The Banana Republic Credit Card is brought to you by Visa and GE Capital Retail Bank and is both a credit rewards card and a store card rolled into one. We’re not backwards in coming forwards so we all know that most store branded credit accounts are not worth the hassle, so what makes the Banana Republic credit card any different? Of course Banana Republic sells up-to-date fashions that a lot of people worldwide love to wear and their apparel is both trendy and affordable, but store cards are synonymous with a bad rep. Let’s take a deeper look at the offers, bonuses and that all important fine print to see if we can’t find ourselves a store card that might actually be of benefit for a change.
Straight away, we hit a bump; Banana Republic offer two cards and when you apply, you have no choice which card you will get. Both cards are applied for using the same application form and the card you may receive is based on your credit score at the time of application. The Bananacard falls under the category of store card and the Banana Republic credit card falls under the category of credit rewards card. This is because the Bananacard is exclusive to Banana Republic and their affiliated stores, whereas the Banana Republic credit card operates on the Visa network and can be used outside of the store like other major credit cards. As far as credit score goes, the Bananacard is a lot easier to get approved for.
So what should I expect to get from the Banana Republic credit card?
Well, Banana Republic offers cardholders 15% off your first purchase when you sign up for the card, no matter which card you’ll actually get once awarded. This is not a great offer when you consider that there are many other rewards cards with promotions that are worth substantially more than this, and considering that Banana Republic are offering this card directly makes the deal all the more basic and bland.
Having said that, both the Banana Republic credit card and the store card can be used at Banana Republic’s sister stores (Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta ) which means that you get a lot more spending versatility than with most other store cards. Cardholders earn rewards at the sister stores too, so if you’re a shop-a-holic with a passion for all things fashion, this card could be for you.
The rewards program is pretty good too, both the Banana Republic credit card and the Bananacard allow cardholders to earn a whopping 5 points at their stores (and yes, that does include the sister stores!). Every 1,000 points equates to a $10 gift reward certificate so this makes this particular rewards program much more worthwhile than both types of competitor cards (store and rewards), mainly because they only reward cardholders for spending at one specific store. If you are lucky enough to be approved for the Banana Republic Visa card, you will earn 1 point for all other purchases outside of Banana Republic.
On top of the nice point rewards, cardholders will also receive special offers such as birthday coupons to spend in-store and fantastic Tuesday deals where the cardholder is privy to an exclusive 10% off at every affiliated store (Banana Republic excluded). Also there’ll be extra offers and promotions throughout various stores (at both Banana Republic and the affiliated stores alike).
And the rewards just keep on coming…
If you spend over $800 on your Banana Republic credit card or Bananacard, you will be automatically upgraded to Banana Republic’s special “Luxe” status. When you reach Luxe level, even more special offers and promotions become open to you. You’ll get basic alterations, no shipping fee on online purchases, quarterly you’ll get to pick your own sale day.
What are the standard features of the Banana Republic credit card?
Because the Banana Republic Visa card is still intrinsically a store card, it doesn’t boast much in the way of standard features. There is no annual fee for either the Banana Republic Visa card or Bananacard, but the interest rate sticks to competitor standards and remains very high indeed. Standing at 23.99% for both of the cards, another store card might pinch your pockets in the same way, but a standard rewards card could potentially offer a much cheaper alternative for the more discerning cardholder.
Is the Banana Republic credit card worth getting?
Overall, as far as store cards are concerned both the Banana Republic Visa card and the Bananacard are both worthwhile cards to commit to. It’s nice to have the Visa option, but don’t be disappointed if you are not lucky enough to be awarded it. The fact that each card can be used to earn points at Banana Republic’s sister stores really does make this card a winner. The APR is high, but if you remember not to carry a balance month to month, it’s not a feature that will affect you too much.
The rewards are great and are certainly competitive if you love to shop around and if you consider that outside of the great rewards, the trusted branding of Banana Republic and the affiliate stores, coupled with the quality of the clothing and accessories that they offer, it really does make this card a good choice on its own.
If you hold the Banana Republic credit card up against its major reward card competitors, it does become a slightly different story because, although the rewards are still great, other reward cards can offer better, with the added bonus of a lower APR.
Personally, I’d stick both the Banana Republic credit card and the Bananacard in the ‘worth it’ pile.