Mrs. PFD recently received a new Banana Republic card in the mail. I thought they were downgrading her since as far as I know we didn’t spend enough in 2016 to keep Luxe status (in case you’re wondering, Luxe status isn’t worth much unless you’re really into Gap brands), but instead it turns out the Banana Republic is moving people from its Luxe Card to a Signature Visa.
I don’t see any updated information on the BR credit card page–they still have the Luxe card info up–so here are some of the new benefits / marketing bullet points I received in the mail:
- 2X reward points on purchases outside our brands
- 3X reward points on purchases outside our brands during your birthday month
- 5X reward points per $1 spent on all Gap, Inc purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Free 3-5 day shipping whenever you use code SIGNATURE at checkout
Gap’s reward system is straightforward, so the 2X rewards on all spending actually makes this a legitimate 2% everywhere card. You could counter that in fact the value is less than 2% since technically the rewards are worth less than cash, and technically you would be right. But then, you’re not the kind of customer they’re going after, are you? I think this is actually a good value proposition for the Gap Brands target customer. Keep in mind that most people don’t optimize their credit card spending, so if they see they can get 2% back on everything with their cards, that’s not a bad deal.
The one thing that’s interesting to me is the 3X reward points on everything for one month out of the year. It’s not interesting enough to cause me to use the card given my valuation of BR rewards and the other credit card spending options I have, but it’s not a bad idea. It’s always fun to talk smack about credit card marketing, but overall I think the new card is a solid effort from the Synchrony / Gap team.
It appears as though all the Gap Brands Luxe customers will get the same card regardless of which store they earned their status through. The old Luxe card just had Banana Republic on it, but this one has all four brands together. It also looks, for better or worse, like it was designed by Citibank:
One final note: the official minimum credit limit for a Visa Signature card is $5,000. Most Synchrony retail cards have low credit limits, around $1,000 or so. My wife’s card is $6,000, but that’s only because we requested a credit line increase to capitalize on a 5X everywhere promotion. So maybe Gap will have two different cards for elites going forward? I don’t know. Luxe cardholders, if there are any of you reading this, please chime in.