2020 Walmart Credit Card Review – WalletHub Editors
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The Verdict: A Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® would make a fine addition to your wallet if you already pump your gas at Walmart stations, or if you’re shopping at Walmart store, Walmart.com and in the Walmart app (including grocery pickup and delivery). That’s because Walmart plastic provides terms valuable enough to distinguish it from your average general-purpose credit card.
You see, Walmart actually offers two different credit cards: a Mastercard that can be used pretty much anywhere plastic is accepted around the world and a store card that works only at Walmart. But you can’t apply for either offer specifically. You simply have to submit an application for a Walmart credit card and let the cards’ issuer decide if you can be trusted to make non-Walmart charges.
The good news is these two offers are nearly identical otherwise. Neither charges an annual fee and both offer 5% back (5 points) with Walmart Pay for 12 months on in-store purchases. Furthermore, you will get 5% back (5 points) on Walmart.com & in the Walmart app, as well as 2% back (2 points) at Walmart Stores, Walmart & Murphy USA gas stations. The only other important feature you’d receive from the Mastercard but not the store card is the ability to earn 2% back (2 points) on restaurants and travel and 1% cash back (1 point) on all purchases – the market average for rewards cards.
- Up to 5% Back (5 Points per $1 Spent) at Walmart Stores for the First 12 months: This intro offer can help you earn hefty rewards on in-store purchases for the first 12 months if you are using Walmart Pay when checking out. After the intro period ends, you will earn 2% back (2 points) in-store and 5% (5 Points) when you shop online at Walmart.com and using the Walmart app. This is especially important when it comes to grocery shopping. If you order groceries online or through the Walmart app and pick them up at a store, you will earn 5% back on the purchase.
- 2% Back (2 Points per $1 Spent) At Walmart Gas Stations: Gas purchases at Walmart and Murphy USA stations also score you 2% back. The main problem with this offer is that relatively few Walmart gas stations are currently in operation.
- No Annual Fee: No annual fee means you won’t have to worry about a yearly conundrum concerning whether to close your account or pay for another year of use. That’s important not only as it relates to peace of mind, but also because credit scores take into account both the age of your accounts and the amount of their credit lines. In short, keeping accounts open longer can help improve your credit score, but the benefit might not be valuable enough to warrant paying for a card you aren’t going to use. Similarly, the lack of an annual fee makes the Walmart® Store Card a great tool for credit building, as it’s attainable for people with fair credit and doesn’t cost anything to maintain. Store credit cards generally are well-suited to this task because they tend to have lower approval requirements than cards with comparable terms that can be used anywhere.
- 2% Back on Restaurant and Travel Expenses and 1% Cash Back On All Mastercard Purchases: If you get approved for the Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®, you will earn 2% back (2 Points per $1 Spent) on travel expenses and dining at restaurants. That makes the Walmart card competitive with some of the best rewards credit cards around – at least in terms of ongoing rewards in those two categories. Also, you will earn 1 point on most purchases, equivalent of 1% cash back, which is only the market-average for a rewards card but nice to have nevertheless. There are several ways to redeem rewards: for Walmart purchases at the register, account credits, gift cards, airfare, hotel stays or rental car reservations.
- No Financing Offers: Unlike most retailers, Walmart doesn't offer special financing deals.
- Above-Average Regular APR: Whether you’re approved for the Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® or the Walmart® Store Card, carrying a balance will result in paying interest at a rate that might be above the average for your credit-standing cohort. The average APR among credit cards for people with good credit is 19.24%, and credit cards for people with fair credit charge an average of 22.84%.
Other Things To Consider
- Free Text, Email and Phone Notification for Potential Suspicious Activity: You will be notified via text, email, and phone if Capital One notices potential suspicious activity on your account. It’s increasingly common for issuers to offer this feature, but that doesn’t mean it will be any less useful should you ultimately apply and get approved for a Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®. Free notifications are a big help to prevent fraud.
Chip-And-PIN Security: In an era haunted by massive data breaches and the threat of identity theft, you might be happy to know that Walmart seems to have embraced the transition to EMV payment security far more enthusiastically than many of its peers. The company began installing EMV-compliant card readers in its stores more than eight years ago, and its credit cards rely on chip-and-PIN verification rather than the chip-and-signature version that most U.S. credit cards are moving to.
This won’t necessarily save you any money directly, given that all credit cards have $0 fraud liability guarantees, but it might make your account less vulnerable to unauthorized use. It will also enable you to use your card at an unmanned kiosk, which you might find in a train station or parking garage, when traveling in Europe and other areas of the world that already rely on chip-and-PIN. Those are among the few situations in which chip-and-signature and magnetic-stripe credit cards typically won’t work.
Compared To The Competition
The retail space is quite competitive, and that characterization certainly includes co-branded credit cards. Plastic is quite profitable for retailers and can be a major driver of consumer loyalty. That’s why major retailers trip over themselves to make their cards as attractive as possible. This can, of course, benefit you if you’re more opportunistic than brand-loyal. Regardless, it’s good to see what else is out there before submitting an application.
With that in mind, we compared the Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® to some of its most common alternatives – including one you’ve already met.
Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®
Walmart® Store Card
Amazon.com Credit Card
Target Credit Card
|Rewards Bonus||N/A||N/A||$50 gift card||$40|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 5% Cash Back||2 - 5 points / $1||1 - 3 points / $1||5% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Regular APR||17.99% - 26.99% (V)||26.99% (V)||14.24% - 22.24% (V)||22.9% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||4.5 / 5||2.9 / 5||4.5 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
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