CareCredit is a health care credit card that has become well known by the general public and is also widely accepted by various types of health care practitioners. The CareCredit credit card is most helpful primarily for those with minimal health insurance, or for those who must pay the up-front costs of health, beauty, or wellness procedures and treatments that are expensive and/or potentially not covered by insurance.

Who Does It Help?

CareCredit also provides an option for veterinary medicine, which comes in handy for pet parents who may be unable to provide the up-front costs of care. When it comes to veterinary medicine, while it is technically a practice of medicine, pet parents are often aware that health insurance for pets is not something that is common or even widely available. This fact is unfortunate, especially when considering the expense for caring for a pet. With just typical routine exams, vaccinations, teeth cleanings and even common medications such as deworming pills all costing hundreds of dollars, it makes sense for pet parents to need assistance when it comes to paying these extensive bills.

What Is the Incentive to Using CareCredit?

With CareCredit, instead of having to show up to the vet with a wad of cash or a fat check, pet parents can use their CareCredit credit card to pay for all or a portion of their pet's veterinary needs, and then pay off their credit card bill in a similar fashion when compared to a typical credit card.

How Does CareCredit Work?

The biggest perk of using a CareCredit card at the vet instead of swiping a regular credit card is the fact that, depending on the time it takes to pay off the purchase amount, the cardholder may never have to pay interest. For example, if the medical purchase amount is $5,000, the credit card user is not charged any interest if the full amount is paid off within the designated promotional period. For a 12-month term, the estimated monthly payment is $417, and for an 18-month term, it is $278.

However, if the cardholder requires a payoff period lasting longer than 18 months, CareCredit then attaches a 14.90% annual percentage rate (APR) to the monthly payment after the 18th month until the balance is paid in full. This policy is in effect as of June 2017. To qualify for a payoff term greater than 18 months but only up to 48 months, the purchase amount must be greater than $1,000. The purchase amount must be greater than $2,500 to qualify for a 60-month payoff limit, for which the APR is 16.9%.

To make the decision easier for pet parents looking to apply for the CareCredit card, the company also conveniently offers a calculator on its website, giving a better idea as to what the monthly payments will be depending on the full amount of the care purchase. While opening a new credit card always comes with the typical credit risks, the idea that something like this exists is arguably the next best thing to pet health insurance.