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American Eagle Outfitters Connected Visa credit card review

American Eagle Outfitters Connected Visa credit card review

Published: October 30, 2018
Published: October 30, 2018
Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
2.9 rating
2.9 rating
2.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.1
Rewards Flexibility: 3.1
Features: 0.0

In a Nutshell:

Fans of American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie will love the opportunity to accelerate their rewards by using the Connected Visa credit card anywhere Visa is accepted.

Rewards Rate

  • 15:1 American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie
  • 5:1 other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
20% off first purchase

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$341

APR
27.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pros

  • Rewards certificates automatically issued in $10 increments each month (for every 2,500 points)
  • Can use certificates on sale merchandise
  • Can combine certificates with other offers
  • Points don’t expire as long as account is active (at least 1 qualifying purchase within a 375-day rolling period)

Cons

  • Certificates expire in 45 days
  • Can only use rewards certificates for in-store or online purchases at AEO, Aerie and AEO factory stores

Other Notable Features: Free standard shipping, 20% off birthday coupon, buy 5 jeans get 1 free, buy 5 bras get 1 free, personal shopping day coupon, 6 cardholder events each year, $0 fraud liability, mobile and online account management

What the American Eagle Outfitters Connected Visa credit card lacks in extras such as purchase protection, extended warranty and anniversary rewards, it makes up with its ample rewards program. Even so, strict rules on redemption mean the card is best reserved for loyal fans of the clothing retailer — particularly when you factor in a typically high APR.

Top-tier rewards

The American Eagle Outfitters Connected Visa card stands out in the retail category for its extremely generous rewards — on both AEO/Aerie purchases and anywhere else Visa is accepted. Here’s the deal: Purchases made with the card in AEO and Aerie stores (and at ae.com and aerie.com) earn an impressive 15 points per $1 spent. But what’s especially notable is that the AEO Outfitters Connected Visa card bestows cardholders with five points for every $1 spent on all other purchases — such as gas, groceries, dining out and more.

It’s a feature practically unheard of in the retail card space, as most retail cards don’t offer the ability to earn points on outside purchases at all — and when they do (see: the Gap Visa card or Sears Mastercard with Shop Your Way), it’s typically no more than one point per $1, save for bonus categories.

Limited redemption

That said, just because you can earn points outside of AEO and Aerie stores doesn’t mean you can redeem them there. While you’ll receive a $10 reward for every 2,500 points you earn, rewards certificates can only be redeemed for in-store and online purchases at AEO, Aerie and AEO factory stores. Certificates can be used on sale merchandise and can also be combined with other offers, but they generally expire 45 days after issue, a fairly short shelf life that requires you to keep a close eye on your rewards so they don’t go to waste.

Extra Access status

Spending $350 in a calendar year gets you Extra Access status, which is good for the remainder of the year and the next calendar year. For example, becoming an Extra Access member in October 2018 means you’ll have Extra Access status through Dec. 31, 2020. As an Extra Access member, you’ll receive a $15 reward for every 2,500 points you earn (versus $10). 

So-so sign-up bonus

New customers score 20 percent off their first purchase of AEO and Aerie branded merchandise, an average offer at best. However, there doesn’t appear to be a time limit on the discount, unlike the two-day window on Macy’s American Express card’s sign-up bonus.

High APR

Like many other retail credit cards, the AEO Connected Visa card comes with a high APR of 27.74 percent. Even if your credit score is above average, your interest rate won’t get any lower than that — so, whatever you do, don’t charge more than what you can afford to pay in full every month, lest you end up eating into your rewards and benefits.

Why get the American Eagle Outfitters card?

  • You frequently shop at AEO or Aerie.
  • You’re already a member of the AEO Connected rewards program.
  • You prefer merchandise discounts over other types of rewards.
  • You don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month.

How to use the American Eagle Outfitters card

  • Provide your email address for automatic enrollment in the AEO Connected rewards program.
  • Redeem rewards certificates within 45 days of issuance.
  • Spend $350 in a calendar year to get Extra Access.
  • Keep your account active to prevent points from expiring.
  • Use the card everywhere Visa is accepted to accelerate your earnings.
  • That said, pay your balance in full every month to avoid paying above-average interest.
  • Refrain from using the card overseas, as you’ll incur a 3-percent foreign transaction fee on each purchase.

 

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