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At A Glance
The AEO Connected® Visa® Credit Card is the fastest way to earn American Eagle Outfitters/Aerie rewards and provides a host of exclusive benefits to provide savings on every shopping trip. Perks include discounted shopping days throughout the year, 10% off every store purchase, as well as free standard shipping on all online orders.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Spend at least $167 at American Eagle Outfitters/Aerie every year
- Are currently at the Extra Access membership level within the AEO Connected rewards program
- Always shop at American Eagle Outfitters to buy jeans or bras
- Primarily shop online and
AEO Connected® Visa® Credit Card Review
The AEO Connected® Visa® Credit Card is a co-branded retail card for American Eagle Outfitters issued by Synchrony Bank. Unlike other store cards, the AEO Visa is much more than just an extension of the American Eagle Outfitters rewards program (AEO Connected). Yes, cardholders can earn points towards AEO rewards more quickly than their counterparts, but far more valuable is that they’ll always be able to enjoy savings at checkout thanks to card features that are independent of points. Unlike most other retail cards, the AEO Connected® Visa® is multi-dimensional and has the potential to provide both significant short- and long-term value. Potential applicants should keep in mind that even though the AEO Connected® Visa® can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted it does not have the ability to conduct balance transfers – making it a credit card with very limited function beyond providing meaningful shopping-related benefits.
American Eagle Outfitters Credit Card Signup Bonus
Newly approved applicants will be able to kick off their stylish new cardholder status with a handy 25% off discount on their first American Eagles Outfitters purchase. There is no introductory APR to help ease the financial burden of a major fashion haul, therefore, cardholders will want to be wary of the high fixed rate APR (which would result in steep interest payments should a balance be carried over).
Save 10% on Every Purchase
For a limited time, AEO Connected® Visa® cardholders will be able to save 10% on American Eagles Outfitters or Aerie purchases (not eligible for third party merchandise or gift cards). Although this discount cannot be combined with others, it stands to be a useful benefit for year-round shoppers. Cardholders who tend to wait for sales to refresh their wardrobe may find few opportunities to capitalize on this perk.
Free Standard Shipping
Typically, shoppers must spend at least $50 to qualify for free standard shipping (which otherwise costs $7). Cardholders can bypass this minimum spend – ideal for those who primarily do their shopping online in small batches – but American Eagle already makes it surprisingly easy to get around their standard shipping costs (just add a non-clearance bra or swimwear item in your shopping cart) which makes this conventionally practical perk, slightly less valuable.
20% Off Birthday Coupon
One of several exclusive discounts awarded to cardholders, the 20% off birthday coupon can be used for one purchase during the cardholder’s birthday month (AEO reward members also get a birthday discount but only for 15% off). Coupons are typically issued on the first day of the month but require the account be active and in good standing.
Buy 5, Get 1 Free
There are two types of items eligible for the “Buy 5, get 1 free” deal: bras and jeans. Every fifth purchase of a pair of jeans will result in a coupon for a free pair and every fifth purchase of a bra or bralette will result in a coupon for a free bra. Fortunately, all five items do not need to be purchased all at once in order to qualify. Instead, each respective purchase (excluding clearance and third-party items) earns a “credit” towards the item quota. Neither jean nor bra credits expire as long as your account is active, however, the coupons do carry an expiration date of 45 days after issuance. Coupons can be redeemed at brick-and-mortar American Eagle Outfitter stores (including the factory store), online, over the phone, or through the mobile app.
Exclusive Sale Days for Cardholders
The AEO Connected® Visa® lists two distinct perks as opportunities for cardholders to enjoy extra savings on merchandise: a Personal Shopping Day (coupon) and “6 cardholder events.” However, the particulars on these events are as vague as their names as American Eagle Outfitters does not provide any further information on what these two perks entail. The Personal Shopping Day coupon is a one-time discount that can be used any day of the year – although the actual discount amount is not disclosed by American Eagle Outfitters.
Earning AEO Rewards Points
The AEO Connected® Visa® bonus categories can be broken down into two types: American Eagle Outfitters purchases or non-American Eagle Outfitters purchases. Although regular (“Full Access”) AEO Rewards members will also earn points on their purchases, the Visa-version of the credit card earns more points for store purchases and is the only opportunity to earn AEO points outside of the store. AEO Connected® Visa® bonuses are as follows:
- 15X points per $1 spent at American Eagle Outfitters of Aerie stores (excludes gift cards, Todd Synder, and Don’t Ask Why stores)
- 5X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Initially, the card would appear to be at a disadvantage because it doesn’t offer rewards in additional categories such as groceries or gas. The absence of these categories actually turns out to be a strength that gives the card an unexpected versatility and usability. When paired with the generous bonus rates for non-store purchases, the AEO Visa card could easily outperform its peers and makes for a fairly lucrative card that could earn rewards with impressive regularity.
|Minimum Spend Needed to Earn a Reward with Store Purchases (15X Points)||Minimum Spend Needed to Earn a Reward with Non-Store Purchases (5X Points)|
|AEO Connected® Visa®||$167||$500|
How to Redeem AEO Reward Points
Points have a singular redemption method and can only be exchanged for store vouchers at 2,500-point intervals. The value of the store voucher will vary and is based on one’s level within the AEO Connected Program (independent of cardholder status):
- Cardholders and Full Access members of the AEO Connected rewards program will earn $10 vouchers
- Extra Access members (requires spending $350 at American Eagle Outfitters stores within the calendar year) will receive a $15 reward
Rewards are automatically issued once the 2,500-point requirement has been met and users are notified either by email or text (depending on their preferences). Available rewards can also be found by accessing your account online or through the mobile app. Rewards are only valid for 45 days after being issued so it’s extremely important that cardholders check their accounts regularly.
How to Redeem AEO Connect Rewards
Whether the reward is a store voucher or a free jean/bra coupon, rewards can be used both in-store or online. When redeeming in-store, simply show the store associate your coupon using your smartphone or with the printable coupon sent to your email. For online redemption, being logged in to your account will display all available awards and allow you to apply them to your current purchase. Additionally, each voucher has a code that can be entered into the Promo Code box at checkout.
How to Keep Your Account Active
Points never expire as long as your account is active and in Good standing. An active account is considered one where at least one purchase is made within 375 days. If a purchase isn’t made within this time period, all earned points, credits, and rewards will be forfeited.
Should You Apply for the AEO Connected® Visa® Credit Card?
The AEO Connected® Visa® does a commendable job for creating a special, VIP-like experience for cardholders – a feat many other retail credit cards fail to provide. Naturally, this card should only be considered by the most loyal of American Eagle Outfitters/Aerie customers who are comfortable with solely earning rewards for future shopping trips. Of all the practical perks the card offers, the best feature is that it works relatively independently of their rewards program. Cardholders won’t have to worry about meeting a specific spend amount to make owning the card worthwhile. Those who spend the $350 to become Extra Access members will certainly enjoy a bigger discount, but the best card experience isn’t reserved for the customers that spend the most. When it comes to generating rewards, the AEO Connected® Visa® performs quite well. Although Individual points have a below-average value, cardholders will still find themselves earning rewards at an accelerated pace thanks to the generous bonus structure (one voucher for every $167 spent in stores). Whether cardholders are Full Access of Extra Access members (who will receive either a $10 or $15 voucher for every 2,500 points acquired), they’ll still be more than tripling their return on AEO purchases than if they used a flat-rate cash back credit card (2% cash back rewards card would only yield $3.34 after spending the same amount). When it comes to the non-store purchases, the AEO Connected® Visa® is less competitive; the earnings are on par with that of a cash back card making the card eligible—but not necessarily recommended—for everyday purchases. Overall, the AEO Connected® Visa® is a surprisingly lucrative rewards card that provides benefits to cardholders even when they don’t have enough points to redeem for an award (and regardless of membership tier). There are two guaranteed shopping days of 20% discounts per year, plus the card carries no annual fee. While not recommended for use as one’s primary card for spending, loyal American Eagle Outfitters customers will surely find a lot to like in either version of the AEO credit card.