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If you’re a regular at the Gap, you’ve probably seen the signs for the little blue piece of plastic that promises discounts, rewards coupons and free shipping — that’s right, I’m talking about the Gap credit cards. The promise of an instant 20% discount on the pile of clothes you’re getting sure can sound appealing, especially when you’re seeing the numbers add up as the clerk rings up your items, but is it really worth it to get one of the Gap cards? Here’s what you need to know to help you decide.
First up is to think about how much you would really use the card and the effect it would have on your wallet. If you shop at the Gap on a regular basis, one of its cards may not be a bad idea, as you’ll get rewarded for shopping you already do. You can use your Gap credit card at any of its affiliated stores, which includes Old Navy and Banana Republic, so if you’re shopping there, too, that may also add to the appeal. The lure of rewards shouldn’t be incentive to spend more at any of these stores, however. Plus, considering how lofty the Gap credit cards’ annual percentage rates (APRs) are (more on that in a minute), if you can’t afford to pay for the charges you put on your credit card in full each time a statement arrives, it could really cost you.
From there, you need to think about what your goal is with the card. Store credit cards may be a good way to build (or repair) credit, as they often don’t require the most prime credit scores to qualify. So, if you’re thinking the card will not only reward you for shopping at one of your favorite stores, but also help you increase your credit scores, you may be on the right track. If you do get this card (or any credit card, really) it’s important you use it responsibly. Don’t know where your credit currently stands? You can find out by viewing two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.
If you’re still thinking a Gap credit card could be right for you, it’s important to understand the difference between the two main cards they offer — the GapCard and the Gap Visa.
The Perks: Cardholders earn five points for every dollar spent at Gap and its affiliated stores, whether online or in store. After 500 points are racked up, cardholders receive a $5 store credit reward. You’ll also get offers for extra point days, special events, birthday savings (as long as you’ve used your card at least once in the past 12 months), and 10% off at Gap stores (and online). Need to return something? Cardholders don’t need a receipt to do so.
Signup Bonus: After you sign up for the card, you get a 20% discount on your first purchase.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 27.49% (as of 12/19/2019)
The Perks: Gap Visa cardholders earn all the same things as GapCard holders. However, in addition to the points that come with the standard GapCard, Gap Visa cardholders earn one point for every dollar they spend on the card elsewhere. The greatest benefit of this card over the standard GapCard is that you can use it anywhere Visa cards are accepted (whereas GapCard can only be used at Gap and the stores it’s affiliated with). This means you can rack up points (and rewards) faster.
Signup Bonus: Same as GapCard.
Once you’ve earned 5,000 points in a calendar year, make at least the minimum payment due after reaching this qualifying amount, and your account is in good standing, your card can be upgraded to Gap Silver status. You need to requalify each calendar year to maintain this status, but it does come with some additional perks.
The Perks: Gap Silver cardholders get 20% quarterly bonus reward points, free shipping, and invitations to special exclusive events. This card status also grants cardholders free basic alterations on clothing purchased at Banana Republic. Silver cardholders also get a coupon that allows them to choose their “own sale day” any time they’d like an added discount.
If you decide getting a Gap card is right for you, you can earn a few additional rewards. Once you have the card, you’re eligible for 1,000 extra points when you connect with the brand online: That’s 500 points for simply providing your email address (tying it to your credit account) and 500 points for enrolling in paperless billing.
If you’re a frequent shopper at the Gap, this card can really help you save. However, it may not be right for you if you aren’t already shopping at Gap (or its affiliated stores). Remember, rewards are issued to your account each billing cycle in $5 increments and they can only be redeemed for purchases at the Gap and its affiliates. Plus, there are some restrictions that apply. For instance, rewards earned but not redeemed will expire after 24 months of account inactivity and no more than $250 in rewards will be issued in a given billing cycle. (Be sure to read the card agreements for full details about the cards and their rewards program.)
If you decide you’re looking for a more flexible rewards credit card, it’s time to do some research and find some alternatives that may be better for you. To get you started, here is an option to consider.
Card Details +
A card that is perfect for everyday purchases is the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. This card has an introductory offer of 0% for 15 months on purchases. The ongoing APR is 13.99%-23.99% Variable. You earn unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases. This is great for anyone that doesn’t want to keep track of quarterly bonus categories.
At publishing time, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
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