- Earn 5x points at Banana Republic and Gap Inc. brands
- 1x points on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- Upgrade to Luxe status after spending $5,000 in one year
- Regular Purchase APR: 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR: 26.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
At a Glance
The Banana Republic Visa® card offers five rewards points for every dollar spent at Banana Republic and other Gap Inc. brands. New Cardholders also receive a 20% discount on their first purchase. The can also upgrade to a Luxe card when they meet a spending requirement.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Love shopping at Banana Republic and other Gap Inc. Brands (Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, Hill City)
- Want the flexibility of earning and using rewards points at multiple retailers
- Don’t want to pay an annual fee
- Plan to spend at least $1,000 at Gap Inc. stores (or $5,000 elsewhere) in a calendar year
Banana Republic Visa® Card Review
Banana Republic’s logo on its Visa card may lead you to think that this is an exclusive store card. However, you are actually signing up for the Gap Inc. card, which lets you earn and redeem points at all of this company’s brands. These include some of the nation’s most popular retailers, like Gap and Old Navy.
Additionally, cardholders can easily upgrade their Visa cards to Luxe status and gain access to a bunch of really attractive Banana Republic perks (no pun intended). While this card is ideal for someone who loves shopping at this clothier, access to all Gap Inc. brands makes this one of the most dynamic retail cards around.
It’s Like Having 5 Cards in One
One of the biggest draws to the Banana Republic Visa® Card is the fact that it is more than just a single-store card. When you sign up for this credit card, you are essentially getting access to the benefits of five different retail cards. It’s almost like getting five credit cards in one.
On top of shopping at Banana Republic, cardholders can earn 5x rewards points for shopping at the following brands:
- Old Navy
- Hill City
You can also redeem your rewards points at any of the stores listed above. This detail gives you the freedom of quickly racking up lots of points at a variety of retailers. What’s more, the same rules apply to each of these brands. You earn 5 points for every dollar at any of these brands, and your points have the same value at each retailer.
This means that you can earn and redeem points more strategically. For instance, Banana Republic’s merchandise is typically more expensive than that of the other Gap Inc. brands. You can use your Visa card at Banana Republic to earn a lot of points for your bigger-ticket purchases. You can then redeem your points for discounted merchandise at Old Navy, where merchandise is priced at a fraction of the cost.
The other great thing about this feature is that many of these brands are located within the same shopping centers. That being said, you can earn a lot of points on a single trip to the mall. This especially rings true around the busy holiday shopping season.
Earning Rewards Points
The Banana Republic Visa® has simple two-tier points system. All purchases made at Gap Inc. brands earn cardholders 5 points for every dollar spent. All other purchases earn cardholders one point for every dollar spent.
With that in mind, you should really consider how much you’ll plan to shop at Gap Inc. brands after signing up for this credit card. The one-to-one point ratio for outside purchases is the most basic rewards system that a credit card can offer consumers, and it’s really nothing to write home about.
Again, the biggest draw to this card in terms of earning rewards points is the fact that you can earn 5x points at five different (and very popular) brands with numerous locations all over the United States. You can essentially outfit an entire family with this card for almost any occasion and rack up quite a lot of points at the same time.
Using this card for non-Gap Inc. purchases can help you earn more points, especially if you want to upgrade to Luxe status (see below for details). However, this card’s high APR may make you think twice before reaching for this card for all your purchases.
Rewards Points Value
What’s great about the Banana Republic Visa® card is that your points have the same value across all Gap Inc. brands. You receive a $5 credit for every 500 points you earn. If you spend $100 at any of these brands’ stores (or online), you will receive a $5 reward certificate.
Spending $100 at Banana Republic is a breeze, as a basic pair of trousers ranges in price from $90 to over $100 dollars. If you add a top and a jacket to your purchase, you can end up spending close to $500 on a single purchase.
That comes out to $15 in rewards credits, which can add up to a lot at Old Navy, especially if you are shopping for small children.
Redeeming Rewards Points
This credit card starts to lose its luster when you start looking into how you can redeem your rewards points. The Banana Republic Visa® card converts your points into rewards certificates every month, provided that you earned enough points.
These certificates are valued in increments of $5 and max out at $50. While there is no limit to how many points you can earn with this card, Synchrony Bank (who issues this credit card) will not issue more than $250 in rewards certificates per billing cycle.
Don’t worry if you’ve racked up more than 25,000 points, though. You won’t lose them; they will just carry over to your next billing cycle.
Now, you may think you can use these rewards just like cash or a gift card. However, don’t expect to go into a Banana Republic store and walk out with free merchandise. The total price of your purchase must be greater than your rewards certificate amount in order to use it.
In effect, rewards certificates function almost like discount coupons, and you must pay any difference with your Banana Republic Visa Card. On the plus side, you can combine your rewards certificate with no more than one additional offer or promotion, although employee discounts are excluded from this.
Before signing up for this card, you should also be aware that rewards certificates do expire, and every certificate has an expiration date printed on it. Furthermore, if you haven’t used your Banana Republic card in 24 months, any points you have accumulated before then will become void.
A frustrating part about this card is that cardholders really don’t have any say about when they can convert their points to rewards certificates. This happens automatically every month, and if you don’t use your certificates by their expiration date, you forfeit those rewards.
In short, if you’re thinking of using this card’s rewards to go on a several thousand-dollar shopping spree, think again. Synchrony limits how much of your rewards you can use at a time.
Gaining Luxe Status
One of the big draws of Banana Republic Visa® Card is that cardholders can upgrade to Luxe status quite easily. Now, some credit cards may advertise some perk with a fancy-sounding name that actually doesn’t provide you with anything of value. However, Banana Republic’s Luxe status is something you probably want to have.
- Free expedited shipping
- Free in-store garment alterations
- 20% point bonus each quarter
- Choosing your own sale day
Keep in mind that these Luxe benefits are exclusive to Banana Republic, although if you’re familiar with Gap Inc. brands you probably already figured that out. You generally don’t alter clothes from Old Navy and Gap.
Attaining these perks is really quite simple to do: just spend enough in one calendar year to earn 5,000 points. That comes to $1,000 spent at Gap Inc. stores, which isn’t hard to do in a year if you really love these brands.
You must also make sure to make your minimum payment once you have spent enough to earn 5,000 points, and your account must be active. Within three to four months after meeting these requirements, you’ll get your upgraded Banana Republic Luxe card.
The great thing about this Luxe status is that it is not like receiving a new credit card and losing your existing credit line. You keep the same account and the same credit card number. You just get issued a new black card (instead of the standard grey card) that has “Luxe” printed on the front of it. This way the cashier knows of your elite status when you check out.
Now, keep in mind that you must re qualify for these Luxe privileges every year. Again, this isn’t terribly difficult to do if you like shopping at these brands. In fact, a single holiday shopping trip can have you covered for the entire year.
This credit card offers a few additional benefits. Perhaps the most obvious one is the 20% discount off your first Banana Republic purchase with your new Visa card. This offer only applies to an online purchase, and you cannot redeem it at other Gap Inc. brands. This offer also expires 90 days from the date that you’re approved for your Banana Republic Visa Card.
This perk isn’t really a selling point for this card but more of a value-added feature. 20% can add up to quite a lot of money at Banana Republic. At the very least, it can save you the cost of shipping.
The other great perk about this card also applies to online shopping. When adding items to your digital shopping cart, you can include items from all five Gap Inc. brands. It’s like a one-stop online shop for all your fashion needs.
This not only makes it easy to rack up rewards points, but you also get free shipping on orders of $50 or more (and $7 on any orders under $50). This is great when you find only one thing you want at Banana Republic, but find out about a blow-out sale at Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta. You can purchase everything all at once, get free shipping, and earn points.
Should You Apply for the Banana Republic Visa® Card?
The first question you should ask yourself before applying is, “How much do I love wearing Banana Republic?” If you’re not too crazy about this brand, ask yourself how much you like the other Gap Inc. brands.
If you rarely shop at any of these brands, this credit card may not change your shopping habits. However, if your closet is full of garments from these brands having this card is a great way to earn reduced-price merchandise while you make your regular purchases.
You will definitely want to meet the spending requirements to attain Luxe status, which are reasonable. The Luxe perks are the most attractive features of this card, even though they aren’t features of this particular card.
Other than that, the Banana Express Visa offers many of the same benefits as the other Gap Inc. credit cards. It just comes down to how much you love Banana Republic over the other Gap Inc. brands.