Banana Republic Credit Card: Ripoff?

Banana Republic Credit Card Review

By Dawn Allcot / March 13, 2010
banana_republic_credit_card

THIS PAGE MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. MEANING WE RECEIVE COMMISSIONS FOR PURCHASES MADE THROUGH THOSE LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Verdict

The Banana Republic credit card, as store cards go, provides fair rewards for frequent shoppers at: Banana Republic, Gap, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic Factory Stores, Old Navy, (plus their websites) and/or piperlime.com and athleta.com.

Don’t expect anything beyond the basics from this card, but you will enjoy easy online bill pay and the opportunity to upgrade to the Luxe Visa card, which offers added rewards and benefits.

Store credit cards, and store issued major credit cards (Banana Republic offers a Visa card for applicants who qualify), are not known for their low interest rates or extensive rewards and benefits. For someone just building their credit, though, these cards are relatively easy to obtain.

Banana Republic Store Card

Overview: As a sister company of the Gap, Banana Republic offers two credit cards (one store card and one Visa card) similar in benefits, features and rewards to the GapCard and Gap Visa.

Rewards: Earn 5 points for every dollar you spend at Banana Republic and affiliated stores and websites. On the Banana Republic Visa Card, you’ll also earn 1 point for every dollar you spend elsewhere. When you earn 1,000 points, you’ll earn $10 off at Banana Republic.

You’ll get 15% off your first purchase and you can earn 1,500 bonus points by signing up for email and voice message updates.

Benefits for the Banana Republic credit card are as follows:

  • Free shipping for orders over $100 (at affiliated e-tailers)
  • Advance notice of sales, plus special promotions and exclusive store event invitations
  • Birthday savings
  • 10% off Tuesdays at the Banana Republic family of stores
  • 24/7 online account management

Fees: You’ll pay 3% for cash advances or balance transfers, not a great deal when you consider the high interest rate. Look for other options to transfer balances from higher interest cards.

Late payments are as follows:

  • $15 for a balance of $15 – $29.99
  • $25 for a balance of $30 – $99.99
  • $29 for a balance of $100 – $249.99
  • $39 for a balance of $250 or more.

If you make a late payment after you’ve already been subject to the penalty rate, you’ll be charged $39 for any balance of $100 or more. The rest of the late fees remain the same.

Banana Republic Luxe Card

If you keep your account in good standing and spend more than $800 in 12 months, you will be upgraded to a Luxe Card, which provides additional benefits, including a toll-free help line, special sale days and free alterations on purchases made at Banana Republic.

You do not receive added Rewards with the Luxe card.

The benefits to the Luxe card include:

  • Free standard shipping on all online purchases from BananaRepublic.com and its sister websites
  • Choose a day to take 15% off
  • Free basic alterations on Banana Republic purchases
  • Toll-free Luxe priority line
  • Special sales and shopping events, with opportunities to earn extra rewards points, discounts and more.

Banana Republic Visa Card

The Banana Republic Visa card operates the same as the store card but is accepted anywhere that takes Visa credit cards. You may qualify for an interest rate of either 18.24 % or 21.24 %, determined upon approval. The penalty rate for both cards is 27.24 %.

The Banana Republic Visa Card has an interest rate of 18.24% or 21.24%, depending on your credit rating, while the store card has a 23.99% interest rate. Neither card has an annual fee, making the store card one step above a secured credit card for those looking to build their credit.

Additionally, if you have good-to-excellent credit but want to add a few points to your credit score, “diverse credit” is one factor. Having one or two store credit cards to your name can help.

The Bottom Line

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Good for people building or re-building their credit
  • Easy-to-understand rewards structure
  • Luxe provides enhanced benefits
  • 5X rewards points on purchases from Banana Republic and other stores
  • Online bill pay and account management

Cons:

  • Must spend $800/year to earn Luxe status
  • High interest rates
  • Rewards limited to Banana Republic and affiliated stores and websites
  • No other benefits often associated with Rewards credit cards
  • 15 % off first purchase offer must be used within 90 days of receiving your card
  • Your account must be in good standing in order to take advantage of most special offers, sales and benefits, and to redeem rewards points
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone.Additionally, the opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site

Leave a comment:


shares