The American Eagle credit card is a retail store card that can only be used at American Eagle and Aerie stores. It offers discounts and rewards to loyal customers. But is the American Eagle credit card worth getting? This comprehensive guide will explore the pros and cons to help you decide.
An Overview of the American Eagle Credit Card
Synchrony Bank issues the American Eagle credit card in partnership with the clothing retailer. It offers:
- 20% off* your first purchase when you open the card
- Earn 2x points on everything, every day*
- Free shipping + returns, always*
- *Excludes gift cards. See details below.
You’ll upgrade instantly to Level 2 of the Real Rewards program:
- 10 points per $1 spent*
The Level 2
- Instant for cardmembers
- 15 points per $1 spent
- 2x points on jeans*
- Spend $350/year
- 20 points per $1 spent
Additional cardmember perks include:
- Close your loop to unlock a $5 reward after earning 1,250 points
- Aerie Days
- Members-only sales & events
- $5 Birthday Reward
- Pick Your Own Sale Day
- Exclusive cardmember sales
- Earn 5 points per $1 where Visa credit cards are accepted**
Cardmembers get extra perks and automatic upgrade to Level 2 of the Real Rewards program with 2x points on everything to maximize rewards.
Pros of the American Eagle Credit Card
The biggest benefit of the American Eagle Card is the initial 15% discount and ongoing 10 points per $1 spent. If you frequently shop at their stores, the rewards can add up quickly.
Other advantages include:
- Special Cardholder Perks: You’ll get early access to sales, free standard shipping on online orders, and notification of special cardmember events.
- Easy Online Account Management: It’s simple to sign up for paperless statements, set up autopay, and redeem rewards. You can also access your balance and statements in real-time.
- Pre-Approval In Store: If you apply and get approved for the credit card at an American Eagle store, you get an instant 15% off coupon to use that day. This discount makes the card very attractive for one-time big purchases.
- No Annual Fee: There is no yearly, monthly or membership fee associated with the card. As long as you use it occasionally each year, you can avoid all costs.
Cons of the American Eagle Credit Card
While the American Eagle card does offer nice discounts for loyal shoppers, there are some downsides to evaluate before applying.
- High APR: The 28% interest rate is very high compared to other store credit cards. This can cause your balance to snowball quickly if you revolve a balance month-to-month.
- Store-Use Only: Since the card can only be used at American Eagle stores, it has limited usefulness. You miss out on opportunities to earn rewards when shopping elsewhere.
- Lots of Fees: Like most retail cards, the American Eagle card comes with fees for late payments, returned payments, and other issues. Make sure to pay your bill on time each month.
- Impacts Your Credit: Getting approved requires a hard credit check, which can cause a small temporary drop in your scores. Too many inquiries from credit applications hurt your credit health over time.
What Kinds of Credit Scores Are Needed?
Credit scores give insight into your financial responsibility and eligibility for new credit products. Issuers have minimum score requirements for approval on new applications.
In most cases, you’ll need a good to excellent FICO score between 670 and 850 to qualify for this card. Having established credit history, available credit on other cards, and a low credit utilization rate also helps.
Those with no credit or scores below 600 will likely not get approved. Poor credit history like missed payments, maxed out cards, collections accounts or bankruptcies can also lead to denials.
Before applying, check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Then access your latest credit scores to gauge approval odds.
How to Get the Most from the Card
If you decide the American Eagle card is a good fit, make sure to use it strategically. Follow these tips to maximize rewards and discounts:
- Use it as Your Primary Card at AEO Stores
By making the AE card your go-to payment in stores and online, you’ll rack up points to redeem rewards certificates faster.
- Stack Rewards with Coupons
Look for additional % off coupons online or in email promos to pair with your rewards discount for extra savings.
- Pay Your Statement Balance Off Every Month
Avoid interest fees by paying your bill in full and on-time. Set a reminder on your phone’s calendar if needed.
- Create an Online Account
Managing your card is easier if you set up online access. Opt-in to alerts and track your rewards in real time.
Alternative Credit Cards to Consider
The American Eagle Card works best for loyal shoppers of their brands. If you want more flexibility or travel perks, check out these options:
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards
- Earn 3% cash back at grocery stores, dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services with no annual fee
Chase Freedom Flex
- Rotating 5% cash back categories each quarter up to $1,500 in spending
- $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
- Unlimited 2% cash rewards on all purchases
- $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in first 3 months
- 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months
Compare features like rewards rates, bonuses, foreign transaction fees, and APR to decide on the best alternative.
Who Should Get It?
The American Eagle credit card offers solid rewards and discounts for loyal customers. However, it has high interest rates and limited usage compared to general cash back cards.
Frequent American Eagle shoppers who routinely spend $100+ per month at the stores can benefit the most. Using the card for occasional purchases won’t add up to much in rewards. And you still need to qualify with good credit history.
On the other hand, those with no credit, bad credit or who want flexibility should consider alternative credit cards first. Review your budget, credit scores, and spending habits to decide if signing up is prudent. Use the card responsibly by paying balances off every month once approved.
Logging into Your American Eagle Credit Account
Managing your account online is simple with American Eagle’s web portal and mobile app card dashboard. Here’s how to access it:
Online Account Access
Visit www.ae.com and click “My Account” then “Manage My Card” to sign in.
App Log In
Download the American Eagle app for iPhone or Android and select “Manage My Card”.
Use your account number and last name or username/password combo to securely log in. Reset your password if you forgot it.
Once logged in, you can view your balance, available credit, recent transactions, statements and more in real time. It’s also quick to make payments, redeem rewards or update your personal details.
Check your account frequently to monitor charges and catch fraudulent ones quickly. Enable purchase alerts, view pending activity or set spending limits for extra security.
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Making Payments on the American Eagle Credit Card
Keeping up with monthly payments is crucial to avoid fees and interest charges. Here are tips for paying your American Eagle credit card bill:
Payment Due Date
Your payment due date is shown on each billing statement, usually 3-4 weeks after the end of a billing cycle. Payments are due on the same date each month.
You must pay at least the minimum payment amount by the due date to stay current. This is typically $29 or 2% of your statement balance. Only making minimums causes balances and interest to grow.
Pay your bill via electronic check, American Express, Discover, Visa or Mastercard debit and credit cards free of charge. You can also pay by phone or set up autopay. Mailed check payments take longer to process with no grace period.
When you pay your outstanding statement balance in full each month, there is a 25 day interest-free grace period on new purchases. This break allows time to pay without owing interest fees.
Stay on top of your due date and minimum payments due to avoid costly late fees or jumps in your interest rates. Sign up for bill pay reminders via email or text alert.
The American Eagle credit card provides exclusive discounts for cardmembers with no annual fee. While the rewards are generous, usage is restricted and interest rates are high.
Evaluate your credit scores, monthly spending and payment behaviors first to see if the pros outweigh potential cons for your situation. Compare features of other credit card offers before you apply.