Can You Get The Walmart Credit Card With Bad Credit?
Walmart offers both a Walmart store card and a Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard. While the Walmart store card is easier to get, you're unlikely to qualify if you have poor credit, as most consumers report needing a score of at least 640 to get approved.
Walmart credit card overview
Walmart actually offers two credit cards: the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard and the Walmart Rewards Card. The main difference between the two cards is you can use the Capital One card anywhere but the Walmart card at Walmart and Walmart.com only.
The Capital One card is a Mastercard, which is accepted at nearly all retailers, whereas the Walmart Rewards card is an in-store card restricted to purchases in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com.
The application process for both cards is the same, and you actually apply for both when you submit your application. If your credit score isn't high enough to qualify for the Capital One Walmart card, you might get offered the Walmart store card as an alternative.
However, the two cards feature similar benefits. Here is a breakdown of what each one offers.
Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard
Walmart Rewards Card
17.99% - 26.99% variable
Pros and cons: Walmart credit card
Whether you get the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard or the Walmart Rewards card, there are pros and cons to each. Let's take a look at the benefits and drawbacks.
Pros: The Capital One Walmart Mastercard and Walmart store card are very similar, so it's easy to compare the pros and cons side by side. Here's a breakdown of the items in the plus column.
- Cash back rewards - Both the Capital One Walmart card and the Walmart store card offer nice cash back rewards, especially on Walmart purchases in-store and online. If you do a lot of shopping at Walmart, these cards can put a lot of cash back in your pocket.
- No annual fee - Neither card comes with an annual fee. There are also no monthly maintenance fees.
- Fraud protection - Both cards offer $0 fraud liability in the event your card is lost or stolen.
- Free credit score - Both the Capital One Walmart card and Walmart store card offer free monthly access to your FICO credit score when you sign up for electronic statements.
- Free cash withdrawals - You can withdraw up to $60 a day along with an in-store purchase without paying any fees. This is a nice feature to have, as most credit cards charge a fee for cash advances.
The Capital One Walmart card and Walmart store card are not without their drawbacks. Here are the downsides to keep in mind before you apply.
- Interest rate - The Capital One Walmart card has a variable APR that varies between 17.99% and 26.99% depending on your creditworthiness, whereas the Walmart store card's variable APR is 26.99%. This is higher than many other credit cards, and you can probably snag a more favorable rate if your credit score is good.
- Limited use - While you can use the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard just about anywhere, the same is not true for the Walmart store card. If you can't qualify for the Capital One card and receive the Walmart store card instead, you'll be restricted to purchases at Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com.
Can you get a Walmart credit card with bad credit?
You're unlikely to get a Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard with bad credit, as most consumers report needing a score of at least 700 to qualify. You probably need at least 640 to get the Walmart store card, so a bad score will probably hold you back there, too.
However, it might be possible to qualify for the Walmart store card with bad credit as long as you have a reliable income. You can improve your chances of qualifying by working to improve your overall creditworthiness.
Common reasons for rejection
Walmart looks at each applicant on an individual basis, so it's not always easy to know who will qualify versus who is likely to get rejected. However, online reviewers report several common reasons why their application was declined.
- Recent bankruptcy - If you filed bankruptcy over the past year, you probably won't qualify for a Walmart credit card. However, this is true for most credit cards.
- Insufficient credit history - If you're a new credit user or you don't use credit that often, it might be tough to qualify. You can improve your chances by using credit responsibly and regularly.
- Negative items on your credit report - If you have recent negative entries on your credit report, such as late payments or delinquent accounts, this will probably result in a rejection.
6 things to help your credit before applying
If you're worried about your application for a Walmart credit card getting turned down, there are several things you can do to improve your credit and boost your chances of an approval.
1. Monitor your credit report
One of the best ways to improve your credit is to know what's in your credit report in the first place. If you're one of the 1 in 8 Americans who don't know their score, the first thing you should do is order your free credit report and review it.
You can get your free report from each major credit bureau by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you have your reports, you should carefully review each one and dispute any errors you find on your report.
2. Open a secured credit card
With a secured card, you pay a security deposit up front to protect the credit card issuer in the event you default. You get this deposit back after you close your account or transition to a regular card.
This allows you to use your card and pay it off, building a positive payment history that boosts your credit score. If you do this consistently, you can improve your score and your overall creditworthiness.
3. Pay your bills on time
Your payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score, making it the most influential of the five factors that affect your score. You can improve your score by paying your bills on time every month.
4. Improve your credit utilization ratio
After payment history, your credit utilization is the most important factor in determining your credit score. This is the ratio between how much credit you're using versus how much credit you have available.
Ideally, you should aim to keep your credit utilization below 30 percent. However, it's best to keep it as low as you can by paying off debts and using credit responsibly.
5. Borrow someone else's credit
If your credit is bad, you can try to improve it by piggybacking on someone else's. Some credit card companies allow you to join another person's account as an authorized user, so their good credit influences your score.
6. Take out a credit builder loan
With a credit builder loan, you make monthly payments into a kind of savings account, which may or may not bear interest. At the end of a certain period, you get all the money back in a lump sum, plus any interest.
The advantage of a credit builder loan is you get credit for your positive payment history. Because payment history is the most important factor for determining your credit history, a credit builder loan can help you boost your score.
How to apply for the Walmart credit card
You apply for the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard and the Walmart Rewards store card in the same way.
First, visit the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard site and click the green "apply now" button to access the application.
This will take you to the application, where you'll need to fill in your information, such as your name, address, and income.
There is just a single application for both the Capital One Walmart card and the Walmart store card. According to Walmart, it may offer you the store card if your credit isn't good enough to qualify for the Mastercard.
Walmart credit card alternatives for bad credit
If you can't qualify for the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard of the Walmart Rewards store card, there are plenty of alternatives out there. Even with bad credit, there's a chance you could qualify for one of the following cards.
1. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
If you're a frequent Amazon shopper, it may be worth checking out the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card. While online reviewers say you usually need a credit score of at least 640 to qualify, Amazon will also consider your income, employment history, and credit utilization, so a lower credit score isn't necessarily automatically disqualifying.
The Amazon card offers a good rewards program, with 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases, 2% back on gas, drugstore, and restaurant purchases, and 1% back on everything else. You're required to have a Prime membership, however, so it's important to make sure you can afford the $119 a year fee.
2. Discover it Secured Credit Card
The Discover it Secured credit card is a good option if you need to rebuild your credit. There is no annual fee, and you can earn 2% cash back up to $1,000 on gas and restaurant purchases plus an unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.
While you have to pay a minimum $200 security deposit, you get this back when you close your account or upgrade to an unsecured card. The interest rate is 22.99%, which is decent for a credit card marketed toward those with poor credit.
3. OpenSky Secured Visa Card
If you're looking for a low interest rate for a bad credit card, the OpenSky Secured Visa card is hard to beat. With a variable APR of 17.39%, it's competitive even among unsecured credit cards.
There is a $35 annual fee, but you have the option of making an initial security deposit up to $3,000 if you want a higher credit limit.
With their generous cash back features, both versions of the Walmart credit card can be a good deal if you do a lot of Walmart shopping. However, the interest rate is on the high side, so it's worth shopping around for a better rate before you apply.
About the Author
Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in CNBC, Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.