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Retail behemoths Walmart and Amazon are known for their low prices, convenience and wide product selection. Both offer attractive credit cards that reward brand loyalty.
With two-day shipping, a popular streaming service, grocery delivery and competitive variety and pricing, Amazon has become synonymous with online shopping. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* entices Amazon Prime members with perks like rewards points, a valuable welcome bonus and exclusive cardholder discounts.
Walmart, which has long been the go-to, big-box, brick-and-mortar retailer with incredibly low prices, is competing with Amazon by giving Walmart.com shoppers free two-day shipping with no membership needed. The Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® makes shopping with Walmart.com even sweeter by offering 5 percent back on online purchases.
We’re putting these two retail credit cards to the test to help you determine which one you should have in your wallet.
As with other retail credit cards, both the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature and Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard offer lucrative rewards for cardmembers who are loyal to their brands. Here’s a look at how these cards stack up against each other:
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard|
|Welcome bonus||$150 Amazon Gift Card||5% cash back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months when you use your Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard with Walmart Pay|
|Rewards rate||5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1% back on all other purchases||5% cash back at Walmart.com, including pickup & delivery; 2% back in Walmart stores and fuel stations, at restaurants and on travel; 1% back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted|
|Regular APR||14.24% to 22.24% variable||17.99% or 28.99% variable|
|Annual fee||$0 ($139 Amazon Prime subscription required)||$0|
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card vs. Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard highlights
Let’s take a closer look at how these two store cards compare when it comes to welcome bonuses, rewards rates, annual fees and foreign transaction fees.
Welcome bonus winner: Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard
New Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cardholders receive a $150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. That’s a useful gift card, as it can be used on any of the millions of products found on Amazon, and it’s easy to earn.
The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers a welcome bonus of an increase to 5 percent back on purchases made at Walmart stores with the Walmart Pay app for the first 12 months. After 12 months, the rewards rate for purchases made in Walmart stores drops down to 2 percent. (Note that Walmart.com purchases always earn 5 percent back.)
Only after spending $3,000 at Walmart will existing Prime members surpass the value of the $150 gift card you earn with Amazon’s welcome offer, but given there’s no cap on the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard’s welcome offer, we’re naming it the winner of this category. We would like to note, though, that you must make your purchases in-store with Walmart Pay in order to secure the boosted cash back rate. So, if all of this is too complicated, you may find the Amazon gift card to be a better offer.
Rewards rate winner: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa earns an unlimited 5 percent rewards on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases, 2 percent at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1 percent back on all other purchases. This card also comes with “Prime Card Bonus” offers of up to 25 percent cash back on select Prime purchases.
The Capital One Walmart Rewards card earns 5 percent rewards at Walmart.com, including on pickup and delivery purchases, 2 percent back on purchases made at Walmart stores and fuel stations, at restaurants and on travel and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Other retail cards typically give you the highest rewards rate on purchases at their stores — whether on premises or online — so the fact that 5 percent back in Walmart stores is only a limited-time welcome offer is disappointing.
It’s also important to note these cards have slightly different categories for their 2 percent rewards tiers. The Amazon Prime Rewards gives 2 percent back on drugstore, gas station and restaurant purchases, while the Walmart Rewards card gives 2 percent back on Walmart store, fuel station, restaurant and travel purchases.
While we’ve determined the Amazon Prime Rewards has objectively better rewards rates, the Capital One Walmart Rewards card may be better for you if you shop at Walmart.com over Walmart stores and Amazon.com.
Annual fee winner: Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard
Both the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard offer the same attractive $0 annual fee, which means you don’t have to worry about making sure your rewards outweigh card costs.
However, although the Amazon Prime Rewards doesn’t have a fee, you still need to spend $139 on an annual Amazon Prime membership to earn 5 percent back on Amazon.com purchases. Because you essentially have to pay to unlock the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa’s highest rewards tier, the Walmart Rewards card is the winner when it comes to annual fees.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Neither card charges foreign transaction fees, making either a good choice when traveling abroad or making online purchases from e-commerce shops based abroad.
If you don’t already have a separate travel card in your wallet, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard is a good choice for booking travel and making purchases abroad due to its 2 percent travel rewards rate and lack of foreign transaction fees.
Which card earns the most?
Both the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard offer 5 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent back categories with similar structures. That means card earnings will depend on your spending habits and shopping preferences (for example, Amazon.com versus Walmart.com and online versus in-person shopping).
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card vs. Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard spending example
Let’s say you spend $2,000 on online purchases, $8,000 in groceries, $500 at drugstores, $500 on travel and $1,000 on miscellaneous purchases in one year.
If you had the Amazon Prime Rewards card, you’d earn $100 back on online purchases made through Amazon.com, $400 on groceries from Whole Foods, $10 at drugstores, $5 on travel and $10 on miscellaneous purchases, for a grand total of $525 back.
With the Capital One Walmart Rewards card, you’d earn $100 back on online purchases made through Walmart.com, $400 on groceries bought at Walmart stores via Walmart Pay within the first 12 months, $5 at drugstores, $10 on travel and $10 on miscellaneous purchases, for a grand total of $525 back. After the welcome bonus has expired, this scenario would earn you $285 each subsequent year (as the rate drops down to 2 percent for in-store purchases).
In this scenario, both cards would earn you the same rewards within the first 12-month introductory period. In your second year of card membership, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa would be more rewarding.
Why should you get the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card?
Simply put, if you already have an Amazon Prime membership and frequently shop with Amazon, you’ll probably want to have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card in your wallet. The 5 percent back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases make this card very enticing and most certainly worth it.
Amazon Prime Rewards cardholders benefit from Visa Signature perks, which include access to the Visa Signature Concierge Service and room upgrades, complimentary Wi-Fi, a food and beverage credit, complimentary breakfast and late check-out at any of the 900 establishments in the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.
Cardmembers also enjoy traveler, roadside and consumer protections that come in handy overseas, on the road and at home.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa technically gives you points instead of cash back. Each point is worth 1 cent, which means you’ll earn $1 in rewards for every $20 you spend at Amazon or Whole Foods, every $50 you spend at gas stations, restaurants or drugstores or every $100 spent on other purchases.
There are a number of ways to redeem points, including:
- Swapping them for a cash deposit into an eligible checking or savings account
- Redeeming a credit on your account
- Receiving Amazon.com credit
- Booking travel through Chase
- Trading them in for gift cards
Recommended credit score
You need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which means you’ll need a FICO score between 670 and 850.
Why should you get the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard?
If you shop at Walmart frequently, then getting the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is a no-brainer. With a higher rewards rate when you shop at Walmart.com, this card encourages you to shop online instead of at Walmart stores.
When you’re approved for this card, you’ll receive an instant card number so you can begin using it right away. There’s no need to wait for the card to arrive in the mail.
Capital One provides additional perks, like an app-activated card lock feature to protect you if your card is ever lost or stolen, $0 fraud liability and no penalty APR.
The Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers multiple ways to redeem your points, which never expire. As with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa, one point is worth 1 cent with Walmart’s card, which means you’ll need to rack up 100 points to earn $1 in rewards — that’s $20 spent on Walmart.com purchases, $50 at Walmart stores, restaurants or on travel or $100 on other purchases.
You can redeem points:
- For cash, in the form of a check or statement credit
- To cover a purchase
- For gift cards from Walmart and other stores
- For travel via Capital One Travel
Recommended credit score
In order to qualify for the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, you’ll need good to excellent credit, which typically falls in the 670 to 850 FICO score range.
The bottom line
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard are attractive branded cards from the biggest names in retail. They offer similar tiers for points collection and, as with other retail cards, reward cardmembers for their loyalty.
Since neither card has an annual fee and both retailers carry a staggering number of products, they’re both great options for retail cards. The best card for you depends on where you shop the most and which card will deliver the most value for your spending habits and lifestyle.
*The information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.