Banana Republic Visa® Card review
Best for the Banana Republic enthusiast
- Rewards rate: 5 points per $1 at Gap Inc. brands (online and in-store), 1 point per $1 at all other stores
- Welcome offer: 20 percent off your first store purchase
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 25.99 percent (variable)
If you’re an avid shopper at Banana Republic or its sister brands Gap, Old Navy, Hill City and Athleta, then the Banana Republic Visa can afford you some valuable perks. Outside of these companies, however, it functions much like any other high APR credit card. If you’re capable of paying your bill in full each month and the rewards make sense for you, then the Banana Republic Visa Card will be a good fit.
Current welcome offer
The Banana Republic Visa Card is designed for hardcore fans of Gap Inc. brands, and more specifically, Banana Republic. To entice new card owners, there’s a welcome offer of 20 percent off of your first purchase. You can unlock this offer by opening a card at the time of purchase.
The rest of the Banana Republic Visa benefits function through a points system. When you open your credit card, you can earn 500 bonus points when you subscribe to Gap Inc. emails and 500 points for electing to receive paperless statements.
After the initial welcome offer, the Banana Republic Visa Card rewards function on a points system.
To earn rewards on the Banana Republic Visa Card, you’ll primarily want to use the card at Gap Inc. brands. When you do, you’ll earn 5 points for every dollar you spend. While you’re not limited solely to Gap Inc. purchases, you’ll earn only one point for every dollar you spend anywhere else.
The points that you earn, detailed below, can be redeemed at the time of purchase both in-store and online, at any of the following brands: Old Navy, Gap, Gap Factory, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory, Hill City and Athleta.
How much are points worth?
For every 500 points earned through the Banana Republic Visa Card rewards program, you’ll earn a $5 reward. To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to make the majority of your purchases with Gap Inc. brands. This way, you’re earning $5 for every $100 you spend. Otherwise, you’ll have to spend $500 at non-Gap stores just to earn $5.
To unlock the full Banana Republic Visa Card benefits, make sure you’re an avid Gap Inc. shopper. In addition to the rewards points system, there are some other notable benefits.
With the Banana Republic Visa Card, you’ll have access to special offers and private sales. In addition, you’ll be able to attend special events. And if you change your mind on a purchase, you can make returns without your receipt.
Although unspecified, your Banana Republic Visa Card entitles you to a surprise birthday gift each year, provided you’ve made at least one purchase on the card during the year.
Option to upgrade
To get the most from your Banana Republic Visa Card benefits, you’ll want to make sure you rack up rewards points. If you earn at least 5,000 points in a calendar year, you’ll be upgraded to the Banana Republic Luxe Card for free. The benefits for this card are even more exciting for those interested in clothing.
Rates and fees
While there is no annual fee on the Banana Republic Visa Card, it’s important to note the high APR. The APR is a variable rate starting at 25.99 percent, with a minimum interest charge of $2. There is no intro APR offer, so it’s important to keep this in mind. To reap the full rewards benefits and keep interest payments low, consider paying your monthly balance in full. Otherwise, you’ll likely discover that the interest charges outweigh the benefits of the rewards system.
Additionally, while late payments may not affect your APR, they will incur a steep late fee of $39.
You can use the Banana Republic Visa Card anywhere you can use a regular Visa, including overseas, but an applicable foreign transaction fee of 3 percent will apply in this case. However, rewards earned at Gap Inc. brands can only be earned at stores within the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) and Canada.
How the Banana Republic Visa Card compares to other rewards cards
If you’re considering the Banana Republic Visa Card, it’s likely because you’re an avid shopper. And while you may be looking for store specific benefits, other cards with rewards programs may offer more long-term savings.
A card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards everyday shoppers, which means you’ll have a wider variety of stores in which to earn points. In addition to a generous welcome offer of $200 when you spend $500 within three months, you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on Lyft through March 2022 and travel purchases you make through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, as well as 3 percent on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% everywhere else. So you can enjoy rewards on your retail purchases as well as any other shopping.
Another option is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which can earn you 5 percent cash back on all Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases. Other spending categories include 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, as well as 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. If you shop regularly on Amazon.com or plan to make other purchases throughout the year, don’t count this card out.
Best cards to pair with the Banana Republic Visa Card
If you’re looking to maximize the Banana Republic Visa Card, consider pairing it with a cash back card like the above. That way, you can reap some of the exclusive benefits of a Banana Republic Card membership while maximizing your other purchases.
Bankrate’s take—Is the Banana Republic Visa Card worth it?
The Banana Republic Visa Card is most powerful for someone who shops frequently at Gap Inc. brands. Otherwise, the card can be more of a burden than a benefit. If you aren’t dedicated to paying down your balance and aren’t aiming for Luxe status, consider other rewards credit cards or credit cards for shopping online.
- No annual fee
- Access to member sales and rewards
- Free upgrade to Luxe status after earning 5,000 points
- Annual birthday gift
- High APR
- Limited rewards
- Lack of flexibility
The information about Banana Republic Visa® Card and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.