Is the Old Navy Credit Card Worth It?

FT Contributor  | 

Old Navy is a popular apparel retailer, offering moderately priced basics and trendy “fast fashion” for the whole family. A member of the Gap family of brands, clothing can be purchased online and in any of the hundreds of stores located in shopping centers across the country.

Old Navy offers a branded credit card, issued by Synchrony Bank. Like many store cards, it comes with a high APR (currently 25.99%) but offers some attractive rewards and perks for regular Old Navy shoppers. It’s an easy card to qualify for, requiring a minimum credit score in the low 600’s, and doesn’t charge an annual fee. If you’re considering applying for one of these cards, there are some pros and cons to carrying it.

Features

The Old Navy credit card might be branded for that particular store, but it can be used at any of the Gap family of brands, including Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, and Hill City. The card can be used both online and in-store.

For customers, the primary selling point of the card is the opportunity to earn rewards that turn into coupons that can be applied to purchases. Cardholders earn five points for every $1 spent at Gap brands, and 500 points equal a $5 reward.

The rewards may only be used for purchases with Gap brands. However, they can be combined with other promotions and offers, potentially providing an even larger discount. For example, Old Navy periodically runs “Super Cash” events where customers are able to earn a $10 coupon toward a future $25 purchase. These Super Cash coupons may be combined with rewards certificates for bigger savings.

Other features of the Old Navy credit card include:

  • Early access to special sales, including the annual $1 flip-flop event;
  • Increased discounts during some sale periods;
  • Rewards can be redeemed at any Gap brand;
  • Zero fraud liability;
  • Discount on first purchase (at least 15 percent);
  • No annual fee;
  • Additional points for signing up for emails and paperless statements.

Shoppers using the Old Navy card who reach 5,000 points in a single year earn Navyist status. With this card, you earn a 20% point bonus each quarter and qualify for free shipping on all orders. Navyists can also get free alterations on their purchases from Banana Republic, and have access to a dedicated customer service line.

Pros

The major benefit of using the Old Navy credit card is the opportunity to earn rewards. If you shop with the brand regularly, you can save money by using rewards as well as the bigger discounts offered to cardholders during special sales events. When used responsibly, the card also allows you to make purchases at Old Navy (and other Gap brand stores) without tying up cash.

Because Synchrony Bank will issue the Old Navy card to applicants with lower credit scores, carrying the card and using it responsibly can help you establish a good credit history and help you qualify for more credit in the future. Synchrony regularly reviews accounts and offers credit line increases as well, which can help increase your available credit and drive up your score.

Cons

For all of the benefits of the Old Navy credit card, there are some drawbacks as well. These include:

  • High APR: Unless you pay your balance in full each month, the interest could negate any savings you enjoyed by using the card;
  • Limited rewards-earning potential: At five points per $1, you’ll need to spend $100 to earn a $5 reward. You’ll need to spend $1,000 to achieve Navyist status;  
  • Restricted rewards: The rewards you earn can only be used at Gap brands;
  • No introductory interest rates;
  • Mediocre sign-up bonus: New cardholders receive a code for a 15% discount on their first purchase.

Best Candidates for the Old Navy Credit Card

The Old Navy card is best suited for shoppers who regularly shop at Old Navy or other Gap brands. Parents of school-age children, for instance, may find the card appealing for making clothing purchases for their kids. The rewards and access to special sales, especially during back-to-school time, can save families a lot of money on those purchases.

That said, unless you are able to pay off your balance in full each month, the card may end up costing more in the long term. The high-interest rate can add hundreds of dollars to your balance, negating any benefit of the rewards. And unless you shop at the store often enough to use the rewards, you may be better off using a different card with a lower interest rate and more flexible rewards to get the most from your spending.

Still, the Old Navy card may be a good option for those who are trying to establish or improve their credit history.  

Application Process

You can apply for the Old Navy credit card either in-store or online. When you make an in-store purchase, you’re likely to be offered the chance to apply in exchange for an immediate discount on that purchase. You’ll be asked to supply some basic information, including your Social Security number, address, and income information to apply. If approved, you can start charging purchases to the account immediately.

You can also apply online at the Old Navy website. Again, expect to provide information about your employment and income, as well as your Social Security number. If approved, you’ll receive an instant confirmation of your new account with a temporary account number you can use to make purchases, as well as a code for a discount on your first purchase.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/