I posted about a super cheap purchase a couple of days ago on Facebook, and I got a number of 'likes' and comments on it. I figured I'd explain how I went about scoring such a great deal.
I first read about the Banana Republic credit card from Shawn, over at MilesToMemories, who first mentioned the card at the end of 2015. What really intrigued me about this card were the spend offers that the bank would send from time to time giving 5x, sometimes up to 10x, the amount of points per dollar spent. Often times these spend bonuses were also uncapped! I wouldn't say that I'm a huge Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy/Athleta guy. I'm more of a J.Crew/streetwear hipster, but GapKids seriously has the cutest things I want to dress my daughter Malin in! She is growing like a weed, and pretty much needs new clothes every couple of months, which made the decision to apply for this card back in May very easy.
This card is issued by Synchrony Bank, a bank which I, at the time of application, did not have any relationship with. If you're overloaded with cards from the big banks - Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, American Express - this is a good one to add to your stash. There is no annual fee, so it is the perfect card to build your credit on. And Synchrony pulls from Transunion, if you had any concerns as to how many hard inquiries you might have with each particular credit bureau. (Have credit questions? Answers found here!)
- 5 Points for every $1 spent on Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic/Athleta brands
- 1 Point for every $1 spent everywhere Visa is accepted
- $5 Reward for every 500 points you earn
- 15% Off on your first purchase online at BananaRepublic.com or BananaRepublicFactory.com within 90 days of account opening
- Reach Luxe status by earning 5,000 points in a calendar year
- And special cardmember perks such as: Double Points shopping days, cardmember-only offers and discounts, free shipping on all online orders $50+, a birthday gift, and no receipt for returns!
Obviously this isn't a great everyday spending card, as you only get 1 point/$1 spent. However, if you're a lover of any of the brands, and spend at these stores, you are essentially earning 5x cash back, albeit only for purchases at this family of brands. But hey, if you love these brands, more power to you, right?
Luxe status benefits:
Account Opening Rewards
When I signed up for this card, these were the initial awards that I found attached to the card:
- $30 in Rewards when you activate and make a purchase 'outside' the brand within the first 30 days.
- 500 Points for entering in my email address.
- 500 Points for getting an e-statement.
Right off the bat, that's $40 in rewards!
How To Maximize
I already touched on not using this as an everyday card. However, when you get mailers and promotions like the one I received above, this is when you can really maximize to earn free threads for you or your kid!
This offer states, and emphasizes, to make purchases outside the family brand. As with my initial purchase to get my first $30 in rewards, I plan on making 20 $.50 reloads to my Amazon Gift Card using my card. This nets me 2,050 points (5 x $10 purchase + 2,000 bonus), which equals just a little over $20 in rewards. Spend $10 to get $20 in rewards, I would say that's a win.
Some other mailers that have gone out in the past have been 5x the points on gas/dining/groceries and even 10x the points on everything. This means $500 in groceries for the month potentially means $25 or $50 in free clothing for you and your family!
The last way to maximize is to get Luxe status, which gives you an extra 20% point bonus, essentially making the card a 6x card. Who spends $5,000 a year on clothes? Maybe some of you? But more than likely not. If you're really looking to revamp your wardrobe, one way you can do this is manufacture spend on it -- i.e. pay your rent using RadPad/Android Pay, buy gift cards and resell them at break-even or a small profit, etc. (purchase a consult with me if you want to learn more about manufactured spending) -- to get Luxe status, and then manufacture spend some more for rewards to get free clothing!
Sorry for the looooooong post. I will basically be taking advantage of any and all of these sorts of promotions with this card. If it means a little bit of leg work for some free clothes for Mae, I'm all for it. Now let's break down my purchase:
- Original Cost of Clothing: $203.55
- Discounted Cost of Clothing: $111.87
- Additional 40% Off Sale: -$81.42
- $40 in Rewards: -$40
- Total Spent: $22.12
- Plus $50 GapCash to spend in September
- Plus 111 Points from purchase
Would this be a card you would consider getting for yourself or your family? You can find more information about the card at Banana Republic's Credit Card website.