Review Of The Walmart Credit Card's Rewards
Walmart (WMT) – you either love it or hate it. The same is true for its credit card. Like any card issued by a retail store, there are reasons to stay away from the card, but all in all, this card has a lot of good going for it.
The Store Card's Issuer
When considering a store credit card, dig a little deeper than what you read in the disclosure. Synchrony Bank issues the Walmart Credit Card. Formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank, Synchrony is still part of the General Electric family.
In June 2014, the bank settled inquiries from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice related to questionable business practices. Also notable: The charges stemmed from an internal audit after which Synchrony self-reported the issues, according to the press release.
Customer reviews for the bank aren't favorable. Customers report confusing contract terms and disappointing customer service. However, many reviews for the actual Walmart Credit Card are more positive.
The Walmart Credit Card is not for subprime borrowers. Before applying customers should have good to excellent credit. If you qualify, the perks that come with the card are attractive. Among them:
- If you spend $75 or more on the day when you sign up for the card, you receive $25 off your purchase. You get an additional $10 off when you charge another purchase of $75 or more within 60 days of opening the account.
- There's a $5 rebate for every $500 you charge to the card.
- You pay up to 15 cents less per gallon of gas at certain Walmart gas stations in the United States.
- You receive up to 1% of your purchase amount as a rebate. For every $5 you accrue, Synchrony Bank will give you a statement credit.
Walmart often runs promotions for its credit card customers. The retail giant has run promotions of up to 24 months interest free on purchases depending on the purchase amount.
The Fine Print
The interest rate is high, but comparable to other retail credit cards. At 22.90% – and 25.90% for cash advances – it's best to avoid paying interest by paying the card in full at the end of each month. No credit card balance transfers are permitted.
Also worth noting, the interest rate is variable. Synchrony Bank calculates the rate by adding 19.65% to the current prime rate. Like most cards, if you pay the balance in full within the grace period (23 days), no interest charges will accrue.
The card has no annual fee but has a $35 maximum late fee. For cash advance transactions, a minimum fee of $5 or 3% of the total amount (whichever is greater) is tacked on to the advance (see 8 Alternatives To A Credit Card Cash Advance). The foreign transaction fee is 3%, so it's not the best choice to use on trips abroad.
The Bottom Line
Paying nearly 23% interest on any purchase is not a recipe for financial good health. But if you can always pay the full amount at the end of each month, the Walmart Credit Card is one of the more attractive cards offered to consumers.