Credit Cards

Walmart Credit Card Review: A Look at the Pros and Cons

Walmart Credit Card

Walmart offers customers two different credit cards to meet their purchasing needs. The first, the Walmart Credit Card can be used at any Walmart store and Walmart.com to make purchases within a credit limit. The second card that Walmart offers is the Walmart MasterCard. It’s available for making purchases in stores and online with retailers that accept MasterCard as a form of payment. You can use the MasterCard at any retailer.

Benefits of being a Walmart Cardholder:

No Annual Fee. Both cards are issued by Synchrony Bank and do not require cardholders to pay an annual fee to access their credit line. Details about terms and conditions are further explained on the Walmart.com website. To access this information, click here.

Fraud Protection. You have $0 Fraud Liability on purchases made with your card without permission from you. In the event you did give someone else your credit card to use, you will be required to pay all monies due. This type of fraud protection serves as a safety net in the event your credit card is lost or stolen and then used without your knowledge or consent.

Gas Discount. Save five cents per gallon at participating Walmart gas stations. You must use your credit card as the form of payment at the time. The discount applies to the normal street price for gasoline and cannot be combined with Sam’s Club member discounts. The offer is subject to change without notice. Purchases made in Alabama and Florida receive the five cents per gallon discount but not immediately. It shows up as a credit on a cardholder’s next billing statement.

Ability to Add Authorized Users to the Account. You can request additional cards for family members at no cost to you. You are, however, responsible for paying for any purchases made on your account by your authorized users.

Special Financing. Cardholders benefit from special financing ranging from 6 months to 24 months depending on their credit limit and the purchase price of their transaction. For example, any purchase of $150-$298.99 receives 6 months special financing. Purchases of $299-$428.99 receives 12 months special financing. Purchases of $429-$598.99 receive 18 months special financing. Purchases of $599 or more receive 24 months special financing. The terms and conditions of the deal require that the Walmart cardholder print a special certificate, found on Walmart.com, to present to the cashier at the time of purchase. By scanning the barcode on the certificate, customers using their Walmart Credit Card or Walmart MasterCard are able to get the special financing offered by the company. If the card is paid in full prior to end of the financing period, no interest charges are incurred.

Free FICO Credit Score. Accountholders have the option to enroll in a program that allows them to receive a monthly FICO Credit Score if they have elected to enroll in electronic statements. The information relayed by the credit bureau about the FICO Credit Score does not negatively impact the account or cardholder’s credit score. The information about credit scores is available at Credit Login.

EMV Chip Technology. Yet another safety precaution to prevent card information from falling into the wrong hands, the embedded microchip contains encrypted information that thwarts thieves’ attempts to copy and counterfeit your card. Cards can be used at payment terminals in stores as well as online to make a payment, to make a telephone payment or to complete a transaction at an ATM.

Cash Back on All Purchases (Walmart MasterCard ONLY). Receive 1% cash back on everything you buy using your Walmart MasterCard. You receive statement credit once you accumulate at least $5 in rewards. You cannot receive cash back on balance transfers or cash advances.

From a consumer perspective, there are a lot of advantages to being an accountholder. In addition to having a dedicated line of credit to use, it also helps that special financing offers apply to big ticket purchases of specific dollar amounts. This allows customers to get the things they need for their homes and workplaces without concern of paying their credit cards off right away. They have 6, 12, 18, and 24 months options available to qualified purchases and accountholders and don’t have to pay interest as long as they pay off their cards before the special financing term is up.

Pros

The pros to having the Walmart Credit Card and Walmart MasterCard vary from card to card. Perhaps the most obvious is how simple the application process is. Customers wanting to apply for either card can do so easily on the Walmart.com website. They may also choose to submit an application while checking out at any Walmart retail location.

Many cashiers will ask at the end of the transaction if you want to use your Walmart card. If your reply that you don’t have one, they’ll ask if you want to apply for one. If you’re approved, you’ll be issued a Temporary Shopping Pass that is good for 24 hours at the store you applied. You can submit your application at any store register and the jewelry kiosk for approval.

Your plastic credit card is then sent to your address for you to use regularly. There are no limitations to where you use the Walmart Credit Card as long as it is a Walmart store. You cannot continue to make purchases with your Temporary Shopping Pass once the 24 hours is up. You’ll have to wait until your permanent credit card arrives in the mail.

Having immediate access to a credit line, even temporarily, is very beneficial for some shoppers. They’ll be able to make purchases that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to make any other day without additional funds. That leads us into explaining the pros involved with special financing.

Customers are able to receive special financing options that take the strain off of their bank accounts. Imagine you need a new sofa and can’t find one secondhand that you like. You find one for a reasonable price online or at a Walmart store near you. Rather than use your reserve of cash to buy the sofa outright, you choose to take advantage of special financing options.

You print out your certificate, choose the sofa that you like best, and determine based on price how long you have to pay the balance off on your account. You make payments up until the special financing date ends, avoiding interest charges, and saving yourself time and money. You don’t have to wait to buy new furniture, you aren’t forced to do without something else to make the purchase, and you’re not incurring a bigger balance because you’ve opted to pay off the sofa before the term of the special financing ends.

Another enticing feature of the card is that you’ll save every time you get gas at a Walmart affiliated filling station. If you plan this right, you’ll see significant savings especially when gas prices dip. If you have more than one vehicle in your family, again, this card feature adds up.

One of the things that stands out about the MasterCard is that it offers cash back on purchases. Albeit a small amount compared to other credit cards, it does not limit purchases to gas and restaurants. It allows accountholders to benefit from cash back savings on everything they purchase.

Another stand out feature about Walmart’s credit cards is the ability to monitor your credit score from your account. As long as you’ve signed up to receive electronic statements, you’re able to access your FICO Credit Score monthly.

Other benefits include no annual fee and no charge for additional cards for authorized users. This is where some people get into trouble with credit cards. They’re not aware of the hidden fees involved with using them. There is no charge to open an account with Walmart and Synchrony Bank. You can order cards for other members of your family but you do have to pay for the charges they put on your account with the cards you acquired for them.

Synchrony Bank reveals a lot of pertinent information in its Rates and Fee Table. As long as a person reads the information contained within the table, they’ll have a better understanding of how much interest they’ll pay, when they’re charged interest, and how to avoid paying interest. They’ll also learn their rights and responsibilities as an accountholder.

Cons

Look closely at every silver lining and you’ll see its flaws. There are some drawbacks to getting a card. The first is the limited time you have to receive an introductory offer. Although the incentive likely changes throughout the year, only having a short amount of time to apply for a card to get the introductory savings doesn’t necessarily seem fair.

Also, $25 isn’t a big enough amount to impress a lot of people. Introductory offers for similar cards offer far better savings and incentives. Customers wanting a credit card with a low APR typically steer clear from temporary incentives because they’re well aware of the consequences of obtaining a card that charges 23.15% interest (Walmart Card). The MasterCard charges 17.15% for Account Type 1, 20.15% for Account Type 2, and 23.15% for Account Type 3.

The rates quoted are based on a person’s creditworthiness as well as other factors at the time you open the account. After that, your APR is based on the Prime Rate and varies with the market. Cash advances with the MasterCard are subject to significantly higher interest. Keep this in mind when determining which credit card to apply for and use for cash.

Late payments incur a substantial fee. It’s up to $35. This can quickly get a person in trouble if they maxed out their credit limit. Over the limit fees coupled with late payment fees and charged 17.15% to 23.15% interest can get a person into a financial bind quickly. The best thing to do in the event that you’re paying late or paying less than what Synchrony Bank has set as your minimum payment is to call them to set up special payment arrangements. The worst that can happen is that they demand that you pay on a specific date and you’re charged a late fee because there was no way you could financially do so at the time.

Another con of being a Walmart MasterCard holder is how quickly your accumulated cash back expires. If you haven’t reached $5 or cashed your incentive out after 13 months, you lose it. Most credit card companies allow you to bank your savings until you feel the time is right to cash it in. If you’re the type of person who likes to see your incentive grow over the course of time, you need to know that it isn’t entirely easy to do with the MasterCard.

Being a Walmart credit cardholder offers few rewards minus the gas savings. Other cards offer discounts and other types of incentives for having an account. If you’re the type of person who likes to charge everything to a card, pay it off monthly, and bank incentives, you may want to find a credit card reward program better suited to your needs. You won’t rake in tons of points to redeem for cash or gifts. At best, you’ll save a couple of dollars a month on gas purchases.

Who the Walmart Card is Best For

The Walmart Card is for customers of Walmart that are 18 years and older with no credit or poor to average credit. The card helps consumers build their credit over time. People who want to benefit from the special financing tend to favor this card. It allows them to make large purchases and pay them off before the special financing ends which saves them interest charges that they would otherwise incur by charging their purchase to another credit card.

The Walmart MasterCard offers similar benefits but can be used anywhere that accepts MasterCard branded credit cards. The cash back option appeals to many people but isn’t the highest reward program available. Customers with better than average credit can find similar cards with better rewards making the Walmart MasterCard yet another option for individuals with average credit.

Walmart credit cards are clearly an option for people who don’t necessarily have other lines of credit they can fall back on. This includes men and women with no credit, poor credit, and moderately decent credit. The average Walmart credit card accountholder has a job or some type of monthly income coming in. They’re used to paying higher interest rates for credit purchases and don’t really worry about accumulating points or incentives.

They’re looking for a way to purchase the items that they need and defer payments. They also want to prove themselves credit-worthy because they have no credit in their name, are now divorced, live on a fixed income or are in the process of building their credit but would like more to help raise their credit score quickly.

How to Apply for the Walmart Credit Card

Applying online takes little effort. If you already have a Walmart account, you save yourself a step. If you don’t have a Walmart account, you’ll need to register for one. Here’s how you do that:

1.Go to Walmart.com.
2.At the top right hand corner by the shopping cart icon, you’ll see the words “Hello, Sign In”. Click on the words to be brought to the login area of the Walmart website.
3.Under the fields where it asks for your username and password, you’ll find the words “Don’t have an account? Create one now.” Click on the blue Create one now link.
4.You’ll then be prompted to enter your first and last name, your email address, and choice of password. You’ll need to enter your password a second time to confirm it’s correct.
5.You’re able to opt-in to receive emails from Walmart by checking the box below your registration information.
6.Click register to complete the process.

Once you have a Walmart account, you’re able to sign in using your email address and registered password. It then takes you to the credit card application where some of the fields are filled in for you using the information you supplied Walmart with when you registered for your account on Walmart.com.

Approval is based on a number of factors including creditworthiness. If you do not receive instant approval, you may still receive a credit card. The website notes that it can take between 7-10 days to get back to you by mail.

Once you’re approved, you’ll receive your credit card and welcome information in the mail. It will come to the address you applied with so if you’re moving or temporarily staying somewhere else, you may need to contact Synchrony Bank with those details. If they’re not able to help you, make sure you put in a change of address or temporary change of address with the US Postal Service. This will prevent the delay delivery of your new credit card.

Managing Your Walmart Card Account

Managing your account is done through the online portal located on Walmart.com using your user ID and registered password. Once you’re logged in, you’re able to do a number of things including check your balance and transaction history, make a payment, update personal information including new mailing addresses and phone numbers, and check your FICO Credit Score as long as you’re enrolled to receive electronic statements.

Online Login Access

Your online login is your registered email address and password. You’ll be prompted to enter the user ID first as mentioned before and see a security image selected by you before being prompted to enter your password. This extra precaution ensures that you’re on the right website to make a payment and not one set up by scam artists trying to access your private information.

When logging into your account, make sure you access it from the Walmart.com website. If you do not see the security image you set up for your account, do not proceed without contacting Synchrony Bank first. The last thing you want to do is fall victim to a phishing scheme.

Make sure you log out of your account so no one behind you accesses your personal information. Don’t just close your web browser. Take the extra steps necessary to sign out of your account before shutting down the window or tab you’re viewing your Walmart account in. It’s always better to be safe than sorry especially when it comes to your finances and confidential information.

Payment Address and How to Pay Online

There are a number of different ways for accountholders to make payments. Among the most popular options is mailing a check or money order to a payment address. Another favored payment method is submitting a payment online. Depending on your circumstances and how comfortable you are using the internet, you may opt to make online payments because it does take longer for mailed payments to arrive to the payment processing centers. That means you’ll have to send your payment well in advance of your credit card’s due date.

Customers wanting to pay their Walmart Credit Card by mail use the following address for payments:

Walmart/SYNCB
PO Box 530927
Atlanta, GA 30353-0927

Customers wanting to pay their Walmart MasterCard by mail use the following address for payments:

Walmart MasterCard/SYNCB
PO Box 960024
Orlando, FL 32896-0024

Paying a Walmart credit account online is easy but it does require you to register your card so you can access the information. Once you’ve completed that task, you’ll need to sign into your account to make a payment. Here’s how you do that:

1. Go to Walmart.com.
2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and look on the left hand side for Financial Services.
3. Select Manage Card Account.
4. You’ll then have the option to log in using your user ID.
5. If you need to look up this information, you’ll need to enter your account number and the last four digits of your social security number.
6. Once you’ve entered your user ID, you’ll see the Personalized Image that you chose at the time of registration. This lets you know you’re on the right website because Walmart thwarts phishing attempts by allowing you to first identify yourself and then enter your password.
7. Once you confirm that you are indeed on the right website, enter password and gain access to your account information.
8. Choose to pay using e-Payment or CheckFree. E-Payment is set up directly with your bank account. Walmart cannot accept recurring payments or payments by debit card. You also must register with CheckFree to use the service to make payments.
9. Keep in mind that online payments take 2-3 business days to post so pay several days before your payment due date to make sure it clears on time.

Accessing accounts online is secure, free, and convenient. Even if you don’t opt to make a payment through the web, you can still access important information about your account including transaction details as well as payment amounts and due dates. It’s available for viewing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Customer Service Contact Information

Many questions about the cards are answered online. Still, there comes a time when people want to speak to a live person to confirm what they’ve read. That’s where the customer service department comes in. Fortunate for cardholders, there are two separate lines based on what type of credit card account you have..

To reach customer service by phone, use the following numbers depending on what type of credit card account you have:

Walmart Credit Card: 1-877-294-7880
Walmart MasterCard: 1-866-611-1148

Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. To access the information that you want to acquire, follow the prompts until your question is answered or you reach the correct department to answer your question. Keep in mind that new customers can receive information 30 days after receiving Synchrony Bank’s Rates and Fees Table. People who are no longer a customer, information is shared as described in the notice. Synchrony Bank invites anyone with questions to contact them via phone.

Using what you know about your financial status, credit score, and preferences for rewards program, you can easily decide whether the Walmart Credit Card or Walmart MasterCard are right for you. Since applying for either card is as simple as going to a Walmart store or visiting Walmart.com, you’ll have the answer that you need to make purchases right away given that you’re instantly approved.

One Comment

  1. I am not a fan of the Walmart credit card customer service team. They made fun of my last name and were shameless about it. Forget about speaking to a supervisor.

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