Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® review: Best no annual fee grocery rewards card
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Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® Card Overview
In today’s world, many Americans rely on online shopping and curbside pickup for the majority of their shopping. The Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® offers rewards for all your shopping at the megastore, both online and in person. If Walmart runs are a regular part of your life, this card could earn you big cash back rewards in the first year and beyond.
Boasting no annual fee, a generous rewards rate—especially for grocery pickup and delivery—and great redemption flexibility, the Walmart credit card stands out as a top retail rewards card and one of the best credit cards for groceries on the market.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- Must use Walmart Pay to get 5 percent back in-store in your first year
- Relatively high APR
- Limited perks
- Ongoing rewards rate for in-store Walmart purchases is just 2 percent back
- Soft pull preapproval not currently available for the Walmart card
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 5% cash back at Walmart.com, including pickup & delivery; 2% cash back in Walmart stores & fuel stations, at restaurants and on travel; 1% cash back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted
- Welcome offer: Earn 5% cash back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months when you use your Capital One Walmart Rewards Card with Walmart Pay.
- Annual fee: $0
- Regular APR: 17.99% – 26.99% (variable)
Current sign-up bonus
In lieu of a flat cash bonus, the Walmart Rewards Card currently offers an elevated cash back rate in your first year: You can earn 5 percent cash back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months when you use your card with Walmart Pay. That’s 3 percent higher than the regular rewards rate you’d get when shopping in-store at Walmart.
However, to get access to the extra cash back, you’ll need to sign up for Walmart’s digital wallet and use it exclusively at checkout. If you were to use the card at Walmart without the Walmart Pay app, you’d only earn 2 percent back.
If you do the majority of your shopping at Walmart across categories including groceries, clothes and car maintenance, you could earn a significant amount of cash back in the first year. Based on average household spending estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using the Walmart Rewards Card with Walmart Pay for these purchases in your first year could earn you close to $400 in cash back.
Although the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card offers its highest cash back rate on spending at Walmart.com, cardholders can get rewards everywhere they spend. You’ll earn at least 1 percent cash back on every purchase, even those made outside of Walmart, with rewards that can be used to effectively write off future purchases.
Earning cash back
Using the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card for all your spending will help you earn a bank of cash back rewards for future use. Cardholders earn 5 percent cash back at Walmart.com, including orders for at-store pickup or local delivery.
This means you can also earn 5 percent back on your grocery spending if you shop with Walmart online, a rate rivaling that of top U.S. supermarket rewards cards like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This is especially useful since Walmart typically doesn’t count as a grocery store according to most credit card merchant category codes.
On purchases made at Walmart stores, you’ll earn an ongoing regular rewards rate of 2 percent cash back, whether or not you use Walmart Pay.
You’ll also earn 2 percent cash back on purchases at restaurants and on travel, including purchases at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations. Everywhere else Mastercard credit cards are accepted, including at Sam’s Club stores and gas stations, you’ll earn 1 percent cash back.
Redeeming cash back
Given the restrictions you’ll find on most store credit cards, the redemption options available with the Walmart Rewards card are quite flexible.
There are multiple ways to redeem your cash back, but the most common way to use Walmart cash back rewards is to cover purchases made with the card via a statement credit. While rewards can only be applied to purchases made in the last 90 days, partial redemptions are an option. After selecting the purchase and the amount of cash back you want to redeem, the charges will disappear in two to three business days.
You can also request a check for your cash back balance or redeem for gift cards at Walmart or other retailers. Rewards can also be used for travel reservations, including flights. The number of points will vary based on the requested trip, and reservations must be booked 72 hours in advance.
How much are points worth?
Whether you use your rewards for cash back, a check, gift cards or travel, points are worth one cent apiece. When covering purchases and requesting a check, you can choose how many points you want to redeem for cash back. For gift cards and travel rewards, you must have enough points to cover the full redemption cost.
Key cardholder perks
Though the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card is a fairly simple cash back credit card, it offers a handful of useful perks. Along with instant issuance via the Walmart app, the card features a fair number of security benefits standard to Capital One credit cards, like fraud alerts and zero liability on fraudulent charges.
Once you’re approved for the Walmart credit card, you get an instant card number via the Walmart app that can be used immediately.
No penalty APR
A late payment won’t cause your interest rate to go up with the Walmart credit card. According to the terms and conditions, your purchase APR will only change if the market conditions change.
Security alerts on fraudulent activity
If Capital One detects any strange purchases on your card, you’ll get alerted immediately. This extra security helps you stop fraud as it happens rather than finding out much later when you review your credit card statement.
Zero fraud liability
In the event your card is stolen, you won’t be forced to pay for any fraudulent charges made to your account. With $0 fraud liability, cardholders can rest assured that they are protected every time they use their card.
Card lock for missing or stolen cards
Should your card get lost or stolen, you won’t need to call Capital One for help. Through their smartphone app, you can lock missing cards immediately, and even request a new one.
Rates and Fees
Even though the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card is designed for consumers with good credit or excellent credit (a FICO credit score of 670 or higher), it comes with a rather high interest rate. Account holders will be charged an interest rate of 17.99 percent to 26.99 percent on new purchases and balance transfers, based on creditworthiness. Even the low end of this range is higher than the current average credit card interest rate.
For balance transfers fee: $0 at the transfer APR . However, if you decide to make a balance transfer during a promotional offer (none currently available), you may be charged a fee of 3 percent of the balance transfer. All cash advances are charged an APR of 26.99 percent, along with a fee of 3 percent of the advance or $10, whichever is greatest.
Although your interest rate won’t go up if you make a late payment on the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card, you will be charged a late fee. The penalty for missing the due date is up to $39.
On the plus side, the card charges no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee, so as long as you pay off your balance on time and in full each month, it should cost you nothing to hold this card.
How the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card compares to other cash back cards
Compared to other cash back credit cards, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card is the clear winner when it comes to purchases at Walmart. Outside of Walmart.com and Walmart stores, other cards may offer better rewards depending on your spending habits.
For example: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card offers bigger rewards on dining purchases (3 percent cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services versus 2 percent with the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card) and 5 percent cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. In addition, the card offers 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter (upon activation, then 1 percent), without requiring you to use a digital wallet.
The Discover it® Cash Back is another rotating category cash back card worth considering. Discover’s 2021 cash back calendar lists Walmart.com purchases as eligible for 5 percent cash back in Q4 of 2021 (upon activation, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, then 1 percent).
That said, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card could offer more cash back overall if you maximize its rewards categories. After all, the Walmart card offers 5 percent cash back year-round on all Walmart.com purchases.
Best cards to pair the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card with
If you value cash back above all other rewards, it makes sense to pair the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card with a flat-rate cash back card or another cash back card that offers rewards in different bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex also comes with no annual fee while offering rewards for spending in a wide variety of categories throughout the year. To cover general purchases that don’t fall into the Walmart card’s bonus categories, the Citi® Double Cash Card is a great option thanks to its flat cash back rate of up to 2 percent back on every purchase you make (1 percent when you buy, 1 percent when you pay off your purchase).
Bankrate’s Take—Is the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card worth it?
For many, Walmart is more than a retailer—it’s the primary hub for groceries, home goods, auto care and more. There are over 5,300 Walmart stores in the U.S., which makes this card offer very appealing. With unlimited 5 percent cash back on purchases at Walmart.com, which includes grocery pickup and delivery, there’s a lot of upside for those who do all their shopping at the superstore.
For those who are not near a Walmart or prefer to do their shopping at a variety of stores, however, it may not make sense to get this card. Instead, consider adding a card to your wallet that offers rewards in broader categories that match your spending habits.
The information about the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.