Published in: Credit Cards | Dec. 17, 2018
Read This Before You Apply for the Walmart Credit Card
By: The Ascent Staff
Here's how the Walmart Credit Card stacks up against the competition.
Frequent Walmart shoppers may have come across the Walmart Credit Card in stores or online. In fact, the company offers two cards: the Walmart Credit Card, which can be used only in Walmart's stores, and the Walmart Mastercard®, which can be used anywhere.
Applying online can net you a $25 purchase credit on your first transaction, but you could be passing up a free 2-liter bottle of soda for applying in the store. Each store may give extra incentives to applicants.
But before you let Walmart pull your credit report just for a sip of something sweet, here's some information on how the Walmart credit card stacks up against its competitors.
Both the Walmart Credit Card and Walmart Mastercard® offer 1% back in the form of a statement credit on every purchase, including Walmart stores and Sam's Club. Eligible cardmembers will also receive 2% cash back on purchases made at select gas stations and 3% back on online purchases made at Walmart.com. Note that purchases made at Walmart's other websites, including Samsclub.com and Jet.com, don't qualify for 3% back in rewards.
There's no annual fee for holding the Walmart Credit Card or Mastercard, but they do come with relatively high interest rates.
There doesn't appear to be a minimum credit limit, as some report limits as low as $75. Others report limits as high as $20,000. It really depends on your credit history, and if you show you can manage your credit line responsibly, you can ask for a credit limit increase and it won't result in a hard inquiry on your credit report.
A competing big-box store card might be more worthwhile
Even if you're a heavy Walmart shopper, neither the Walmart Credit Card nor the MasterCard presents a great value unless you primarily do all your shopping online at Walmart.com.
But Walmart shoppers who also take trips to Costco may be interested in applying for the Costco Anywhere Visa card. It earns 1% on all purchases, as the Walmart cards do, but purchases made at Costco or online at Costco.com earn 2%. What's more, restaurant and travel purchases earn 3% back, and gas purchases at any gas station earn 4% back on the first $7,000 per year. In addition, Costco offers an introductory 0% interest rate for the first seven months of purchases.
The Costco Anywhere Visa card is significantly more useful than the Walmart Credit Cards, especially considering they both still earn 1% cash back at Walmart stores.
One more option if your credit history isn't great
The Walmart Credit Card is fairly lenient on who will get approved. Even consumers with no or poor credit history can usually get approved for a small credit limit. But there may be another option if you don't have the credit score to get approved for one of the alternatives already mentioned.
Before you apply for the Walmart Credit Card, we recommend you consider applying for a more rewarding cash-back credit card first. The Walmart Credit Card (and that free soda) will still be there if you don't have the credit score to get approved for one of our recommendations. Then you can use the Walmart Credit Card, and our helpful advice, to raise your credit score and qualify for a better card next year.
Our #1 cash back pick has a surprise bonus
This may be the perfect cash back card! That's because it packs in $1,148 of value. Cardholders can earn up to 5% cash back, double rewards in the first year, and avoid interest well into 2020. With such a deep bench of perks you'll wonder how this card packs in a $0 annual fee. Best yet, you can apply and get a decision in two minutes. Learn more with our in-depth review.