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Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Guest Posts, Savings Advice | 0 comments

Holiday Shopping with Target and Walmart Store Cards: Is One Better Than the Other?

Target Walmart Store Cards

Every Christmas, there are two big-box stores whose aisles and check-out lines are bursting with people and presents: Target and Walmart.

Target usually gets the style points for having trendier and cuter stuff – not to mention the addition of home décor items from Chip and Joanna Gaines – while Walmart’s prices are virtually unbeatable.

But what about each store’s credit cards? Does one offer an advantage over the other? Both store credit cards present consumers with discounts and benefits that save you money. They also have their drawbacks.

Below, we compare both cards based on their rewards and benefits.

Rewards: 5% versus 3%/2%/1%

Target’s REDcard really pushes the 5% discount that you get at the register whenever you make a purchase. This perk is a big deal because most cards – the Walmart card included – give you the rewards via a statement credit that shows up weeks later.

Another advantage of this discount is that you can stack it on top of your Cartwheel rewards. Remember, though, the 5% discount doesn’t apply to gift cards, pharmacy purchases, eye exams and the gift wrapping and/or shipping and handling charges you pay for your online orders.

The Walmart store card offers a three-tiered system of rewards where you get 3% back on Walmart.com purchases, 2% back on gas purchases at Walmart or Murphy USA gas stations and then 1% back on what you buy at Walmart or Sam’s Club brick-and-mortar locations.

When you compare each of these cards for daily use, the Walmart card has the advantage because you get more discounts more of the time, not to mention the fact that Walmart is one of the top-grossing grocery stores in the country. You get the benefit of two stores in one.

The Target card, in our opinion, is the better choice around the holidays because you get the 5% discount on all your purchases. Those savings can add up considering the latest research shows that Americans will spend around $1,100 on Christmas this year.

Benefits: Free shipping and extended returns vs. extended financing

Benefits-wise, the big draw for the Target REDcard is that you get free shipping on your online orders. Just remember that the free shipping you get is on standard delivery and not on two-day like you get through Amazon Prime.

In addition to free shipping, you get a 10% discount code on your cardmember anniversary, extended returns and 10% off Target subscriptions.

Now, the subscriptions and cardmember anniversary aren’t pertinent to your holiday shopping but the free shipping and extended returns are.

The Walmart card’s main benefit is that you get the opportunity to finance your purchases: 0% for 6 to 24 months. These offers come and go and are usually linked to categories of purchases like electronics. In some cases, they’re straight 0% offers, which means you don’t pay interest during the promo period and any balance left at the end is charged the normal interest rate. In other cases, the offers are deferred interest deals where, if you don’t pay your balance in full by the end of the promo period, you’ll be charged interest on the entire original purchase amount and not the amount left over.

In the context of holiday shopping, the Target REDcard offers some really helpful benefits if you’re using their store or website to buy Christmas presents.

The Walmart card can be a great tool if you get the right 0% offer at the right time; say, when you’re ready to buy an Xbox and you get a 0% offer on electronics.

If you already have one or both of these cards, keep an eye on your inbox. Target and Walmart send out emails about flash discounts and offers for cardholders.

J.R. Duren is a personal finance reporter for HighYa.com. He’s a seasoned veteran of credit cards rewards programs and loves helping others take advantage of free travel.

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