Credit Cards

American Eagle Credit Card Review: The Pros and Cons

american-eagle-store-cardAmerican Eagle Outfitters is a premium clothing retailer for teens and young adults. If you shop at American Eagle often, you might be tempted to try their credit card offers. Their two cards—the AEO store card and AEO Visa—claim to offer a lucrative points system, bonus savings offers, and special sales events for cardholders. But are these benefits really worth it?

The Good

The AEO card offers a points system called Extra Savings Points. For every $25 dollars you spend at American Eagle or Aerie, you earn one point. You can also earn one point for every $100 spent at other retailers with the AEO Visa card. When you reach ten points, you receive a $10 savings pass. This is only a 4% return on purchases, which pales in comparison to many other rewards credit card offers.

As you earn points, you also earn additional savings coupons. The lowest begins at 100 points, which gives you a 15% off coupon, with the benefit maxing out at 500 points, giving you a 40% off coupon. Members also receive a 20% off coupon on their birthday, allowing you to treat yourself to some new clothes for your special day.

The AEO card also offers a modest sign up bonus of 20% off your first purchase. This is a decent incentive, but it can’t be combined with any other coupons or offers which limits your savings.

One of the other perks that cardholders enjoy is access to exclusive sales held four times a year. For regular shoppers at American Eagle, this gives customers a chance to refresh their wardrobe for the new season while saving money and earning points.

It’s worth noting that the AEO card does not charge an annual fee, meaning you won’t need to pay a premium in order to earn rewards. This is rather typical of store credit cards.

The Bad

Like most store cards, the American Eagle Outfitters credit cards offer atrocious interest rates. The AEO store card has a fixed rate of 24.99%, while the Visa sits at a slightly better 23.99%. While these interest rates aren’t as bad as some other retailers, they’re still fairly high, making this card rather unappealing.

The rewards program is nothing special, either. You have to spend a lot more at American Eagle to start reaping the benefits than you do at other retailers. Other rewards cards, like the American Express TrueEarnings card or the DiscoverIt card, offer higher return rates and more options for how to spend those rewards (including getting cash back, which AEO doesn’t offer).

If you like the idea of the benefits but don’t like the downsides, American Eagle also offers a free rewards program that doesn’t involve a credit card. You still earn points, receive a coupon on your birthday, and have access to member’s-only savings events. If many of these rewards are available for free, there isn’t much incentive to sign up for the credit option.

The Verdict

Other than the terrible interest rate, there aren’t many negatives to the AEO card compared to many other retailers. While the rewards program only yields a 4% return, the card offers a myriad of other benefits that are great for frequent American Eagle shoppers such as bonus coupons and exclusive sales events. If you plan on spending a lot of money at American Eagle throughout the year, the card and its benefits might come in handy for earning some truly great savings. However, if you only shop there periodically, the benefits aren’t lucrative enough to sign up for the credit option—stick to the free rewards program instead.

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