If you’re interested in the Walmart credit card but not sure if you’ll be approved when you apply, you can do a preapproval or try to prequalify for the card by going to this page on the Capital One website.
Capital One is Walmart’s partner bank and makes all Walmart credit card approval decisions. Capital One will also be the company you deal with for all Walmart credit card customer service, payments, etc., if you become a Walmart Mastercard holder or Walmart store card holder.
What’s a Preapproval? If I’m preapproved, am I guaranteed to be approved?
On the Walmart credit card preapproval page, you’ll see this message:
“Find out if you’re pre-approved for a Walmart credit card with no impact to your credit score”
But what does that really mean?
Preapprovals are a tool credit card issuers use to try to tell you the likelihood of being approved if you fill out and submit a full card application. (Literally, “pre approval” means “before approval.”)
Capital One asks you for basic information on its pre-approval tool, including your Social Security number, income, employment status, and monthly housing costs. Capital One will then do what is called a “soft pull” or “soft inquiry” of your credit report, which means they will check your credit score without hurting your credit score.
Based on your credit score and the other information you’ve provided, Capital One will tell you if it’s likely that you’ll be approved. However, even with a pre approval, it is not guaranteed that you will be approved once you submit a full application.
So I could be denied even with a preapproval? How?
The soft inquiry that Capital One does for the preapproval is less thorough than the “hard pull” or “hard inquiry” you’ll get when you actually apply for the Walmart credit card.
Once you submit your application for real, Capital One will look more specifically at certain items on your credit report. This may include a closer look at how much debt you currently have in relation to your income, how long your credit history is overall, how many other new credit cards you’ve gotten in the recent past, maybe even how many other Capital One credit cards you have and your payment record on those cards.
While that might sound a little scary, most people who are preapproved for the Walmart credit card through the online preapproval tool will ultimately be accepted for the card. But no credit card is guaranteed until an application has been officially approved.
There Are Two Walmart Credit Cards
Note that there are actually two Walmart credit cards, and that when you use the pre-approval tool, Capital One says the following:
“We will see if you are pre-approved for the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®. If we are unable to pre-approve you for this card, we will automatically consider you for the Walmart Rewards® Card.”
The Walmart Rewards Mastercard can be used at Walmart and anywhere else Mastercard credit cards are accepted, while the Walmart Rewards Card (more commonly called the Walmart Store Card) can only be used at Walmart. The Walmart Store Card may also have a higher APR and other differences in rates and fees, though the main difference is that it is not accepted outside Walmart.
When you do a full application for the Walmart credit card (regardless of whether or not you’ve been preapproved), you will be considered for the Walmart Mastercard first. If you are not approved for that, you will automatically be considered for the Walmart-only Walmart Store Card, based on the same application.
(Your credit would only be pulled once for the application, even if Capital One considers you for both cards. Note that your full application will include a hard inquiry which may slightly lower your credit score; this is true even if you were pre-approved first.)
Good luck on your pre approval for the Walmart credit card!
Author: Adam Jusko