family, and “Triple Points” and “Choose Your Own Sale” days — as long as you make one purchase with your card at Banana Republic every year.
Compared To The Competition
Retailers and their cobranded credit cards face competition on a daily basis, and there’s a lot of it out there. So let’s see how the Banana Republic Store Credit Card stacks up against some of its most popular rivals. We chose the store card for this comparison, as it is available to a broader segment of people and offers all of the Visa version’s best features.
Banana Republic Store Card
Old Navy Store Card
Macy’s Store Card
Victoria’s Secret Store Card
Amazon.com Store Card
|Annual Fee||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0 ($99 for Prime membership)|
|Initial Bonus||15% first-purchase discount||15% first-purchase discount||Up to $100 total discount during first two days of account opening||~$2||None||$10|
|Ongoing Rewards||5% back at Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap and Athleta||5% back at Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap and Athleta||1%-2% back at Macy’s||4%-12% back at Victoria’s Secret||5% back at Target||5% back on all purchases (Prime members only)|
|Intro Financing||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||0% on new purchases for 6–24 months (deferred interest)|
|Editors’ Rating||4.7 Stars||4.7 Stars||3 Stars||5 Stars||5 Stars||5 Stars|
Victoria’s Secret Store Card Target REDcard Amazon.com Store Card