Reviews Gap Visa card review
Gap Visa card review

Gap Visa card review

Published: July 28, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Retail Rating:
2.3 rating
2.3 rating
2.3 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.5
Rewards Flexibility: 2.5
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

Designed for devoted fans of Gap Inc. brand stores, the Gap Visa card bestows cardholders with 5 percent rewards and special savings opportunities at Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Gap — but, unfortunately, not much else.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 in-store and online Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta purchases
  • 1:1 other purchases

Sign-up Offer

  • Save 15% on your first purchase made within 90 days at Gap and Gap Factory online
  • 3,000 points if you make outside purchase in first 30 days
  • 500 points when you register your email address
  • 500 points when you enroll in paperless billing

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$198

APR
24.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pros

  • Rewards card automatically issued in $5 increments for every 500 points you earn
  • Can combine cards with other discounts
  • No limit to the points you can earn

Cons

  • Redemption limited to 3 rewards cards for a single item in-store and 5 cards for a single item online
  • Can only use rewards cards at Gap Inc. brand stores
  • Earn no more than $250 in rewards per billing cycle
  • Rewards cards generally expire in one month
  • Points expire after 24 months if your account is inactive

Other Notable Features: Free shipping on orders $50+, free returns on all orders, 10% Tuesdays in-store and online at Gap and Gap Factory (can be combined with up to 3 rewards certificates), special birthday savings, access to special events and exclusive discounts, earn Gap Silver status with 5,000 points in a calendar year (includes 20% quarterly bonus reward points, choose your own sale day, free online shipping with no minimum purchase, free basic alterations on Banana Republic purchases, special events and priority hotline access), EMV chip technology

Even no annual fee and a decent sign-up bonus aren’t enough to rank the Gap Visa card high on our list of retail credit cards. While frequent Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta shoppers will more than appreciate the card’s 5:1 rewards on purchases from those stores — plus the ongoing ability to save even more via access to special events and exclusive discounts — a high APR, strict redemption rules and the maintenance required to maximize card benefits mean anyone who isn’t loyal to Gap Inc. brands should probably take a pass.

Good rewards for frequent shoppers
The Gap Visa card’s rewards program follows a pattern found with most other retail credit cards. Though it boasts generous 5:1 rewards — among the highest in its category — for in-store and online purchases at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta, you’ll earn just 1 percent on outside purchases. So if you’re looking for more of an everyday credit card than you are savings at these specific retailers, you can get much better rewards elsewhere (like with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card or the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express).

Respectable sign-up bonus
The Gap Visa card comes with a handful of sign-up bonuses that add up to an easy 4,000 points right off the bat. New cardholders just have to do the following:

  • Make an outside purchase within 30 days (3,000 points);
  • Register your email address (500 points); and
  • Enroll in paperless billing (500 points).

Those 4,000 points are worth $40 in Gap rewards cards. New customers also score 15 percent off their first purchase made within 90 days at Gap and Gap Factory online. It’s a pretty sweet haul just for signing up.

Restrictive redemption
While limited, the card’s redemption program is pretty straightforward. Rewards cards are automatically issued in $5 increments for every 500 points, and there’s no limit to the number of points you can earn. That said, you can’t redeem more than $250 in rewards per billing cycle, and you’re limited to using three rewards cards for a single item in-store and five rewards cards for a single item online.

Plus, rewards cards generally expire one month after issue — an extremely short shelf life that requires you to keep a close eye on your rewards so they don’t go to waste.

On the plus side, the card is flexible in allowing you to stack your rewards cards with other discounts and offers.

Attractive perks
Instead of providing automatic savings at checkout like some other retail cards (see: the Target REDcard and Lowe’s Consumer credit card), the Gap Visa card offers a multitude of other ways to save alongside its 5:1 rewards rate, including 10 percent off every Tuesday at Gap and Gap Factory (in-store and online), special birthday savings, and access to special events and exclusive discounts. You’ll also enjoy free returns on all orders, and free shipping on orders with a $50 minimum.

Cardholders who earn 5,000 points in a calendar year are upgraded to Silver Status, which comes with an additional 20 percent in quarterly bonus points, a choose your own sale day, free online shipping with no minimum purchase, free alterations on Banana Republic purchases and priority hotline access.

The best part? With a few limitations, these discounts and benefits can be used in tandem with your rewards cards.

Steep APR
No surprises here: The Gap Visa card carries a rather high APR of 24.99 percent. Even if your credit score is above average, your interest rate won’t get any lower than that. (Bonus tip: Don’t charge more than you can afford to pay in full every month.)

Why get it?

  • You’re already a frequent shopper at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and/or Athleta.
  • You prefer merchandise discounts over other types of rewards.
  • You don’t plan to use this as your primary (or even secondary) credit card.
  • You rarely carry a balance from month to month.

How to use it:

  • Use the card anywhere outside Gap Inc. brand stores within the first 30 days of opening your account to earn 3,000 bonus points.
  • Make a purchase at Gap or Gap Factory within the first 90 days to take advantage of 15 percent off.
  • Register your email address and enroll in paperless billing to collect an easy 1,000 points.
  • Combine 10-percent savings at Gap and Gap Factory stores on Tuesdays with up to three rewards cards to save even more.
  • Use the card at least once every 24 months to keep your points from expiring.
  • Pay your balance in full every month to avoid paying higher-than-average interest.

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