Full Review of Gap Visa Credit Card
High rewards at Gap-branded stores
20% discount off your first purchase
Extra shopping perks
Eligibility for Gap Silver status
Foreign transaction fees
Confusing application process
- High Rewards at Gap-Branded Stores: As a Gap Visa cardmember, you'll earn 5 points for every $1 spent at Gap-branded stores, including Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and, of course, the Gap itself. Plus, you'll get 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- 20% Discount Off Your First Purchase: Once approved, you’ll receive a 20% discount on your first purchase with your credit card. The discount can only be used at Gap or Gap Factory, can only be used once, and must be used within 30 days of your opening the account.
- Extra Shopping Perks: As a cardmember, you're entitled to special perks, including:
- 10% off when you use your credit card at Gap and Gap Factory stores
- Access to exclusive cardholder events with extra discounts
- Bonus point shopping days
- A birthday gift
- No receipt necessary for returns
- Eligibility for Gap Silver Status: If you earn 5,000 points in a calendar year—meaning you spent $1,000 at Gap-branded stores or $5,000 on non-Gap purchases, or a combination thereof—you'll qualify for Gap Silver status. At this level, you’ll get extra benefits, such as a 20% quarterly bonus reward, free online shipping, and basic alterations on Banana Republic purchases. You’ll also have access to a special customer service hotline.
- Sky-High APR: Store-branded credit cards tend to have high APRs, and the Gap Visa card is no exception. The APR for this card is 27.49% on purchases, as of March 2020. According to the Federal Reserve, the average APR for all credit cards assessed interest is just 16.88%, as of Dec. 2019. While the Gap Visa’s APR is pretty much in line with other store-branded cards', it’s high in the overall scheme of things, particularly given the declining interest-rate environment. You can avoid costly interest fees by paying off your balance in full each month. But if you tend to carry a balance, you might want to consider shopping around for a card that has a lower APR. For example, the Chase Freedom card offers 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months when you transfer a balance within 60 days of account opening. After that, your APR will be 16.49% to 25.24%.
- Foreign Transaction Fees: If you plan on traveling outside of the United States, pay attention to the Gap Visa card's foreign transaction fees. You’ll pay a fee equal to 3% of every purchase whenever you use the card in another country or even when you’re at home and you buy something from a foreign vendor. If you were to spend $1,000 on such transactions, that means you’d pay $30 in fees. Many other cards don't charge foreign transaction fees. For instance, the SavorOne Rewards from Capital One card has no annual fee, charges no foreign transaction fees, and you’ll earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment.
- Confusing Application Process: When you apply for a Gap Visa card, you're actually considered for two different cards: the Gap Visa card and the GapCard. The Gap Visa can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, while the GapCard can only be used at Gap-branded stores. (The major terms—APR, fees, etc.—are the same on both, but obviously, the latter is less useful, and might be irksome if you don’t want your wallet filled with lots of plastic). You don’t get to specify or submit an application for only one type of card. When you send in your information, Synchrony Bank— the financial institution that services Gap credit card applications—will consider you for the Gap Visa card. If you are not approved for that card, you are automatically considered for the GapCard, instead.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
First, and foremost, fans of this fashion brand are best suited for the Gap Visa. If you enjoy shopping at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, or Athleta and spend hundreds of dollars on clothing and accessories per year, the Gap Visa card may be for you. It has no annual fee, so it should be painless to add the card to your wallet.
Because the card has such a high APR on purchases, the Gap Visa card is best for fashionistas who pay off their balance in full each month. Otherwise, hefty interest charges will accrue.
Gap Visa Bonus
When you're approved for the Gap Visa, you'll receive a 20% discount code and free shipping on your first purchase with the card. You have 30 days from the date of opening an account to redeem your discount, and it can only be used on Gap or Gap Factory purchases.
That discount could help you save a significant amount of money if you're planning on updating your wardrobe. For example, let's say you added a blazer, a pair of jeans, and a dress from Gap to your shopping cart, bringing your total to $307.90. If it was your first purchase as a Gap Visa cardmember and you used your 20% discount, you’d get $61.58 off the total. You'd pay just $246.32, instead.
Rewards Earning Details
With this card, you'll earn 5 points per $1 spent at Gap-branded stores, including Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta. You'll also earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
You won’t earn rewards on babyGap OutfitBox or Old Navy SuperBox subscription services.
Rewards Redemption Details
For every $500 points you earn on your account, you'll get a $5 reward you can redeem in-store or online. The maximum you can redeem at one time is $50.
There is no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn. However, no more than $250 in rewards will be issued in one billing cycle. If your rewards exceed that amount, any extra reward points will be carried over to the next billing cycle.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
To get the most value from your Gap Visa card, use it whenever you shop at Gap-branded stores. With it, you’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases from Gap brands.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American consumer spent $1,866 on apparel in 2018. If you spent that much on clothing from Gap-branded stores and used your credit card to pay for those purchases, you’d earn 9,330 points.
You'll receive a $5 reward for every 500 points you earn, so those 9,330 points would translate to $90 in rewards, with 330 points left over.
The Gap Visa card's benefits are typical of a store-branded card. Perks include:
- 10% off when you shop at Gap or Gap Factory stores
- Access to special events and discounts
- Bonus point shopping days
- Special birthday gift
- No receipt necessary for returns
Like most store-branded cards nowadays, the Gap Visa card isn't managed by Gap, Inc. Instead, it’s serviced by Synchrony Bank, a national credit card issuer.
Unfortunately, Synchrony doesn’t have a great reputation for customer service. According to J.D. Power’s Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Synchrony was ranked 10th out of 11 card issuers. The average ranking for a national card issuer was 806, while Synchrony’s ranking was just 780.
You can reach Synchrony's customer service team by calling 800-887-1198. You can also chat with a customer representative through your account portal.
The Gap Visa has basic security features that are standard for credit cards. You’re covered by zero liability protection, so you’re not responsible for unauthorized transactions. And, the card has chip and signature technology for added security.
While the Gap Visa offers an impressive 5 points per $1 spent on Gap-brand purchases, you’re limited to shopping only at Gap-branded stores to earn the higher rewards rate, and you can only redeem your rewards at Gap-branded stores. The rewards rate for anything else (1 point for $1) is pretty par for the credit card course these days.
And when you figure in the sky-high APR, the card’s even less of a bargain, especially if you’re the type who carries an outstanding balance from month to month.
If you are a big Gap fan, you might as well go for the Gap Visa, with its option to be used elsewhere. But if you're not a Gap devotee, you're likely better off with a retail-oriented, general rewards card that offers more rewards on every purchase and that has more redemption options. For example, the QuicksilverOne card from Capital One offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make from any merchant, and you can redeem your rewards for cash, statement credits, or even gift cards. And if you have a strong credit score, you can probably qualify for a lower rate elsewhere than the Gap Visa’s high purchase APR.