The Banana Republic Credit Card: Why You Should Own One

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Credit is a “consumer-driven” force that is lender-funded, and literally drives the U.S. economy. The key for credit card users is to choose the credit card that provides the most flexibility with the lowest number of fees and charges.  Credit cards should be viewed as a consumer product, and with that in mind, you should be looking for the least expensive card possible. When it comes to the Banana Republic, the company actually offers two choices for consumer credit, which are the Banana Credit revolving credit account, which is exclusively for purchases from Banana Republic, and there is the Banana Republic Visa Credit Card.

Using either of these cards will earn rewards points, and it has they both have the capacity to help you save money. It is important to pay attention to higher APRs.

Quick Facts

The Banana Republic revolving credit account is for those who have fair credit, which also means that the interest rate on the card will be relatively high in comparison to other types of cards. While this card does not have an annual fee, it does have a 24.99 variable interest rate. So basically, you can still take advantage of the benefits of shopping with the card, but it will be in your best interest to make sure that the entire balance is paid off each month to avoid higher interest penalties.

With this card you can earn five points for every $1 spent at Banana Republic and any of its affiliate brands — whether online on in the store.

Banana Republic affiliates include:

It is also possible for new applicants to receive as much as 2,000 bonus reward points when they agree to sign up for email message and voice message updates. The company will issue a $10 reward certificate for every 1,000 points that the card holder earns

The Banana Republic Visa Card can be used anywhere where Visa is accepted. It has a similar setup to the revolving account. It is designed for those with fair credit, which means that the interest rate is set at 24.99 variable. There is also no annual fee for this account.

With the Banana Republic Visa card, there are more benefits associated with using the card than with the revolving account. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Earn five points for every $1 spent at Banana Republic and any of its affiliates
  • Earn one point for every $1 on all other purchases
  • The existence of double-point shopping days, as well as double-points on designated purchases.

There are some additional benefits offered on this card that is not offered on the revolving account. For instance, when the new cardholder makes a purchase from Banana Republic within the first 90 days of receiving the card, they will receive an additional 15 percent off of their purchase.

Cardholders will also have access to some exclusive deals that will be scheduled through the calendar year, as well as receiving an advance warning of upcoming sales and merchandise releases. Also, a special birthday offer will be made. If the cardholder spends a minimum of $800, they will automatically be upgraded to the Luxe Card by Banana Republic — which is a card that offers significantly more benefits.

Fees

Do not expect the great introductory rates offered by other cards. Both cards have a regular APR of 24.99 percent. While this interest rate is significantly higher, it can be avoided by using the card to gain the benefits and paying the entire balance before the balance becomes due. You can learn when your balance will become due each month by contacting the customer service department.

While the revolving account does not have a cash advance option, the Visa card does, and the same 24.99 APR applies to all cash advances. The cash advance fee is four percent, with a $10 minimum. All foreign transaction fees for the Visa card will be subject to a three percent fee.

Both cards will charge up to $38 for late fees when the amount due is not paid on or before the due date.

The Bank

Both cards are issued through Synchrony Bank, which was known as GE Capital Retail Bank. The bank is a part of the General Electric financial sector. The bank has had some recent difficult with a number of complaints coming in suggesting that the terms are too confusing and the customer service leaves something to be desired. There has not been a lot of complaints that are directly associated with Banana Republic products.

Summary

Both cards have high interest rates, but when the fact that these cards are designed for individuals who don’t have great credit, it makes sense. The good news is that the interest rate will become a non-factor if the due amount is paid off prior to the due date. Failing to pay off the complete balance will likely lead to maxing out the card relatively quick. Even someone who does not pay off the entire balance should pay off a minimum of 65 percent of the total amount — paying off the balance the following month.

The key is to take advantage of the savings, while simultaneously using early payments and paying more than the minimum to build your credit rating. Once you improve your credit rating you will be able to apply for a card with a much lower interest rate.

Unlike many other store cards that offer revolving credit accounts, the Banana Republic credit card allows you to shop at a variety of stores that are affiliated with the Banana Republic. This versatility allows you to save money as you shop at multiple locations. Depending on the frequency at which you shop at these locations, you could end up accumulating a lot of rewards points in a relatively short period of time.

Failure to properly manage how you pay on the money spent on the card will determine your savings. As mentioned earlier, failure to pay off the balance each month will quickly negate any savings that you may accumulate by using it.


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