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.
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?
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.
- Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
- No annual fee
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
0% 15 Months
- Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
- Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
- Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
- 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
- Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A 12 months
13.24% - 19.24% Variable
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.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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.
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
at Bank Of America'ssecure website
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points
- Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees while earning points to use for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees
- Introductory 0%† APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases. After that, a Variable APR that's currently 14.99% to 22.99% will apply.
- 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
- Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
- That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend, everywhere, every time.
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles
14.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
- New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
- Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
- No foreign transaction fees
15.99% - 20.99% Variable
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.
at Celtic Bank'ssecure website
- 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
See website for Details
25.90% - 29.99%
See website for Details
Bad, Poor Credit
- 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.
$0 - $99
at Netspend'ssecure website
- With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
- No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
- No Overdraft Fees on purchases using your card.
- Use the NetSpend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
- Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. Click "Get My Card " for full details.
- See additional NetSpend® Prepaid Visa® details.
Up-to $9.95 monthly
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.
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:
- Discover it® Cash Back: This card provides bonus cash back in rotating shopping categories each quarter. One category almost always includes groceries.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.