5 Things You May Not Know About the CareCredit Card

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Have you found yourself in a precarious medical situation where you need a procedure done now but just don’t have the funds to finance it? CareCredit, a card issued by Synchrony Bank, might be the solution for you. 

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card that you can use to pay for certain medical expenses and other qualifying expenses. It helps when time gets tough and you don’t have money to pay your bills. And a cool feature of the card is that it offers promotional interest rates — if you pay your card off on time, then you don’t have to pay any interest.

Here’s a look at five things you may not know about the CareCredit card.

1. CareCredit Is a Great Resource for Medical Payments

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to pay for medical care, but you can’t, you can use CareCredit. CareCredit is specifically designed for these situations. It is accepted at over 250,000 locations nationwide and will help you with a variety of different medical expenses, including LASIK, cosmetic and dermatology procedures, hearing care and more.

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You can even use it at Walgreens, Walmart and Sam’s Club for medical-related purchases, such as prescriptions, as well as other qualifying purchases. If you’re wondering whether or not your pharmacy, doctor or veterinarian’s office partners with CareCredit, you can use this tool to find out

2. You Can Use CareCredit as Soon as You’re Approved

Unlike other credit cards, you don’t need to wait for the card to arrive for the funds to be usable. Instead, as soon as you are approved, your medical providers can accept payments made from your CareCredit account. 

And you don’t have to keep reapplying to your CareCredit account every time you need funds. As long as you haven’t met your limit, you can use it on multiple procedures. 

If you’re not sure if you pre-qualify, Synchrony offers a pre-qualification tool that you can use to find out. That’ll save you time at the medical practitioner’s office.

3. CareCredit Offers Deferred-Interest Financing Options

CareCredit prides itself on being user-friendly. And that’s in part because of its promotional financing options, which involve no interest charges if you pay the balance off in full within six, 12, 18 or 24 months. This is something financial institutions often call deferred interest. 

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On purchases of $200 or more, you can save on interest by paying the card off in full and on time by the end of the promotional period, as long as the minimum monthly payments are made throughout the duration of the period. Just don’t miss a payment or pay it off late, and you won’t be tacked on with interest fees. 

This is a great option for larger expenses, like dental work, that you can’t delay but you can’t save for. If you know that you’re going to be responsible enough to make the payments, then you won’t be charged any interest. Just don’t let yourself apply for more credit than you can reasonably pay off. 

With a promotion like this, it’s important to know your financial limits and not to exceed them — if you do, you could be hit with a hefty penalty. The standard interest rate is 26.99%, but yours could be different depending on your terms. And you don’t want to have to pay any of that back. 

4. CareCredit Offers Reduced Interest Rates If You Qualify

CareCredit’s standard annual percentage rate is 26.99%. However, CareCredit does have reduced-APR special financing options of 24, 36, 48 and 60 months. Its website notes that purchases of at least $1,000 or $2,500 may be eligible for the following offers:

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Purchase Amount Term Length APR
$1,000 or more 24 months 14.90%
$1,000 or more 36 months 15.90%
$1,000 or more 48 months 16.90%
$2,500 or more 60 months 17.90%

If you have an especially large surgery coming up, like LASIK, and you’re not sure you’ll be able to afford it in its entirety — or you just don’t want to have that much cash go out of your account at once, you can apply for this special financing. 

Be sure to read your terms and conditions, though, because your rates might increase after that special financing option is over and you haven’t paid your bill in full. You can ask your enrolled healthcare provider about this or call the CareCredit hotline to get specifics on your terms and conditions. 

5. CareCredit Can Be Used for Your Furry Friends, Too

You may not know that you can use CareCredit on emergency visits for your pet as well. It’s a great backup if you have to take Fido to the vet for any reason. This could be standard checkups, vaccinations or surgeries. If you buy food and supplements from your vet, you can use CareCredit to purchase those as well. And you don’t need to apply for a new CareCredit card. If you already have one, just go ahead and use that one. 

A good idea is to use CareCredit and pet insurance at the same time. Pet insurance will help keep the costs down, but you often have to pay upfront and then be reimbursed for the expenses. If you pay with CareCredit, you don’t have to worry about that money coming out of your account — and you can pay it right back with the reimbursements. 

Bottom Line

CareCredit is an excellent card if you’re trying to make ends meet with your emergency bills or if you just want to delay paying a medical expense. It covers vet bills and other elective procedures and is taken by over 250,000 different providers nationwide. All you have to do is apply, and your funds are ready for immediate use.

FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the CareCredit card.
  • Is CareCredit a real credit card?
    • Yes, CareCredit is a real credit card. It's issued by Synchrony Bank, and it's designed to be a healthcare credit card to help you pay for necessary medical expenses and other qualifying expenses, all with monthly payments. And if you pay your card off in full and on time, you won't see any interest hit your account.
  • What does the CareCredit card pay for?
    • CareCredit can be used at over 250,000 locations nationwide and allows you to pay for things like LASIK, dental care, pet surgeries and more. If you're not sure if something qualifies, you can ask your provider if they take CareCredit.
  • Can you use the CareCredit card anywhere?
    • Unfortunately, you cannot use CareCredit anywhere. It's specifically designed as a healthcare card. But you can use the card at Walgreens, Walmart and Sam's Club for select medical-related purchases and other qualifying purchases.

Information is accurate as of Sept. 26, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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About the Author

Moriah Joy Chace is a queer personal finance writer who's passionate about real estate, credit and LGBTQ+ finances. With a degree in English with a concentration in professional writing from William Jessup University, she started writing about money directly after college. Her words can be found in BuzzFeed, Investopedia and Bankrate.
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