Credit Cards

What the sale of Walmart Canada’s banking division means for Walmart credit card users

By: Dominic Licorish on May 18, 2018

Changes may be coming to the Walmart Rewards Mastercard sometime in the not-too-distant future as Walmart has reached a deal to sell its Canadian banking operations.

Walmart put the bank up for sale last year, and revealed the sale in its financial disclosures on Thursday. The Globe and Mail confirmed the buyers as financier Stephen Smith and Centerbridge Partners LP, a private equity firm. The company also has yet to report exactly what the sale price is, but we know the bank’s total assets are valued at nearly $1.2 billion.

Both Walmart and its new buyers are promising that the transition is going to be as seamless possible for current Walmart credit card holders, confirming in a statement that they “don’t have any immediate plans to change the business” and that customers “won’t really perceive a difference.” Although the bank itself will be rebranded, it will continue to provide Walmart-branded rewards cards as well as other products.

While it’s still too early to tell what impact the change in ownership will have on the bank or its products, it’s safe to say that even if they have no immediate plans to change the business, they might change the business.

Credit cards often have their rewards systems modified shortly after being acquired by new owners, usually having their rewards rates or value reduced. That being said, Walmart Canada Bank reported a $40 million profit last year, and hopefully that positive cash flow means its new owners won’t need to sacrifice your rewards to cut costs.

The deal, which is still waiting on regulatory approvals, is expected to close within six months. There’s no guarantee anything is going to happen to the Walmart Rewards cards this year or even the next, but if you do a lot of shopping with that card, don’t expect it to stay the same forever.