The best card for Wally World: A review of the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card

May 22, 2020

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Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card overview

If Walmart is your preferred shopping destination, then this card is aimed squarely at you. With 5% back on Walmart items online and 2% back on dining and travel, this card has a solid return on everyday purchases. But like other similar store cards from Amazon and Target, make sure you’re brand loyal before applying. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

While Amazon might be considered the store that sells everything, you may be surprised to know that Walmart is actually the largest retailer in the world when it comes to overall revenue. 

With thousands of essential items online and in-store, you could very well shop at Walmart — and nowhere else. 

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If you fall into this demographic, then it’s worth taking a closer look at the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card for its solid earnings potential. This card is even more relevant now during the global coronavirus pandemic that has caused a major shift away from discretionary spending. 

While there are some other cash-back cards that are also worth considering, let’s take a deeper dive into this Capital One Walmart card to see if it aligns with your lifestyle. 

The information for the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

In This Post

Who is this card for?

(Photo by TennesseePhotographer/Getty Images)
(Photo by TennesseePhotographer/Getty Images)

If your neighborhood Walmart or Walmart.com is your go-to shopping destination, then this card could very well be a fit for you. The big-box behemoth — the world’s largest retailer — sells nearly everything. 

A major caveat and frankly, a downside, is that to receive the full 5% back on Walmart purchases after the first year, you have to either shop at Walmart.com or order groceries online for pickup or delivery. 

Related reading: How to ensure you earn bonus points for grocery purchases

If that doesn’t sound like you, there are better long-term cash-back card alternatives — or ways to pair this card with another (which we’ll get to shortly) to get a bigger bang for your buck. 

On the positive side, this card doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees, and while not technically a travel card, it does offer 2% back on dining and travel purchases. 

The card is intended for those with “good” to “excellent” credit

Our conclusion is this Capital One card is a niche — but still solid — product for Walmart regulars who aren’t set on always shopping the store in-person. 

Sign-up bonus

The sign-up bonus on the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card isn’t the most exciting but it does give you elevated earnings on purchases in-store. 

You’ll get 5% back at Walmart stores for the first 12 months when you use your Walmart Rewards card with Walmart Pay. After the first year, that will become 2% back — the standard cash-back rate for buying anything in-store at Walmart. 

Let’s say you spend an average of $300 per month in-store. That 5% back annually comes out to $180, while 2% back is $72. With this welcome offer, you’d essentially be earning $108 over the course of the first year of card ownership. 

Compare that to another cash-back earning card (or Ultimate Rewards points) such as the Chase Freedom, which offers $200 back after you spend $500 in the first three months.

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

There is no introductory 0% APR or cash-back offer on this Walmart Rewards card. 

Earning, perks and benefits

The biggest draw here is the 5% unlimited cash back at Walmart.com including grocery pickup and delivery

In addition, the Walmart card offers elevated earnings on select bonus categories. Get 2% back at restaurants and on travel, as well as 2% back in Walmart stores and at Walmart and Murphy USA Fuel Stations. You’ll receive 1% back anywhere else Mastercard is accepted. 

As mentioned, in-store Walmart purchases net 5% for the first year of card ownership as long as you also check out with a smartphone and Walmart Pay. 

Walmart and Capital One provide a handy rewards calculator (Photo courtesy of Capital One)
Walmart and Capital One provide a handy rewards calculator. (Photo courtesy of Capital One)

Earnings summary: 

  • 5% back on purchases made at Walmart.com or in the Walmart mobile apps
  • 2% back on purchases made at Walmart stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations
    • Additional 3% back when you use Walmart Pay for purchases made at Walmart stores for the first 12 months from account opening, for a total of 5%
  • 2% back on the purchase of gift cards at Walmart (online, app, Walmart Pay or in stores)
  • 1% back everywhere else 

With this Capital One Mastercard, you not only can use this card anywhere Mastercard is accepted, but also get a host of standard benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees: No fees when making a purchase outside the US
  • Complimentary concierge service: Get personalized support with dining, entertainment and travel 
  • Extended warranty: Get additional warranty protection on eligible items that are purchased with your card.
  • 24-hour travel assistance services: If your card is lost or stolen, you can get an emergency replacement card and a cash advance.
  • Travel accident insurance: Receive automatic insurance for a covered loss when you use your card to purchase travel. 

How to redeem

(Photo by Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images)
You can redeem your Capital One Walmart for travel. (Photo by Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images)

With this Capital One Walmart Rewards Card, you technically earn points which are worth a penny each that can be redeemed in any amount at any time. This flexibility is particularly useful since some cards require that you hit a minimum threshold before being allowed to redeem. 

Your options include: 

  • Statement credit: Apply rewards as a statement credit toward your account balance.  
  • Cover a purchase: Use rewards toward any recent purchase you made with your card. 
  • Gift cards: Redeem for gift cards from Walmart or other retailers.
  • Redeem for travel: Redeem for trips and travel purchases you make using your card

Since this is a cash-back card, all of your earnings are at a fixed value, so while the flexibility is appreciated, know that you’ll always redeem at one cent each. 

Other cards to consider

There are other no-annual-fee, cash-back card options to consider with other retailers and banks. With some of these cards, such as the Chase Freedom, you have the option of combining rewards towards a more lucrative transferable currency such as Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you also hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. 

The information for the Ink Business Preferred card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

You can’t talk about Walmart without mentioning mega-retailer Amazon. With 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases and 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, this is a card that makes sense for Amazon and Whole Foods enthusiasts. 

The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.    

Target REDcard

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Target is another superstore with a large variety of products. With this card, you get a 5% discount on Target purchases — both in-store and online — which can save you a pretty penny. Plus, cardholders get 5% off at Starbucks locations inside Target plus free two-day shipping. Unlike the Walmart card, your 5% does include in-store purchases but there are no other category bonuses

The information for the Target REDcard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.    

Citi® Double Cash Card 

(Photo by Josh Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Josh Gribben for The Points Guy)

Forget bonus categories and store cards for a moment. One simple and rewarding cash-back card is the Citi Double Cash Card. This card earns you 2% cash back (1% when you buy and then another 1% as you pay). There’s no limit and you can even turn your cash back into Citi ThankYou points when combined with a card like the Citi Premier℠ Card.

The information for the Citi Premier has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.           

Chase Freedom

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

If you don’t mind keeping track of quarterly bonus categories and spending caps, you can get a lot out of the Chase Freedom’s rotating 5x bonuses (up to the first $1,500 spent each quarter you activate). The bonus categories are typically valuable for that season and easy to maximize. Plus, if you have a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points (such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card), you can combine points and maximize earnings even further.

Related reading: Best cash-back cards of 2020

FAQs

Will my Walmart rewards ever expire?

No, your Walmart rewards will never expire. However, if your account is closed, you will lose any rewards you have not redeemed.

Is there a limit to the amount of Walmart rewards I can earn?

No, there is no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn on purchases.

How do I redeem Walmart rewards for previous purchases?

To redeem Walmart rewards after making your purchase, you can go online to walmart.capitalone.com or visit the Capital One mobile app to redeem points and receive an account credit. Redemptions must be made within 90 days from the date your purchase posts to your account. Partial redemptions are also allowed. 

Bottom line

The Capital One Walmart Rewards Card isn’t breaking new ground, but it’s a solid, middle-of-the-road option for Walmart enthusiasts. Capital One and Walmart are really targeting mobile app users and online shoppers with these bonus categories. As such, there are a couple of hoops to jump through to fully maximize the card, and some drawbacks, such as the inability to earn 5% back in-store after the first year. 

However, this is still a decent card to have with almost anything you ever want to buy available through Walmart’s online channels as it pushes to compete with Amazon. 

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.