Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
Loves being the first to try something new See more cards
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
Since the GapCard is a store credit card that only works for purchases at Gap family stores, it’s best for someone who spends a lot of money—at least $1,000 each year—at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or Athleta. Spending that much on this card each year ensures you’ll qualify for Gap Silver status, which is how you get extra points and a slew of shopping benefits (more about that below). If you don’t spend that much, this card is pretty bare bones.
Like most store cards, this card is also best for those who can pay off their balance each month. This card’s high interest rate will quickly negate the value of any earned rewards otherwise.
Competitive rewards earning rate
Lower recommended credit score
Access to special discounts and shopping perks
Card can only be used at Gap stores
- Competitive rewards earning rate: The GapCard lets you earn 5 points for each $1 spent at Gap family stores, which include Banana Republic, Athleta, and Old Navy. That’s in line with what many other clothing store-branded cards offer these days, and a decent store card rewards earning rate overall.
- Lower recommended credit score: Store credit cards are usually easier to qualify for than traditional credit cards because they can only be used at select stores and often have lower credit limits so aren’t a huge financial risk for the issuing bank. If your credit score is low or you have a limited credit history, this card may be in reach and with responsible use can help boost your score and help you qualify for a more traditional rewards credit card later.
- Access to special discounts and shopping perks: The GapCard gives you 20% off and free shipping for the first purchase made with your card, and you’ll be able to enjoy periodic bonus point shopping days. If you can earn Silver status, you’ll get even more brand perks.
- Card can only be used at Gap stores: While the GapCard works well for purchases at Gap family brand stores, you can’t use this card anywhere else. That’s typical for a store credit card, but it’s still something to keep in mind if you want a credit card you can use for emergency purchases.
- High APR: The ongoing interest rate for purchases on this card is above average, even for a store card. If you’re someone who frequently carries a balance on your credit card, you should plan on forking over a lot of money in interest payments over time.
Earning Points & Rewards
With the GapCard, you’ll earn 5 points for every $1 you spend at Gap family stores, either in-person or online. That’s in line with what similar cards offer right now, although store card value really comes down to whether or not you like the brand.
Remember, since it’s a store credit card, you cannot use it anywhere else—not at grocery stores, gas stations, or in other areas of your life where you may spend more money each month. That means you can only earn points at Gap stores.
However, right now you can earn up to 1,000 extra points just for doing the following:
- Sign up for paperless billing (500 points)
- Add an email address to your rewards account (500 points)
Gap Silver Status
If you earn 5,000 reward points in a calendar year with this card (which means you spend at least $1,000 each year within the Gap family of stores), your account will be upgraded to Gap Silver status, which comes with more rewards and shopping perks.
Each quarter you’re a Gap Silver status holder, a 20%-point bonus will be added to your rewards balance. That means if you have 1,000 points in your account at the end of the first quarter, you’ll get 200 more points just for holding Gap Silver status.
Whether or not you have Silver status, there’s no limit to the number of reward points you can earn with the GapCard each year. Better yet, points only expire if you don’t make a purchase for 24 months.
On the redemption side of the equation, the GapCard is narrow in scope. You can only redeem points earned with the GapCard for one thing: money off future Gap purchases. Points can be redeemed in increments of 500 for a $5 reward certificate that can be used toward a future Gap purchase.
If you’ve racked up a bunch of points, you can get multiple reward certificates each billing cycle, but no more than $250 back in any given month. If you hit that limit, leftover rewards will roll over to the next month.
Redeem your GapCard rewards in stores by presenting your certificate, or redeem online or on the phone by sharing the reward code. You can’t use rewards for statement credits or cash back, or to purchase gift cards.
Reward certificates each come with an expiration date, but to give shoppers more flexibility during COVID-19, Gap has extended those expiration dates. Certificates that expired in March and April are now good for three more months. If you had a reward that would have expired on March 31, 2020, it’s now good until June 30, 2020, and if it was set to expire on April 30, it’s good until July 31, 2020.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Go for Silver.
If you earn 5,000 points in the Gap rewards program within a calendar year, you can qualify for Silver status and more perks and discounts. You’ll need to spend $1,000 with your credit card at Gap family brand stores to qualify, but if you do, you’ll receive a 20% quarterly bonus on your rewards points, a sale on a day of your choice, free shipping on online purchases with a special code, and free basic alterations on Banana Republic purchases. You’ll also get access to special cardmember events and priority access to the rewards hotline.
Since this card is limited in terms of how you can use it and the rewards you earn, we recommend pairing it with a cash-back card to earn money back on routine purchases such as gas and groceries. This will never be your go-to everyday card.
GapCard’s Other Features
Unless you reach Silver status, this card only comes with one other perk on top of occasional bonus point shopping days:
- Birthday Gift: Receive a birthday gift if you’ve used your credit card for a qualified purchase in stores or online within each calendar year.
The GapCard is issued by Synchrony Bank, and you’ll deal with this bank directly if you have issues with your card. J.D. Power ranked Synchrony 10 (out of 11) in its 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, putting it behind all the major card issuers. For the sake of perspective, Synchrony earned 780 out of 1,000 possible points, whereas the industry average was 806.
Synchrony Bank does offer a mobile app that can help you monitor your transactions and pay bills from a mobile device, so that’s a plus.
Don’t expect many bells and whistles security-wise with this card. You can set up alerts to remind you to make a payment or notify you whenever a purchase is made. You won’t be liable for unauthorized use of the card. Other security features that have become standard in the industry—card lock, access to credit scores, credit report monitoring, and the like are not available.
Because the GapCard is a store credit card and not a regular credit card, many common credit card industry fees just don’t apply—for example, there are no foreign transaction fees, overlimit fees, or cash advance fees. The late payment fee on this card is standard with other credit cards. The main “gotcha” to be aware of with this card is the pricey interest you’ll pay if you carry a balance from month to month.