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UPDATE Oct. 11, 2019: The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® is now available, and the switchover from Synchrony to Capital One is now official. Below is our article from Sept. 17, 2019, updated to reflect those changes.
If you previously had a Walmart credit card, it’s gotten a major upgrade, thanks to a new partnership between Capital One and Walmart.
The revamp, which includes more generous and flexible rewards, comes as Capital One replaces Synchrony as Walmart’s credit card partner. Cards became available to new applicants as of Sept. 24, 2019. For existing Synchrony cardholders, the rewards changeover took effect Oct. 11.
There are two new credit cards. The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® is an “open-loop” card, meaning it can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The Walmart Rewards Card is a “closed-loop” card that can be used at Walmart and Walmart.com.
Both have $0 annual fees, and neither charges any foreign transaction fees. They earn rewards at the following rates:
5% back on Walmart.com purchases and on items purchased through the Walmart app (including items you buy online for in-store pickup as well as for Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery).
2% back on in-store purchases at Walmart (including at both Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations).
2% back on travel and restaurants (for the Walmart Mastercard only).
1% back on everything else (for the Walmart Mastercard only).
That’s an improvement over the now-defunct Synchrony Bank-issued versions of the card, which offered 3% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, 2% cash back on Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations, and 1% cash back on other purchases, including in-store Walmart purchases.
The new rewards structure is also on par with other retailer co-branded credit cards: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1% back everywhere else. The Target REDcard™ Credit Card, which can be used only at Target, offers a 5% discount on eligible Target purchases.
“Within a Walmart context, 5% and 2% back has a whole different meaning,” says Wilbert Noronha, vice president of financial services and innovation architecture at Walmart. “We are a price leader. You get extraordinary value every day.”
The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® doesn't come with a traditional sign-up bonus, but you get Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card in Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval. Walmart Pay is a digital wallet that you access via the Walmart app. It allows you to pay at in-store registers with your phone.
“We don’t do bonuses. Walmart is about everyday value,” Noronha says.
The ongoing APR is 17.99%-26.99% Variable APR for the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®.
More flexible redemption
With the new Capital One Walmart cards, all rewards points are worth one cent apiece, although they may be redeemed in multiple ways, including:
As a statement credit.
At Walmart.com during checkout.
For gift cards.
For booking travel (must redeem via Capital One portal).
There is no minimum redemption requirement, and rewards don’t expire.
With the Synchrony versions of the cards, cash back was available only as a credit on your next statement, and rewards were automatically turned into statement credit the next month — meaning you couldn't “bank” rewards for a big purchase.
Access to digital tools
As with other Capital One credit cards, cardholders can lock or unlock the card easily if it’s lost or misplaced, receive account alerts about things like potential fraud or purchasing errors, and track spending through text alerts.
What to know about the rollout
It's important to know what to expect when your credit card moves to a different issuer. Here's a brief timeline for this switch:
Oct. 11, 2019: The new Capital One Walmart Rewards program began, and existing Synchrony cardholders were able to begin earning the new rewards rates. Any debt balances were (or will be) forwarded, and any rewards balances were (or will be) applied as a credit on the final statement of the Synchrony card. Note that if you had set up monthly autopay or other scheduled payments for after Oct. 10, they were canceled; you should set up new ones with your subscriptions or other recurring services.
Oct. 14: Existing customers were able to download the Capital One mobile app and set up their new online accounts.
Through early 2020: New physical Capital One cards will continue to be mailed out on a rolling basis. Primary cardholders retain their same card numbers, but cards have new expiration dates and security codes.
New applicants who don’t qualify for the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® will be considered for the Walmart Rewards Card instead.
“We want to serve the full spectrum of Americans,” Noronha says.
Information related to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.