Best Credit Cards for Pet Expenses
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Owning a pet isn’t cheap. Currently, an estimated 84.9 million U.S. households own at least one pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. And Americans are continuing to spend more money on their pets each year, with $95.7 billion spent in 2019 and an estimated $99 billion in 2020.
While it can be expensive to own a pet, odds are that most people would say the cost is well worth it. Using certain credit cards with fixed interest rates or 0% intro APR periods can help keep those costs down when you need to finance pet expenses.
There are veterinary and pet financing options available with CareCredit® credit card, as well as credit cards that offer the ability to finance costly pet expenses or for reducing existing pet-related card debt.
Based on our research of cards available through LendingTree, as well as top cards offered by major issuers, we’ve put together a list of cards that can help you save on costly pet care.
- CareCredit® credit card: Best pet credit card
- 0% intro APR credit cards: Best for new pet expenses
- Balance transfer credit cards: Best for existing pet expenses
- Which option is best for you?
Best pet credit card: CareCredit® credit card
CareCredit® credit card, backed by Synchrony Bank, offers special financing options for routine and emergency veterinary expenses, including annual checkups, teeth cleaning and spay and neutering at over 200,000 health care providers and health-focused retailers.
Depending on the amount you need to finance, CareCredit® credit card provides the following introductory APR offers:
CareCredit® credit card financing options
|Purchase amount||Financing options|
|$200-$999||0% intro APR for 6, 12, 18, or 24 months|
|$1,000 or more||14.90% APR for 24 months, 15.90% APR for 36 months or 16.90% APR for 48 months|
|$2,500 or more||14.90% APR for 24 months, 15.90% APR for 36 months or 16.90% APR for 48 months|
What to look out for. The financing options at 0% intro APR are subject to deferred interest. This means you will be charged all the interest accrued starting from the purchase date if you continue to carry a balance after the financing period ends. Your financing offer may also require you to make fixed monthly payments until your balance is paid in full.
0% intro APR credit cards
Credit cards that offer 0% introductory APRs on purchases allow you to carry a balance for a set time period without being charged interest. This can be helpful if you need time to pay off large expenses, such as an emergency vet surgery, pricey dental cleanings or medications.
Wells Fargo Platinum card
The Wells Fargo Platinum card offers one of the longest introductory APR periods currently available. Cardholders receive an intro APR on purchases of 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening. After that, a regular APR of 16.49%-24.49% (variable) will apply.
The card also offers a long intro APR of 0% intro APR for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers, then an APR of 16.49%-24.49% (variable) will apply.
Additional Wells Fargo Platinum card benefits:
- $0 annual fee
- Access to your FICO credit score online
- Cellphone protection against damage or theft of up to $600
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Overdraft protection when you link your credit card to your Wells Fargo checking account
What to look out for. The Wells Fargo Platinum card does not offer a rewards program. That said, if you plan to take advantage of the card’s introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers, we recommend paying off your balance in full within the promotional period before focusing on a card offering a rewards program.
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
Similar to the Wells Fargo Platinum card, the HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card offers a generous intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. New cardholders can receive a 0% Introductory APR on credit card purchases for the first 18 months from account opening. A Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period.
Additional HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card benefits:
- 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Balance Transfers must be posted within the first 60 days following Account opening. A Variable APR of 13.99% - 23.99% will apply after the Introductory Period.
- $0 annual fee
- Late fee waiver one time every 12 months
- Protection for physical damage or theft to a rental car via MasterRental Coverage
- Access to Mastercard Airport Concierge™
- Free FICO credit score
What to look out for. The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card does not offer a sign-up bonus or rewards program.
Discover it® Cash Back
If you want to finance pet expenses for an extended period of time while earning cashback rewards, you may want to look at the Discover it® Cash Back card. The card offers an intro APR on purchases of 0% for 14 months, then a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.
The card also offers a generous cashback rate in popular spending categories: 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
Additionally, for new card members only: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
Additional Discover it® Cash Back benefits:
- Intro APR on balance transfers of 0% for 14 months, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
- $0 annual fee
- Access to your FICO credit score for free
- Social Security number alerts
- 100% U.S.-based customer service
What to look out for. You can only earn the higher rewards rate on the first $1,500 spent in the bonus category each quarter. So, the most you can earn at the higher cashback rate is $300, however, in the first year that will double to $600, not including any cashback rewards you earn at the lower rate.
Balance transfer credit cards
If you currently have credit card debt as a result of pet expenses, such as a surgery or costs from buying or adopting a pet, a balance transfer credit card can be a great way to get out of debt, when used responsibly.
A balance transfer involves transferring debt from one credit card (that typically charges a high interest rate) to a new card that offers a 0% intro APR period. There are often balance transfer fees — typically 3% of the amount you transfer — but the amount you save on interest often outweighs that fee.
If you don’t pay off the balance within the 0% APR promotional period, you will only be assessed interest on the remainder of what you owe. And know that you cannot transfer debt between cards from the same issuer.
Citi Simplicity® Card
The Citi Simplicity® Card offers an introductory APR on balance transfers for nearly two years. Cardholders can receive an intro APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. After that, a regular APR of applies.
The Citi Simplicity® Card also offers an intro APR of 0% for 18 months on purchases, then 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) APR.
Additional Citi Simplicity® Card benefits:
- $0 annual fee
- Protection from identity theft with Citi Identity Theft Solutions
- Ability to choose your payment due date
What to look out for. The interest-free period only applies to balance transfers made within four months of opening your account. Additionally, the card charges a balance transfer fee – either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater..
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
The Citi® Double Cash Card offers an extended intro APR of 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then an APR of 13.99% – 23.99% (variable) will apply. The card also offers a rewards program, which is rare for a balance transfer credit card.
Cardholders earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. However, when focusing on paying off a debt, it’s wise to not add new charges to the card until the transferred balance is paid off.
Additional Citi® Double Cash Card benefits:
- $0 annual fee
- Lost card replacement within 24 hours (usually) via The Lost Wallet Service
- Access to exclusive events through Citi Entertainment
What to look out for. If you’re planning to finance a large purchase, this card is not ideal, since it does not offer an introductory APR on purchases. Also, the Citi® Double Cash Card charges balance transfer fees of 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Which card is right for you and your pet?
Because the CareCredit® credit card’s terms can be a bit tricky due to deferred interest clauses, and the ongoing interest rate of 26.99% (fixed) is high, a credit card that offers a 0% intro APR on purchases may be a better fit.
Unlike CareCredit® credit card — which limits special financing options to select veterinary expenses at select providers and retailers — these credit cards can be used for a wider range of pet expenses, including food, bedding and supplies. And if you have a large amount of existing credit card debt from previous pet expenses, a balance transfer card that offers a 0% introductory APR for a year or longer may help you save money on hefty interest charges while paying down the debt.
The information related to Wells Fargo Platinum card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.