Banana Republic Rewards vs. Bloomingdale's Credit Cards

If it's between Banana Republic and Bloomingdale's credit cards, Banana Republic aficionados (and those who also favor its sister companies — the Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta) earn valuable discounts and perks with the Banana Republic Visa card.

The Winner

The Banana Republic Visa credit card offers more perks than the Bloomingdale's credit card

If you're already a loyal customer at Banana Republic and its sister companies—the Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta—you'll earn valuable perks by signing up for and using the Banana Republic Visa credit card.

(Skip the store credit card—you won't be able to use it at other stores, so it limits the number of points you can earn).

Speaking of points, you'll earn five points for every dollar you spend in store at Banana Republic and its affiliated stores, and one point per dollar for all other purchases.

So for every $100 you spend, you'll earn a $10 rewards card redeemable at Banana Republic.

Plus, this no annual fee Visa-branded credit card entitles fashion lovers to extra perks like advanced notice of big sales and even a gift on your birthday.

Why You Should Consider These Cards

If you're a loyal retail shopper who already spends a lot of cash at Banana Republic or Bloomingdale's, cash-in on extra perks and bonus points by signing up for its branded credit card.

Banana Republic vs. Bloomingdale's Shoppers

You should consider these cards if you are a loyal Banana Republic or Bloomingdale's shopper

Both Banana Republic and Bloomingdale's offer store-branded credit cards that enable you to earn bonus points and perks when you shop at their stores.

You're the ideal customer for the Banana Republic Visa if you want to earn reward certificates off future purchases

To find out whether the Banana Republic Visa is a good fit for your wallet, answer these questions.

  • Do you have a credit score greater than 700?
  • Do you frequently shop at Banana Republic or sister stores The Gap, Athleta, or Old Navy?
  • Do you pay off your credit card balance in full each month?

If you answered yes to the questions above, then the Banana Republic Visa may be a good credit card for you.

You're the perfect customer for Bloomingdale's Amex if you already spend a lot at Bloomie's and want to earn store credit

Wondering whether the Bloomingdale's Amex is a better bet for you? Answer the questions below to find out.

  • Are you a frequent Bloomingdale's shopper?
  • Do you like to purchase cosmetics, fragrances, and shoes?
  • Do you frequently eat out at restaurants?

If you answered yes, then the Bloomingdale's Amex is a good credit card to consider.

The Winner's Strengths

You'll earn 5% back on all your purchases at Banana Republic, the Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta when you use the Banana Republic Visa.

The Banana Republic Visa is stronger because it offers you more store rewards

For those who love shopping at Banana Republic more than Amazon or other retail stores, you'll get the most bang for you buck when using the Banana Republic Visa.

For those who live by Amazon, there are cards and rewards programs to check out.

In addition to a 20% first-purchase discount, they'll also earn 5% back on all purchases at Banana Republic, the Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta.

Oh, and 1% on purchases everywhere else. (So no need to sign up for the Gap credit card also, although check it out if flush Gap cash rewards serve you more).

The rewards come in the form of 5 points for every dollar spent at Banana Republic and its affiliated stores.

Every 500 points will earn you a $5 Banana Republic store credit.

Plus, there's no annual fee. And you'll receive a gift on your birthday.

People love it because of its "Luxe"-status benefits

Cardholders who spend $1,000 or more a year qualify for "Luxe" status.

In addition to earning a 20% quarterly rewards bonus, you'll also score free alterations on Banana Republic purchases, and free shipping on online orders.

That's not all—there are also "Triple Points" and "Choose Your Own Sale" days—which will help you rack up the bonus points even quicker!

The biggest customer complaint about the card is that points expire and there's a foreign transaction fee

Consumers complained that points earned on the Banana Republic Visa expire after 24 months—so you're best off using them when you earn them.

Also, the card isn't a smart one to use when traveling abroad because it charges a 3% fee on all transactions outside of the United States.

Counter-Argument

If you buy cosmetics, shoes, and fragrances at Bloomingdale's, the Bloomingdale's Amex can help you earn bonus points redeemable for store credit.

The Bloomingdale's Amex could be a better bet if you are a loyal Bloomingdale's shopper

When you apply for the Bloomingdale's Amex, you'll get a one-time 15% discount on purchases up to $250.

For every Bloomingdale's purchase, you'll earn three points per dollar, and six points per dollar spent on cosmetics, fragrances.

What Beauty and Care Products Do U.S. Consumers Purchase? (2017)

Every 5,000 points earn you a $25 Bloomingdale's gift card.

You'll also earn four points per dollar spent at restaurants, and two points per dollar spent on all other non-Bloomingdale's purchases.

(Skip the Bloomingdale's store credit card, which can't be used elsewhere and only earns you up to two points for every dollar.)

Those who spend $3,500 or more each year at Bloomingdale's qualify for 'top-of-the-list' status—they'll get free delivery and four points for every dollar spent at Bloomie's and eight points per dollar spent on cosmetics, fragrances, and shoes.

People love the it because of "Triple Points Days"

Those who spend $3,500 or more a year on their Bloomingdale's Amex qualify for 'top-of-the-list' status.

Among the perks is the ability to participate in "Triple Points Days," which can help you accumulate reward points more quickly.

You'll also get unlimited complimentary gift-wrapping services and free delivery.

The biggest customer complaint about the card is that the discount for opening the card is limited

Customers were surprised to discover that the 15% discount for opening the Bloomingdale's card only qualifies for up to a $250 purchase—limiting the sign-on discount to $37.50.

Those making extra-large purchases felt they lost out.

Other customers complained about the need to spend rewards points quickly since 75% of unused rewards points expire December 31 of each year.

How the Banana Republic Visa compares to its top competitor

Banana Republic Rewards Visa Bloomingdale's Amex
How high of credit score do you need?

>700

>720

Average APR?

25.99%

26.49%

Annual fee?

$0

$0

How big of sign-up bonus do you get?

None

None

How much do you need to spend to get the bonus?

n/a

n/a

How many points do you get for every dollar?

5 points for every $1 spent at Banana Republic, Athleta, Gap, and Old Navy

1 point per $1 everywhere else

3 points for every $1 spent at Bloomingdale's

6 points for cosmetics, shoes, and fragrances

4 points for every $1 spent at restaurants

2 points per dollar everywhere else

Those who spend $3,500 or more earn 8 per dollar spent on shoes, cosmetics, and fragrances, and 4 points per dollar on all other Bloomingdale's purchases.

Any restrictions?

n/a

n/a

If you spent $100 on the card, then how much would the points be worth in dollars?

$5

$1.50-$4

How much would you need to spend on the card to make up for the fees (excluding APR/rates)?

No annual fee

No annual fee

Bonuses and Benefits

Both cards offer a one-time discount for signing up.

The Banana Republic Visa offers 3,000-point bonus for purchases outside of company brands

The Visa version of the Banana Republic card can be used to earn points on purchases outside of the Banana Republic family of brands.

And, when you make your first qualifying purchase within 30 days of opening the account, you'll earn 3,000 bonus points (worth $30).

It may take up to two billing periods for the bonus points to post to your account.

The Bloomingdale's Amex offers premium travel services

With the Bloomingdale's card, you'll earn travel perks in addition to a 15% one-time discount for applying for the card (on purchases up to $250).

Travel discounts. With the Bloomingdale's Amex, you'll gain access to low airfare rates, up to 20% discount on hotels and car rentals, special cruise fares, and $100 off qualifying vacation packages.

Cost and Fees

Neither card has an annual fee—a fact that increases your potential savings!

But watch out for those foreign transaction fees

Both the Banana Republic Visa and the Bloomingdale's Amex charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, making these cards less than ideal for an upcoming trip abroad.

Standard fees still apply. While you won't pay an annual fee, the cards both have hefty late fees of up to $38, as well as cash advance fees.

Customer Service

Banana Republic offers better customer service than Bloomingdale's—especially if you're a Luxe customer.

Important Part of Customer Service Satisfaction (2017)

Banana Republic Luxe customers have their own customer support number

Those who reach Luxe status by spending $1,000 or more a year on their Banana Republic Visa have their own exclusive customer service line (1-866-450-2335).

The regular Banana Republic customer service line is available by calling 1-800-234-7455.

Customers generally said that the customer service was good.

Bloomingdale's customer service is better with American Express

For a high-end department store, the regular Bloomingdale's credit card customer support line was not helpful to many consumers, particularly when it came to protecting yourself from identity theft.

While the Bloomingdale's card is backed by American Express, you'll have to call Bloomingdale's customer service with any questions or issues.

You can reach them at (888) 257-6762 Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EST and Sundays from 11:00 am through 8:00 pm EST.

Key Digital Services

Pay your bill online or set up auto-pay on the Banana Republic and Bloomingdale's websites

Set up auto-pay for your Banana Republic Visa via Synchrony Bank

The Banana Republic Visa is managed by Synchrony Bank.

You can pay your bill by logging online to Synchrony Bank's website.

Many customers prefer to set up auto-pay to prevent any late fees.

Bloomingdale's lets you view your rewards points balance online

To pay your credit card, view your rewards balance, or redeem points for Bloomingdale's store credit, go online to Bloomingdales.com.

You'll also be able to view the additional perks you qualify for by using the Bloomingdale's credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What does each card provider offer new customers as incentives?

    When you sign-up for the Banana Republic Visa, you'll get a one-time 20% discount off your order.

    When you sign-up for the Bloomingdale's Amex, you'll get a one-time 15% discount on purchases up to $250.

  • What does each card provider offer as ongoing incentives for loyal customers?

    You'll earn 5% back on purchases at Banana Republic, the Gap, Athleta, and Old Navy with the Banana Republic Visa, as well as 1% on all other purchases.

    The Bloomingdale's Amex offers you three points for every $1 spent at Bloomingdale's and six points for cosmetics, shoes, and fragrances.

    Those who spend $3,500 or more earn four points for every $1 spent at restaurants and two points per dollar on everything else.

  • What are the interest rates for each card provider?

    The Bloomingdale's Amex has an APR of 26.49%.

    The Banana Republic Visa charges 25.99% APR.

  • Does either card have an annual fee?

    No.

  • What about a foreign transaction fee?

    Both cards charge a 3% fee on all international purchases.

  • What credit score range should you be in before applying for each card?

    You'll want to have "Excellent" credit for the Bloomingdale's Amex (>720) and "Very Good" credit for the Banana Republic Visa (>700) to sail through the credit approval process.

    If your credit score is 650 or more, you may still be able to qualify for the store-branded credit cards, which cannot be used elsewhere and have smaller credit lines.

  • How do I apply for each card?

    To apply for the Banana Republic Visa, visit the Banana Republic website.

    If you'd like to sign up for the Bloomingdale's Amex, you can also apply on the Bloomingdale's website.

  • How do I cancel each card?

    If you'd like to cancel either your credit card, just call the customer service number on the back of your credit card—that way, you'll reach a customer service agent who specializes in your credit card.

    With both cards, you'll have to pay off your balance before the account can be closed.

    Be sure to redeem any cash-back available before closing the account, or you risk forfeiting it.

Earn up to 5% in rewards with the Banana Republic Visa

Unless you're a loyal Bloomingdale's shopper who won't shop anywhere else, the Banana Republic Visa is a smart addition to your wallet.

You'll earn up to 5% in rewards (redeemable for store credit) at not only Banana Republic, but also the Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta.

You'll also get a free birthday gift, 20% discount when you open the card and can qualify for Luxe benefits like free alterations and Triple Points Days.

For the loyal Banana Republic shopper, the Banana Republic Visa is a no-brainer.

If you're a loyal retail shopper who already spends a lot of cash at Banana Republic or Bloomingdale's, cash in on extra perks and bonus points by signing up for their branded credit card.

You'll earn 5% back on all your purchases at Banana Republic, the Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta when you use the Banana Republic Visa.

If you buy cosmetics, shoes, and fragrances at Bloomingdale's, the Bloomingdale's Amex can help you earn bonus points redeemable for store credit.

Both cards offer a one-time discount for signing up.

Neither card has an annual fee—a fact that increases your potential savings!

Banana Republic offers better customer service than Bloomingdale's—especially if you're a Luxe customer.

Do you use the Banana Republic Rewards credit card?

How has the company worked out for you?

Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?

Let us know in the comments below.


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