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Is the American Eagle Credit Card Right for You?

Christine Krzyszton
Updated on: 05/18/2018
RE®: 81
Our Rating
American Eagle Outfitters Connected™ Credit Card
Apply Now
For excellent/good credit
  • 98
    for AEO Customers
  • 70
    for Cash Rewards
  • 76
    for Everyday Use

"Get 30% off your first purchase and 15 points per dollar at American Eagle."

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is an American clothing and accessories company with over 1,000 retail stores worldwide. Their store-branded credit card, the AEO Connected credit card, is issued by Synchrony bank and offers AEO shoppers a long list of features and benefits.

With a hefty 30 percent discount on your first purchase, earnings of 15 rewards points per dollar spent and ongoing discounts and special event invitations, the card certainly rewards the frequent AEO shopper.

While you might be tempted to apply when you’re offered the card at checkout time, resist the urge and weigh your options as you may find the card less rewarding than it appears. The 26.24% APR will keep you from ever carrying a balance on the card, rewards can only be earned and redeemed at AEO, and it takes a lot of spending to reap any real benefits. Even with no annual fee and cardholder discounts, the card falls short of what a standard cashback card can offer even a frequent American Eagle shopper.

American Eagle Credit Card Features and Benefits

Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the American Eagle Outfitters Connected™ Credit Card offers and the value of the SYNCB you earn.

Bonuses

An American Eagle Outfitters shopper will receive a bundle of features and benefits with the AEO Connected credit card. Your first purchase with the card qualifies for a 30 percent discount. Ongoing benefits include earning 15 Connected Points for every dollar spent on the card, birthday discounts, free standard shipping and invitations to special shopping events. The card also offers cardholders a coupon for a personal shopping day of discounts.

One of the most popular clothing items at AEO is jeans. When cardholders have purchased five pairs, their sixth pair is free. The same special offer is also good for bra purchases.

Connected Points can be redeemed for AEO shopping rewards at the rate of 2,500 points for a $10 reward. The no annual fee card rewards frequent AEO shoppers on a regular basis so no shopper should ever have to pay full price for their clothing or accessory purchase.

What You Get

  • Get 30% discount on your first purchase with AEO Connected credit card once you’re approved.
  • Earn 15 points per dollar spent on your card.
  • Redeem 2,500 points for a $10 AEO shopping reward.
  • Receive a 20% discount coupon each year on your birthday.
  • Once you have purchased either five pairs of jeans or five bras, you will get the sixth one free.
  • Receive free standard shipping.
  • Receive a special coupon good for your own personal shopping day full of discounts.
  • Receive invitations to 6 special shopping events that are held throughout the year.
  • $0 Fraud Liability protection.

In-Store Financing

The AEO Connected card does not offer any special financing or 0% introductory APR offers.

Customer Perks

You do not need to be an AEO Connected credit cardholder to earn rewards at American Eagle Outfitters, but the added benefits of having the card are many. Since the AEO Connected Rewards Program is the foundation for many customer perks, including cardholder perks, you’ll need to sign up if you’re not already a member to maximize reward earning and redemptions.

Cardholders receive 15 points per dollar spent on the card versus 10 points per dollar that general Connected Rewards Program members receive. Cardholders are also recognized with birthday discounts, invitations to six special shopping events each year, and their own personal shopping day coupon. In addition, when you are initially approved for the card, your first purchase receives a 30 percent discount. Customer perks can be used at AEO/Aerie stores and online.

What Is the Value of AEO Connected Rewards Points

AEO Connected Rewards Points are earned when spending on the AEO Connected credit card at the rate of 15 points per dollar. Unfortunately, there’s only one redemption option for your points and that is to redeem them for shopping rewards that can be used at the associated retailers, AEO and Aeries.

Cardholders need 2,500 points to earn a $10 shopping reward. If you spend $350 or more per year at AEO and Aerie stores, including online purchases, you will qualify for Extra Access, which is the top elite level with the AEO Connected Rewards Program. With that status, you’ll be able to redeem 2,500 points for a $15 shopping reward.

Earned Points
2,500 points
Examples
Cardholder Award: $10 Shopping Reward for 2,500 points
Average CPP
0.40cpp
Dollar Value
$10
Earned Points
2,500 points
Examples
Extra Access Elite Member Award: $15 Shopping Reward for 2,500 points
Average CPP
0.60cpp
Dollar Value
$15

What is CPP and How is it Calculated?

Cents Per Point (CPP) is a way to measure the value of points. It tells you how many cents you get for each point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the hotel room by the number of points of an equivalent award stay costs. This can be a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the stay in both cash and points fluctuates by season and availability.

Should You Get the American Eagle Credit Card?

All store-branded credit cards are not created equal. Some offer features and benefits specific to a particular store brand that actually can’t be duplicated with a cashback card. The AEO Connected credit card is not one of those offering a level of benefits for AEO shoppers that makes it worthwhile.

Sure, you’ll get 30 percent off your first card purchase, earn a few $10 shopping rewards, and maybe even get a free pair of jeans after you buy five pairs, but the card is way too limited to consider seriously as a rewards credit card. Points can only be earned when shopping at AEO and Aerie, and the only redemption option is for shopping rewards that must be used at AEO or Aerie.

The card is an especially bad choice if you ever carry a balance from statement to statement as the interest rate is a hefty 26.24%. You’d also have to spend thousands of dollars a year on the AEO Connected credit card to earn the equivalent of a typical sign-up bonus that comes with many cashback cards.

If you look at sign-up bonuses alone, the Barclays Cash Forward World MasterCard offers a generous $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after card approval. Even if you’re a frequent American Eagle shopper, you won’t match that level of reward or have the flexibility of cash back.

Another downside of the AEO Connected credit card is the fact that you’re not earning rewards on other purchases. Even a simple cashback card, such as the Citi Double Cash, will earn you a consistent 2.0 percent back on all purchases. The bottom line is that the American Eagle credit card narrowly benefits frequent AEO shoppers, and even those consumers would probably be better off with a solid cashback card.

FAQs

Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.

  • Does the AEO Connected card come with any fees or charges?

    First, there’s good news. The AEO Connected credit card does not charge an annual fee. There are, however, other fees and charges that you should be aware of.
    As long as you make your payments on time and pay off your balance each statement period, you won’t incur any fees or charges. But if you do make a late payment, the first one will cost you a $25 late fee. Make another late payment within a six-month period, and you’ll be charged up to $35 .
    The annual percentage rate for the card is 26.24%, so if you do not pay off your balance each statement period, you will incur these heavy interest charges, too.
  • Can I use my card at any other stores besides American Eagle Outfitters?

    The short answer is no. The standard AEO Connected credit card is a store-branded card that can only be used at American Eagle Outfitters and at Aerie (their lingerie and accessory brand) retail stores. That also includes online purchases from those stores.
    Synchrony Bank does issue a different AEO Connected credit card that is a Visa. That card can be used at any merchant that accept Visa. Synchrony Bank will determine which card you qualify for based on your credit history.
  • How much do I have to spend to earn rewards?

    When you make purchases on your AEO Connected credit card, you receive 15 points per dollar spent. Once you have accumulated 2,500 Connected Points, you can redeem the points for $10 in shopping rewards. This equates to spending approximately $166.67 (multiplied by 15 points per dollar) to earn the $10 shopping reward.
    If you spend $350 or more per year at AEO/Aerie, you qualify for Extra Access elite status and that same $166.67 earns 2,500 points that can then be redeemed for a $15 shopping reward.
  • Does the card come with any other benefits like rental car coverage or roadside assistance?

    Since the standard AEO Connected credit card is not affiliated with Visa, MasterCard or even American Express, it does not come with associated benefits, such as travel or purchase coverages.
    The card does offer the standard no fraud liability feature that excludes you from being liable for any unauthorized charges. You also have access to your card account online, which can be effective for keeping track of your transactions and making sure your payments are credited on time.
  • I have not heard of Synchrony Bank. Are they safe?

    Synchrony Bank is an established institution that issues dozens of credit cards. It specializes in store-branded credit cards and has been around since 1988. Just this year, financial experts at Bankrate.com had this to say about Synchrony Bank: “Synchrony Bank exhibited a superior condition, earning a full 5 stars for safety and soundness.”
  • How do I apply for the card?

    Since it is a store-branded card, you can apply whenever you visit American Eagle. You’ll usually be asked when you’re making a purchase at American Eagle Outfitters if you would like to apply for the card. You’ll receive a decision nearly instantly.
    You can also apply for the card online at the AEO website. The application site has encryption technology so you know that your information is safe. You’ll usually have a decision within 60 seconds.
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Compare American Eagle Credit Card

American Eagle Outfitters Connected™ Credit Card
For Excellent/Good Credit
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Compare Store Cards From Similar Retailers

Synchrony Bank issues dozens of store-branded credit cards, including the three retail cards we’re comparing here. These store-branded cards all have high APRs and late fees, so none are good for those consumers who carry a statement balance or who make even that occasional late payment.

Temptation may prevail when you’re asked to apply for any of these cards at check out especially when you notice there’s no annual fee, but let’s take a closer look and see what actual value these store cards provide.

SIGN-UP discount20%30%10%
Annual Fee

$0

$0

$0

APR On Purchases26.24% Variable±26.24% Variable±28.49% Variable±
Second Year Value$240$96$1,200

If you’re an avid shopper at the GAP family of retailers, you’ll find value with the Banana Republic card. One perk of this card is double-point shopping days, when a $50 purchase equals enough reward points to earn a $5 shopping reward. While that translates into getting 10 percent back, the best return for spending on any of the three store cards we’re comparing, the card is limited in other respects.

Since the Banana Republic card does not earn rewards on purchases other than at the affiliated retailers, does not offer a cash back option, or have any flexibility when it comes time to redeem your points, you may fare better overall with a cash back card or other rewards credit card.

No one can deny the popularity of retailer TJ Maxx, so getting the store-branded credit card may seem like a perfectly prudent thing to do if you’re a TJX shopper. You’ll be able to earn rewards with the store card at affiliated brands, including TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls and Sierra Trading Post.

You’ll receive 10 percent off your first TJ Maxx card purchase and a $10 shopping reward for every $200 you spend. It’s a simple program delivering a solid 5 percent back in shopping rewards. But just like most other store-branded cards, you can easily find a solid cashback card that delivers more substantial overall earning opportunities and certainly a more flexible redemption experience.

The AEO Connected credit card is just as weak as the other store cards we’re comparing when it comes to overall earnings and flexible redemptions. The card does offer the highest first purchase discount of 30 percent off, while the others offer 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

One downside to the AEO Connected card, and the other store cards for that matter, is that you’re limited to earnings and redemptions at only AEO/Aerie. Even the American Eagle rewards program is less than stellar as you need to spend nearly $170 to earn $10 in rewards.

Some Alternative Cards for American Eagle Outfitters Shoppers

If you’re a shopper and enjoy a few extra rewards dollars to spend at your favorite clothing store, a store-branded card can be a valuable means of getting those discounts and earning shopping rewards with your retailer of choice.

The downside of store-branded cards is that earning and redeeming rewards is extremely limited. You’re not earning rewards on other purchases with the card, and you’re limited to redeeming rewards at the associated retailer. You’ll also incur the high interest rate charges that are typical of store-branded cards if you do not pay off your balance each statement period.

30first purchase discount
American Eagle Outfitters Connected™ Credit Card

Check if American Eagle Outfitters Connected™ Credit Card is the best option for you

Best Rotating Category Card

One of the benefits of a rotating category card is that department stores, warehouse clubs and other retailers are frequently included among the quarterly bonus categories. The Discover it Cashback Match card gives 5.0 percent cash back on purchases in the quarterly bonus categories, on up to a total of $1,500 in purchases. You’ll also get 1.0 percent back on all other purchases.

But that’s not where the earnings end. At the end of your first year of having the card, your cashback earnings are matched. The bottom line is that you will effectively be receiving 10 percent cash back in the bonus categories and 2 percent on all other purchases your first year. For shoppers, the card is a no-brainer compared to a store-branded card that limits reward earnings and redemptions to affiliated stores.

Get the Biggest Bonus

Shoppers may jump for joy when they see the sign-up bonus on the Barclays Cash Forward World MasterCard. A $200 sign-up bonus is yours after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after card approval. Think of how much you would have to spend on the American Eagle Outfitters card to earn shopping rewards of this value.

All of your ongoing purchases, not just your American Eagle Outfitters purchases, receive 1.5 percent cash back, and when you redeem that cash back for a statement credit, 5 percent of the rewards go back into your account. The Barclays Cash Forward World MasterCard also comes with the first 15 billing cycles of 0% APR for purchases.

Best Cashback Card

If you like shopping at department stores, you may find that the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card is a nice alternative to a store-branded card. The Blue Cash Everyday card offers 2.0 percent cash back on department store purchases, so you’ll shop knowing you’re getting cash back for all of those expenditures.

Additionally the card provides 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations & select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.

Not only will you be earning rewards on all of your purchases, you’ll receive a $150 sign-up bonus after making $1,000 in purchases in your first three months of having the card. Consider the additional benefit of being able to redeem your sign-up bonus as a statement credit towards any purchase and you may have found a great alternative to any store-branded card.

Card Overview

Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.

Card Details
Recommended Credit Score
Fair
Issuer
Synchrony BankSynchrony Bank
Rewards Currency
AEO Connected Points

Card Terms and Conditions

While it's easy to focus on the benefits of the AEO Connection Credit Card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this store-branded card.

Purchases

Intro APR:
See Terms and Conditions
Intro APR for balance transfers:
See Terms and Conditions
Ongoing APR:
26.24% Variable±
Minimum Grace Period:
23 days

Cash Advance Features

Ongoing APR:
See Terms and Conditions
Cash Advance Fee:
See Terms and Conditions

Security and Protections

Online access to your AEO Connected Card account makes it easy for you to keep track of all of your account information, including your transactions and payment activity. With zero liability you won’t have to worry about fraudulent charges.

Online Account Access:
By accessing your account online, you can make payments, view transactions and set up custom account alerts.
Zero Fraud Liability:
You won’t be held liability for unauthorized charges.

Additional Cardholder Benefits

Since the AEO Connected credit card issued by Synchrony Bank is not affiliated with Visa, American Express or MasterCard, it does not come with any additional cardholder benefits.