Old Navy credit card review: Are the savings worth it?

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In a Nutshell

If you buy most of your family’s clothes at Old Navy and other Gap Inc. brands, the Old Navy credit card might be for you. But unless you spend at least $1,000 at those stores each year to earn rewards, you may not save much. Plus, the application process could leave you with a card that you can’t use outside Old Navy or its sister stores.

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Pros Cons
Ability to earn considerable rewards points on Old Navy and Gap Inc. purchases Application process could leave you with a card that can only be used at Gap Inc. stores
Approval could be easier for borrowers with limited credit histories High APR can lead to considerable debt if you carry a balance

What you should know about the Old Navy credit card

If you’re a regular shopper at Old Navy and its affiliate brands like Banana Republic and Gap, an Old Navy Card might offer you a fair amount of value. Here’s what you should know about the card and how it works.

The application process could leave you with a limited credit card

When you apply for an Old Navy credit card, you’re actually considered for two different cards: the Old Navy Card and the Old Navy Visa® Card.

Unlike some credit card offers, you don’t get to decide to be considered for just one card. Instead, you submit one application and Synchrony Bank, which is the company that services Old Navy’s credit cards, will consider you for the Old Navy Visa® Card first. If you do not qualify for that card, you are then considered for the Old Navy Card.

The Old Navy Visa® Card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. However, the Old Navy Card is a closed-loop credit card. That means it can be used only at Old Navy and other stores owned by Gap Inc., including Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta.

Your rewards could take a while to add up

With any Old Navy credit card, you can earn five rewards points for every $1 you spend on purchases at Old Navy and its affiliate brands. If you qualify for the Old Navy Visa® Card, you’ll also get one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

You’ll get a $5 reward for every 500 points you earn, too. To reach 500 points, you’d need to spend at least $100 on Gap Inc. purchases, or $500 on other kinds of purchases.

That’s a fairly typical reward structure for a retail credit card, so its value is dependent on your own shopping habits. For many Old Navy shoppers, though, the value of those rewards just isn’t high enough to justify spending more.

For instance, you can typically buy a full-price woman’s sweater for roughly $30 to $40 at Old Navy. If you wanted to use your rewards to pay for that sweater, you’d need to earn at least 3,000 points. That means you’d have to spend at least $600 at Old Navy and its sister brands, or $3,000 on purchases everywhere else to cover the cost of one sweater.

The spending requirement to cover the cost might be lower if you shop during a sale, but you’d still be spending a significant amount of money to avoid paying for just one item in your wardrobe. 

The APR could be costly if you carry a balance

Like many retail credit cards, Old Navy’s cards have high interest rates. The variable APR for purchases on both the Old Navy store card and the Visa card option is 27.49%. According to the Federal Reserve, the average APR for all credit card accounts that were assessed interest in November 2019 was 16.88%, so the Old Navy credit card would be far more expensive if you carry a balance.

Read more: How does credit card interest work?

With such a high APR, your credit card balance could become unwieldy and you could end up repaying far more than you originally charged. To avoid interest charges, it’s a good idea to pay off your balance on time and in full each month.

A potential option for users with limited credit histories

If you have poor credit or no credit at all, store cards can be a valid way to add credit to your name and build your credit history. Store cards tend to have lower eligibility requirements than traditional credit cards. This could make them a good option for those who otherwise couldn’t qualify for a credit card.

As you build credit and work to improve your credit health, you can then try to shop around for a more versatile card with a lower APR.

The Navyist card program

If you’re a frequent Old Navy shopper, you may be eligible for Navyist status. If you earn 5,000 points within a calendar year — which means spending at least $1,000 at Old Navy and its affiliates, or $5,000 on all other purchases per year — you’ll qualify for the program and get access to special perks. For example:

  • 20% extra rewards points every quarter
  • Free shipping at Old Navy and its affiliate brands
  • Free basic alterations on Banana Republic purchases
  • Toll-free priority customer service line

Who this card good for

The Old Navy Card and Old Navy Visa® Card could offer valuable rewards to someone who does most of their clothes shopping at Old Navy and other Gap Inc. brands. Spending $1,000 at those stores would allow the cardholder to achieve Navyist status, which would increase their point balance every quarter and provide extra perks to what’s otherwise a fairly limited rewards-earning program.

Unless you spend over that threshold, though, the card is probably not a good choice for you. You would probably be better off using a more versatile rewards credit card that earns more on a wider variety of purchases.

With its high APR, the card is also ideal only for those with good credit habits who expect they can pay off their balances on time and in full each month, even if they happen to encounter an emergency expense. 

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re not sold on an Old Navy credit card, these options might be a better fit for you.