12 Best Medical Credit Cards of 2018

12 Best Medical Credit Cards of 2018

credit card advice

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Posted: August 22, 2018
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

A good plan is the key to success for many things in life, including your personal finances. But, no matter how excellent the plan, some things simply defy planning — like medical emergencies.

And, while having a healthy emergency savings can be enough to buffer a few medical bills, a single trip to the emergency room can easily wipe out even the most robust savings account.

While many medical offices offer financing through medical credit card accounts, a regular, open-loop credit card may provide an even better deal for those who can qualify.

Medical Specific | 0% APR | Rewards | Balance Transfers

Best Credit Cards Specifically for Medical Expenses

Dedicated medical credit cards are very similar to store credit cards in how they operate. Primarily, medical credit cards are closed-loop, meaning they can typically only be used for medical purchases with a single provider.

Additionally, the financing deals offered through medical cards, like those offered by most store cards, tend to operate with deferred interest. This means that you’ll need to pay off your full financed amount before the end of your financing period to avoid interest fees.

If any amount of your balance remains when your offer expires, you’ll be charged interest on the entire financed amount, not just the part that’s left. For those who can pay off their balance before the deadline, however, these cards may be worthwhile.

1. CareCredit

The CareCredit card provides short- and long-term financing for a variety of medical bills, from chiropractic to urgent care, and the application process can be done directly online. Zero-interest financing plans are available with terms of 6, 12, 18, or 24 months, depending on purchase (and creditworthiness).

CareCredit

  • Special 0% financing of 6, 12, 18, or 24 months depending on your purchase
  • No interest if paid within promotional period
  • Longer-term plans available with low interest rates

If you need longer than 24 months to pay off your medical purchase, you may qualify for CareCredit longer-term financing for 24-, 36-, 48- or 60-month terms at a reduced interest rate. These plans require fixed monthly payments.

2. AccessOne MedCard

The AccessOne MedCard provides both 0% and low-rate financing, depending on the amount you need to finance and your personal credit profile. However, the site states that all credit types are welcome, and you won’t be turned down due to poor credit.

AccessOne MedCard

  • Special 0% or low-interest financing, depending on your needs and credit
  • No minimum credit score to qualify
  • Does not report to credit bureaus

Long-term plans with 0% interest will have higher monthly payments. For a lower monthly payment, you can obtain a low-interest loan. There are also plans for partial financial assistance, high deductibles, and catastrophic balances.

3. Wells Fargo Health Advantage

Wells Fargo Health Advantage is an in-office medical credit card applied for with your provider. It’s offered by a range of medical services practices, including dental, hearing aid, eye surgery, and veterinary offices.

Wells Fargo Health Advantage

  • Special financing plans with fixed monthly payments allow you to pay over time
  • Plans have competitive APRs
  • Revolving credit line

While the card promotes “competitive APRs,” the lack of 0% financing makes it less-than-ideal for large medical costs, as even low interest fees can add up quickly. If you can’t qualify for a 0% financing deal elsewhere, however, this could be a good option.

Best Credit Cards with 0% Introductory APRs

Although dedicated medical credit cards can be useful for short- and long-term financing, the deferred interest they typically use can end up being expensive if you have even a portion of your balance left over.

A better option, for those who can qualify, may be an open-loop card with a 0% intro-APR offer. The best deals provide at least 15 months of 0% financing on new purchases, with no deferred interest. If you have a balance at the end of the promotional period, interest will start accruing on that portion only.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 13.49%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card
  • Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
  • $0 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
13.49%-26.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 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
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Depending on your credit and needs, you may be able to find a good financing deal on a rewards credit card. This could help you earn cash back, points, or miles on your medical bills, which can help take a little of the edge off high-priced procedures, especially when paired with an intro-APR deal.

Just remember not to charge more than you can pay off in a reasonable amount of time. While any balance remaining after your promotional period expires won’t be subject to deferred interest, it will start accruing interest at the regular purchase rate, which will likely be at least 15% or more.

Best Rewards Credit Cards for Paying Medical Bills

While there are many situations in which getting a good financing deal on your medical bills is the main concern, patients who can pay off their medical bills right away will have other priorities. Namely, scoring the best rewards on their necessary medical expenses.

Since we couldn’t find any credit cards that have a dedicated bonus category for medical purchases, you may want to simply use your favorite rewards card. Or, make the most of a big bill by using it to get closer to the spending requirement for a new card’s signup bonus.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 15.99%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
15.99%-26.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Of course, the key to turning a signup bonus into big savings is to ensure you don’t wind up paying interest fees on your purchases — especially since cards with big bonuses tend to forgo intro-APR offers.

This means interest charges begin on any purchases you carry past your due date after just one billing cycle. So, make sure you actually have the funds on hand to repay your purchases before you start charging your way to a signup bonus spending requirement.

Best Balance Transfer Offers for Existing Medical Expenses

While intro-APR offers and emergency savings accounts can do a lot to prevent a future problem from turning into debt, what about your past medical expenses? If you have current credit card debt that’s sitting around accruing interest at a high rate, you may want to consider a balance transfer.

By transferring a balance from a card with a high rate to one with a lower rate, you can save on interest fees. And, if you have at least good credit, you may qualify for a credit card that offers an intro-APR deal on balance transfers that can drop your interest rate to 0%.

Discover it® Balance Transfer Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 13.49%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card
  • Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
  • $0 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
13.49%-26.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The main downside to balance transfers is that most credit cards will charge a balance transfer fee. Transfer fees typically range from 3% to 5% of the total transferred amount and are charged by the card to which you are transferring your balance.

Keep in mind that you’ll only be able to transfer a balance up to the card’s credit limit, and that the balance transfer fee will be added to the balance, reducing the total amount you can transfer.

Manage Your Medical Bills with the Right Card

Although a good plan can make all the difference in a great many situations, some of life’s little surprises defy planning and prediction.

If you’re faced with unexpected medical bills, your credit card may be a useful tool for financing your medical expenses, particularly if you can qualify for a good intro-APR offer.

However, avoid making purchases with your credit cards that you can’t repay in a reasonable amount of time. Interest fees can add up quickly, turning a medical emergency into a financial one before you know it.