Certain facts are given – death and taxes being the two most-obvious. To that we can add a third: Now that Capital One and Walmart have teamed up to revamp Walmart’s credit card offerings, the new Capital One Walmart Rewards credit card program will be a huge success.
Not only is the cash back incentive pretty good, both cards (and I’ll explain what that means in a moment) let you redeem the rewards you earn in ways that put most other store-only credit cards to shame.
Is the CapitalOne Walmart Rewards Good for Me?
If you’re a Walmart shopper, absolutely. You’re going to save money with either of the two, new cards, and the rewards program is generous in how it lets you spend your rewards.
If you’re not a Walmart shopper, then this card is not for you.
That’s not a knock against the card itself, and it’s not a comment on how Capital One and Walmart designed the cards. It’s just that the cards’ greatest reward-earning options come from shopping at Walmart. Otherwise you’re picking up just 1 point per $1 spent away from Walmart, and you can earn far greater benefits with a different card, such as:
- Capital One Venture Rewards, if your main interest is travel rewards
- Bank of America Cash Rewards, if you’re main interest is cash back
- Capital One Savor, if your main interest is cash back on dining and entertainment
All You Need to Know About Capital One Walmart Rewards Credit Cards: Benefits and Features
First, we’re talking about two different credit cards – the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, and the Walmart Rewards Card.
The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is a traditional credit card that you can use anywhere in the world that Mastercard is accepted.
The Walmart Rewards Card is only useful at Walmart stores and Walmart.com. You cannot use it anywhere else in the world.
That said, the benefits are identical. Here’s what you get with either card:
- Unlimited 5% cash back on purchases at Walmart.com, including purchases online purchases through Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery;
- 5% cash back on in-store purchases when using Walmart Pay (Walmart’s Apple Pay knock-on for the Walmart smartphone app). This is an introductory offer good only for the first 12 months you own the card;
- 2% cash back on in-store purchases after the introductory offer expires (5% online is a permanent feature);
- 2% cash back on travel and dining;
- 2% cash back at Walmart Fuel Stations;
- 1% cash back on everything else;
- No annual fee and no foreign transaction fee;
- No annual cap on how much cash back you can earn;
- Redeem rewards anytime for travel, gift cards, statement credit and when for online Walmart purchases when checking out.
That last point, to me, sets the Walmart Rewards Card apart. Way too many single-store credit cards limit your benefits to vaguely useless coupons (often with expiration dates of 30 days) that you can only use in that store, and you cannot redeem any of your rewards for statement credit or travel.
What You Need to Know Before You Apply for Either of The New Walmart Credit Cards
These are new cards. Both will begin being issued September 24.
And given the app-centric nature of modern life and modern finance, Walmart and Capital One have created a mobile-application experience in which applicants can text to apply and then complete their application from their personal mobile device.
Once an applicant’s is approved and identity verified, the applicant will receive immediate access to their card for Walmart purchases. Moreover, if you signup for Walmart Pay, or already have a Walmart Pay account, you can load your card into the Walmart app for use in-store and on Walmart.com, meaning you don’t have to wait for the card to arrive in the mail before you can begin using it.
What Credit Score Do You Need to be Considered for a Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard?
Neither Capital One nor Walmart has explicitly said what credit score is necessary. But both companies say they’re targeting consumers with “good to excellent credit.” That would imply a credit score of at least 690.
Alternative Credit Cards for Consumers With Poor Credit
If your credit score isn’t high enough to qualify for a Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, then you should be looking at a different Capital One credit card: the Capital One Platinum credit card.
It charges no annual fee and offers an automatic credit-limit increase after five consecutive on-time payments. Both of those benefits will help bump up your credit score quickly.
You won’t earn miles, cash-back, rewards points or a signup bonus with Capital One Platinum, but when you have no credit or bad credit, perks are not what you need.
Which Credit Cards Do Better Job Than the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard?
As I noted above, it really depends on what type of benefits are most useful to you. So, let’s look at three other credit cards:
Capital One Venture Rewards: A high quality credit card if your main goal is travel rewards.
With Capital One Venture Rewards, you pick up an unlimited two miles for every S1 you spend on every purchase, every day. You’ll also get 10x miles on thousands of hotels through January 2020 (and as I’ve written previously, I would not be surprised if Capital One extends that program).
At the moment, Capital One will give you a signup bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. And you Capital One will give up to $100 in statement credit to cover the cost of applying for TSA PreCheck or GlobalEntry.
The annual fee is $95, though that’s waived in the first year.
Bank of America Cash Rewards: A well-designed, cash-back credit card. It gives you:
- 3% cash back in the category of your choice
- 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
- 1% on everything else.
The 3% categories you can choose from are: gasoline, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstore and home-improvement/furnishings. You’ll earn 3% cash back on the first $2,500 in spending you do in that category each quarter; beyond that it reverts to 1% cash back. (That same rule applies to 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.) You can change the category every month if your spending needs change, or you can leave your category as is, forever.
This 3% rate is fairly comparable to the cash back benefits with the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, since you will earn 5% online at Walmart.com or 2% shopping in-store after the 12-month introductory period.
With the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, you’ll also earn a $200 signup bonus after spending just $1,000 in the first three months – a respectable 20% cash back rate. And there’s no annual fee.
Finally, Capital One Savor: This is a great card for those who want cash back on dining, since it matches up well against the Walmart Mastercard’s 2% cash back on dining.
Capital One Savor offers:
- Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment;
- Unlimited 2% cash back at grocery stores;
- Unlimited 1% on everything else.
- 8% cash back when you buy tickets to live events through Vivid Seats through May 2020.
At the moment, Capital One Savor is also giving you a $300 one-time signup bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months, a healthy 10% bonus.
There’s no annual fee for the first year, and $95 thereafter.
The Wrap Up
I typically frown on most single-store credit cards because most of them are so poorly designed that it’s blatantly obvious the retailer and the credit-card company are more interested in their own financial benefit then that of the customer.
But the Capital One Walmart Reward Mastercard, as well as the Walmart Rewards Card, break that mold. They’re well designed for the Walmart shopper, and the benefits are respectable. Plus, you can use your rewards for more than just additional Walmart shopping.
At the end of the day, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is a good card for the consumer who regularly shops at Walmart.