Walmart Inc. offers two kinds of credit cards, Walmart Rewards Mastercard, which can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, and a Walmart Rewards credit card, which is a store credit card. The Walmart Mastercard and its in-store credit card are issued by Capital One, and cardholders can earn rewards for shopping at Walmart.
When used properly, both can help you build your credit history and credit score.
By reviewing the terms and conditions of the Walmart Rewards Mastercard and Walmart Rewards credit card, you can verify that your account activity is reported to the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Data, such as your account balance and list of late payments, will appear on your credit history, which the credit bureaus use to calculate your credit score.
- Both the Walmart Mastercard and the in-store credit card can help you build your credit if you use them responsibly.
- If you shop frequently at Walmart for household items on a weekly basis, you might consider using a Walmart credit card in lieu of cash. If you pay it off every week, you can build your credit and earn rewards.
- Both Walmart cards are issued by Capital One as of 2019.
- There are $35 late fees associated with both cards.
Make Payments on Time
Whether you're just beginning your credit history or looking to strengthen it, the single most important thing you can do to improve your credit is to make monthly payments on time. Accounting for 35% of your FICO credit score, payment history is the biggest component of a good score. By paying on time, you improve your payment history and avoid late payment fees.
If you miss a payment deadline, make that payment within 30 days. A missed payment isn't reported to any credit bureau unless it is made 30 days after the deadline. However, you'll still be responsible for applicable late payment fees (up to $35 with either Walmart card).
You can't use your Walmart Rewards credit card anywhere but Walmart. You can use your Walmart Rewards Mastercard anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.
Maintain a Low Balance
Keep a low balance on your credit card by paying off the entire balance every month. The amount owed is the second-largest component (30%) of your FICO credit score. By keeping a low credit utilization ratio, you're contributing positively to your credit score. Most credit issuers like to see a credit utilization ratio below 35%.
Keep Your Account Open
Don't close your credit card account. Your credit score improves as the length of your credit history grows. Even if you stop using your Walmart Mastercard or Walmart credit card, keep them open, especially if they're your first or only credit cards.
Enroll in Electronic Statements
By enrolling in electronic statements with your Walmart credit card, you can also enroll to receive a monthly FICO credit score to keep track of your progress. Watching your score go up will keep you motivated to keep on building your credit.
The Bottom Line
Like all credit cards, Walmart cards can help shoppers improve their credit scores and history with responsible usage of the cards.
If you are new to credit cards or worried about credit card debt, it may be more helpful to apply for a Walmart in-store card that can only be used at Walmart. Then, once you have built-up your credit score, you might try a Walmart Mastercard that can be used for other purchases besides Walmart. (For more information read Can You Use a Walmart Card Anywhere?)