Walmart Credit Card Review: Is It Right for You?
August 6, 2018
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If you’re a frequent shopper at Walmart stores, you may be wondering if you could benefit from one of their co-branded credit cards. Before you decide, it helps to know about the different cards the nation’s biggest retailer offers along with how their benefits work.
The first detail to understand is that Walmart actually offers two credit cards to choose from — A Walmart store card and a Walmart Mastercard. The Walmart store card is only accepted at Walmart stores, Walmart.com, Sam’s Club, and Murphy USA gas stations, whereas the Walmart Mastercard is accepted anywhere MasterCard is an accepted form of payment.
Both offer the same rewards set-up:
- You earn 3% cash-back on purchases made at Walmart.com, including grocery pickup
- You earn 2% cash-back on purchases made at Walmart gas stations and at Murphy USA
- You will also earn 1% cash-back on all other purchases, including Walmart purchases not made online
While the Walmart card’s 3-2-1- earning structure is fairly generous, you are limited in how you can redeem your rewards. That’s because all rewards are doled out as statement credits on your account. You can spend them however you want this way, but you don’t get the option to redeem for travel or gift cards like you do with many other rewards cards.
The Walmart card also offers a signup bonus that can change from time to time. At the moment, the bonus is $25 if you sign up for the Walmart Mastercard and spend $25. This bonus is better than nothing, but it’s not even close to the initial rewards offered by some other cards.
The fact that the Walmart credit card and store card don’t come with an annual fee is worth mentioning as well, but a fee would probably be overkill considering the weak earning structure these cards offer.
Should you get the Walmart credit card? Since the best rewards go to those who shop online at Walmart.com, both the store card and the Walmart Mastercard are best suited to online shoppers. If you’re getting the card for the sole purpose of earning 1% back on regular purchases and 2% cash-back on gas, you would be a lot better off taking a different path altogether.
Other Cash-Back Cards to Consider
Unless you’re a heavy Walmart.com shopper, there are several cards that will leave you with a lot more rewards at the end of the year. In addition to a better ongoing earning rate than the Walmart credit cards, many of the best cash-back cards come with no annual fee and better signup bonuses.
Before you rush out to sign up for the Walmart Mastercard or the Walmart store card, consider whether another option would make more sense:
If you’re angling to earn more rewards over the year, the Chase Freedom® is a popular option to consider. This card lets you earn 1% cash-back on all regular purchases and 5% cash-back on your first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate every quarter.
You’ll also earn an initial bonus of $150 after you use your card for $500 in purchases within three months of account opening. This card lets you redeem points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and travel, and it comes with no annual fee.
While the Chase Freedom® offers bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another no-fee card that takes a different approach by sticking to a standard cash-back rate. Once you sign up, you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for each dollar you spend no matter what you buy.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
This card also offers 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, which is far superior to the bonus you get with the Walmart credit card. Like the Chase Freedom®, this card lets you redeem points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and travel, and it comes with no annual fee.
The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is another cash-back card that can help you earn more cash-back over the long haul when compared to the Walmart credit card. Not only will you earn an introductory 3% cash back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases, but you’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases you make whether they’re at Walmart brand stores or not.
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
This card is also free from annual fees, making it a great option to keep for the long-term.
Next up, don’t forget about the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Like others on this list, this card offers a generous one-time bonus of $150 after you use your card for $500 in purchases within three months of account opening. You’ll also earn a flat 1.5% cash-back for every dollar you spend — and all without an annual fee.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Finally, this card comes with the additional bonus of offering 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) APR after that.
If you’re a business owner who wants a designated business credit card, you should consider the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business over the Walmart credit card. This business rewards card offers an initial bonus of $500 after you use it for $4,500 in purchases within three months of account opening. You’ll also get a flat 2% cash-back for each dollar you spend, which makes this card far superior to the Walmart credit card in terms of ongoing rewards.
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
While this card does have a $95 annual fee, it is waived the first year.
The Bottom Line
While both the Walmart store card and the Walmart Mastercard let you earn cash-back for every dollar you spend, there are much more lucrative options out there — both in terms of signup bonuses and ongoing rewards. By signing up for a rewards card that offers more bang for your buck, you’ll get access to a card that will help you rack up all kinds of rewards.
The best part is, you won’t be stuck using your card only at stores that fall under the Walmart brand. With one of the top travel or cash-back cards, you can use your card almost anywhere.