Is the Walmart Credit Card Best for Store Rewards: A Review
As one of the most popular superstores in the United States, you might expect the Walmart Credit Card to be as popular. For consumers who regularly shop a variety of products ranging from food to electronics to household goods, the Walmart credit card could come in handy. Walmart offers a store card, which can be used to purchase from Walmart stores, as well as the Walmart MasterCard, which can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. If you’re considering the Walmart card, here’s how it stacks up against other popular credit cards available.
Walmart Credit Card Features
- No annual fee
- Special financing on purchases
- $25 when you spend $75 upon approval for the card
- Save 5¢ per gallon at Walmart Gas stations
- Free FICO score
How to Apply for a Walmart Credit Card
Walmart makes it particularly easy to apply and manage your credit card account. For instance, you can apply for the card either online, at any store register, or at a jewelry kiosk. You don’t actually receive the card right at the register, but if you are approved for the credit card in-store, you get a Temporary Shopping Pass that you can use for 24 hours at the store where you apply.
You can also make your card payments online or in any Walmart store at the Customer Service counter. If you happen to be a Sam’s Club member, you can also make your Walmart Credit Card payment at Sam’s Club.
|Walmart® MasterCard®||Walmart® Credit Card|
|Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases and Quick Cash Advances||17.15% for Account Type 1 or 20.15% for Account Type 2 or 23.15% for Account Type 3 when you open your account, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. After that, your APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.||23.15% This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.|
|APR for Cash Advances||20.15% for Account Type 1 or 23.15% for Account Type 2 or 26.15% for Account Type 3 when you open your account, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. After that, your APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.||Not Applicable|
|How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases||Your due date is at least 23 days after the close of each billing cycle. You will not be charged any interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.||Your due date is at least 23 days after the close of each billing cycle. You will not be charged any interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.|
|Minimum Interest Charge||If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $1.00.||If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $1.00.|
|Cash Advance Fee||Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.||Not Applicable|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3% of each transaction||Not Applicable|
|Late Payment Fee||Up to $35||Up to $35|
Credit Score Needed to Get Approved
In order to qualify for the Walmart card, the FICO credit score required is typically in the mid 600s and lower 700s (Also Read: What Is Good Credit Score Range). If you are denied the credit card, you might qualify for the store card, which is similar but can only be used in Walmart stores.
Even those with lower scores in the 500s have been approved for some version of the Walmart card, which can mean you might qualify for this card when you wouldn’t normally qualify for other credit cards. So if you have been denied by other card issuers, you may still have a chance and can use the Walmart card to help increase your credit rating.
If, however, you have had credit problems in the past or you are in the process of rebuilding your credit and don’t qualify for the Walmart card, you may need to work with a secured credit card such as the Capital One® Secured MasterCard® until you increase your credit rating.
Sign-Up Bonus Worth $25 Statement Credit
You can earn a bonus of $25 if you make $75 in purchases with your Walmart card when you are approved. However, you have to spend at least $75 on the same day you open your account, and then the $25 bonus appears as a statement credit on your account within 1 to 2 billing periods. This bonus is a quick and easy way to basically get a $25 discount on your Walmart purchases. However, if you don’t plan to spend this much at Walmart on the same day you are approved, it won’t be worth anything to you.
Many of the other credit cards that are available offer a sign-up bonus worth more and, sometimes offer bonuses that are easier to earn simply because they aren’t limited to Walmart stores. For instance, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card offers a $100 bonus if you spend $500 with your card on any type of purchase, within the first 90 days.
And although there isn’t a specific sign-up bonus, for new cardholders, the Discover it® Credit Card doubles all the cash back you earn at the end of the first year. Unless you plan on shopping immediately at Walmart and spending, at least, $75, there are many other cards with better sign-up bonuses.
Walmart In-Store Special Financing
One of the most important benefits of the Walmart Credit Card that you won’t have with other cards is the offer for in-store special financing on your Walmart purchases. This means you can use your card to purchase from Walmart and then pay your balance down without any added interest during the promotional period. This offer is dependent on the amount you spend and can save you a great deal of interest when you make your next Walmart purchase. For example, on purchases totaling $150 to $298.99, you can receive special financing and pay no interest on those purchases for six months. The offer increases with the amount you spend up to 24 months of no interest on purchases of $599 or more.
High APR Can Become Expensive
Both Walmart cards carry higher than normal APRs – the Walmart Credit Card’s APR is currently 23.15%, which is among the highest you’ll find with any credit card. The Walmart MasterCard APR starts at 17.15% and can be as high as 23.15%.
If you happen to be a shopper who pays your balance in full each month rather than carrying balances month to month, the APR probably won’t be a concern. However, if you consistently carry a balance, it’s best that you choose a card with the lowest APR possible because the interest charges are going to add up quickly.
On the other hand, cards like the Citi Simplicity® Credit Card start with a lower APR of 13.24% and include an introductory APR of 0% for purchases and balance transfers for 21 months.
0% Introductory APR vs. Special Financing Offers
Introductory APRs such as the one offered by Citi Simplicity® are often better options than the special financing offer the Walmart card provides because it’s offered for a longer period of time, and is not based on the amount you spend.
Plus, special financing generally means your interest still accrues with the Walmart credit card and if you don’t pay the entire balance within the promotional period, the accrued interest will then be attached to your balance. Most 0% APR offers with other credit cards simply apply the interest rate to the unpaid portion of the balance once the introductory period ends.
Save on Gas with the Walmart Credit Card
If you frequently fill up at Walmart Gas stations, you can receive a discount of 5¢ per gallon when you use the Walmart Credit Card as payment. This discount applies to the street price of the gasoline and can’t be used with the Sam’s Club discount. The ability to save 5¢ on every gallon can help you to save money on gasoline.
There are, however, many rewards credit cards that award cash back for gasoline purchases, without limiting you to a specific filling station. For example, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card awards 2% cash back on groceries and 3% cash back on gas purchases, up to a combined total of $2,500 in purchases each quarter.
If you are specifically looking for getting the most value on gas purchases, you should consider whether you frequently use Walmart Gas stations, and, if it costs you $50 to fill up, whether discount of 5¢ per gallon is worth more than 3% cash back.
Manage Your Credit with Free FICO Credit Scores
Whether you are working on your credit rating or just want to monitor how you are doing, it’s important to periodically check your FICO score. This score is the number most commonly used by lenders when evaluating your creditworthiness.
With the Walmart Credit Card, you get free access to the FICO score, which otherwise can cost as much as $19.95 per month. Although other credit cards offer free access to your score, there is no annual fee for the Walmart Credit Card or Walmart MasterCard that you’ll need to compensate for each year.
Should You Choose the Walmart Credit Card?
If you frequently shop at Walmart stores and fill up at Walmart gas stations, the Walmart Credit Card provides those with lower credit ratings an opportunity to save money with the special in-store financing offer and the sign-up bonus.
However, one of the only ongoing benefits of the Walmart Credit Card is the gas discount, which isn’t competitive when compared to other gas credit cards. Further, many other credit cards on the market like the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™, Citi Simplicity®, and Discover it®, offer similar benefits that actually allow you to get more for your money, even if you use them for the occasional Walmart purchase.