The Athleta Credit Card offers exclusive deals on apparel and the opportunity to earn rewards points everywhere you shop. But its average rewards-earning rate means this card doesn’t have much to offer unless you frequently shop at Athleta or its partner stores. A standard cash back rewards card will be a much better choice for most people.

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Athleta Credit Card Review

Here are the most important details of the Athleta Credit Card.

  • Annual Fee: None
  • APR: 26.49% for purchases and 28.49% for cash advances
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 2,000 Bonus Rewards points upon approval
  • Benefits:
    • 5 points per dollar spent at Athleta, GAP, Old Navy or Banana Republic
    • 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else
    • Bonus Point shopping days
    • 2 free expedited shipping passes per year
    • Early access to sales and seasonal arrivals
  • Minimum Payment: $27 or 1% of your balance plus interest and any late fees, whichever is greater
  • Other Fees:
    • $27 for first late payment
    • $38 for subsequent late payments within 6 months of the first
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
    • $10 or 4% cash advance fee, whichever is greater

What’s a Point Worth?

For every 500 points you earn, you’ll be eligible for a $5 reward. That makes each point worth about $0.01. This is pretty low for a store credit card. There are several store cards that offer points worth $0.05 each. Still, with the 5 points per dollar spent at Athleta and its partner stores, it amounts to about the same.

Why to Apply for the Athleta Credit Card

You may want to take a closer look at the Athleta Credit Card if any of these apply to you.

You regularly shop at Athleta and its affiliate stores: The Athleta Credit Card offers several perks to its loyal customers, including five points per dollar spent at Athleta, Old Navy, GAP and Banana Republic. That amounts to $5 in rewards for every dollar spent. You’ll also get access to special deals and expedited shipping passes throughout the year, plus a $20 reward just for signing up for the card. You can check your rewards balance at any time using your Athleta Credit Card login.

You want to earn rewards points wherever you go: Unlike most store credit cards, the Athleta Credit Card enables you to earn rewards points even when you’re not shopping at Athleta or one of its affiliates. The option to use this card anywhere can help make up somewhat for its average rewards-earning rate.

Athleta Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides

The Athleta Credit Card isn’t right for everyone. Here are a few reasons you may want to stay away.

You can only redeem rewards at Athleta or its partner stores: Though you can earn rewards anywhere, you can only use them at Athleta or one of its affiliate stores. If you don’t shop there frequently, the rewards may not do you a lot of good. In that case, you may be better off going with a more versatile cash back rewards card.

Carrying a balance gets expensive quickly: The Athleta Credit Card’s 26.49% APR is much higher than what most cash back rewards credit cards charge you and that can add up quickly. The amount you’ll pay in interest will most likely outstrip what you’re earning in rewards, so if you’ve been known to carry a balance, this probably isn’t the right option for you.

Athleta Credit Card Alternatives

If the Athleta Credit Card isn’t right for you, try one of these instead.

If you’re looking for a card that offers more flexible rewards and a low APR, consider the Discover it Cash Back Card. You’ll earn 5% cash back on rotating categories throughout the year and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you earn in your first year. There’s no annual fee and you may be eligible for an APR as low as 13.74% if your credit is good enough.

Those looking to maximize their rewards should check out the Citi Double Cash Card. There’s no categories to sign up for and you’ll earn two points on every dollar you spend — one when you make a purchase and one when you pay for it. Citi won’t match your cash back, but they also won’t limit how much you can earn. This card doesn’t have an annual fee and the APR is more affordable than the Athleta Credit Card’s, maxing out at 25.24%.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Athleta Credit Card?

The Athleta Credit Card might be worth adding to your wallet if you regularly shop at Athleta or its partner stores and want access to its exclusive cardholder deals. But for most people, a more flexible cash back card will be a better fit.