Capital One Walmart Rewards: Can It Contend Beyond the Walmart Realm?

Marcy Bialeschki
September 8, 2020

No doubt, Walmart is a retail dynasty with stores just about everywhere in the United States. As one of the first Super Stores, it has become a shopping mecca for many because of its selection and reasonable prices.

Capital One is offering a Walmart Rewards MasterCard credit card, so faithful Walmart shoppers can save even more money by shopping at the retail giant. But beyond the spectacular rewards for Walmart purchases, is the Capital One Walmart Rewards card worth it? Or would you be better off looking elsewhere for a suitable rewards credit card? Let's find out.

Naturally, the Walmart Rewards credit card has a rewards program that focuses on shopping at Walmart. However, this program offers decent rewards beyond those Walmart purchases. But there are some catches.

5% cash back for shopping at Walmart.com, which includes any pick-up or delivery orders

2% cash back in Walmart stores, at restaurants, and for travel

1% cash back on all other purchases everywhere MasterCard is accepted

For the first 12 months of owning your Walmart Rewards MasterCard, you will receive 5% back while shopping in Walmart stores, not just online. However, there is a catch. To get this reward, you must pay with Walmart Pay -- Walmart’s version of touchless payment using your phone.

Still, card owners can maximize their rewards for shopping at Walmart for one full year. Avid Walmart shoppers could save enough in that year to make a significant dent in paying for a vacation. Then use your Walmart Rewards card to pay the travel expenses and earn 2% cash back for future use.

Even people who are not familiar with touchless pay methods can agree, it’s worth learning a new way of doing things for 5% cash back.

Capital One is generous with its options to redeem Walmart Rewards points.

Cash - You can receive the value of your cash back points as a check from Capital One. They do not offer direct deposit.

Statement Credit: Capital One will apply your points to your balance.

Gift Cards - You can use your points to buy Walmart gift cards and cards from many other stores and restaurants.

Cover a Purchase - You can dedicate your rewards points to cover the cost of a recent purchase made within 90 days of posting.

Travel - Redeem your points by purchasing airline tickets or other travel expenses.

Everyone likes a credit card with no annual fee, and this is exactly what the Walmart Rewards card offers. Because it’s linked to travel as well, the no foreign transaction fee is also quite nice. Here is a list of other basic features.

No annual fee

No foreign transaction fee

17.99 - 26.99 purchase APR

$0 fraud liability

Mobile app for any time, anywhere banking

Card Lock from the mobile app

Virtual card numbers for online shopping safety

Requires 670+ credit score

The Walmart Rewards MasterCard by Capital One is a decent travel card. Beyond the 2% cash back earned on travel purchases, it has some of the essential travel protections and features one would expect.

For example, owning a Walmart Reward card provides travel accident insurance, complimentary concierge services, and basic travel assistance services. You will also receive extended warranty protection on travel purchases. And of course, the Walmart Rewards card has no foreign transaction fees on international purchases.

Because this credit card is attached to Walmart stores and gas stations, the rewards are heavily geared to those places. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of the rewards program the Walmart Rewards card offers.

Download and use the Walmart Pay app to get 5% cash back on in store purchases for the entire first year.

After the introductory offer is over, make more online purchases to keep receiving the 5% cash back compared to 2%. If you do not already have it, download the Walmart app to order your groceries online. If you are not already familiar with this shopping method, it is worth a try to receive the 5% cash back.

Buy all of your gas at Walmart or Murphy gas stations, if available, to receive 5% cash back.

Naturally, the Walmart Rewards MasterCard by Capital One caterers to those who make many everyday purchases at Walmart stores. If you can maximize your rewards using Walmart gas stations and feel comfortable using Walmart Pay, this is a sound card that will provide better than average bonuses.

However, if you cannot access gas stations affiliated with this card, your gas rewards drop to a basic 2% cash back, which does not outshine most of the competition. And if you do not make a majority of your Walmart purchases online, the 5% cash back will elude you again, dropping your rewards to that underwhelming 2%. Likewise, if you are not comfortable using Walmart Pay, you will not maximize the introductory offer of 5% cash back in stores for one year.

Here's the other catch: If you apply for the Walmart Rewards card and your credit check does not pan out, your application will default to the Walmart store credit card. Knowing your credit score before applying is crucial in this case unless you want to get something you didn't expect.

This card is for frequent Walmart customers who make a majority of their purchases online. It is also for people who live near and use Walmart or Murphy gas stations. Finally, being open to the idea of using Walmart Pay is also a must for receiving the most out of the introductory offer. If you do not fit the above description, there is a better credit card with more suitable rewards out there waiting for you.

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