Introduction to the Gap Credit Card
If you find yourself shopping at Gap-related stores (Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic) a lot, then you’ll probably like their credit card. It’ll give you the ability to collect discounts, rewards, and other things for being their customer.
You have a choice between two different cards: The GapCard and the Gap Visa. The GapCard can only be used at Gap-related stores. If you apply for a credit card with Gap, they’ll consider you for the Visa, but if Synchrony–the company that issues the card–denies you, then you’ll be considered for the GapCard instead (the basic store credit card).
What Are Some Of The Rewards For Gap Cards?
Both the Visa and GapCard alike give you five points with every dollar spent at Gap-related stores–this includes both online and offline purchases. You can earn shopping rewards by redeeming points. You have to remember, though, that the GapCard is a store credit card, meaning you can’t use it outside of Gap. Another term you may hear it called by is “closed-loop card,” which just means the same thing.
The Visa card, on the other hand, is different; it can be used outside of Gap so long as the store you’re trying to buy from accepts Visas. For every dollar spent outside of Gap with this card, you earn one point. For every 500 points you collect, Gap will give you a 5-dollar rewards card that can be used at Gap-related stores.
There are other advantages outside of rewards that the card grants you. For instance, you can collect 20% off the first thing that you buy. You also get a birthday gift every year if you’ve bought something the previous year at Gap or its outlets.
- Earn back five percent of your points when shopping at Gap and its participating stores.
- Collect 10 percent off eligible items at Gap (expires at the end of this month).
- Pay no annual fees.
- If you reach Gap silver status, you get even more perks.
Only get back one percent of your points from spending outside of Gap with the Visa.
- High fees and interest rates
- Rewards are not versatile
Detailing The Pros
This is a store-centered credit card, and like most store-centered credit cards, it rewards people for shopping at its store.
- Really Good Store Rewards
You’ll collect five points with every dollar spent at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta for online and offline purchases. You’ll also earn a five dollar rewards card every time you reach five hundred points. This card can be used at any Gap-related store.
Basically, you’ll get back five percent in points for all Gap-related things that you buy. Your rewards will cap at 250 dollars every billing cycle, but the reaming points will appear in your next cycle as well.
- No Annual Fees To Worry About
You don’t have to stress an annual cost for either the GapCard or Visa.
- Sizable Discounts
Currently, Gap is offering an added 10 percent discount to all cardholders on eligible items inside Gap and Gap Factory stores within the states. This offer qill only be around until the end of January 2019 and does not work with other Gap stores.
Detailing The Cons
The card is meant for Gap enthusiasts, and it doesn’t make any efforts to hide that fact.
Weak Rewards For Things Bought Outside Of Gap
Most likely neither of the Gap credit cards are for you if you’re looking for a flexible card to use all the time. The Visa only rewards you with one percent in points with every dollar you spend away from Gap–that’s not very good at all.
The Gap Visa actually provides less cash back on general purchases away from Gap than most other cards of the type. For instance, the Citi Double Cash card gives back two percent on all items purchased with it. That’s double what you would get with Gap. Also, to remind you once again, the GapCard can’t be used anywhere that is not associated with Gap or its network.
Expensive Fees and Rates
Both Gap credit cards sport a 26.49 percent APR rate, so your interest charges with stack up fast if your balance carries over every month. The Gap card fees also stack up relatively quickly. You can find yourself paying an extra 38 dollars in late payments regardless of what version of the credit card you’re using, and the Visa version has foreign transaction fees of up to three percent.
Rewards Don’t Extend Past Gap
You’ve probably already guessed that you can only use the rewards earned with these cards at Gap stores, so again, if you’re looking for versatility in your credit cards, Gap might not be the card you’re looking for.
How To Maximize Gap Cards
You’ll probably want to achieve Gap silver status if you want to use a Gap card to its fullest. The silver status comes with additional advantages for its faithful customers. To be eligible for this status, you need to collect 5000 points during a calendar year, pay your smallest balances on time after reaching the threshold, and keeping your account in good standing (meaning keep it active).
Here’s What Silver-Users Get:
Free shipping for online purchases when you use your Gap card and type in MYCARD at checkout. Items will take 3 to 5 business days to reach you.
Once every calendar year, on a day of your choosing, you can receive a discount on the entirety of your purchase.
Based on the total points you’ve collected in a quarter year, you can receive 20 percent of your rewards on top of what you already have. For instance, if by quarter’s end, you have 500 points, you’ll receive 100 extra points to top it off.
You collect five points every time you spend a dollar, so the quickest way to achieve silver status with Gap is to spend around 1000 dollars with your card at Gap-related stores every year. With only one point every dollar, achieving silver status through non-Gap related stores would require that you spend around 5000 dollars within the same time frame.
So, if want more versatile rewards dealing with getting your cash back or a store card that’s more flexible in its daily use, you may want to look away from Gap.
Comparing The Card To Others
Let’s compare the Gap credit cards to some other cards you could get.
Chase Sapphire Preferred is more flexible than the Gap cards. It can do things the Gap card can’t. For every dollar that you spend on eating and traveling, you collect two points, and for every dollar spent on every other qualifiable purchase, you collect one point. The card also offers better redeemable rewards than either Gap card can give you. You can use your points to get cash or gift cards.
The Citi Double Cash card favors giving cash back rather than handing out brand rewards, so if you want a card that is tailored more toward rewarding you for paying your bills on time than anything else, you may like this one.
If you want a credit card for a store that has everything under its roof, the Costco Anywhere Visa will pique your interest. It also happens to be by Citi. While you may collect more points when shopping for clothes with the Gap card, the Costco Anywhere card may be the better choice because Costco just sells a broader range of items. For instance, at Costco you can buy, clothes, food, gas, travel items, and other things, and you would profit off of every purchase. Added to this, the card is a VIsa, so it’s more or less universally accepted anywhere.
Like most store cards, deciding whether or not the Gap card is personally for you all decides on how often you shop at Gap. Is it often? Do you find yourself there more than you do at other retailers? If you think you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you might find some use out of both cards– the GapCard and the Gap Visa.
Give yourself a moment–really think about how much you spend at Gap. If you’re normally faithful to them and can attest to spending over a 1000 dollars on their items every year, then you know you will be able to take full advantage of the different perks these cards have to offer. This applies for both cards too; you should be fine with either the basic store card or the Visa.
You obviously don’t shop only at Gap, so if you may even find more use out of the Visa version of their card. All that being said, the Gap cards are for Gap and the people who love to give them money. If you’re not one of these people, if you don’t spend much at gap–at least not a 1000 dollars a year– then the general consensus is that you would be better off finding some other general card to use.
David is a financial expert who graduated from the University of Fordham (Master in Finance) in 2001. He has 10+ years of experience in private equity and wealth management. With strong expertise in senior-level financial planning, personal financial analysis, and mortgages, David knows his way around personal finance. Before working at CCR he used to be a financial analyst at McKinsey.
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