Have a baby? Then this card likely makes sense, but know the 2 drawbacks
When it comes to buying kids clothing, obviously you want to pay as little as possible since they outgrow them so fast! And with the Gymboree credit card, you can easily do that by essentially shaving 5% off what you pay.
When you pay using their card, you instantly receive a 5% discount. You get this in-store, online, at Gymboree outlets, and even on their sale merchandise.
With that said, you will still want to review these two drawbacks and keep them in mind…
1st drawback: good for one thing, not for everything
Since it’s a Visa card, you can use it to buy stuff pretty much everywhere. But here’s why you might not want to…
- $1,000 in purchases = $10 gift cards… that’s only earning 1% on all your other spending.
Is that bad? Not at all! In fact, that’s what most cards will give you. But you can do better than 1%.
For example, there are credit cards that let you earn travel rewards worth 1.25% or 2.00% on every purchase. Alternately if it’s cash back you are after, then use something like this for all your other spending:
The bottom line is that while the Gymboree Visa is a great choice for their stores, it’s only an average choice for your other purchases elsewhere (which in comparison, will almost certainly be the vast majority of your spending).
2nd drawback: Gymboree’s bonus is bad
Being that this is a store card, it’s understandable why they aren’t giving $100 or tens of thousands of airline miles like a lot of major cards do. But even department stores usually give you 10-20% off for the first day you use the account. With Gymboree it’s even less enticing…
Really? A measly 10 bucks is the best they can do?
If you’re going to apply for a card and take another hard credit inquiry, it better be worth it. Getting $100 is, but not $10. Think about it… in order to earn $100 you would need to first spend $1,800 at their stores (1,800 x 5% = $90. Add in the $10 bonus and you get $100 total).
So before you turn in an application, ask yourself this question: If I earn 5% at their store, how much will I have to spend before I earn enough to make it worthwhile for me?
Even if you spent a whopping $5,000 on baby stuff using the Gymboree card, with 5% that equals $250 in rewards. Is that a lot of money? Yeah! But with other bank-issued reward cards, you can earn signup bonuses worth up to $400! That kind of makes Gymboree’s offer pale in comparison, right?
And now for the fine print
Issuer: US Bank, they have a good reputation so this is a plus. But keep in mind that because of that, and that it’s actually a Visa, Gymboree is going to probably be harder to qualify for than your typical entry-level store card. I would estimate the minimum credit score requirements for this will likely be in the high 600’s, but I reiterate that’s just an educated guess.
Annual Fee: none
Interest Rate: 13.99% to 22.99% variable, based on your credit score and history. Even in the best case scenario that means 13.99% which isn’t bad, but it’s still a couple points higher than what you will see on many credit cards.
Minimum Interest Charge: $2.00. Now this is above average. Most credit cards I have reviewed will list $0.50 or $1.00 for this charge. But you shouldn’t worry about this unless you carry a balance because that’s the only time it will kick in. If you do, then be careful with low balances because this may result in the net effect of paying a higher interest rate.
For example, let’s say you had a $50 balance you carried. You would get charged at least $2.00 of interest on it for the month (compared to the 82 cents of interest you would have normally incurred over 30 days if you had a 13.99% APR).
Balance Transfer Fee: 3% or $5, whichever is greater (this is pretty typical nowadays).
Card Tier: Visa Platinum. I know that used to mean something but now it’s actually considered a lower tier card. Visa Signature is now the highest tier available. With Platinum your benefits will only get the more basic stuff: travel accident insurance (for death or dismemberment during qualified common carrier travel purchased with the card), auto rental collision damage waiver (coverage for some but not all types of car rental damage), warranty manager service, emergency card replacement and emergency cash disbursement.
Verdict for 2013?
Despite its drawbacks, this is actually one of the better store cards I’ve reviewed. It gives you a nice discount on kids clothing and comes from a reputable bank. Pick up an application if you have young children. But for shopping elsewhere, the Gymboree credit card might not be in your best interest. Use something else that gives you better rewards.
This review was written or last updated May 27, 2013