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Credit Cards for Pet Expenses

Credit Cards for Pet Expenses

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Apr 13, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

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, 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 CompareCards, 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.

Best pet credit card: CareCredit

CareCredit, 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 provides the following introductory APR offers:

CareCredit financing options

Purchase amountFinancing optionsRegular purchase APR
$200-$9990% intro APR for 6, 12, 18, or 24 months26.99% APR
$1,000 or more14.90% APR for 24 months, 15.90% APR for 36 months or 16.90% APR for 48 months26.99% APR
$2,500 or more17.90% APR for 60 months26.99% APR

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% for 18 months. After that, a regular APR of 15.49%-24.99% (variable).

The card also offers a long intro APR of 0% for 18 months on qualifying balance transfers, then 15.49%-24.99% (variable).

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.

Read our Wells Fargo Platinum card review.

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 12.99% - 22.99% 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 12.99% - 22.99% 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.

Read our HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card review.

Discover it® Cash Back

  • 0% for 14 months on purchases and Balance Transfers, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable.

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically. *

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match. 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. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

More Info

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 regular APR of 11.99% - 22.99% variable.

The card also offers a generous cashback rate in popular spending categories: Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

Additionally, for new card members only, 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. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

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.

Read our Discover it® Cash Back review.

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 - No Late Fees Ever

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever offers an introductory APR on balance transfers for nearly two years. Cardholders can receive an intro APR of 0% for 21 months on balance transfers. After that, a regular APR of 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) applies.

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever also offers an intro APR of 0% for 12 months on purchases, then 14.74% - 24.74% (variable) APR.

Additional Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever benefits:

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 liability on unauthorized charges made to your card
  • 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 balance transfer fees of 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Read our Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever review.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers an extended intro APR of 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then an APR of 13.99% – 23.99% (variable) applies. The card also offers a rewards program, which is rare for a balance transfer credit card.

Cardholders earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. 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 – 18 month BT offer benefits:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Lost card replacement within 24 hours (usually) via The Lost Wallet Service
  • Zero liability for unauthorized charges
  • 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 – 18 month BT offer charges balance transfer fees of 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Read our Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer review.

Which card is right for you and your pet?

Because CareCredit’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 — 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.


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