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Walmart Credit Card Review: Earn up to 5% back at Walmart, with a catch

Here's a break down of the similarities and differences of the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card and the Walmart Rewards Card, so you can choose the best card for your needs.

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Walmart shoppers may want to consider opening one of the store's credit cards to maximize savings at the popular retailer.

Walmart partnered with Capital One in September 2019 for two credit cards: the co-branded Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card and the private-label Walmart Rewards™ Card.

Both cards offer up to 5% back and come with no annual fee. So you may not know which card to choose, since they're so similar.

To make the decision easier, CNBC Select dives into the similarities and differences of both Walmart credit cards so you can choose the best card for your needs.

Walmart Rewards Card review

  • Where you can use Walmart credit cards
  • Walmart credit card rewards
  • Additional benefits
  • Fees
  • Bottom line

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card

Information about the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5% cash back at Walmart.com; 2% cash back on Walmart in-store purchases, at restaurants and on travel; 1% cash back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted

  • Welcome bonus

    5% back on in-store purchases when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval (after, earn 2%)

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    17.99% to 26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    N/A

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

Walmart Rewards™ Card

Information about the Walmart Rewards™ Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5% back at Walmart.com and on the Walmart app; 2% back at Walmart stores, Walmart and Murphy USA fuel stations

  • Welcome bonus

    5% back on in-store purchases when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval (after, earn 2%)

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    26.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    N/A

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

Terms apply.

Where you can use Walmart credit cards

Most credit cards can be used anywhere the card network (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover) is accepted, but some cards have limitations. Credit cards with restricted use are known as private-label cards or store cards and can only be used at the namesake brand's properties.

Since the Walmart Rewards™ Card is a private-label card, you can only use the card at Walmart properties, which include Walmart.com, the Walmart app, Walmart stores and Murphy USA gas stations.

On the other hand, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

If you're looking for a credit card that can be used anywhere, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card provides more flexibility than the Walmart Rewards™ Card.

Walmart credit card rewards

Each Walmart credit card offers the same base rewards, but the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card offers a more in-depth rewards program.

Both cards offer:

  • 5% back on purchases at Walmart.com
  • 2% back on in-store Walmart purchases

The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card also offers:

  • 2% back on restaurants and travel
  • 1% back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted

New applicants for either card can also take advantage of a welcome bonus: Earn unlimited 5% back in Walmart stores when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval. After the intro offer ends, earn 2% back.

New Capital One Walmart Rewards Card members can also earn a $50 Early Spend Bonus after spending $300 within the first three months from account approval. New applicants who apply in Walmart stores can benefit from this welcome bonus beginning November 1 through December 26, 2020. If you plan to apply online, you have a smaller window from November 17 through December 1, 2020.

Similar to other Capital One credit cards, rewards can be redeemed at any time and for any amount. Redemption options include travel, gift cards, the ability to cash in points during online checkout at Walmart.com and statement credits.

Walmart credit card added benefits

The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card offers the most benefits, including: extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance, 24-hour travel assistance services, price protection and more. The Walmart Rewards™ Card doesn't come with these perks.

Walmart credit card fees

Both Walmart cards have no annual fee, but the interest rates and other fees differ. The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card has a 17.99% to 26.99% variable APR, while the Walmart Rewards™ Card has a 26.99% variable APR.

Since the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, cardholders have the ability to use the card abroad — and without paying a foreign transaction fee. This saves you the 3% fee many other cards charge for purchases made outside the U.S.

You can also use the card to complete a balance transfer, but the terms aren't ideal. There are currently no special financing offers, and the balance transfer fee is 3% for promotional APR offers; though there are no fees for balances transferred at the regular APR.

If you're looking to finance new purchases with no interest or complete a balance transfer, consider alternative cards, such as the Citi Simplicity® Card with 0% for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR).

Bottom line

The Walmart credit cards may seem like a good choice at first glance, offering up to 5% back on Walmart purchases, but a closer look shows that the rewards are more geared to online Walmart purchases. If you prefer to shop at Walmart.com, the Walmart app or via Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery, then the 5% rewards rate is unmatched.

However, if you prefer to shop in Walmart stores, you can find alternative rewards cards, such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, that offer the same rewards rate at Walmart stores (2X), plus other perks such as Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit.

And a basic cash-back card, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card, is a simple way to earn the same amount of rewards on all purchases. Double Cash cardholders earn 2% cash back: 1% on all purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill.

If you decide that a Walmart rewards card is your best option, either the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card or the Walmart Rewards™ Card can help you save. The Walmart Rewards™ Card is good if you only plan to use the card on Walmart purchases, but if you want to use the card for more than just Walmart, consider the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card.

Take note that there is one application for both cards, and Capital One will initially consider you for the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®. If they are unable to approve you for that card, you will automatically be considered for the Walmart Rewards™ Card.

Learn more:

Information about the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card, Walmart Rewards™ Card, Citi Simplicity® Card and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.