The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, September 28, 2020

9 Best Credit Cards for Walmart Shopping

Best Credit Cards For Walmart Shopping

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: December 18, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

Attention Walmart shoppers! Are you earning all the rewards you should for spending your hard-earned dollars at Walmart?

You may be surprised to learn that the best credit cards for Walmart shopping extend beyond the co-branded cards issued by Walmart. Read on to learn who gives you the best deal on your Walmart purchases.

Walmart Card | Cash Back | Travel | Bad Credit | FAQs

Let’s First Look at Walmart’s Co-Branded Cards

Walmart recently introduced a new credit card, the co-branded Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card. At first glance, it looks like an attractive offer, but is it the best one for rewards?

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card

Consider the introductory reward available to new cardmembers for the first 12 months, in which you earn 5% back, but only when you pay for Walmart store purchases with the Walmart Pay app. After the introductory period expires, you receive 5% back only for online purchases at Walmart.com or in the Walmart mobile app.

Otherwise, you earn 2% back on in-store, travel, and dining purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. You can redeem your rewards to cover a purchase on Walmart.com, apply as a statement credit to reduce your account balance, purchase gift cards at Walmart and other stores, or pay for flights and hotels. The card offers additional benefits, including no annual fee, $0 fraud liability, security alerts, and instant locking if your card is stolen, lost, or misplaced.

The other card offer is the closed-loop Walmart Rewards™ Card, which can only be used at Walmart stores, Walmart.com, and Sam’s Club locations. This card is aimed at consumers with fair credit or worse.

The regular reward rate of only 2% back on in-store purchases prevents us from designating the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card as your best choice for Walmart shopping, which is why we look below at cards we consider superior.

Best Cash Back Cards for Walmart Shopping

Many consumers like the flexibility of cash back rewards, and those rewards should be as generous as possible. Consumers also like credit cards they can earn maximum rewards at more places than just one store.

For these three reasons, the following three cards offer a lot to like.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including gas, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Earn $300 back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening
  • $95 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.99% - 23.99%
$95
Good/Excellent

As you can see, you can earn superior cash back rewards with cards that are honored well beyond the confines of Walmart and Walmart.com. Unless you do all your shopping at Walmart, you may prefer the simplicity of using a card that earns comparable or better rewards at more places.

Best Travel Cards for Walmart Shopping

The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card provides 2% rewards for travel and dining purchases. You can match and exceed those rewards with other cards.

If you are a Walmart shopper who wants more travel benefits from a card, check out the following travel cards.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

With the co-branded Walmart card, you redeem your reward points for travel at the rate of a penny per point, and there is no provision for transferring rewards to affiliated programs. As you can see, the best travel cards in our review provide better options.

Best Cards for Walmart Shopping with Bad Credit

The new Walmart Mastercard is unlikely to approve bad credit applicants. Here are three alternatives available to consumers who have bad credit or thin credit histories.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad
Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • Earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account
  • Access your FICO® Score updated monthly for free, within your Mobile Banking app or in Online Banking
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99%
$0
Bad/Limited
Surge Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
N/A
25.90% - 29.99%
See website for Details
Bad, Poor Credit

The Walmart Mastercard denies applicants for a number of reasons, including monthly income, past due accounts, charge-offs, and non-discharged bankruptcies. Our recommended alternatives for consumers with bad credit have more lenient acceptance qualifications.

Is a Walmart Credit Card a Good Idea?

While the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card is not a bad idea, the real question is how it stacks up against the competition. In this regard, the Walmart card may not be your best choice.

Let’s start with rewards. After the introductory period ends, the most you will earn for in-store Walmart purchases is 2%. Our review indicates that other cards offer more generous rewards on an ongoing basis.

Some cards offer 5% or higher rewards for both in-store and online purchases, without forcing you to use a mobile app when shopping at the store. And although Walmart’s 5% introductory rate is good, it lasts only one year and forces you to use the Walmart Pay app. Other cards offer generous rewards without making you use an app.

Walmart Pay Screenshot

You’ll only receive 5% cash back in Walmart stores when you use the Walmart Pay app, and the promotion is only valid for one year.

Then there’s the question of redemptions, especially for travel. The best travel cards offer rewards on flights and on dining, just as the Walmart card does. But some of our reviewed cards let you receive high redemption values and/or transfer your rewards to airline and hotel partners.

If you travel a lot, you’d like your card to offer as many travel-related perks as possible, such as automatic travel, baggage, or rental-car insurance. The Walmart card falls short in these areas.

If you have bad credit, you may have no choice but to seek out one of the other cards we recommend. But as we point out, that’s not necessarily a bad thing in this competitive market.

What is the Best Credit Card for Grocery Shopping?

Walmart stores sell many types of products, including groceries. But if you want the maximum rewards for grocery shopping, you should consider the following cards:

  1. Discover it® Cash Back: This card provides bonus cash back in rotating shopping categories each quarter. One category almost always includes groceries.
  2. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Provides 6% cash back on annual purchases up to $6,000 from selected merchant types, including grocery stores. This excludes superstores that sell groceries. Remaining purchases earn 1%. The caveat, however, is that this card charges a $95 annual fee.
  3. Target RedCard™: The Target RedCard provides an unlimited 5% savings on Target and Target.com purchases, including groceries. Unlike the Walmart card, it has no 12-month limits. The card charges no annual fee.
  4. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: If you prefer Costco to Walmart, this card offers various cash back tiers, including 2% cash back on purchases (including groceries) from Costco and Costco.com. You can use this no-annual-fee card anywhere Visa is accepted.
  5. Bank of America® Cash Rewards: This card offers multiple cash back tiers, including 2% cash back at grocery stores on up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases, excluding superstores but including wholesale clubs. This card charges no annual fee.

Before picking a card, our advice is to consider your grocery shopping habits, including where you like to shop and whether you want rewards in other categories besides groceries.

Will the Walmart Credit Card Build Credit?

Your Walmart credit card gives you the opportunity to build your credit. Whether you actually achieve a higher score depends on how you use the card.

If you use it responsibly, your credit score can increase because the Walmart card reports your credit activity to the three national credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Your payment history is recorded in the credit report of each credit bureau, and derogatory items can hurt your credit score. These include delinquent accounts, collections, defaults, and bankruptcies.

Here are some tips for using the Walmart card (and any other credit card) to build and maintain a good credit score:

  • Pay your bills on time each and every month, without fail. You will avoid late fees and improve your credit history.
  • Try to keep a low balance on your credit cards and pay them off as soon as possible. This controls your credit utilization ratio, which is your balance divided by your total credit limit. Ideally, you will want to keep the ratio below 30%, preferably below 20%.
  • Don’t close a credit card account even if you no longer use the card. The reason is that 10% of your credit score depends on the average age of your credit accounts. When you close a card, you reduce your average account age and can hurt your score.
  • Elect to receive online electronic statements every month. By doing so, you can also track your current FICO credit score each month.

As we always advise, check your credit history reports at least once a year and dispute any mistakes or omissions. Removing mistakes from your credit reports can immediately boost your credit score.

You can request your three credit reports once a year for free from AnnualCreditReport.com.

Is It Easy to Get Approved for a Walmart Credit Card?

Walmart offers two credit cards:

  • Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card
  • Walmart Rewards™ Card

If you have average credit or better, you can easily be approved for either card. However, things change if your credit score is bad.

Only the Walmart Rewards™ Card welcomes consumers with bad credit. The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card requires you have a FICO credit score of at least 650, but the Walmart Rewards™ Card is available to consumers with a lower score.

You’ll mostly earn the same rewards as the Mastercard, but the Walmart Rewards™ Card can only be used at Walmart, Walmart.com, Sam’s Club, and Sam’s Club gas stations. Therefore, you won’t earn the 2% on dining and travel or 1% everywhere else the Mastercard is accepted.

Walmart Cards Compared

If you have bad credit, expect a very low initial credit limit. The purchase APR on the Walmart Rewards™ Card equals the highest one on the Mastercard, which features lower APRs for customers who are more creditworthy.

Note that your application for the Capital One card applies to both cards. Even if you are denied the Mastercard, you may be approved for the Walmart Rewards™ Card.

As with many store cards, the Walmart Rewards™ Card is easy to get. It then falls to you to decide whether you want it, as it is useful only for Walmart-related purchases. Neither card charges an annual fee.

You May Find More Value with a Non-Walmart Option

Our review shows that you have options when it comes to the best credit cards for Walmart shopping. The introductory offer from the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card offers 5% back for the first 12 months, but you must use your Walmart Pay app at the Walmart store to get it. Your reward for in-store purchases drops to 2% after the first year of card use.

Our review highlights several cards you may prefer to own that are at least as rewarding as Walmart’s, and, oftentimes, superior.

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