Capital One® Walmart Rewards Mastercard review

Capital One® Walmart Rewards Mastercard review

Published: October 14, 2019
Published: October 14, 2019
Ratings Policy
Cash Back Rating:
4.3 rating
4.3 rating
4.3 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.8
Features: 2.0

In a Nutshell:

Thanks to its flexible redemption scheme and great rewards rate on practical purchases like grocery pickup, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard should offer a lot of value to cardholders who do most of their everyday shopping at Walmart.

Rewards Rate

  • 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including grocery pickup and delivery orders
  • 2% cash back on in-store Walmart purchases after the introductory period
  • 2% cash back on restaurant and travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on the purchase of gift cards at Walmart (online, app, Walmart Pay or in stores)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Sign-up Bonus

5% cash back on in-store purchases for the first 12 months when using Walmart Pay

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards ($1,325 monthly spend)
$215

APR
17.99-26.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Great rewards rate on groceries if you order online.
  • Select gas stations included in 2 percent bonus category.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • No minimum to redeem rewards.
  • Rewards don’t expire.
  • Card issued instantly upon approval via the Walmart App.
  • Apply easily using your phone via the Walmart App or text message.
  • Includes digital tools from Capital One.

Cons

  • APR is high compared to most rewards cards.
  • No introductory APR on new purchases.
  • No option to redeem cash back as a check or direct deposit.

Other Notable Features: Capital One Purchase Eraser, ShopRunner membership, instant issuance via Walmart App, real-time purchase notifications, security alerts, $0 fraud liability, ability to lock or unlock card via Capital One mobile app

The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is a practical, flexible cash back card that could offer a lot of value to frequent Walmart customers.

The card’s generous cash back rate on Walmart.com purchases and the option for free in-store pickup makes the Walmart Rewards Mastercard a great choice for online grocery shopping. Its reasonable APR and hassle-free redemption scheme also set it apart from many other store-branded cards, which tend to be much more restrictive.

If you’re a regular Walmart customer and are open to doing most of your shopping online, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard could be a great addition to your wallet. However, if you prefer the flexibility of shopping around and comparing prices, it might be best to opt for a general rewards credit card that isn’t tied to a specific store.

Terrific cash back rate for online purchases

One of the Walmart Rewards Mastercard’s biggest selling points is its impressive 5 percent cash back rate on Walmart.com purchases. This matches the rate offered by other popular retail co-branded cards like the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Target REDcard.

But unlike the REDCard – which offers a 5 percent discount on both online and in-store Target purchases – and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa – which offers 5 percent back at Whole Foods locations – the Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers just 2 percent back if you buy in-store. While you can still earn the maximum cash back rate if you order online and pick up at the store, this limitation could be a sticking point for shoppers who don’t always plan their purchases ahead of time.

Additionally, you’ll earn 2 percent at Walmart-branded gas stations and Murphy USA gas stations. While the Walmart Rewards Mastercard’s gas rewards are bested by those of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card (which offers 2 percent back at all gas stations), it beats out the REDCard, since Target does not sell gas.

You’ll also earn 2 percent back on all dining and travel purchases and 1 percent back on all other purchases. These rates are fair, but unremarkable compared to many other no-annual-fee credit cards.

A smart choice for grocery pickup or delivery

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a frequent online shopper, you could still squeeze unexpected value out of the Walmart Rewards Mastercard thanks to its inflated rewards rate on online grocery purchases.

While in-store grocery purchases only earn 2 percent back, if you order your groceries online for pickup or delivery, you get the card’s maximum cash back rate of 5 percent. Delivery costs vary based on which time slot you book, but pickup is free and usually available as soon as the same day you order. Your order must total at least $30, however, so be sure to plan ahead.

If you’re willing to order online, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard’s rewards rate on groceries is one of the best on the market, beating out many of the best credit cards for grocery shopping, including the American Express® Gold Card (4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases annually, then 1 point per dollar) and the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card (2 percent cash back on grocery stores and wholesale club purchases on up to $2,500 combined choice/grocery/wholesale club purchases quarterly, then 1 percent).

5 percent back in-store for the first 12 months

The Walmart Rewards Mastercard also offers an introductory rewards rate of 5 percent cash back on in-store purchases for the first 12 months you own the card. The only catch is you’ll have to charge your card via Walmart Pay, the company’s addition to the increasingly popular mobile wallet market.

Using Walmart Pay is simple, and your Walmart Rewards Mastercard is automatically loaded into the Walmart App (required to use Walmart Pay). All you need to do is scan a QR code at checkout and payment is processed automatically.

While this introductory bonus is welcome, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard’s unimpressive ongoing rewards rate on in-store purchases is definitely one of the card’s major shortcomings, and could severely limit the Walmart Rewards Mastercard’s long-term appeal, since you may not always be able to order ahead or wait for an item to be delivered.

Extra restrictions on gift cards

If you’re hoping to stock up on gift cards and still get the maximum rewards rate, you’ll be disappointed to learn that gift card purchases earn just 2 percent cash back, however they’re purchased.

Flexible redemption options

Unlike many store-branded cards, which limit when, how and how much you can redeem, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers a refreshingly flexible cash back redemption scheme. Cash back is available outside of Walmart, no minimum redemption is required and cash back never expires.

While there’s no option to request your cash back as a check or direct deposit, you can redeem as a statement credit, at Walmart.com during checkout, for gift cards or for booking travel through the Capital One travel portal.

Since the card is co-branded, you can also take advantage of the Capital One Purchase Eraser, a unique savings tool that will come in handy if you spend a decent amount on travel. The Purchase Eraser lets you use your rewards to “erase” eligible purchases, including flights and hotel stays as well as Uber rides, UberEATS orders, public transportation and more.

Good low-end APR for a retail card

The Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers an APR of between 17.99 percent and 26.99 percent. While the maximum APR is a bit higher than the average APR for a retail card, the low-end APR is very good for a retail card. The card is also fairly easy to qualify for, so it could be a good option if your credit history has a few blemishes and you’re looking to rebuild your score by demonstrating responsible card usage.

However, since the average APR for general cash back cards – which offer a wider range of redemption options and higher rewards for general purchases – hovers around 17 percent, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard probably isn’t your best bet if you have excellent credit and can easily qualify for a lower APR.

Easy application, instant use

The Walmart Rewards Mastercard takes a unique “digital-first” approach to card application and use. Not only can you apply online through Walmart or Capital One, you can also text to apply and complete your application right from your mobile device.

Once you’re approved, your Capital One Walmart Mastercard is instantly issued and ready to be used in the Walmart App. This is an especially great feature since the card is geared toward everyday purchases, as you won’t miss out on any cash back while waiting for the card to come in the mail.

Digital tools from Capital One

Because it’s co-branded, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard also lets you take advantage of several digital tools offered by Capital One, including real-time purchase notifications, security alerts, 0 percent fraud liability and the ability to lock and unlock your card via the Capital One mobile app. While these are not earth-shattering perks, they’re a welcome addition given that many store-branded cards are much more bare-boned.

How does the Capital One Walmart Mastercard compare to other rewards cards?

The Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers cash back at a terrific rate on Walmart.com purchases, but if you’re looking for a card with a bit of wiggle room and the ability to earn more rewards outside of Walmart, there are a plenty that offer a respectable rate on everyday purchases. Here’s a quick look at few of our favorites:

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Blue Cash Preferred Card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Bank of America Cash Rewards

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Rewards rate

  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • 1% additional cash back as you pay off those purchases
Rewards rate

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%)
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
Rewards rate

  • 3% cash back on category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings)
  • 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases
  • $2,500 combined limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
Introductory bonus

None

Introductory bonus

  • $250 after spending $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Terms apply
Introductory bonus

  • $200 online cash rewards if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
Annual fee

  • $0
Annual fee

Annual fee

  • $0
Other things to know

  • No category restrictions (same cash back rate on all purchases)
  • Redeem cash back as a check, statement credit, gift card or deposit
  • You can convert cash back to Citi ThankYou points for maximum value
Other things to know

  • One of the highest estimated earning rates among popular cash back cards
Other things to know

  • No rewards options besides cash back
  • Change your choice category once per calendar month
  • View spending snapshot each month to help choose a bonus category
  • Redeem cash back as a deposit, statement credit and more

Citi Double Cash Card

Offering one of the best flat cash back rates available, the Citi Double Cash Card is a great no-frills, all-purpose rewards card. You earn 2 percent cash back on all purchases (1 percent when you buy and an additional 1 percent as you pay off those purchases), regardless of where, when or how they’re made. This is an especially good card if you don’t want to track spending categories or be forced to shop online or at a specific store to earn rewards.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express comes with one of the best rewards rates on gas and groceries available. Though it carries a high annual fee, the card offers a whopping 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%) and 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations. However, it may not be the best fit if you’re a Walmart loyalist, as Walmart is not considered an eligible supermarket.

Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card

A popular choose your bonus category rewards card, the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card offers 3 percent cash back in a category of your choice and 2 percent cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases (up to $2,500 in combined purchases quarterly, then 1 percent). While this is a lower rate than the Walmart Rewards Mastercard, having a wider variety of bonus categories to choose from (including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores and home improvements) could make this card a good option if your spending habits change from month to month.

Why get the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard?

  • You often shop at Walmart or are open to switching to Walmart for your everyday purchases.
  • You don’t mind ordering your groceries online.
  • You’d rather get consistent cash back at Walmart than compare store prices and shop around.

How to use the Captial One Walmart Rewards Mastercard:

  • Whenever possible, make Walmart your first stop for household purchases.
  • Order online and pick up when possible.
  • Order all of your groceries online at Walmart.com and pick them up at the store.

Is the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard worth it?

The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is a good choice if you do most of your household shopping at Walmart, and is especially valuable if you’re open to ordering groceries online. While a general rewards card will offer more flexibility, the Walmart Rewards Mastercard’s cash back rate on groceries is hard to beat without paying an annual fee.

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