Care Credit is a popular healthcare credit card that allows you to pay for treatments and procedures over time with fixed monthly payments. With over 225,000 enrolled providers nationwide, Care Credit offers special financing options to make health, wellness and beauty treatments more affordable.
In this comprehensive Care Credit review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this health care credit card, including pros and cons, who’s eligible, how it works, tips for using it responsibly, and alternatives to consider. Read on to see if Care Credit’s flexible financing is right for you.
Care Credit Overview
Care Credit is a credit card offered through Synchrony Bank that gives you access to revolving credit lines from $250 up to $25,000. It can be used to finance treatments, procedures and purchases at enrolled healthcare practices and retailers across the beauty, health and wellness industries.
- Special financing offers of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months at many providers
- No annual fees or pre-payment penalties
- Can be used at over 225,000 enrolled providers and retailers nationwide
- Online account management and monthly statements
- Can apply on your own or at your provider’s office
Care Credit is accepted at a wide range of healthcare providers including dentists, eye doctors, veterinarians, weight loss centers, fertility clinics and more. It’s also taken at major retailers like Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS and Best Buy for health and wellness purchases.
Benefits of Care Credit
Care Credit offers several advantages for financing health treatments and procedures:
Affordable Fixed Monthly Payments
One of the biggest benefits of Care Credit is the ability to break up costs into monthly payments. Many providers offer 6, 12, 18 or 24 month special financing promotions, which are ideal for more expensive procedures like dental work, LASIK eye surgery or fertility treatments.
By spreading costs over time, you can take care of necessary health needs without having to pay the full amount upfront. Monthly payments are fixed so they fit better into your budget.
Wide Network of Enrolled Providers
With over 225,000 enrolled healthcare providers and health retailers, Care Credit has an extensive network. Chances are your dentist, optometrist, chiropractor or other specialist already accepts Care Credit, making it easy to use.
You can also use it at major pharmacies and retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Best Buy and more for health, wellness and beauty purchases. The large network makes Care Credit convenient for a variety of healthcare and health-related expenses.
Can Apply On Your Own or At the Provider
Applying for Care Credit is simple. You can submit an application online ahead of time to check rates and terms. Many enrolled providers also have Care Credit applications in office to apply and use the card same-day for treatments. This makes the financing process seamless.
No Annual Fees
Unlike some medical credit cards, Care Credit does not charge annual fees. This helps reduce costs, especially for larger, long-term balances. As long as you make monthly payments on time, you won’t incur any annual or maintenance fees.
Uses Beyond Medical Expenses
While Care Credit is intended for healthcare expenses, you can also use your card at enrolled retailers for more general health and wellness purchases:
- Fitness equipment and gym memberships – Use your Care Credit card at sporting goods stores and gyms like Academy Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Planet Fitness and more.
- Massage therapy and chiropractic services – Many independent massage therapists, acupuncturists and chiropractors accept Care Credit.
- Vision care – Use Care Credit at optometrists and retailers like LensCrafters, Target Optical and America’s Best for eye exams, glasses, contacts and LASIK surgery.
- Hearing aids – Retailers like Miracle-Ear, Beltone and more often accept Care Credit for hearing devices and exams.
- Veterinary care – Many animal hospitals and pet stores allow Care Credit financing for vet visits, medications, food and supplies.
- Dental care – Care Credit is taken at over 85,000 enrolled dental practices nationwide for cleanings, fillings, braces, dentures and more.
So while Care Credit is designed for healthcare needs, you can use it more broadly for health and wellness purchases if the retailer accepts Care Credit.
Credit Card Benefits and Perks
Like other credit cards, Care Credit provides benefits like:
- Credit reporting – Care Credit reports your monthly payments to the major credit bureaus, which can help build your credit score if managed responsibly.
- Online account management – You can manage your account online by setting up recurring payments, viewing statements and making payments.
- Purchase protection – Eligible purchases with Care Credit come with purchase protection against theft or damage. Specific terms apply.
- AutoPay discount – Setting up automated payments from your bank account gives you a 25% discount on the deferred interest paid monthly.
As a credit card, Care Credit also offers convenience and security like fraud monitoring, zero liability if your card is lost or stolen and the ability to lock your card via mobile app.
How Does Care Credit Work?
Care Credit works similarly to other credit cards, with a few key differences:
Revolving Credit Line
When you’re approved for Care Credit, you’ll receive a revolving credit line between $250 – $25,000. This acts as your spending limit. As you pay down your balance month-to-month, credit becomes available to spend again, like a credit card.
Special Financing Offers
One unique aspect of Care Credit is the special financing offers from enrolled healthcare providers – often 6, 12, 18 or 24 months. Providers offer this deferred interest financing on qualifying purchases.
As long as the full balance is paid before the promotional period ends, no interest accrues. This helps spread out costs over time at 0% APR. If not paid in full, interest is charged from the original purchase date.
Minimum Monthly Payments
Depending on the plan, minimum monthly payments on Care Credit typically range from 1.25% to 3% of your balance. Interest rates vary from 15.74% to 29.99% variable APR once the promotional period ends, if a balance remains.
It’s important to pay the full promotional balance before the 6, 12, 18 or 24 month period ends to avoid deferred interest. If you carry a balance month-to-month, standard credit card interest rates apply.
Where You Can Use It
In addition to enrolled healthcare providers, Care Credit is also accepted at major retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Best Buy and more for health and wellness purchases.
You simply use your card at checkout or provide your Care Credit account information just like any other credit card. The provider handles the rest behind the scenes.
How to Apply
Applying for Care Credit is simple. You can apply online in minutes and receive a credit decision. Many enrolled healthcare and retail providers also have applications to submit in office to get an instant decision.
To qualify, you’ll need:
- Social Security Number
- Source of household income
- Date of birth
Care Credit reviews your credit report, income, and current debt levels when making a decision. They offer credit lines from $250 – $25,000 if approved.
Pros of Care Credit
Care Credit offers many benefits that make it appealing for healthcare expenses:
Special financing offers – 0% promotional financing for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months at enrolled providers helps spread out upfront costs over time.
Wide network – With over 225,000 enrolled providers and retailers, Care Credit is widely accepted. Use it for healthcare, vet care, vision, dental and more.
Convenient application – Apply easily online or Instant Decision in provider offices get you using the card right away.
No annual fee – Unlike some medical credit cards, Care Credit does not charge an annual fee.
Can improve credit – Making on-time payments shows positive payment history and can improve your credit over time.
Low monthly payments – Fixed monthly payments as low as 1.25% – 3% of your balance fit healthcare costs into your budget.
Use for wellness purchases – In addition to medical, use at health retailers for gym memberships, fitness gear, vision care and more.
For expensive procedures like dental work or corrective eye surgery, Care Credit makes treatments more accessible by breaking up costs over months instead of paying in full upfront.
Cons of Care Credit
However, there are some downsides to weigh with Care Credit as well:
Deferred interest – If balances aren’t paid in full by the end of promotional periods, deferred interest from the original purchase date applies. This accrues interest rapidly.
Credit limits – Credit lines max out at $25,000, so Care Credit can’t be used for extremely high medical bills.
Late fees – Paying late incurs a $29 fee, so careful monitoring of due dates is essential. Set up autopay to avoid missed payments.
High APR after promos – Interest rates range from 15.74% – 29.99% APR once the low rate promotional period ends, if a balance remains.
Hard credit check – Applying requires a hard credit inquiry which can temporarily lower your credit score. Too many hard inquiries can be negative.
Pre-approval recommended – It’s smart to check rates and terms with a pre-approval first, so you know costs before applying in office.
While the special financing offers are attractive, carefully consider total costs if unable to pay the balance in full by the end of the promotional period. The high deferred interest can add up quickly.
Care Credit Credit Score Needed
Care Credit reviews your credit report and score as part of the application process. They don’t publish specific credit score requirements. Generally, you’ll need good to excellent credit for the highest chances of approval and credit limit:
| Credit Tier | Credit Score Range |
| Poor | 300 – 629 |
| Fair | 630 – 689 |
| Good | 690 – 719 |
| Very Good | 720 – 850 |
With good or better credit in the 690+ range, you’ll have the best approval odds for Care Credit. Fair or average credit scores may be approved but likely for lower limits.
Poor credit under 630 makes approval challenging. If denied, try improving your credit score and income before reapplying.
Keep in mind that applying causes a hard credit inquiry, which could temporarily knock a few points off your score. Limit applications and space them out over time to avoid excessive hard inquiries.
Tips for Using Care Credit Responsibly
While Care Credit makes healthcare expenses more affordable, it’s still a credit card. Used irresponsibly, you can end up in difficult debt. Here are some tips for keeping your account in good standing:
Make payments on time – Set up autopay through your bank account to avoid missed or late payments and fees. Paying late can incur fees and penalty interest rates.
Pay the full promo balance – Carefully track promotional period end dates and be sure to pay the entire balance before interest applies. Set calendar reminders as the end of the term approaches.
Limit use to medical expenses – Stick with healthcare treatments and health purchases to avoid debt. Care Credit’s best for one-time procedures – not everyday spending.
Check rates first – Compare offers and limits with a pre-approval so you know costs before applying instantly in office. It gives you time to consider.
Create a payoff plan – If you’ll carry a balance month-to-month, make a detailed payment plan to pay it off ASAP before interest mounts.
Watch out for prepayment penalties – Some Care Credit plans at select providers charge fees for paying off balances early. Understand the terms.
Review statements – Check statements regularly for transaction accuracy and track balances owed. Dispute any unauthorized or fraudulent charges promptly.
Consider your total utilization – Care Credit balances contribute to your overall credit utilization ratio, which impacts credit scores. Keep total balances low.
With responsible use by paying on time, limiting balances, and taking advantage of low promo APRs, Care Credit can provide an affordable financing option for health treatments and procedures.
Care Credit Login and Account Management
Managing your Care Credit account is simple through the online member center or mobile app:
Online Account Access
At CareCredit.com, you can sign-in to your account to:
- Check your current balance and available credit
- View monthly statements and transaction history
- Make one-time payments or set up recurring payments
- Update your personal information
- Activate a replacement card
- Manage notifications
Care Credit Mobile App
The Care Credit app allows you to manage your account on the go with features to:
- Pay your bill via mobile
- View statements
- Check your account balance
- Find enrolled providers
- Get card updates
- Receive notifications
You can download the Care Credit app free on the App Store and Google Play.
Keeping tabs on your account activity through the online member center or mobile app allows you to stay up-to-date, spot any unauthorized charges, make payments, set up autopay and more.
How to Make a Payment on Care Credit
You have several options to make Care Credit bill payments:
Online – Sign into your account and submit one-time or recurring payments. Enroll in autopay with your bank account to automate payments each month.
Phone – Call 1-800-677-0718 to make automated payments or speak to a representative.
Mail – Send paper checks or money orders to the payment address printed on your monthly statement. Allow 5-7 days for mail delivery.
Mobile app – Use the Care Credit app on your smartphone or tablet to pay bills directly from your device.
In person – Take paper checks or money orders to an enrolled provider office that accepts Care Credit and they can submit payments on your behalf.
Note any payments made the same day will not immediately reflect in your available account balance. Payments before 8PM ET each day are credited that day.
Set up recurring automatic payments from your checking account to ensure you never miss a payment and incur late fees. Managing payments digitally also allows you to easily track payment history and account balances.
Does Care Credit Offer a Sign Up Bonus?
Unfortunately, Care Credit does not currently offer any sign up bonus or rewards program. There are no opportunities to earn points, miles or cash back.
The main incentives Care Credit provides are the deferred interest financing offers for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months at approved healthcare providers and health retailers when you use the card. This allows you to finance necessary expenses over time at 0% APR during the promo period, if balances are paid in full before it ends.
While bonus incentives would be a nice perk, the core benefit of Care Credit is the ability to break up larger healthcare purchases into fixed monthly payments. For expensive one-time procedures like dental work, LASIK, fertility treatments or hearing aids, the special financing can provide savings on interest fees versus paying upfront.
Just be sure you can pay off the full balance by the end of the promo term. Otherwise, you’ll owe back interest from the original purchase date. Pay on time each month and take advantage of the low rate financing options selectively for health needs.
Care Credit Alternatives
If you find Care Credit isn’t the right fit, here are a few alternatives to consider for financing healthcare expenses:
Medical credit cards – There are a range of medical credit cards like MediCard, United Medical Credit and others to pay expenses over time. Compare terms.
Provider payment plans – Many dentists, fertility clinics, veterinarians, chiropractors and other providers offer customized in-house payment plans.
Flexible spending account (FSA) – FSAs let you set aside pretax dollars to pay for healthcare costs. Any remaining balance is forfeited at year-end.
Health savings account (HSA) – An HSA allows you to contribute pre-tax or tax-deductible funds and use the money for medical expenses. Balances roll over year to year.
Personal loans – Banks, credit unions and online lenders offer personal installment loans that can be used for healthcare costs and paid back over 12-84 months.
0% APR credit cards – Sign-up bonus offers with 0% intro APR for 12-18 months allow you to pay down expenses without interest for a limited time.
Explore all options to find the best fit for your budget and treatment needs. A combination of payment methods can help make healthcare more affordable.
Is Care Credit Worth It?
For certain situations, Care Credit can provide savings over paying for healthcare treatments and procedures fully upfront.
- High-cost one-time procedures (dental, vision, fertility, etc.)
- Applicants with good credit who qualify for lower rates
- Spreading a large expense over 6, 12 or 18 months
- Providers with promotional financing where no deferred interest accrues
Not Best for:
- Ongoing expenses like prescriptions or basic appointments
- Applicants with poor/average credit who will get high rates
- If the full balance cannot be paid off by the end of the intro period
- As an emergency medical credit line
Care Credit works well when you need to finance a larger healthcare purchase over a short 6-24 month term and can pay off the full balance before the 0% APR period ends. This takes advantage of the deferred interest financing.
Keep in mind that failing to pay off the entire amount before the promo ends means you’ll owe interest from the original purchase date – often a very high rate. Understand the offer terms thoroughly so you know the total costs.
Used selectively for one-time expenses for which you can fully pay off the balance within the timeframe, Care Credit can offer affordable healthcare financing. Evaluate your specific scenario to see if it meets your needs and budget.
Is Care Credit Easy To Get?
Although Care Credit reviews a range of credit profiles, you’ll need
What Credit Score Is Needed for Care Credit Instant Approval?
Care Credit uses a custom approval process that looks at your credit report and score along with other factors like income. They don’t disclose the minimum credit score needed for instant approval.
In general, you’ll need good to excellent credit for the best instant decision odds when applying for Care Credit. Here are estimated scores for instant approval tiers:
- Excellent Credit – Scores 750 to 850 often get instant approval for higher limits of $10,000 to $25,000.
- Very Good Credit – Scores from 700 to 749 should qualify for instant approval in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 limits.
- Good Credit – Scores 670 to 699 may get approved instantly but typically for lower limits from $1,000 to $5,000.
- Fair Credit – Scores 620 to 669 will have the hardest time getting approved instantly. Limits likely $250 to $1,000 if approved.
Those with poor credit under 620 will not qualify for instant approval with Care Credit and would need to improve their score first. Keep in mind applications require a hard credit check, which could lower your score.
Getting pre-approved first lets you check potential rates and limits with a soft credit check that doesn’t impact your score. This gives you a good idea of approval odds before applying instantly in-office.
How to Apply for Care Credit
There are two easy ways to apply for a Care Credit account:
You can submit an application on your own anytime at CareCredit.com. Provide contact information and answer some basic identity questions. You’ll get an instant decision without affecting your credit score.
Many enrolled healthcare and retail providers have Care Credit applications in office. Complete the form and you’ll get an instant decision. This requires a hard credit check that can temporarily lower your score.
Pre-approval online first is recommended to check rates and terms. You can proceed with the official application at the provider once you know the offer details and limits. Most decisions take just seconds.
Provide accurate information on your application and income source. Submitting an application with your spouse may improve chances for a higher limit if you have joint expenses. Initial limits range from $250 to $25,000 if approved.
What Affects Your Chances of Approval?
Care Credit evaluates several factors when reviewing your application, including:
- Credit history – They check for any negative marks like late payments, collections or bankruptcies that indicate risk. A longer positive history helps.
- Credit utilization – Lower balances relative to credit limits demonstrate better credit management. High utilization hurts.
- Credit mix – Having different types of credit (credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, etc.) is favorable.
- Income – Your income must be sufficient to manage the monthly payments on a new credit line.
- Debt-to-income ratio – They ensure your income adequately covers existing debt payments plus new credit.
- Inquiries – Too many hard inquiries from applications for credit can negatively impact approval odds temporarily.
Good credit and low utilization along with sufficient income to handle payments gives you the best shot at instant approval with a higher credit line when applying for Care Credit.
Care Credit Login Issues and How to Reset Your Password
If you have trouble accessing your Care Credit account online, here are some tips for resolving login issues and resetting your password:
If you can’t recall your username, visit the CareCredit website and click “Find Account.” You’ll need to verify your identity by providing details like SSN, account number, date of birth etc. Once verified, you can view your username.
To reset your password, go to the Care Credit login page and click “Forgot Password.” You’ll need to provide your username or account number. Choose to reset your password by text, email or automated phone call. Follow the prompts to create a new password.
If your account is locked after too many failed login attempts, you’ll need to contact Care Credit customer service to unlock it. Call 1-866-893-7864 or request help through online chat. You’ll need to verify details to validate your identity.
Site Navigation Issues
If you have trouble navigating the website or can’t access certain online account features, try clearing your browser history/cache and cookies. Restart your browser and login again. The website should load properly.
App Login Problems
For login issues in the mobile app, try force quitting the app entirely and reopening to login fresh. Update to the latest app version. Still issues? Uninstall and reinstall the app.
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Resetting your Care Credit login credentials online is quick and easy. For any other login or access problems, Care Credit’s customer service team can offer support to get you into your account.
Does Care Credit Report to Credit Bureaus?
Yes, Care Credit does report your account activity and payment history to the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion each month.
Responsible use of your account by making monthly payments on time can help build your credit scores over time. However, issues like late payments, exceeding your credit limit or defaulting on balances can negatively impact your credit.
Here are examples of what Care Credit reports to the credit bureaus:
- Payment history – Your on-time payments, missed payments, late payments or other payment delinquencies.
- Credit limit and utilization – How much of your total credit line is being used. Keeping this low is ideal.
- Balance and amounts owed – Your current balance and total amounts owed according to monthly statements.
- New credit – When you open a new Care Credit account it’s reported as a hard inquiry.
- Account status – Whether your account is in good standing or high risk with issues like non-payment.
Checking your credit reports periodically lets you ensure all Care Credit account activity is accurate. Dispute any errors in reporting with the bureaus right away to correct it.
Managing your Care Credit responsibly over time and avoiding late, missed or over limit fees can ultimately help strengthen your credit standing for better approval odds and terms with creditors down the road.
Common Care Credit Card Problems and Solutions
While Care Credit is generally easy to use, certain issues can come up with your account. Here are some common Care Credit problems and troubleshooting tips:
If your Care Credit card is unexpectedly declined, first call the number on the back of your card to check if there are any holds or blocks on your account related to suspected fraud. It may be a simple verification fix.
Also ensure you have sufficient available credit for the charge. Log into your account to check your balance – declines can occur if your credit limit is exceeded. Make a payment to free up credit.
Paying late hurts your credit score and incurs fees. Set up autopay from your bank to avoid missed payments. Monitor your due dates and available balance closely each month as well.
Lost or Stolen Card
Report lost or stolen Care Credit cards immediately by calling the number on your monthly statement. You can also login online and click “Report Lost/Stolen Card”. You’ll be issued a replacement card within 7-10 days.
High Interest Rates
If deferred interest promotions expire before balances are paid, high penalty APRs hit. Read terms closely, mark end dates, and develop a payoff plan to avoid this scenario. Pay more than the minimum when possible.
Credit Limit Increase Denied
Keep your account in good standing by making timely payments, keeping balances low and avoiding late or over limit fees to improve chances for a higher credit line later on. Wait 6 months before requesting again.
Paying diligently, monitoring your account closely for fraud, understanding offer terms and contacting customer service for issues can help resolve most Care Credit problems.
Care Credit Reviews: What People Are Saying
Care Credit earns mixed reviews, averaging around 3 out of 5 stars across various online rating platforms. Here’s a look at some common Care Credit reviews and experiences:
Happy customers praise the 0% promotional APR offers and reasonable monthly payment terms from many providers. It makes treatments affordable by spreading costs over time. Many also like the instant approval process and ease of using the card.
Critical reviews focus on high deferred interest rates after promo periods end if balances aren’t paid in full. Some also report issues contacting customer service for disputes or questions. A few cite problems getting provider charges credited to their account.
The Bottom Line
Reviews suggest Care Credit works best when used as intended – for one-time larger healthcare expenses you can comfortably pay off during the 6 to 24 month low or no interest intro period. Having a solid payoff strategy is key to avoiding costly interest. Check providers thoroughly.
Is Care Credit Easy To Get Approved For?
Although Care Credit reviews a range of credit profiles, you’ll need good credit or better for the highest chance of fast approval with a decent credit limit. Here are approval tips:
- Check your credit – aim for scores above 690+
- Lower credit card balances to reduce utilization
- Correct any errors on your credit reports
- Avoid applying for new credit before applying
- Consider adding an authorized user like a spouse
- Provide sufficient income to cover new payments
Those with fair/average scores below 700 may get approved but likely for lower initial limits until the account history builds. Expect much lower odds if your score is under 650. Getting pre-approved can help you check potential terms without a hard credit check.
Overall, Care Credit offers accessible medical financing with online and in-office applications but approval is easier for applicants with very good/excellent credit and income. Check your rate options first before applying.
Verdict: Is Care Credit Worth It?
For certain situations, Care Credit can offer an affordable way to pay for health expenses over time.
Best for: One-time larger medical bills and procedures you can fully pay off during 6-24 month promos. Good if you have very good credit to qualify for lower rates.
Not Best For: Ongoing everyday healthcare costs. Poor/fair credit applicants who’ll get high interest rates. Using long-term and carrying balances after promos end.
Read terms closely, consider total costs if carrying a balance past the intro period, and have a payoff strategy. When used with discipline for larger medical costs, Care Credit financing can potentially save on interest. Evaluate carefully if it aligns with your healthcare needs and spending plan.