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Credit Cards for Pet Expenses

Credit Cards for Pet Expenses

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This article was last updated Aug 01, 2018. 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 84.6 million U.S. households own at least one pet. And Americans are continuing to spend more money on their pets each year, with $69.51 billion spent in 2017. That’s estimated to increase by $2.62 billion this year to $72.13 billion.

While it’s often costly to own a pet, odds are the cost is well worth it to take care of your companion. However, doing so doesn’t have to put you into debt — you can use certain credit cards with fixed interest rates or 0% intro APR periods to keep your costs down if you need to finance pet expenses. In this post, we’ll discuss the veterinary and pet financing options available with CareCredit, as well as better alternatives that offer financing for existing debt or new purchases.

Pet specific credit card: CareCredit

CareCredit, backed by Synchrony, provides a health care financing credit card that 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. They offer various financing options with a 0% intro APR period or fixed interest rate for a certain amount of months.

Beware: Pay close attention to the fine print of these offers. 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.

Here’s a breakdown of the financing options* available with CareCredit, by purchase amount:

Purchase Amount Financing Period Promotional APR Regular Purchase APR
$200-$999 6, 12, 18, or 24 months 0% APR 26.99% APR
$1,000 or more 24, 36, or 48 months 14.90% APR* 26.99% APR
$2,500 or more 60 months 16.90% APR* 26.99% APR

*Fixed monthly payments are required for these financing options until your balance is paid in full. This offer and/or promotion has since changed, expired, or is no longer available.

Better alternatives to CareCredit

CareCredit’s terms are a bit tricky, and the ongoing interest rate is high at 26.99% APR. That’s where credit cards with 0% intro periods for purchases or balance transfers may be a better alternative. These cards offer intro periods where you may receive a 0% intro APR for a given time period, avoid deferred interest and aren’t required to make fixed monthly payments (though you need to make your minimum monthly payment).

In comparison with CareCredit — which limits special financing options to select routine and emergency veterinary expenses at select providers and retailers — the cards below can be used for a wider range of pet expenses, including food, bedding and toy purchases.

For new expenses: Cards offering 0% intro APR periods on purchases

Credit cards offering 0% intro APR periods on purchases allow you to carry a balance for a set time period without being charged interest. If you need time to pay off new purchases like surgeries, food and medicine, 0% intro APR cards can be helpful.

For example, if you have an upcoming surgery for your dog, you can open a card offering an intro 0% APR for 18 months on purchases and use the card to pay for the surgery. Then, you can pay off the surgery during the 18-month intro period. You still need to make the minimum payment due each month, and any balances remaining after the intro period will be charged the regular purchase APR. Make sure you do the math to figure out how much you need to pay each month to pay off the balance before the end of the intro period.

Here are some of our favorite cards offering 0% intro periods for purchases:

  • 0% for 12 months on Purchases

  • 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers

  • 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Highlights
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges

See additional details for Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

More Info

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever lives up to its name and is a simple card with a $0 annual fee, no late fees and no penalty APR. This card offers an intro 0% for 12 months on Purchases (after, 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) APR). That’s a lot of time for you to pay off new purchases without accruing interest.

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

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • Any amount, any time. Cash back rewards never expire*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time 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

The Discover it® Cash Back is a great $0 annual fee card that offers more than an intro 0% for 14 months on purchases (after, 13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR). You can also benefit from a cashback program where you can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Plus, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.*

For existing debt: Balance transfer cards

If you currently have credit card debt as a result of pet expenses like 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. Sometimes there are balance transfer fees (typically 3% of the amount you transfer) but the amount you save on interest often outweighs that fee.

Overall, a balance transfer card can be a great option if you have existing debt. Just note that you can’t transfer debt between cards from the same issuer, and the regular purchase APR applies to any balances remaining after the intro period ends.

Here are some of our favorite balance transfer cards:

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

  • 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers

  • 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

More Info

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has an intro 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers (after, 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable) APR). There is a balance transfer fee at 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. In addition, there is a $0 annual fee and a great cashback program where you can earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

  • 0% for 18 months on balance transfers & 0% for 6 months on purchases*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • 13.49% - 24.49% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • 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® Balance Transfer

More Info

The Discover it® Balance Transfer has a $0 annual fee and offers an intro 0% for 18 months on balance transfers (after, 13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR) with a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*. This card also comes with a cashback program — earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. And Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.*


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