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This in-depth Walmart credit card review explains how to complete an application and get instant approval. We also look at the pros and cons of applying for a store credit card at Walmart. Click here for more reviews on the best credit cards available.
Having the right credit card for your everyday shopping can help maximize your rewards and perks. The Walmart Credit Cards offer some solid rewards on certain purchases. But are they the best option, even for the most loyal of Walmart shoppers? Read on to find out.
Walmart credit card overview
Walmart offers two credit cards which are Walmart Credit Card and the Walmart Store Card.
The Walmart Store Card is a closed loop store credit card, which means you can only use it at Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets, Walmart.com, Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations, and Sam’s Club.
We have had the card for over seven years. We use it for groceries when we are tight between paychecks or need tires on the vehicles.”
The Walmart Credit Card, on the other hand, can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, giving you more flexibility.
The Walmart Credit Card and Walmart Store Card are no heavy hitters when it comes to rewards, but they could be a great fit for some people. Both cards offer 3% cash back on all Walmart.com purchases, 2% back on Murphy USA and Walmart gas purchases, and 1% back everywhere else that the cards are accepted.
Walmart Credit Card bonus, rates, and fees
The cards also offer a sign-up bonus. As of August 2017, you’ll earn $25 after you spend your first $75 on the card.
Instead of earning rewards, some purchases may qualify for special financing. For many, this means no interest if you pay off the full balance within six, 12, 18, or 24 months.
As a store credit card, the Walmart Credit Card should be easier to qualify for. Its interest rate is on the high end, though.
With the Walmart Credit Card, you can qualify for one of three interest rates, depending on your creditworthiness. See our review page to get up-to-date rates.
Neither card has an annual fee, but they do charge a fee for some other activities, including:
- Cash advances: $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater (Walmart Credit Card only).
- Foreign transaction fees: 3% of the transaction amount (Walmart Credit Card only).
- Late payments: Up to $38.
In short, there are differences between Walmart’s Credit Card and Store Card.
What we like about the Walmart Credit Card and Walmart Store Card
What really shines about these cards is the 3% cash back bonus on Walmart.com purchases. Since you can buy just about anything on Walmart.com, you could get those bonus rewards on a lot of your everyday purchases.
The cards’ special financing is also a huge plus. If you need to make a large purchase but can’t pay it off now, getting a deferred-interest promotion could save you a lot in interest costs”
For Rebecca Hoyt, the Walmart Credit Card has been a lifeline. “We have had the card for over seven years,” she says. “We use it for groceries when we are tight between paychecks or need tires on the vehicles.”
The cards’ special financing is also a huge plus. If you need to make a large purchase but can’t pay it off now, getting a deferred-interest promotion could save you a lot in interest costs.
Just keep in mind that, for the promotion to be truly interest-free, you must pay off the purchase in full before the promotion is over. Otherwise, the issuer of the credit cards, Synchrony Bank, will apply interest retroactively from the date of the purchase.
What we don’t like about the Walmart Credit Card and Walmart Store Card
Other than the Walmart.com bonus rewards, the Walmart Credit Card and Store Card don’t offer much beyond that in terms of rewards. Other cash-back credit cards offer much better sign-up bonuses.
We would like a lower interest rate … Even when we make a double payment, it feels like the interest eats all of it up.”
Also, getting 2% cash back on gas purchases is decent, but the Walmart Credit Card and Store Card restrict you to using Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations. If you don’t live near one of these, you’re out of luck.
When asked what her least favorite part about the Walmart Credit Card is, Hoyt replies, “We would like a lower interest rate … Even when we make a double payment, it feels like the interest eats all of it up.”
Walmart credit card instant approval
There is no guarantee you will get instant approval when you apply for a Walmart credit card. But if you are instantly approved you can start using your card for purchases immediately. Spend $25 the same day you’re approved and you will get a $25 statement credit bonus.
Although getting instant approval is nice, it is not an option for everyone. Credit card applicants are only instantly approved when they exceed a card’s requirements rather than just meeting them. In many cases, the issuing bank, Synchrony Bank, will need to take a closer look at your application. However, you can improve your chances of success if you follow these steps:
- Meet the basic eligibility requirements: be 18+ years old, have a U.S. mailing address and an SSN.
- Make sure your credit score is 640 or higher. Otherwise, your chances of instant approval for the Walmart Store Card are slim to none. You will need a credit score of 700+ to qualify for the Mastercard version
- Keep your reports open. If you have a freeze on your credit report, you will need to lift it. Otherwise, Synchrony will not be able to check your credit, which will delay or cancel your application. Synchrony may check you TransUnion, Equifax or Experian credit reports.
- Apply in-store. You can apply at either the register or the jewelry counter. If they approve your application on the spot, you will get a temporary card you can use in the store right away.
- Apply online. You can also get instant approval online. If you are successful you will get a temporary card number you can use to make purchases right away.
How long does it usually take to get approved for a Walmart Credit Card?
Typically, Synchrony will approve applications instantly or within the same day. However, if you don’t get Walmart credit card instant approval, you may have to wait a week or two before you get a reply. You can check on your application by calling 1 (877) 294-7880. Once you are approved it can take 7-10 business days for the card to arrive in the mail.
What does your credit score have to be to get a Walmart credit card?
Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to this question. Some websites have gathered information from people who have applied and shared averages, which range from 550 to 660. But the issuer of the credit cards, Synchrony Bank, doesn’t offer any information about what it takes to get approved.
What’s more, Synchrony — and other credit card issuers, for that matter — also looks at other factors when reviewing your application.
Common creditworthiness factors include:
- Your income
- Your overall debt
- The length of your credit history
- How many recent credit inquiries you have
- Whether you have a bankruptcy or other major negative item on your credit report
These factors mean that, if you have a low credit score, it’s possible to make up for it with one of these other elements. At the same time, a bankruptcy or a ton of recent credit inquiries could make it hard to get approved even with a decent credit score.
If you’re not sure if you’d qualify, it can help if you received a Walmart credit card pre-approval offers in the mail. While these offers don’t guarantee approval, they’re based on the issuer running a soft credit check and deciding if you might qualify.
Related questions about the Walmart credit cards
As we’ve researched the Walmart credit cards, we’ve noticed some other key questions you might have about the card. Here’s a quick Q&A to save you some time:
DOES THE WALMART CREDIT CARD GIVE INSTANT APPROVAL?
While you should get a response within 30 seconds if you apply online, there’s no guarantee you’ll be instantly approved.
CAN YOU GET THE WALMART CREDIT CARD WITH BAD CREDIT?
We’ve seen evidence that it’s possible to get the cards with a bad credit score, but there’s no published minimum score requirement. Synchrony Bank reviews your full credit profile.
WHAT IS THE WALMART CREDIT CARD LIMIT?
We’ve seen some new cardholders get a credit limit as low as $150. But in general, your limit will be based on your income, current debt, credit score, and more.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU GOT APPROVED FOR A WALMART CREDIT CARD?
If you apply online, you’ll typically get a response within 60 seconds. If the application is pending, you should get a letter within ten business days.
IS IT GOOD TO HAVE A WALMART CREDIT CARD?
The Walmart credit cards aren’t terrible, but you could do better if you have good credit. The biggest issue with the card is that it offers bonus rewards on Walmart.com purchases, but you get a measly 1% cash back when you shop in Walmart stores. That said, if you shop on Walmart.com a lot, it could be worth it.
WHAT CREDIT BUREAU DOES WALMART USE?
Synchrony Bank usually pulls only your TransUnion credit report when determining whether to approve your application. But once you get approved, the issuer reports your account activity to all three national credit bureaus.
Other credit cards to consider
If you’re not quite sold on the Walmart Credit Card or Store Card, or you simply want to cover all your bases, here are some other credit cards to consider:
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature® Card
If you’re interested in the Walmart cards primarily for their online shopping rewards, another card to consider is the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature®.
This card offers 3% cash back on all Amazon.com purchases (5% if you’re an Amazon Prime member), 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1% back elsewhere. It also does not charge an annual fee.
With better rewards across the board, the Amazon Rewards card is a worthy competitor.
It also offers some spiffy travel benefits:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Baggage delay insurance
- Travel accident insurance
Citi Double Cash
If you’re just looking for a solid everyday credit card, the Citi Double Cash is worth a look.
This card offers 1% cash back on all purchases, then another 1% cash back when you pay them off. With no annual fee, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this card’s effective 2% cash back on everything.
Walmart Credit Card and Store Card FAQ
Where can you use a Walmart Credit Card and Walmart Store Card?
The Walmart Credit Card is a store credit card, which means you can only use it at Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets, Walmart.com, Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations, and Sam’s Club.
The Walmart Credit Card, on the other hand, can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, giving you more flexibility.
How do I apply for a card?
You can apply for a Walmart credit card here.
Is there an annual fee for Walmart Credit Card or Store Card?
Neither card has an annual fee, but they do charge a fee for some other activities
How do Walmart Credit Card or Store Card holders make their payments?
You can call Walmart’s credit card customer service at Walmart Store Card 1-877-294-7880 and Walmart Credit Card’s customer service at 1-866-611-1148. Alternatively, you can check your account online here.
How to Apply for the Walmart Credit Card or Store Card
Step 1: Apply online by visiting Walmart.com. (Check latest rates and terms here)
Step 2: After clicking on “Apply Now,” you’ll start by entering in basic information about yourself (e.g., name, address, phone number, etc.).
Step 3: Next, you’ll select how you want to receive monthly statements and enter your date of birth and Social Security Number. You’ll also choose whether you want to apply for Synchrony’s card security program, which cancels your balance if you experience economic hardship.
Step 4: After that, you’ll review the card’s rates, fees, and other terms before submitting your application. Once it’s been submitted, you’ll typically get a response immediately.
If you’re approved, you can manage your card account through your online log in. If you have any questions, you can reach the Walmart credit card phone number on the back of your card.
Should you get the Walmart Credit Card?
Although it offers exciting rewards on Walmart.com purchases, the rest of the card’s rewards and benefits are nothing to write home about. If you have good credit and can qualify for a better card, you’ll get more value over the long run.
If your credit is not great, applying for the Walmart Credit Card or Store Card may be a good store card to use to build your credit.
Also, if you do most of your online shopping at Walmart.com, it may be worth getting one of these cards just for that purpose and using another card for other spending needs.
Using this strategy is a good way to maximize your rewards across all your spending.
But what if your credit score does not qualify you for these cards? One option is to apply for unsecured credit cards designed for people with bad credit such as Milestone Gold Mastercard, Indigo Platinum Mastercard, and Total Visa Credit Card.
Visit SuperMoney’s credit card engine to find the best rates and terms available for consumers with your credit score. You can also filter cards by rewards program, network, fees, rates, and many other features.
Ben Luthi is a personal finance writer and a credit cards expert who loves helping consumers and business owners make better financial decisions. His work has been featured in Time, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance, U.S. News & World Report, CNBC, Success Magazine, USA Today, The Huffington Post and many more.