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9 Best Credit Cards for Pet Owners & Expenses

Best Credit Cards Pet Owners And Expenses

credit card advice

Matt Walker
By: Matt Walker
Posted: October 31, 2020
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Pets not only make us happy, but they can make us better people. The responsibility of caring for a pet also comes with a big financial commitment, which can make having one of the best credit cards for pet owners and expenses a necessity.

And we’re not just referring to large vet bills — the cost of toys, food, and routine healthcare add up really fast.

With the credit cards below, you can take advantage of 0% financing, bonus cash back, and other perks that will make you roll over, stand up, and fetch your keys for a trip to the pet store.

Best Cards
No/Limited Credit | Charitable Cards | Healthcare Cards | FAQs

The Best Overall Cards for Pet Owners

None of the cards below charges an annual fee — because you’d much rather spend your money on your pet than give it to your bank.

These cards also have promotional 0% interest periods that can help offset the upfront costs of bringing a pet into your home or help ease the burden of a large medical expense by stretching out the payments for several months without added finance charges.

Chase Freedom FlexSM Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

  • 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

With the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card, you can earn as much as 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined bonus category purchases each quarter. The categories occasionally include retail chains that sell pet goods — which gives this card an extra value boost during those months.

Add an introductory period with 0% APR on new purchases and you have a great card to keep your pet happy and healthy.

BEST OVERALL 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

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers cash back on all purchases with a 0% APR for your first several months with the card. That’s a great way to finance a big purchase, like a puppy’s first round of shots and other medical care, without incurring interest fees.

3. Discover it® Cash Back

This card is currently not available.

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Even if you spend a lot on your pet, the Discover it® Cash Back card can offset those expenses with a great cash back program that includes bonush cash back on quarterly activated categories up to the purchase maximum. The bonus categories include popular pet destinations such as Amazon.com and grocery stores.

BEST OVERALL 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

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card provides an extended 0% promotional APR period to help cover large pet costs without accruing interest. This gives you the flexibility to pay off your debt in chunks without worrying about accrued interest.

You’ll also pay no annual or foreign transaction fees, and due to its simple 1.5% flat-rate cash back, you don’t have to worry about rotating categories or bonus tiers to maximize your earnings.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

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

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on perks. Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase and can redeem their miles to cover previous travel charges.

This card comes with a large signup bonus that can add a nice stash of miles to your account and help you and your pet move that much closer to your next adventure together.

The Best Card for Pet Owners with Limited Credit

If you’re just starting your credit building — or rebuilding — journey, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a great choice for both you and your pet. That’s because the card often approves applicants who have credit scores around 570 and offers competitive rates with no annual fee.

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

What makes this card the best choice for consumers with no or limited credit is Capital One’s consistent efforts to help cardholders improve their credit standing. The bank routinely monitors accounts and typically grants automatic credit line increases after you make your first five monthly payments on time.

The Best Charitable Card for Pet Owners

The American Kennel Club has worked with animals and animal lovers for decades, and has created a card to meet the needs of pet owners everywhere. 

7. AKCSM Visa® Card

AKC Visa® Card

The AKCSM Visa® Card offers 3 points for every $1 spent at pet stores, veterinary offices, and AKC.org purchases. You’ll also earn 2 points on gas and grocery purchases and 1 point on all other purchases.

Not only does this card provide generous rewards specific to your pet’s expenses, but it allows you to do it in style — cardholders can upload a picture of their beloved pet that becomes the image used for their card.

The Best Healthcare Cards for Pet Owners

These specialty credit cards don’t have the associated rewards that many consumers look for. Because they serve a very niche audience, these cards often have higher acceptance standards and may require you to have very good or excellent credit to be considered. 

8. WellnessPlus Card

WellnessPlus Credit CardThe WellnessPlus Card is a basic card offered by Comenity Bank that can be used to pay for treatments or procedures works specifically at specific partner veterinarian clinics. Eligible purchases will receive at least six months of deferred interest — but you won’t receive any rewards for your purchases. 

The danger of deferred financing, however, is that if your total balance is not paid off during the promotional period, interest fees for your total purchase price — including what you’ve already paid off — will be added to your balance. This could easily be a couple of hundred dollars, depending on how much you originally spent.

9. CareCredit

CareCredit

CareCredit isn’t just for pets, but many of its account holders use their credit line to pay for veterinarian expenses. Keep in mind that the account only works at partnered vet offices — though you can also use it for some of your own medical needs, including at select chiropractors and dentists.

Be aware of the large 26.99% interest rate that every new cardholder receives, although you could qualify for six months or longer without interest for big purchases.

Do Vets Accept Payment Plans?

Some smaller, local vets provide in-house payment plans, whereas many larger, chain-based veterinarian offices partner with finance companies to provide broader plans with varying interest rates.

What works best for you will likely depend on your pet’s condition and the extent of his or her needs. After all, a $200 set of shots will require a very different payment plan than a surgical procedure.

For example, Banfield, one of the nation’s largest chain veterinarian clinics, doesn’t offer a payment plan for larger procedures. It does, though, provide varying wellness plans that cover preventative procedures for your pet. The plans are only available to dogs and cats, though.

Other financing companies partner with specific vet clinics and offer a quick online application and instant funding upon approval.

Keep in mind these lenders work outside of the vet’s practice, so you’ll make your payment to the financier — not your veterinarian. The vet does not set the terms for any loans and cannot alter any repayment plans.

Some vets that maintain independent practices may consider negotiating fees or offer repayment plans that may include interest charges. 

If your vet does not offer a payment plan or if he or she does not partner with a lender, you can consider one of the credit cards listed above, a personal loan to cover the vet’s fees, or a healthcare-specific option such as CareCredit.

What Can I Do if I Can’t Afford a Vet?

No animal should go without proper medical care because of a lack of funds. But, unfortunately, it happens.

A recent study found that every six seconds, a pet owner receives a medical bill for $3,000 or more. Not everyone can handle such a financial hit.

To cover those costs, some independent veterinarian clinics may offer payment plans that let you spread the cost of your pet’s medical emergency over several months or years. Some vet clinics partner with lenders that specialize in finance plans to take care of a pet’s medical bills.

ScratchPay offers simple payment plans for pet owners who need time to pay off their vet bills. ScratchPay breaks your debt down into three to 24 manageable payments, and you won’t pay interest on loans with fewer than five payments. 

Best of all, no hard credit checks are required for approval, so it’s a viable option for all credit types. Loan payments may be due biweekly or monthly, depending on the plan you choose.

If you can’t access a payment plan, you can consider nationwide and statewide organizations that provide varying levels of aid to pay for a pet’s medical care.

You can also consider online crowdfunding platforms. GoFundMe, for example, dedicates an entire section to people who need to raise money to pay for their pet’s medical expenses.

GoFundMe Animal Fundraisers

GoFundMe has a section dedicated to raising money for animals.

This will require a little work on your part to promote your fundraiser and drum up interest in your cause. That said, the most successful campaigns have quickly accrued funding to help animals all over the world.

Is it Worth it to Have Pet Insurance?

This may depend on your pet’s age and medical history. While pet insurance plans have risen in popularity over the years, they do come with some drawbacks.

Many popular insurance plans will not cover preexisting conditions that a vet diagnosed prior to you signing up for coverage.

This can get tricky because if your vet diagnosed your new puppy with an ear infection — which isn’t uncommon — before you start your insurance plan, the insurer will not cover any ear-related illnesses or procedures for the rest of your dog’s life.

Some plans even go so far as to rule out coverage of any future internal gastrointestinal issues if you’ve taken your pet to the vet’s clinic for a simple upset stomach. Other examples of preexisting conditions may include: 

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • allergies
  • lipomas or skin lumps

This is why it may be best to start a pet insurance policy as soon as you bring your new friend home — and before any illnesses that may be considered a preexisting condition arise. With that said, many pet medical emergencies happen to older animals, which means you could pay your premiums for many years before you actually need the coverage.

Some pets, such as English Bulldogs, have shorter lifespans and more complicated medical histories than other dog breeds. Therefore, you may find yourself paying higher premiums based on your pet’s breed and potential medical complications.

Get the Care Your Pet Needs

Your pet is an important member of your family. And just like any other family member, emergencies arise that often require some quick funding.

Or even if your pet is perfectly healthy, the cost of food, treats, and routine medical checkups can quickly become overwhelming. That’s where one of our best credit cards for pet owners can help bail you out of emergencies — or keep Fido stocked with yummy treats and chew toys without breaking the bank.

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