Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household
Loves being the first to try something new
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
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 Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or Athleta. Then again, consumers should think long and hard about what they may be giving up if they use a store credit card over a rewards credit card.
Earn rewards for Gap stores
Receive special discounts
Inflexible rewards program
Store credit card limitations
- Earn rewards for Gap stores: The GapCard lets you earn 5 points for each $1 spent at Gap family stores, which include Banana Republic, Athleta, and Old Navy. There’s no annual fee either, so you won’t have to pay for the privilege.
- Easy qualification: Store credit cards are usually easier to qualify for than traditional credit cards, so this card can be an option if your credit score isn’t good enough to qualify for a rewards credit card.
- Receive special discounts: The GapCard gives you 20% off and free shipping for the first purchase made with your card. You also get 10% off all Gap and Gap Factory Store purchases and access to ongoing sales and special promotions.
- Inflexible rewards program: While many rewards credit cards let you redeem points for gift cards, travel, merchandise, and more, the GapCard only lets you redeem points for Gap gift certificates.
- Store credit card limitations: While the GapCard works well for purchases at Gap family brand stores, you can’t use this card anywhere else. That makes it a poor option if you want a credit card you can use for emergency purchases.
- High APR: The ongoing interest rate for purchases on this card is a variable rate of 27.99%. 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
The GapCard lets you earn rewards in their program, but the rewards scheme is lackluster. Once you have the card, you’ll earn 5 points for every $1 you spend at Gap family stores, either in-person or online.
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 a lot of money each month. That means you can only earn points at Gap stores.
On the redemption side of the equation, the GapCard is, once again, narrow in scope. You earn 5 points for each $1 you spend at Gap brand family stores, and you can redeem them in increments of 500 for a $5 Gap gift certificate.
Let’s put this in perspective: For every $100 you spend at Gap stores, you’ll earn 500 points worth $5 off at Gap, Athleta, Old Navy, or Banana Republic. That’s the equivalent of getting 5% in rewards, but you can only turn around and spend them on more purchases.
That’s a decent rewards redemption value, but it’s worth considering that many rewards and cash-back credit cards let you earn an initial sign-up bonus and rewards you can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, statement credits, travel, and more.
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.
The GapCard’s Other Features
- 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 in the study, 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. So far, it has received 4.4 out of 5 possible stars on Google Play and 4.6 out of 5 stars on iTunes.
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.