GapCard Review

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The GapCard, issued by Synchrony Bank, is a store credit card with limited utility outside of the Gap brand’s family of stores. Since you earn rewards for your spending and qualify for special discounts, however, this card can be a boon for heavy shoppers who spend a lot at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or Athleta.

GapCard

overall rating
3.2
GapCard
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Not Specified
  • Regular APR (%) 28.24% variable
  • Annual Fee No Annual Fee
  • Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5 points back for ever $1 spent on their brands, in-store and online.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.0
for Rewards
1.9
for Credit
3.5

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
    Brand Loyalist
  • Avatar for Family Shopper Persona
    Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household
    Family Shopper
  • Avatar for Trendsetter Persona
    Loves being the first to try something new
    Trendsetter
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker

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. 

Pros

  • Earn rewards for Gap stores

  • Easy qualification

  • Receive special discounts

Cons

  • Inflexible rewards program

  • Store credit card limitations

  • High APR

  • 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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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 28.24%. 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. 

Redeeming Rewards

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.

Customer Experience

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 their 2018 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, putting them behind all the major card issuers. For the sake of perspective, Synchrony Bank earned 762 out of 1,000 possible points in the study, whereas the industry average was 801. 

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.

Security Features

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.  

GapCard’s Fees

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.

For GapCard

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Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.