How the Walmart Rewards Mastercard Stacks up vs. Competitors

It's the latest store credit card vying to be top-of-wallet for your everyday expenses.

Robin Saks FrankelSeptember 1, 2020
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How the Walmart Rewards Mastercard Stacks up vs. Competitors

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If you're a fan of Walmart's generally lower prices and shop online to get them, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® can be a great pick for expenses in and out of the store. The $0-annual-fee card earns:

  • 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), as well as on travel and restaurant expenses.

  • 1% back on everything else.

There's no traditional upfront bonus or 0% intro APR offer, but those ongoing rewards are among the highest you'll find on a store credit card. And because Walmart sells basically everything, you can earn bonus rewards on, well, basically everything — not to mention in several common household categories.

Here's how that compares with other top cards.

Nerd tip: The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® offers the following incentive for new cardholders: 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 accessible through the Walmart app that allows you to use your phone to pay at checkout. As a temporary bonus category that requires a specific payment method, it is not factored into the comparisons below.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
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Annual fee: $0, but an annual Prime membership is required, starting at $119 per year ($59 per year for students).

Rewards: 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1% back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: None, although there is an incentive for new cardholders when it comes to in-store shopping: Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card in Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval.

APR: The ongoing APR is 14.24% - 22.24%, Variable.

How it compares with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has the same 5%/2%/1% rewards split, just in different categories — but there's one Prime question, literally: How much is Amazon Prime worth to you? Membership is a costly requirement, and there's no membership needed for the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®. But Prime does pack a ton of perks, including free shipping. Walmart.com orders under $35 have a shipping fee. Brand loyalty also factors in. If you make Whole Foods your go-to grocer, you'll net 5% back with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® can match that, but only for groceries at Walmart.com, and only for pickup or delivery. Both cards offer a way to earn 2% back on gas, but you would have to buy all of your gas at Walmart fuel stations with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®.

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Target REDcard™ Credit Card
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Annual fee: $0.

Rewards: 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases.

Sign-up bonus: None.

APR: The ongoing APR is 22.90% Variable.

How it compares with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®: Target offers three cards: A debit card; a Mastercard that can be used virtually anywhere; and the Target REDcard™ Credit Card, which can be used only within the Target brand. The Mastercard isn't available for direct applications but may be offered as an upgrade from the Target REDcard™ Credit Card. Still, all Target cards give you the same upfront 5% discount on eligible Target or Target.com purchases, which may be easier than keeping track of different rewards rates. Like Walmart, Target already offers free shipping on orders over $35 — but unlike the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card extends that benefit to orders under $35 as well (with some exceptions). You'll also get a 10% discount every cardholder anniversary, plus an extended return policy — neither of which is available with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®. What you won't get with any Target card, however? Rich ongoing rewards on spending outside of Target.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Citibank Costco-Anywhere Visa Card Credit Card
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Annual fee: $0. But you must have a Costco membership, which starts at $60 per year.

Rewards: 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter; 3% back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% back at Costco and Costco.com; 1% back on all other spending.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Intro APR: The ongoing APR is 15.24% Variable APR.

How it compares with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers higher rewards on gas, travel and restaurant spending than the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®, and the same 2% back on in-store purchases. However, to get the card you must have a Costco membership, and that isn't free. Plus, unlike the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®, there's not a lot of redemption flexibility. With the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, you get your rewards once a year in the form of a certificate, which you have to redeem inside a physical Costco store. Redemption choices are limited to cash back or merchandise.

Nerd tip: The Sam's Club® Mastercard® is another co-branded wholesale club card option, and similar pros and cons apply: higher rewards, but a membership fee and an unwieldy redemption process that requires a physical trip to a Sam's Club store. The card is worth noting, though, given its exceptional rewards rate on gas and the relatively low annual cost of Sam's Club membership. For more information, see our full review.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card
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Annual fee: $0

Rewards: 2% cash back on every purchase: 1% back when you buy, 1% back as you pay for those purchases.

Sign-up bonus: None.

APR: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

How it compares with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®: The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer isn't a store card, but you could consider this flat-rate cash-back card a good one to use at any store, whether you shop online or in person. For the latter group — and there are likely many shoppers who prefer to browse Walmart's physical aisles rather than its virtual ones — this card can earn you the same cash-back rate there as the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® does, but you'll earn it everywhere else, too, as opposed to only on travel and restaurant spending. No need to keep track of bonus categories. The 0% intro APR offer could also be helpful if you're looking for some breathing room on existing debt. Note, however, that unlike the Walmart Rewards Mastercard, this card has a minimum redemption requirement of $25.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back
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Annual fee: $0.

Rewards: 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter (requires activation); 1% back on all other purchases. In the past, bonus categories have included things like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com and more.

Sign-up bonus: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

APR: 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.

How it compares with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®: The Walmart Rewards Mastercard's highest rewards rate tops out at 5% and is limited in scope, but the Discover it® Cash Back offers the ability to earn 5% back in several categories on a rotating quarterly basis throughout the year. It's a good pick for seasonal shoppers: Consider that its 5% bonus categories for Q4 2019 are Walmart.com, Amazon.com and Target (in-store and online). Now that's some serious variety for your holiday shopping needs. And while the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® offers no traditional upfront sign-up bonus, the Discover it® Cash Back features a potentially lucrative one.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
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Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95

Rewards: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more); 1% back on all other purchases. Terms apply.

Welcome offer: Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020. Terms Apply.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

How it compares with the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®Yes, there's a $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee, but the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers some of the highest cash-back rewards you'll find on groceries. You would have to spend only about $31 per week in that category to break even on that annual fee, and that doesn't even take into account the card's generous welcome offer or its earnings on streaming services, gas and transit. On typical everyday household expenses, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express outearns the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® in most areas, with one potentially deal-breaking exception: online shopping. You should also be aware that with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, superstores like Walmart and wholesalers like Sam's Club aren't considered bonus categories, meaning you'd earn only a meager 1% back at such retailers.

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.

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