angle-up angle-down
Walmart Mastercard review

Walmart Mastercard review

Published: November 15, 2017
Ratings Policy
Retail Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.9
Rewards Flexibility: 5.0
Features: 2.0

In a nutshell:

Bargain shoppers who spend a lot on Walmart.com could potentially earn a sizable amount of cash back with the Walmart Mastercard, but its limited rewards categories might be a deal breaker for those who aren’t already devoted to the big-box store.

Rewards Rate

  • 3% Walmart.com purchases
  • 2% Murphy USA and Walmart gas
  • 1% other purchases

Sign-up Offer
$25 statement credit when you make your first purchase

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$207

APR
17.9-23.9% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No expiration dates
  • No limit to the cash back you can earn
  • Cash back issued automatically as monthly statement credit

Cons

  • Cash back strictly paid as statement credit only
  • 3% cash back only applies to Walmart.com purchases, not those made in Walmart stores

Other Notable Features: Special financing offers, $0 fraud liability, EMV chip technology, free FICO credit score, add additional users at no cost

The Walmart Mastercard is a straightforward, unassuming cash back card that earns decent marks for its 3 percent cash back rate on Walmart.com purchases. But like many store credit cards, it leaves a lot to be desired, particularly if you tend to do your shopping in more than one place.

Beyond its special financing offers, which may not be available at all times for all purchases, the card doesn’t offer much in the way of loyalty benefits such as exclusive deals or free shipping. Considering other store cards – including Target, Lowe’s and Costco – offer as much as 5 percent in cash back or instant discounts, the Walmart Mastercard is probably best-suited for the most loyal of Walmart fans. 

Good rewards for Walmart customers

With 3 percent cash back for Walmart.com purchases, the Walmart Mastercard is a good option for families living on a budget or those known to spend their entire Christmas budget at the world’s largest retailer. You’ll also enjoy 2 percent cash back at Murphy USA/Walmart gas stations and 1 percent on general purchases wherever the card is accepted, including all physical Walmart stores. While the earning scheme is overly restrictive compared to general cash back cards, it’s respectable among store-branded cards.

If you normally do your grocery shopping at Walmart, you’ll especially love this: The company’s curbside grocery pickup, rolled out in 2015, qualifies for the card’s highest cash back rate. It’s as simple as placing your order online (health, beauty and some household items are also available for curbside pickup), choosing a designated store and selecting a time slot to pick up your order.

When you arrive at your local Walmart, employees will deliver the groceries straight to your car. Items cost the same as they do in-store, and pickup is always free with a $30 minimum order. Regular Walmart shoppers are certain to enjoy this added perk of convenience along with their 3 percent cash back.

Good APR for a retail card

The Walmart Mastercard’s variable APR of 17.9 to 23.9 percent is a bit lower than the average retail card’s 23.84 percent APR. Plus, the card is fairly easy to qualify for, which makes it 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, while average APRs for general cash back cards – ones offering a wider range of redemption options and higher rewards for general purchases – hover around 15 to 16 percent, the Walmart Mastercard probably isn’t your best bet if you have excellent credit and can easily qualify for a lower APR.

Simple but restrictive redemption

Cash rewards earned with the Walmart Mastercard are automatically applied as a statement credit once a month. There’s no more you need to do, which is great for cardholders who never want to open a spreadsheet or prefer a low-maintenance, hands-off redemption program. It’s also an improvement over the redemption options of many competing store brand credit cards, which can make you wait an entire year to receive your cash back (e.g., Costco and Sam’s Club) or distribute rewards as monthly coupons with short expiration periods – thus requiring you to shop frequently at the store in order to redeem your rewards.

However, if you want a wider variety of options for redeeming cash back, such as direct deposit or gift cards, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.

0 percent financing deals

The Walmart Mastercard currently offers 0 percent interest for six months on purchases between $150 and $298.99 and for 12 months on purchases of $299 and more. This is true 0 percent financing, which means that whether or not you pay off your balance in time you will not accrue interest on your purchase until the introductory period ends. Many retail cards, in contrast, offer deferred interest financing deals, in which interest accrues during the promotional period. Under a deferred interest deal, if you miss a due date or your balance is not paid in full by the end of the promotional period, you will owe the entire amount of interest which given the high interest rate that most retail cards charge can be a hefty amount.

Cardholders are often not aware of the terms of a deferred interest financing and are caught off guard when they receive a bill for the full amount of interest. In an effort to avoid such confusion and be more transparent to their customers, Walmart recently moved from deferred interest financing to 0 percent financing for its Mastercard. From a cardholder’s perspective, 0 percent financing is a better deal whether or not you understand the terms of the agreement, problems can occur. If you miss a payment or an unexpected expense pops up that prevents you from paying off your balance by the deadline, you can rest assured that you won’t be walloped with a large amount of interest.

Minimal perks

Store-branded cards aren’t usually generous when it comes to fringe benefits, and the Walmart Mastercard is no different. While the card is issued with an EMV chip, making it one of the more secure store cards out there, the only other perks offered are $0 fraud liability, a free FICO credit score and the ability to add extra users at no cost. If you prioritize features such as purchase security, extended warranty or return protection, you won’t find them here.

Why get the Walmart Mastercard?

  • You’re already a frequent Walmart.com shopper.
  • You prefer cash back over other types of rewards.
  • You want a hands-off, no-frills redemption program.
  • You don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month.
  • You have average or below-average credit and want an easy-to-obtain card to help rebuild your score. 

How to use the Walmart Mastercard:

  • Pay your regular balance in full every month to avoid paying higher-than-average interest.

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.