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Review

2019 Review: Walmart Rewards Card & Walmart Rewards Mastercard — Worth It?

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Sean Messier By Sean Messier Oct 09, 2019 | Updated Oct 15, 2019
Our rating
Credit range: Fair
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 17.99%–26.99% Variable
Our rating
Credit range: Fair
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 26.99% Variable

Walmart Rewards Mastercard®

Our rating
Fair Credit range
See Alternatives

Walmart Rewards Card

Our rating
Fair Credit range
See Alternatives

Walmart is a big name.

If you live in the U.S., there’s a decent chance that you’ve spent some time there, whether you like it or not.

Either way, the store’s presence and the diversity of its product offerings are both undeniable. So it’s probably no surprise that the retailer offers credit cards designed to appeal to its loyal shoppers.

Walmart works with Capital One to issue these co-branded cards. One, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard®, can be used anywhere, just like your typical credit cards. The Walmart Rewards Card, on the other hand, can only be used at Walmart properties.

Both offer 5% back at Walmart.com and on the Walmart app, plus 2% back in stores. The Mastercard kicks things up a notch, delivering 2% back at restaurants and on travel, too.

Wondering whether these card offers provide enough value to warrant your attention?

As with most credit card reviews, our answer lies squarely in “it depends on your spending habits” territory. But as is the case with most retail credit cards, if you’re really into the store that’s offering them, these cards are certainly worth a glance at the very least.

The Walmart credit cards were previously issued by Synchrony. If you were already a Walmart cardholder before the Capital One switch, check out this section for more information on converting to the new cards.
Walmart Rewards Mastercard®

Walmart Rewards Mastercard®

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.99%–26.99% Variable
Walmart Rewards Card

Walmart Rewards Card

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable

Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

We’re awarding both the Walmart Rewards Mastercard and the Walmart Rewards Card 4 out of 5 stars.

Both cards offer strong cash back rewards programs that cater well to the frequent Walmart shopper. And while the Mastercard offers much more appeal overall, the Walmart Rewards Card is still a great choice if you’re a Walmart lover with poor or limited credit.

Why We Like Them

  • Quite rewarding all around, especially for Walmart enthusiasts
  • No spending caps on rewards categories
  • Rewards can be redeemed during checkout at Walmart.com, or for travel (Mastercard only), statement credits, or gift cards
  • Intro offer lets you earn more in store for a limited time
  • Mastercard offers decent benefits
  • No annual fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Issued by Capital One, an improvement over less-reliable retail heavyweights Synchrony and Comenity

Why They Could Be Better

  • 2% back on in-store purchases doesn’t quite measure up to Target’s competing 5% offer
  • There are (naturally) a variety of better options if you’re not a Walmart fan

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Shop at Walmart.com: You’re going to earn the best reward rate by shopping on the Walmart website or through the Walmart app. Fortunately, Walmart’s offerings are fairly diverse, so you shouldn’t have much trouble getting a lot of use out of the card, as long as you’re fine with waiting for your products to ship.
  • Buy groceries: The 5% back at Walmart.com includes Walmart Grocery Pickup & Delivery, which is a competitive offer in the grand scheme of grocery store rewards cards.
  • Pay for travel and restaurants: Book flights, hotels, and other travel with your Walmart Rewards Mastercard for 2% back. Cover your dining expenses with the card, too. There are cards with better rates for both categories, but you won’t get much higher without an annual fee.
  • Download the Walmart app and use it to pay during the first year: The 5% introductory reward rate new cardholders get by using Walmart Pay at Walmart stores is exceptional. To take advantage of this offer, download the Walmart app (iOS and Android) and save your credit card information. Then, after you’ve found what you’re looking for, tap “Service,” followed by “Walmart Pay,” and have the QR code ready on your screen when you check out.
  • Use with other credit cards: You should have no trouble pairing this card with a few others to cover all or most of your essential purchases.

The Rewards

It’d be nice to have a higher in-store reward rate, but aside from that, it’s kind of hard to find fault in the Walmart cards’ rewards. Especially the Mastercard, which is surprisingly great for a retail card with no annual fee.

The cards are described as earning cash back, but rewards technically come in the form of points, which allows for the various redemption options we’ll talk about below. Those points are simply worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back, which makes things pretty simple.

Earning

Spending Rewards (Walmart Rewards Mastercard)
  • 5% cash back at Walmart.com, including the Walmart App and Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery
  • 2% cash back for:
    • Walmart purchases in stores
    • Walmart and Murphy USA Fuel Stations
    • Restaurants
    • Travel
  • 1% cash back everywhere else
Spending Rewards (Walmart Rewards Card)
  • 5% cash back at Walmart.com, including the Walmart App and Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery
  • 2% cash back for:
    • Walmart purchases in stores
    • Walmart and Murphy USA Fuel Stations
Welcome Bonus Offer (Both Cards)
  • 5% cash back for purchases using Walmart Pay in stores for the first 12 months after approval

Both of these cards appeal to the same type of cardholder: the Walmart regular.

A 5% reward rate on a spending category with as much flexibility as Walmart.com (or the Walmart app) is rather hard to find, with the exception of credit cards provided by retail giants like Amazon and Target, and cards with rotating categories that have lowish spending caps, such as the Chase Freedom® (Review) and Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (Review).

The fact that the Walmart cards’ 5% category includes Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery (where these services are available) is also very impressive for a co-branded retail card. That means you can head to the Walmart website, place your pickup order to earn the 5% rate on your favorite foodstuffs, and then earn 2% back on your in-store shopping before grabbing your pile of groceries. Convenient, no?

There are other credit cards that can score you a 5% reward rate on groceries, but they’re not very common, and there are usually spending caps that apply to the grocery category. Grocery/supermarket categories don’t tend to include Walmart, either.

Walmart-specific categories aside, the Mastercard goes above and beyond the typical retail card’s get-rewards-here-and-nowhere-else approach by granting cardholders 2% back at restaurants and on travel.

When you think about cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review), which offers 2% back on every purchase (1% for purchases, 1% for payments), Walmart’s offer might not seem too impressive, but it’s a helpful touch when combined with the appealing reward rates available for Walmart.com and in-store purchases. And there aren’t too many cards that offer a better travel reward rate than 2% with no annual fee.

Both cards also provide 2% back at Walmart Fuel Stations and Murphy USA gas stations. But these aren’t too widespread, and 2% isn’t a huge number, so you may benefit more by pairing your Walmart card with a better gas card.

Redeeming

Redemption options for both Walmart credit cards are pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a modern rewards card.

Both cards allow you to redeem for gift cards, statement credits, or during checkout on the Walmart website.

Walmart Mastercard holders also have access to a rewards portal where rewards can be redeemed for travel. Travel redemptions, per the Mastercard’s terms, provide a value of 1 cent per point: “Simply multiply the cost of your travel purchase by 100. For example, if your travel purchase costs $200, you would multiply that by 100 to determine you need 20,000 points to redeem.”

This flexibility is nice, but we nonetheless recommend you redeem your rewards for statement credits, because you’ll always get the same value no matter what method you use. Statement credits are typically the quickest and easiest. Plus, there are plenty of cards that will provide a better value for travel redemptions.

Regardless of how you choose to redeem, you can do so anytime, and your rewards will never expire.

The Benefits

Retail credit cards aren’t known for their awe-inspiring benefits, but the Walmart Rewards Mastercard provides a few perks you might find useful.

  • Concierge service: Take advantage of non-emergency assistance with tasks like making reservations, getting tickets to sports and cultural events, and finding hard-to-find gifts.
  • Security features: Stay safe with features like identity fraud expense reimbursement, identity theft resolution services, $0 fraud liability, security alerts, and card lock.
  • Travel perks: MasterRental Insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation/protection insurance, Master RoadAssist Service, and travel assistance services.
  • Shopping protections: Extended warranty safeguards your purchases, and price protection coverage could help you save some cash here and there.

The Walmart Rewards Card’s only benefit is fraud protection.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
Walmart Rewards Mastercard 17.99%–26.99% Variable 17.99%–26.99% Variable 26.99% Variable
Walmart Rewards Card 26.99% Variable None None
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
Walmart Rewards Mastercard $0 None
Walmart Rewards Card $0 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
Walmart Rewards Mastercard 3% for promotional APR offers; None otherwise 3%, $10 minimum
Walmart Rewards Card None None
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Walmart Rewards Mastercard None Up to $39 None
Walmart Rewards Card None Up to $39 None

The Walmart Rewards Card has a relatively high APR, at 26.99%. That’s expected for a store card.

The Mastercard fares a bit better on that front. Its variable APR range is marginally higher than some general-use cards, though it’s not a significant difference.

Regardless, you’ll never have to worry about interest if you always pay off your full statement balance by the due date, like we recommend.

There are no foreign transaction fees here, which is a plus if you find yourself crossing borders with the Walmart Mastercard in your wallet.

The Bottom Line

The Walmart credit cards stand out from the retail credit card crowd with good rewards programs and flexible redemption options.

Walmart.com devotees will get the most out of these cards. The 5% cash back reward rate for the retailer’s website offers a ton of potential value, and that includes Walmart Grocery Pickup & Delivery, effectively providing 5% cash back on groceries with no category-related spending cap.

You’ll also earn 2% back in Walmart stores, which isn’t particularly great, but it’s not all that bad, either. You’ll earn 5% back in Walmart stores during the first year when you use Walmart Pay, and that adds quite a bit of earning potential.

On top of all that, 2% cash back for both restaurants and travel helps make the Walmart Rewards Mastercard® a particularly strong choice, especially when you put it up against most other retail credit cards.

Both cards may be within reach if you’re only working with fair credit, but even if you don’t qualify for the Mastercard, the Walmart Rewards Card has a lower barrier of entry (explained in the How to Apply section below) that could allow you to take advantage of a relatively generous rewards program, even with not-great credit scores.

So, all things considered, the Walmart credit cards are pretty great. But if you’re not a real-deal Walmart fan, consider amassing an arsenal of other rewards cards that better reflect your spending habits.

How to Apply for the Walmart Credit Cards

Applying for the Walmart credit cards is very easy.

When you apply, you’ll be considered for the Walmart Rewards Mastercard first. If you don’t qualify for the Mastercard, you’ll automatically be considered for the Walmart Rewards Card.

To apply, visit the Walmart website and click “Apply now.” You’ll then have to fill out a standard application, including the personal information outlined below.

View the terms for both cards for complete eligibility information.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Get the Walmart Credit Cards?

A Walmart representative told CNBC the new card offers are “aimed at consumers across the credit spectrum with broad eligibility for people with good to excellent credit.”

Basically, the cards are designed for people of all credit scores, though the Mastercard will likely require better credit. Either way, this makes the Walmart cards a solid choice if you’re struggling to be approved for other rewards cards.

Just remember that several factors go into an approval decision, and your credit scores guarantee neither approval nor denial.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. resident
  • Personal information: Name, date of birth, SSN, U.S. citizenship status
  • Contact information: Residential address, phone number
  • Financial information: Employment status, total annual income, mortgage/rent, types of bank accounts held
Walmart Rewards Mastercard®

Walmart Rewards Mastercard®

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.99%–26.99% Variable
Walmart Rewards Card

Walmart Rewards Card

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable

How to Convert Old Walmart Credit Cards to the New Capital One Cards

If you were a Walmart credit cardholder prior to the switch to Capital One, Walmart will automatically transfer your former Synchrony account to Capital One. Some action will be required on your part, and here’s a quick rundown of how you should prepare for this change.

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date. You’ll receive your new card in the mail, so it’s important to ensure Capital One can get it to the right place.
  • Keep using your card like you normally do. New cards won’t be mailed for a while, so you can keep using your physical Walmart card just like you always do. You’ll have automatically started earning rewards through the new program starting October 11, even before you have the new card.
  • Set up your Capital One account: Set up your Capital One account on your computer or through the mobile app.
  • Add your payment details: With the switch to Capital One, you may have a new due date for your monthly credit card payment. You may also have to re-add your preferred payment method, which typically involves connecting a bank account, and reactivate AutoPay if you intend to use it.
  • Activate your new card when it arrives: Like most credit cards, you’ll have to activate your new Walmart card in order to use it. Once that’s set, you can just keep using it like you’d been using your former card.
  • Update payment information where you shop: Replace any saved payment information from your old Walmart cards with that of your new card. This is especially important if you’d been using your Walmart card for any recurring payments, like subscriptions or utilities.

For more information, visit the Walmart website.

Alternatives to the Walmart Credit Cards

Walmart’s credit cards provide appealing rewards for anyone who’s all about that Walmart life. But if you’d rather shop elsewhere, these cards really don’t provide much to write home about, and you could find more value with other picks.

This list features a mix of retail cards and general rewards credit cards, and you may benefit from using a couple of them together, rather than picking one and committing to it.

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR25.15% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Target/Walmart rivalry is alive and well. But while Walmart is often known for slightly lower prices, Target boasts a significantly higher in-store credit card reward rate.

The Target REDcard™ Credit Card (Review) offers 5% off in Target stores and on the Target website, with no rewards earning limit and no annual fee. And, yes, that 5% includes Starbucks cafes located inside Target stores.

Perks like free shipping and special anniversary offers add a nice finishing touch.

Spending Discount
  • 5% off eligible purchases at Target and Target.com

Key Features

  • Benefits: Free shipping on eligible items, early access to events, products, and promotions, anniversary offers, exclusive extras, cash back on select gift cards, and 30 extra days for returns
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Costco Anywhere Visa<sup>®</sup> Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0*
Regular APR16.99%* (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Obviously geared toward the Costco enthusiast, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi (Review) is a remarkably great all-around rewards card.

Similar to the Walmart card, you only get 2% back in Costco stores. But you also get a variety of other bonus categories, with an excellent rate on gas in particular.

The main obstacle here is that you have to have a Costco membership in order to apply for the card. The lower-tier membership, Gold Star, costs $60 a year, while the upper-tier Gold Star Executive membership is priced at $120 annually.

Spending Rewards
  • 4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide, including gas at Costco; up to $7,000 per year (then 1% back)
  • 3% cash back for:
    • Restaurants
    • Travel (including Costco Travel)
  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Key Features

  • $20 Costco Cash Card: If you join Costco by purchasing a new Executive Membership, you’ll get a $20 Costco Cash Card
  • Shopping protections: Purchase Protection and Extended Warranties
  • Annual fee: $0*

 

Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Our rating
Credit rangeGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.74%– 25.74% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (Review) is one of our favorite general-use credit cards, because it gives you 2% cash back everywhere, and with no spending limit. That’s as much as the Walmart cards give you on in-store purchases, with none of the restrictions.

You won’t earn higher reward rates in other categories, as you would with the Walmart cards, but that’s fine. As with a lot of flat-rate cards, the Double Cash is largely a card you’ll want to use alongside other, more specifically targeted credit cards.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase you make
    • 1% back when you make a purchase
    • 1% back when you pay for that purchase

Key Features

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then 15.74%– 25.74% (Variable)
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Credit rangeNo Credit
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.46% (Variable)

Don’t let its name deceive you. The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (Review) is available to anyone, and it’s designed to allow relatively easy approval.

That means people with average or perhaps even poor credit scores can use it to earn rewards while building credit. It’s generally a better option for building credit than a store card or a secured credit card — there’s no need for an up-front deposit, and its rewards program is general enough that you don’t need to stick to one store to make the most of it. Plus, there are incentives for paying on time, which could help whip your financial habits into shape.

You can only get up to 1.25% cash back with the Journey card, but if you’re really struggling to be approved for other unsecured credit cards, this could be a good place to start.

Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back for every purchase
    • 1.25% cash back if you pay on time

Key Features

  • Access a higher credit line: Make your first five monthly payments on time and you’ll be granted a higher credit limit.
  • Benefits: Extended Warranty, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Travel and Emergency Assistance, Travel Accident Insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Walmart Rewards Mastercard®

Walmart Rewards Mastercard®

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.99%–26.99% Variable
Walmart Rewards Card

Walmart Rewards Card

Our rating
Credit rangeFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable

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Looking for the perfect complement for your new Walmart card, or a rewards card that better suits your spending habits? You’ll likely find what you’re looking for among our picks for the absolute best credit cards.
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AT A GLANCE

The Walmart credit cards offer strong and relatively well-rounded rewards programs, including 5% back at Walmart.com and 2% back in Walmart stores. The Walmart Rewards Mastercard stands out a touch more thanks to its 2% cash back category, which covers restaurants and travel.

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