Walmart offers a credit card that it hopes offers enough rewards to keep you loyal to both the card and Walmart itself. But how do its perks stack up to the competition? Does it deserve a place in your wallet? We investigate.
What You Get
Walmart’s credit card (which is issued by Synchrony Bank) offers cash back as a statement credit. That means you don’t ever see the money in your hands but it is deducted from your credit card bill, which is essentially the same thing. Many cash back credit cards work this way, so nothing to complain about there.
Here’s what you get in rewards:
- 3% back on purchases on Walmart.com (includes grocery pickup purchases ordered online)
- 2% back on purchases on purchases of gas at Murphy USA and Walmart
- 1% back on all other card purchases
In addition, if you apply for the Walmart credit card and are instantly approved, you can save $35 on any purchases you make on the day of approval, provided you spend at least $75 in total. (If you don’t get an instant approval but are approved later, you will still receive a similar bonus offer as a new cardholder.)
Your interest rate on the Walmart credit card will depend on your credit history. You could be approved at a rate of either 18.65%, 21.65%, or 24.65%. While these rates are similar to many other cards in today’s market, they are still high. Do your best not to carry a balance on this card or you will pay significant interest.
Walmart Mastercard vs. Walmart Store Card
When you apply for the Walmart credit card, Walmart (and Synchrony Bank) will consider your application based on your credit history. If your history is good enough, you will be approved for the Walmart Mastercard. If your credit history is not good enough to qualify for the Mastercard, you will then be considered for the Walmart store card.
What’s the difference? The Walmart Mastercard is accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted, so you are not restricted to using it at Walmart stores. The Walmart store card is only good at Walmart, so it has more limited usefulness.
There is no annual fee for either the Walmart Mastercard or Walmart store card.
If you don’t have significant credit problems, you will probably be approved for this card. Retail store credit cards are known to have lower approval standards than cards from the major banks, so it is very possible that you could be approved for a Walmart card even if you’ve been denied for a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card from a major bank.
How It Compares
Looking at the Walmart credit card’s rewards, the only feature that stands out is the 3% rebate on Walmart.com purchases. The 2% rebate on Walmart & Murphy USA gas is not particularly impressive, as many other credit cards offer similar or better gas rebates. However, if you always get your gas at Walmart, this perk may be more attractive to you for the convenience of it. Finally, the fact that you only get a 1% rebate on Walmart in-store purchases with the card is fairly shocking. Any cash back credit card gives you at least 1% on all of your purchases; the fact that Walmart does not give anything extra for making purchases at its own stores is puzzling. Perhaps Walmart is so intent on competing online that it is willing to give the 3% rebate for Walmart.com purchases but does not have incentive to give its store customers any extra rewards.
If you look at our list of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards, you’ll see that the Walmart card does not compare very favorably. There are multiple cards that give 1.5%-2% on all card purchases, and other cards that have more attractive bonus categories as well. However, approval for those cards may be more difficult. If your credit history is not as good, the Walmart card’s rewards might stack up better when compared to other cards that would accept you.
As noted above, we give the Walmart credit card 2 stars, meaning we think it is only average. Its rewards are not very impressive, though they could be attractive to people who can’t qualify for the better cards offered by major banks. Its only real feature of interest is the 3% rebate on Walmart.com purchases, which seems to actually be pushing you to buy online instead of at your local Walmart. That may be good for Walmart in its online battles with Amazon.com, but it stiffs the loyal Walmart store shopper by giving only a 1% rebate for shopping in store.
There are many credit cards in today’s market that are better than what you get with the Walmart card. If you qualify for one of those cards, pass this one by.