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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™ CardConsider 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

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

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

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • 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 $3,000 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
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • New! Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 14 months
10.99% Intro APR for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
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 $500 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.

Surge Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.6

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% (Variable)
See website for Details
Bad, Poor Credit

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.6

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
Indigo® Unsecured Mastercard® - Prior Bankruptcy is Okay Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Pre-qualifying today will not affect your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit histories can qualify, even with prior bankruptcy!
  • Mobile friendly online access from anywhere
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$0 - $99
Fair/Good

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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