Store credit cards don't usually have a very good reputation. Often they charge really high APRs and the perks don't add up to provide good value for cardholders. But the exception might be cards from Target and Walmart, which give loyal customers up to 5% back in rewards on eligible purchases at the store.
You'd be hard pressed to find another credit card that offers such a high rewards rate, as big box stores are usually excluded from the list of eligible stores where you can earn high cash back when you do your grocery shopping. (Read more about CNBC Select's round-up of the best credit cards for groceries.)
Both retailers' credit cards have no annual fee and offer a range of perks. But you still may wonder if these cards are worth all the hype?
Below, CNBC Select breaks down the basics of each card from rewards to fees to added perks.
The Walmart and Target credit cards offer competitive rewards programs. Here's a breakdown of what to expect.
Winner: Target RedCard — you instantly receive a 5% discount at checkout, which applies both in-store and online. The Walmart cards earn a lower 2% back in-store.
Rewards you earn with either Walmart card can be redeemed at any time and for any amount. Redemption options include travel, gift cards, statement credit and the ability to cash in points during online checkout at Walmart.com.
There are no redemption options for the Target RedCard since you instantly receive a 5% discount at checkout.
Winner: Tie. It depends on how you prefer to redeem rewards. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of cashing in your points, the Target RedCard is the best choice. But if you want to use rewards for travel or gift cards, the Walmart cards provide more options.
The Walmart Rewards™ Card and Target RedCard can only be used at Walmart and Target properties, respectively. If you want a credit card that can be used everywhere, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
If you prefer to do your shopping in-store, Walmart has more locations you can visit (4,500+) versus Target (1,800+), making it more accessible for shoppers.
Winner: Walmart for two reasons: You can benefit from over 2,700 more locations than Target, and the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. However, it's a tie if you prefer online shopping.
Both Walmart cards offer 5% back on in-store purchases when using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval (after, earn 2%). This is a nice welcome bonus, but keep in mind you must pay via Walmart Pay to earn extra rewards.
Target is currently offering $40 off a future qualifying purchase of $40 or more when approved from November 1 to December 26, 2020. The coupon is valid through January 31, 2021.
Winner: Tie. It depends on what type of bonus you prefer.
The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card offers:
The Walmart Rewards™ Card doesn't offer these perks.
Target RedCard holders can benefit from:
Winner: Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card holders receive the most added perks.
None of the cards have an annual fee, but they have a wide range of APRs. The Walmart Rewards™ Card has a high 26.99% variable APR, and the Target RedCard has a slightly lower 24.40% variable APR, which is standard among store cards.
The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card offers the chance for an even lower APR at 17.99% to 26.99% variable, depending on your creditworthiness.
Winner: Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card since you have the chance for a lower APR.
Frequent Walmart and Target shoppers can see benefit from using one of these cards responsibly. If you prefer one store over the other, than the best card for your needs is pretty clear. However, if you shop at both Walmart and Target, you may wonder which store's card is the best.
If you want to maximize rewards at one of the retailers, the Target RedCard is the best choice since the 5% discount automatically applies to eligible purchases both in-store and online. Plus you don't have to worry about redeeming rewards.
If you want more flexibility with using your credit card, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card or Walmart Rewards™ Card are better options with over 2,700 more physical locations and the ability to redeem rewards for various options. And the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Regardless of the card you decide to open, make sure you always pay on-time and in full. Any lingering balances will be hit with high interest rates negating any savings you earn with a discount or rewards.
Information about the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card, Walmart Rewards™ Card, and Target RedCard™ has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.