The Banana Republic Credit Cards & Rewards Program – Everything You Need to Know

Banana Republic Storefront for Banana Republic Credit Card Review

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The mainstream luxury clothing brand Banana Republic is a favorite of stylish shoppers far and wide.

Focused on bringing customers contemporary yet classic wardrobe pieces, the brand prides itself on its detailed craftsmanship and versatility.

So what about the Banana Republic credit cards? Can they help you save big on your most fashionable finds?

In this review, we’re outlining the differences between the Banana Republic credit cards, the rewards program, the fees and drawbacks of the cards, how to manage your account, and much more.

(We also cover why you might want to consider an alternative rewards credit card, especially to avoid the high APRs of these 4 Banana Republic cards.)

The Banana Republic Credit Cards at a Glance

Banana Republic Credit Card

Banana Republic Visa®

Banana Republic Luxe Card

Banana Republic Luxe Visa®

Main Benefits5️⃣ Earn 5 points per dollar spent across Gap family brands✔️✔️✔️✔️
🙌 20% off first online purchase✔️✔️✔️✔️
👛 Special events, discounts, and promos✔️✔️✔️✔️
📃 Receipt-free returns ✔️✔️✔️✔️
🛍 Double point shopping days✔️✔️
🛍 Triple point shopping days✔️✔️
✨ 20% bonus points each quarter✔️✔️
📦 Free 3-5 day shipping across Gap family brands✔️✔️
🎉 Choose your own sale day✔️✔️
✂️ Unlimited complimentary basic alterations on BR merchandise✔️✔️
💳 1 point per dollar spent anywhere Visa is accepted✔️✔️
🔥 Special Visa cardholder offers and promos✔️✔️
💪 3,000 bonus points for new Visa cardmembers✔️✔️
Annual Fee$0$0$0$0
APR26.74% (variable)26.74% (variable)26.74% (variable)26.74% (variable)
Late FeeUp to $38Up to $38Up to $38Up to $38

All 4 cards listed above are rewards-based co-branded credit cards offered by Gap Inc. (for Banana Republic) and issued by Synchrony Bank.

As you can see from the table, there are basically 2 main types of Banana Republic credit cards:

  • Basic Banana Republic cards
  • Banana Republic Luxe “status” cards

Banana Republic and Banana Republic Visa®

The Banana Republic Basic Credit Cards
Image courtesy of bananarepublic.com.

These 2 cards are the base level credit cards for Banana Republic.

The Banana Republic Credit Card

Of the 4, this is the most basic Banana Republic Card offered.

Most simple store-branded credit cards can only be utilized at the store that issues the card. However, in this case, Banana Republic is a part of the Gap family, so this card can also be utilized at their associated store brands (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta).

The main benefits of the basic Banana Republic credit card include:

5️⃣ Earn 5 points per dollar spent across Gap family brands
🙌 20% off first online purchase*
👛 Special events, discounts, and promos
🛍 Double point shopping days
📃 Receipt-free returns

🎁 Cardholders also receive a “Birthday Gift” if they have made 1 purchase with their Banana Republic within the last 12 months.

*The terms and conditions state that this 20% offer is valid for those that are approved for the Banana Republic Card online. The 20% discount will be applied at checkout to the first single-receipt qualifying purchase made at BananaRepublic.com, and the transaction must be completed with your new Banana Republic card.

The Banana Republic Visa® Card

The Banana Republic Visa® is a step up from the basic credit card. Its Visa® distinction means this card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.

Banana Republic Visa® cardholders enjoy the same baseline perks as Banana Republic credit card cardholders (above),

PLUS:

💳 1 point per dollar spent anywhere Visa is accepted
🔥 Special Visa cardholder offers and promos
💪 3,000 bonus points for new Visa cardmembers w/ qualifying purchase**

**The fine print states that new Visa cardholders will receive 3,000 bonus rewards points if they make a qualifying purchase outside the Gap family of brands.

The terms do not clearly specify what this “qualifying purchase” is. We assume it’s similar to a standard “sign-up bonus” for other popular rewards cards, where cardholders are required to meet a certain minimum spend within the promotional period, thus achieving this one-time bonus.

We have not applied for a Banana Republic card ourselves, so we are not 100% positive on this…but we can assume cardholders would likely receive a notification about specifics of this bonus offer upon approval.

Banana Republic Luxe and Banana Republic Luxe Visa®

Banana Republic Luxe Credit Cards
Image courtesy of bananarepublic.com.

These 2 credit cards are Banana Republic’s “status” or elite spending cards. Shoppers cannot apply for either of these cards outright — Banana Republic Luxe status can only be achieved by those individuals who already hold a current Banana Republic Card or Banana Republic Visa.

Below are the requirements for achieving Luxe status:

  • Earn 5,000 reward points (excluding bonus points/returns) within a calendar year
  • Make the minimum payment by the due date after reaching the 5,000 points
  • Keep their account in good standing

Terms and conditions state that a cardholder’s upgrade to Luxe status will be processed within 90-120 days after the customer qualifies.

Hot Tip: Note that Banana Republic Luxe cardholders must re-qualify each calendar year to achieve their Luxe status — it does not carry over. 

The Banana Republic Luxe Card

All basic Luxe cardholders receive added perks (on top of those mentioned above for basic cardholders).

That means:

5️⃣ Earn 5 points per dollar spent across Gap family brands
🙌 20% off first online purchase*
👛 Special events, discounts, and promos
🛍 Triple point shopping days
📃 Receipt-free returns

🎁 Cardholders also receive a “Birthday Gift” if they have made 1 purchase with their card within the last 12 months.

*The terms and conditions state that this 20% offer is valid for those that are approved for the Banana Republic Card online. The 20% discount will be applied at checkout to the first single-receipt qualifying purchase made at BananaRepublic.com, and the transaction must be completed with your new Banana Republic card.

PLUS:

✨ 20% bonus points each quarter
📦 Free 3-5 day shipping across Gap family brands
🎉 Choose your own sale day
✂️ Unlimited complimentary basic alterations on BR merchandise

AND:
☎️ A dedicated cardholder hotline

As with the basic Banana Republic card, the Banana Republic Luxe Card can only be utilized at Banana Republic and the Gap family of stores (GapOld Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta).

Hot Tip: Free shipping on online orders does not automatically apply; Luxe cardholders must enter the code LUXE at checkout. 

The Banana Republic Luxe Visa®

The Luxe Visa card is the upgraded version of the Banana Republic Visa® and the most rewarding card offered in this lineup.

Again, due to it’s Visa distinction, this card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. 

So, in addition to all of the benefits above (basic + Luxe status perks), the Banana Republic Luxe Visa® includes:

💳 1 point per dollar spent anywhere Visa is accepted
🔥 Special Visa cardholder offers and promos
💪 3,000 bonus points for new Visa cardmembers w/ qualifying purchase**

**To become a Banana Republic Luxe Visa cardholder, you would have initially been a Banana Republic Visa cardholder who was upgraded due to elite points earning. Therefore, it’s probable that you would have received this particular new Visa cardmember offer upon initial approval for your card. Terms and conditions state each account is only eligible for 1 new cardmember offer, so it’s extremely unlikely you would be given the opportunity for this bonus again.

Additional Visa Card Benefits

Lastly, in addition to all of the perks mentioned above, Visa cardholders are entitled to even more benefits that come standard with all Visa credit cards:

🔐 Chip and signature technology
🚫 Zero fraud liability
📞 Cardholder inquiry service
🕵️‍♂️ Lost or stolen card reporting
🆘 Emergency card replacement and cash disbursement
🚗 Auto rental collision damage waiver
🚧 Roadside dispatch® (a pay per use system)

Banana Republic (Gap Family) Rewards: In Depth

Gap Inc Rewards Program
Image courtesy of gap.com.

Earning Your Points

In general, the rewards program utilized by Banana Republic is pretty simple. Actually, it’s the same rewards program that’s used across all Gap Inc. brands.

Regardless of which of the 4 Banana Republic cards you are using, the basic earnings strategy is the same.

Cardholders earn 5 points for every $1 spent across the Gap brands. These points are earned on purchases made in-store, online, or by phone.

To be clear, we’ve listed the Gap family of brands here:

  • Gap
  • Gap Body
  • babyGap
  • Gap Kids
  • Gap Maternity
  • Gap Outlet
  • Gap Factory Store
  • Banana Republic
  • Banana Republic Factory
  • Old Navy
  • Old Navy Outlet
  • Athleta

As mentioned previously, if you’re a Banana Republic Visa® or Banana Republic Luxe Visa® cardholder, you’ll also earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases (anywhere Visa is accepted).

Also as stated above, if you’re a Luxe or Luxe Visa® cardholder, you’ll be eligible to earn 20% bonus points each quarter. (These points will be applied to your account once the quarter is complete.)

All cardholders also have the ability to earn a one-time bonus of 500 points each for:

  • Connecting with EMAIL by submitting a valid account number and email address
  • Connecting with EBILL by signing up for paperless statements via the online portal

Hot Tip: Banana Republic cardholders can utilize their mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay) to make in-store purchases and earn rewards. 

How Rewards Are Issued

Banana Republic Rewards Program
Image courtesy of bananarepublic.com.

For every 500 points a cardholder earns, a $5 reward is issued. 

Rewards are issued to the member’s account at the end of each billing cycle and are available for use at any of the Gap family stores, not just Banana Republic. (See more on using your rewards below.)

Technically, there is no limit to the number of points a rewards member can earn. However, the fine print of the program does state that the maximum amount that will be awarded in any one billing cycle is $250.

Additional terms state that any number of points less than those required for the lowest reward denomination (i.e. <500) will be carried over and applied toward the rewards for the next billing cycle.

Here’s an example from Gap’s reward program terms and conditions:

“If you earn 2,700 Points on your Gap Account, you will receive a $25 Reward and 200 Points will carry forward in your Rewards balance for your next billing cycle; if you earn 5,000 Points on your Banana Republic Account, you will receive a $50 Reward; and if you earn 1,500 Points on your Old Navy Account, you will receive a $15 Reward.”

Hot Tip: Remember, all of these stores in the Gap family utilize the same rewards program, and rewards can be earned/spent interchangeably.

Using Your Rewards

Each reward that is issued to your account will have a clear expiration date. You must make your purchase within the valid window in order to apply your rewards. Once expired, rewards will under no circumstances be reissued.

Rewards members are allowed to redeem up to 3 rewards in a single transaction if they are purchasing items in store. However, this is upped to 5 rewards in a single transaction if shopping online or making a purchase over the phone.

Shoppers are allowed to stack their rewards on top of 1 other promotional offer, AND rewards can be applied toward sale items at any store location.

With every program comes stipulations:

  • When redeeming a reward, the purchase amount must be greater than the reward amount. (i.e., you can’t use $30 in rewards for a $25 purchase)
  • The residual cash amount owed on your purchase after redeeming the rewards certificates MUST be paid with a Gap Inc. credit card.
  • Rewards may only be utilized by the rewards member who earned them — you may not gift your rewards to another shopper.

Managing Your Rewards

We present additional information on viewing/managing your rewards account in the Login & Online (Or App-Based) Account Management section below.

Fees & Drawbacks of the Banana Republic Cards

No credit card comes without fees and drawbacks to be aware of. With the Banana Republic Cards, these can be pretty intense if you’re not careful.

Fees

Banana Republic Card & Banana Republic Luxe CardBanana Republic Visa & Banana Republic Luxe Visa
Annual Fee$0$0
Purchase APR26.74% (variable)26.74% (variable)
Cash Advance APRn/a28.74% (variable)
Cash Advance Feen/a$10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance (whichever is greater)
Minimum Interest Charge$2$2
Foreign Transaction Feen/a3% of each transaction
Late FeeUp to $38Up to $38

While there is no annual fee — which is a plus — there are certainly some other hefty fees in that table. So how do you go about avoiding them?

This is no secret: be a responsible cardholder. 

What does that mean? It means paying off your statement in full and on time, each and every month. If for some reason you cannot pay the full amount, you should attempt to pay as much as you possibly can and again, do so on time.

At the very least, you should make the minimum payment. You do NOT want a considerable balance to carry forward on your account.

Acting as a responsible cardholder will result in keeping extra fees and penalties to a minimum.

As you can see above, the purchase APR on this card is pretty massive. At 26.74% variable, a hefty credit card balance could get you into trouble really quick. (If a low APR is important to you, check out our article on the best 0% APR credit cards.)

Additional Drawbacks

There are a few important drawbacks to consider outside of fees and penalties.

The Banana Republic & Banana Republic Luxe cards (the basic credit cards) can only be utilized at BR and across the Gap family of stores.

Accordingly, you can only earn points at these stores, and the rewards you earn can only be redeemed at these stores.

If you’re an avid Banana Republic shopper then this likely isn’t a big drawback to you. However, if you’re looking for a more diverse way to shop, earn points, and utilize rewards, then this could put you in a bind.

While these cards may often offer bonus point shopping days at the Gap brand stores, you won’t ever earn rewards in categories like dining, travel, gas, etc. (where many people spend a large chunk of their hard-earned income).

If you’re looking to add a Banana Republic card to an arsenal of credit cards you’re already utilizing for maximizing your everyday spending, then more power to you.

But if you’re only looking for a simple go-to credit card to earn the most bang for your buck, you should consider the alternative cards listed below.

Alternative Rewards Credit Cards (Recommended)

Earning cash-back is one of the main reasons that someone would sign up for a Banana Republic credit card, but we’d recommend looking at other cash-back cards instead that are — in our opinion, more rewarding.

An excellent cash-back card is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which earns 1.5% cash-back across all purchases, on top of a generous sign-up bonus (which can be used as cash anywhere).

Put another way: you’d need to spend a whopping $3,000 at Banana Republic to earn enough points to match the sign up bonus you get with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (15,000 points = $150)!

This card also has a 0% intro APR for the first 15 months, which means you could transfer any existing balances that you have across other cards and potentially save a lot of money in interest payments.

(As we highlighted above in this article, Banana Republic credit cards have extremely high APRs!)

If you combine the Chase Freedom Unlimited® with a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you could even convert that cash-back into Chase Ultimate Rewards, and then use those points for maximum value on flights and hotels.

Applying for the Banana Republic Cards

Shoppers who want to apply for a Banana Republic credit card can do so in one of 2 ways:

Hot Tip: There is only ONE application for the Banana Republic credit cards. When you apply, you are first considered for the Banana Republic Visa; if you do not meet those requirements for approval you are then considered for the Banana Republic basic credit card. 

Neither Synchrony Bank nor Gap Inc. publicly lists the minimum credit score needed for approval on their cards.

However, most credit card review sites generally agree that individuals with a fair credit score are likely to be approved for the basic card, while individuals with a good credit score are likely to be approved for the Visa version.

Remember, the “Luxe” cards cannot be applied for directly — these are only issued to current basic cardholders who reach the elite spending bracket of 5,000+ points in a calendar year.

Login & Online (or App-Based) Account Management

Online Management

Online Account Management Banana Republic
Image courtesy of synchronycredit.com.

Synchrony Bank provides a dedicated platform for Banana Republic cardholders to manage their account online.

If this is your first time utilizing the platform, you’ll need to register your card to create an account. If you’ve already registered, you simply log in with your username and password.

The platform allows users to manage their account in the following ways:

  • View account activity
  • View billing statements
  • Make a payment
  • Set up paperless statements (earn bonus points!)
  • Set up alerts
  • …and more

Hot Tip: Banana Republic cardholders cannot pay their bill in-store. The options for payment are either online (or via the app), by phone, or by mail. 

App Management

Banana Republic iPhone App
Image courtesy of itunes.apple.com.

As an alternative option to desktop online management, Banana Republic offers a mobile app (Apple) with a tab/platform for account management.

The app actually has pretty great ratings in the iTunes app store: 4.8 stars from over 15.8K ratings.

Via the “Wallet” tab within the app, users can manage many aspects of their account, including:

  • Managing your Gap Inc. credit card
    • Viewing statements
    • Setting up alerts
    • Paying bills
    • …and more
  • Managing points and rewards
    • Tracking progress
    • Linking cards
    • …and more

Unfortunately, at this time the Android app does not appear to offer users the option to manage their Banana Republic card.

Final Thoughts

Banana Republic Homepage
Image courtesy of bananarepublic.com.

If you’re a devoted Banana Republic (or Gap brand) shopper, then you’re likely to appreciate these particular credit cards. This is especially true if you achieve the coveted Banana Republic Luxe status and are awarded the added perks that come with it.

When it comes to fees and penalties, they’re pretty harsh…so be sure you’re acting as a responsible cardholder to minimize them.

Remember, if you don’t qualify for the Visa version of the card, you won’t be able to use them anywhere but Banana Republic and the other Gap brand stores (Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta).

Similarly, no matter which card you use to earn points (Basic, Visa, Luxe, or Luxe Visa), your rewards will only come in the form of certificates to be redeemed at Banana and the Gap Family of stores.

If you’re looking for 1 simple credit card to maximize your spending/rewards, a credit card that’s more flexible with its earning/redemption options, or a credit card that will earn you rewards related to travel, then this isn’t the card for you.

If you already use a collection of cards to maximize your everyday spending, and a majority of your clothing related expenses are spread across the Gap family of stores, then a Banana Republic card could be worth adding to your arsenal.


*Featured image credit: JStone / Shutterstock.com

FAQ

Is the Banana Republic credit card worth it?

That depends on your spending habits. If you spend a generous amount of money on clothing, specifically at Banana Republic and the Gap Family of brands (Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, & Athleta), then yes – the Banana Republic credit card is likely worth it. This is especially true if you earn the Banana Republic Luxe status that affords you even more bonus points and discounts.

If you’re not one to spend a lot of money on clothes or like to diversify your wardrobe across a number of different brands not limited to the Gap Family, then there are likely better cards out there for you. This is especially true if your general spending habits allot a larger chunk of your finances to things like groceries, dining out, travel, gas, etc. (see our alternative cards section above)

Does the Banana Republic credit card have an annual fee?

No, none of the Banana Republic credit cards have an annual fee.

Remember though, it’s not just the annual fee that you need to be concerned about. Remember to check fees and penalties like APR, late fees, cash advance fees and foreign transaction fees. (you can find more on the fees specific to the BR credit card in our Fees & Drawbacks section above)

Can I use my Banana Republic credit card anywhere?

That depends on which Banana Republic card you have.

If you have a Banana Republic or Banana Republic Luxe credit card (basic) – you can only use it at Banana Republic and other Gap Family stores (Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, & Athleta).

If you have the Banana Republic Visa or Banana Republic Luxe Visa, the cards can be utilized anywhere Visa is accepted.

Basically, if the card has the Visa logo on the front, you’re good to spend almost anywhere.

How does the Banana Republic credit card work?

Basically, when you make purchases with your Banana Republic credit card you earn points towards their rewards program. Once you earn a certain number of points, you’re issued a reward certificate. You may use this rewards certificate for purchases at any of the Gap Family of brands (Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta).

Currently, 500 points earns you a $5 reward.  All Banana Republic Cardholders earn 5 points/$1 spent across the Gap Family of brands, and Banana Republic Visa cardholders also earn 1 point/$1 on all other purchases.

For additional information, refer to our in-depth explanation of Banana Republic’s rewards section above.

Who issues the Banana Republic credit card?

The Banana Republic credit card is issued by Synchrony Bank. This is in partnership with Gap INC, who also offer Gap and Old Navy credit cards that are also issued by Synchrony Bank. All of these cards can be utilized across the Gap Family of brands and work in pretty much the same way.

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