Walmart will offer its prepaid, credit and gift card holders a 15-cent discount on gas from Friday, August 31st until Christmas Eve. Walmart prepaid and credit cards earn a 15 cent per gallon discount at Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations. Gift cards earn a 10-cent discount. But unfortunately, it’s not that great a deal, except for a small group of people.So is the offer actually worth getting a Walmart card for? We’ll break it down.
Step 1: Prepaid, credit or gift?
First off, if you’re not in one of the participating states (generally in the South), this deal isn’t applicable to you, so you can stop reading here. Check out our list of gas cards that give 3% rewards or more if you’re looking to save at the pump.
Assuming you live in one of the 20 states and you don’t already have one of those options, here’s a basic breakdown of the rewards and fees associated with each. To calculate the rewards rate, we assume that gas is $3.78 a gallon, the national average as of 8/27.
Gift card: If you can’t or don’t want access to a line of credit, you can grab a gift card that’s usable only at Walmart, Sam’s Club or Murphy’s USA. Simple, straightforward, no mess, though it does have a lower discount than the credit cards.
In-store Walmart credit card: Since in-store credit cards have less strict credit score requirements, people with lower FICO scores can consider the card. As long as you’re not going to carry a balance, there’s no harm in getting it – you won’t automatically pay fees. Make sure that you actually won’t carry a balance! 22.9% interest is far higher than a good low APR card. You do receive a $20 bonus if you make a purchase of $100 or more.
Walmart Discover: The Discover card earns 0.25% rewards on all spending under $1,500 annually, 0.5% under $3,000 annually and 1% on all spending over that. It requires more creditworthiness than its in-store counterpart, and also comes with a $20 bonus with a $100+ purchase. Keep in mind that its rewards rate is pretty darn low, and Discover isn’t universally accepted, so you should use the card only to get the 15-cent discount.
Step 2: Walmart vs. the other gas cards
Now that you know which Walmart option to go for, how do the credit cards compare to other gas credit cards out there? Not too favourably, as it turns out. Here are the inherent disadvantages of the Walmart cards:
- Only earn rewards/discounts on gas
- Limit you to filling up at Walmart or Murphy’s
- High APR (which shouldn’t matter because you’re not carrying a balance, right?)
- In-store card does not earn rewards on Walmart spending, though other cards do
- Discover card has a terrible rewards rate, and isn’t accepted as much as Visa or MasterCard
With those caveats noted, here are two other options to consider:
Beyond-excellent credit: If you have really, really, ridiculously good-looking credit, there’s no higher gas rewards rate than Pentagon Federal, and you should definitely consider one of the PenFed Platinum cards.
Good credit: If the PenFed cards are out of your reach, you can consider getting the Walmart Discover card solely for your gas purchases. However, if you’re looking to use the card anywhere else, you might want to consider a more lucrative but still easy to obtain rewards card, such as the Capital One Cash or Chase Freedom.
Average credit: If even the Walmart Discover’s out of your reach, you can apply for the Walmart in-store card and use it only for gas purchases.
Everyone else: The Walmart gift card doesn’t require a credit check, so you can get your rewards at Murphy’s and Walmart, if nowhere else.
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