Gap Credit Card Review: Know The Fees Before Applying!
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The Gap offer a store credit card known as the GapCard and rewards credit card known as the Gap Visa. These cards both offer great rewards for shopping at The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta. However, we recommend digging into the fine print (or reading our review) before you apply.
Annual Fee: $0
Credit Needed: Average
Rewards Program and Signup Bonuses*:
Save 15% on your first purchase
5 points for every $1 spent on Gap brands (in-store and online)
1 point for all other spending (Gap Visa only)
$5 Rewards for every 500 points you earn
10% off every Tuesday
Gap Silver status by earning 5,000 points in a calendar year -> then earn 20% quarterly bonuses
It’s important to understand that there are three different versions of the Gap credit card.
First, the GapCard is a store-only offered to those who don’t qualify for the Visa version and can only be used for in-store and online purchases at Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores. It’s easy to tell which version you have, just look for the Visa logo.
To qualify for a store card, you will need average credit.
Gap Visa Rewards Card
For those with good credit, Gap will issue you the Gap Visa credit credit card. This card can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted. And, from time to time, Gap will issue you bonus offers to use your Gap Visa to make purchases outside of Gap brand stores.
Gap Silver & Gap Silver Visa
Those cardholders that acquire 5,000 point (i.e., spend $1,000 at Gap stores) in a calendar year will enjoy Silver status. You can acquire a Gap Silver card whether you have the regular GapCard or the Gap Visa.
The additional benefits of Gap Silver include*:
20% quarterly bonus Rewards points (to get Rewards certificates faster)
Free online shipping with no minimum purchase (use promo code MYCARD)
Free basic alternations on Banana Republic purchases
Choose your own sale day
Access to the exclusive toll-free Silver priority line for customer service
Special sales and shopping events, with opportunities to earn extra rewards points, discounts, and more
Note on Card Issuer
The Gap store and Visa credit card is issued by Synchrony Financial, which also handles a host of other store credit cards from retail partners. You may have previously known Synchrony as GE Money Bank or GE Capital Retail Bank. This was a name change, as General Electric looks to divest itself of its financial services arm (including credit card underwriting). You can read more about this change here.
Both the store card and Visa versions of the GapCard offer 5 points per dollar on purchases at The Gap and affiliated stores (which include Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and the outlet stores) - both in store and online. With the Visa version of the card, you can also earn 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else.
Every time you earn 500 points, you will earn a $5 rewards certificate. You will receive your Rewards Certificate with your billing statement.
This works out to a $5 reward for Gap related spending - or a 5% bonus. This makes the GapCard rewards program a pretty good proposition for those who shop frequently at one of their stores.
You can earn even more rewards by acquiring Silver status. This will require you to spend $1,000 in a 12-month period at Gap stores. But it will land you 20% bonus rewards points, free basic alternations at Banana Republic, no minimum for free online shipping, and other perks listed above.
In addition to earning those points, GapCard holders will regularly find themselves earning some additional perks at The Gap and other related stores*:
Save 15% on Your 1st Purchase
10% Off Every Tuesday
Special Sales and Bonus Point Opportunities (this includes bonus points for using the Visa card version in non-Gap establishments)
Free Online Shipping (minumum purchase of $50)
No Receipt Required for Returns
Special Birthday Savings
And Even More Bonuses for Silver Status Card Holders
GapCard: Good Rewards, Horrible APR
Whether you get a GapCard or the Visa card, you’ll want to pay it off every month. This is NOT a card to finance your purchases.
The GapCard carries a hefty 24.99 % interest rate. If you are just starting to build your credit, you will probably qualify for the GapCard (rather than the Visa). If you’re a frequent Gap shopper, we’d recommend it over a secured credit card, simply because of the rewards and lack of an annual fee or security deposit. The card also offers a few benefits, which are nice perks for Gap fans.
The card offers online account management and bill pay options, a free second card tied to your account.
Gap Visa: Fees are Not Much Better
The Gap Visa Card is a Visa card issued by Synchrony Financial, with similar benefits and rewards to the GapCard, including an available upgrade to a Silver card. The Gap Visa card is accepted anywhere that takes Visa credit cards. However like other store cards, this Visa version of this card suffers from a ridiculously high interest rate.
For store-affiliated credit cards, the additional benefits offered by the GapCard and Gap Visa aren’t bad. However they still aren’t enough to outweigh the high APR’s associated with these offers, if you are a consumer that runs a credit card balance.
Know the Fees!
You’ll pay 3% for cash advances or balance transfers — but with an 26.99 % interest rate (at best), we don’t think anyone will use this card for those purposes. If you have a higher interest card, there are better options available.
If you make a late payment after you’ve already been subject to the penalty rate, you’ll be charged $35 as seen in the fine print highlighted above. [Editor's Note: The late payment fee has since been increased to $38.]
The Bottom Line
We think GapCard offers great rewards program when shopping at The Gap and its affiliates stores. If you and your family are frequent shoppers at their stores or online, you may benefit a lot form using this card.
However, the weak rewards available for non-Gap purchases (with the Visa version), and high fees and APR associated with this card, make it difficult for us to recommend the card, unless you will be paying your balance off in full each month.
Credit Shout is a community of personal finance experts dedicated to helping you save money and make smart financial decisions. Learn how to master your credit card rewards, improve your credit score and start eliminating your debt.