November 15, 2018

GAP Credit Card Review

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If you cringe when you think of shopping at Gap because of their higher prices, you may be thrilled to know there is a way you can save money on your purchases. It entails the use of the Gap credit card, but when used right, it may be a beneficial choice.

Gap Store
Gap Store © Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Should you carry the Gap credit card or is it just another store-branded credit card that offers a one-time reward and then sits in the pile collecting dust? Keep reading to find out.

The Different Gap Credit Card Options

Gap offers four credit card options. You can only obtain either the basic Gap credit card or the Gap Visa credit card initially. After 12 months, you may be eligible for the Gap Silver credit card, but you have to meet specific criteria. Keep reading to see how each credit card compares.

  • Gap Credit Card: You can use the basic or standard Gap credit card at Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic. You earn 5 points for every dollar you spend. Once you reach 500 points, you earn a $5 Reward Certificate. It carries the typical store-branded APR and you can only use it at Gap or its family of stores.

    Using Your Gap Card at Other Gap Family Stores: It's important to note that even if you earn your points at other Gap family stores, the points earned go on your Gap credit card, unless you use another Gap family credit card. You cannot combine the points from different cards, though. Each credit card operates independently.

  • Gap Visa Card: Some applicants may qualify for the Gap Visa, which provides the same benefits as the Gap credit card with the ability to use the card anywhere that accepts the Visa card. You still earn points on your non-Gap brand purchases, but you earn 1 point per dollar spent rather than 5 points per dollar. Typically, you need a pretty good credit score to obtain this card.

  • Gap Silver Credit Card: If you are a frequent Gap shopper, you may earn Silver status after you have the basic Old Navy credit card for at least 12 months. With a minimum of $1,000 spent every 12 months, you can earn this status. With Silver status, you earn bonuses, access to special events, and even free shipping with no minimum purchase required. You must qualify for this status each year, though. It's not a permanent status. This means you'll have to meet the minimum $1,000 purchase threshold and have your account in good standing each year in order to qualify.

  • Gap Silver Visa Card: Some cardholders may have access to the Gap Silver Visa, which includes all of the benefits above, plus the ability to use the card at any store that accepts Visa. Just like the basic Gap Visa card, you can earn points for purchases made at other stores, but it's one point per dollar spent.

Who Should Get the Gap Credit Card?

  • You shop at Gap or any of its family of brands often. Gap is affiliated with Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic. You earn points for shopping at any of these stores, which may earn you reward certificates that you can use on a future purchase. You may also be eligible for special promotions and events specifically for Gap cardholders.

  • You like to earn reward certificates towards apparel purchases. Whether you have the basic Gap credit card or the Gap Visa, the points you earn may only be redeemed for reward certificates for a future Gap or one of its family stores purchase. You'll earn more points for purchases from Gap or one of its family stores, but all points earned help you earn Gap Reward Certificates.

  • You spend at least $1,000 at Gap or its family stores per year. As we discussed above, spending at least $1,000 per year at Gap or its affiliated stores earns you Silver status. With the enhanced benefits offered, you stand to save more money when you achieve this status.

Reasons We Like the Gap Credit Card

  • There is no annual fee. Credit cards with an annual fee can eat away at the benefit of using the card. None of the Gap credit cards has an annual fee.

  • You don't have to keep track of categories. You earn points as long as you use your Gap credit card at any of the Gap family stores. If you keep your account in good standing, you'll accumulate points and earn reward certificates when you hit 500 points. You don't have to worry about spending on certain days or in certain categories to earn rewards.

  • You may receive a birthday offer as long as you use your credit card at least once in the preceding 12 months. Even the basic Gap credit card offers this benefit.

  • You can choose your own sale day as a Gap Silver credit card or Gap Silver Visa credit card owner. You get one day to use the coupon you receive. As long as you use your Gap Silver credit card at least once in the past 12 months, you may be eligible for this reward.

  • You may be eligible for free basic alterations on Banana Republic purchases made with your Gap Silver or Gap Silver Visa credit card. You must make the purchase with your Gap Silver credit card in order to receive the free alterations. This offer is only valid on merchandise purchased at Banana Republic.

  • Gap Silver or Gap Silver Visa credit card owners receive free shipping. You don't need to make a minimum purchase, but you do need to enter the code "MYCARD" at checkout to receive the free shipping.

  • You can earn a $10 reward certificate when you sign up for Gap emails. You just need to register with your account number and email address to receive 500 bonus points. You can earn an additional 500 points if you sign up for online billing.

  • You can earn bonus points each quarter. Once you earn Silver status and keep your account in good standing, you can earn 20% in bonus reward points based on the number of reward points you earned during the quarter. The Reward Points are awarded at the end of each quarter.

  • The Gap Visa and Gap Silver Visa include chip and sign technology.This helps prevent fraudulent activity on your credit card. Your information is encrypted before it's sent over the network. This can help protect your information should a store's information become hacked.

Reasons You May Want to Consider Other Credit Cards

  • You have to use the reward certificates before the expiration date. If you don't live near a Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, or Athleta, or you don't have time to shop before the expiration date, you may lose your rewards. Since the award certificate is the only reward for carrying the Gap card, it could make it useless for you.

  • You can only redeem up to three reward certificates at one time if buying in-store. If you shop online you can use up to five award certificates. This means you can only use up to $15 in rewards in the store and up to $25 in rewards online. If you earned more than that, you will have to redeem them during another purchase, but before the expiration date.

  • The APR may be higher than other credit card options available. Store-branded credit cards, such as the Gap credit card, often have much higher APRs than you might be eligible for with other credit card options. If you know you won't pay your balance in full each month, this card could be rather costly.

Bottom Line

Frequent Gap shoppers do well with the Gap credit card because they can accumulate reward certificates to help them save on their purchases. If you are an infrequent Gap shopper or know you will carry a balance, you may want to consider other reward credit cards with a lower APR or rewards other than Gap reward certificates.

Write to Kim P at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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