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In the grips of back to school shopping season, stores across the country will be offering store cards like they are offering free candy. One such store is American Eagle and while I've never bought any clothing at their stores, I know the brand pretty well. During back-to-school sales, American Eagle may be one of the stores you visit and you may be tempted to apply for their store credit card after the cashier provides an incentive. But is it a smart move?
American Eagle offers two versions of their store card, the AEO Credit Card and the AEO Visa Card. As you might assume, the difference between the two is in the backing of Visa. The standard AEO Credit Card can only be used at an American Eagle Outfitters store. The Visa has a little more versatility, as you can use it as a credit card wherever Visa is accepted.
American Eagle Credit Card
As an AEO Credit Cardholder, you'll get 15% off your first purchase. So, whether that first purchase is large or small will determine the strength of the sign on bonus. This is a typical hook to get many of the store credit card users, but do not be fooled by it. This is the last reason you should get a store credit card if you are indeed interested in one. You are also eligible to receive coupons and discounts from American Eagle Outfitters for being a cardholder like such as 20% off birthday coupons, and you can receive this discount during the month of your birthday (the most solid of perks offered by AEO).
American Eagle Outfitters also offers a little point and reward system called Extra Savings. Through Extra Savings you can earn up to $10 Extra Savings Coupons that can be used at any American Eagle Outfitters, Aerie, or 77kids. To qualify for the $10 savings, you must spend $250 at any of the aforementioned stores (meaning a 4% reward in the best case scenario). You will receive one point for every $25 spent, which ultimately results in ten points being redeemed for $10 in Extra Savings Coupons. If you own the Visa version, by spending $100 anywhere other than American Eagle Outfitters, you'll receive $10 in Extra Savings Coupons.
Store Credit Cards w/ Poor Pricing Details
There is no annual fee to use the AEO Credit Card or the AEO Visa Card, but there is a very high interest rate charged. At 23.99% to use the AEO Credit Card and 24.99% to use the AEO Visa Card, both should be paid off monthly. Unfortunately, even if you don't pay anything in interest fees, it is not advisable to use the AEO Visa Card as a primary credit card.
Overall, shopping at American Eagle Outfitters is great because you can find quality clothes for much less than a similar store like Abercrombie & Fitch. However, applying for and using their credit card is not advisable. Like so many other popular brands, AEO has created a credit card solely for the purpose of making more money.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.