CareCredit Credit Card Review

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The CareCredit Credit Card, issued by Synchrony Bank, is a medical credit card that gives you a way to pay for out-of-pocket health care and medical bills. Whether it’s to cover a high deductible, an emergency co-pay, or to pay for a necessary or elective procedure, many people often don’t have the cash on hand for medical costs. CareCredit, which is offered by many health care providers, lets you spread out payments with deferred interest payments that could prove costly.

CareCredit® Credit Card

Overall Rating
2.0
CareCredit® Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.7
for Fees
3.5
for Rewards
2.2
for Credit
3.7

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Debt Warrior Persona
    Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debt See more cards
    Debt Warrior
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

The card is a good fit for patients who don’t have a low-interest credit card and need a way to finance a costly unanticipated medical procedure or a procedure that your insurance doesn't cover (LASIK eye surgery, dental work, cosmetic surgery, hearing aids, and even veterinary care for pets, for example).

However, if you can qualify for a 0% offer from a non-medical card issuer, it may be a better fit if you can get a credit limit that covers the cost of your medical expenses.

More than 225,000 providers accept CareCredit. You can use CareCredit’s website or app to see if your providers are part of the network. In addition, some CareCredit network participants don’t offer all promotional financing options, so be sure to ask, or the standard APR may apply. 

Pros
  • Extra time to pay an unexpected medical bill

  • Easy to qualify

  • Long-term plans have reasonable interest rates

Cons
  • Deferred interest can be pricey

  • Regular purchases subject to a high APR

Pros Explained

  • Extra time to pay an unexpected medical bill: You may be able to get six, 12, or 18 months of zero-interest payments on purchases of $200 or more, with minimum monthly payments required. 
  • Easy to qualify: Even those with average credit can usually qualify for the CareCredit Credit Card. You can also apply with a co-signer. The card can be an alternative for those who may not qualify for a lending product with more favorable terms such as a regular credit card with a longer 0% introductory APR, or a low-interest personal loan. 
  • Long-term plans have reasonable interest rates: CareCredit has long-term promo offers ranging from 24 to 60 months with APRs of 14.90% to 17.90%. The interest rates you’ll get are lower than the average APR for all credit cards. And to make repayment easier, long-term offers require fixed payments each month that pay off the balance by the repayment end date. 

Cons Explained

  • Deferred interest can be pricey: CareCredit’s deferred interest offers could be risky. If you don’t pay off your entire bill before the promotional period is up, CareCredit will charge you interest on the full amount from the original transaction date. If your bill was, say, $1,000 and you had six months to pay it off, CareCredit will charge the full 26.99% APR on the entire $1,000 if you have a balance after six months.
  • Regular purchases subject to a high APR: You can also use the CareCredit credit card for certain health-related purchases including medical equipment, fitness gear, and spa treatments. The standard purchase APR of 26.99% will apply, unless CareCredit has a promotional APR for the specific item or brand you’re buying.

Just paying the minimum amount due will not get you close to paying off your deferred-interest offer. One way to ensure you pay off your balance is to divide the full amount you owe by the number of months in the 0% APR period; the resulting number is what you need to pay each month.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

You should treat this card as a temporary lifeline to pay off a medical bill before the short-term promotional period ends. The card’s high regular APR makes deferred interest expensive, so pay off your card as quickly as you can.

If CareCredit offers you a long-term repayment period, know that the interest rates are pretty competitive. But, before you accept the terms, make sure you can cover the monthly payments since they’ll be higher than the minimum payments you might be used to making.

And, before you apply for a CareCredit card, speak with your health care provider about other financing options. They may be willing to negotiate a payment plan that doesn’t charge interest. If not, you may still be better off with a cash-back credit card that offers a 0% APR introductory period. Cash-back cards don’t charge deferred interest, they typically offer a cash bonus for new cardholders, and it’s likely that the regular APR will be lower than CareCredit’s 26.99%.

If you want to keep the credit line open and active, you must use the card at least once per year.

Customer Experience

Synchrony Bank finished seventh out of 11 national credit card issuers in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Synchrony scored 800 out of 1,000 points, which was slightly lower than the industry average of 810.

The card’s application process is slightly different than the typical credit card because you’ll have to include how you plan to use the card along with the health provider’s name. If you have customer service issues, help is only available from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to  12 a.m. Eastern. The CareCredit Mobile App lets you access your digital card, make payments, check if a provider is part of the network, and also set alerts when payments are due. 

Security Features 

The CareCredit Credit Card offers standard security features like fraud monitoring. 

CareCredit Credit Card’s Fees

The CareCredit Credit Card has no annual fee, and late fees are in line with most cards.

Next Steps
For CareCredit® Credit Card
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CURRENT CARD
CareCredit® Credit Card
overall rating
2.0
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. CareCredit. "CareCredit FAQs." Accessed Nov. 17, 2020.

  2. CareCredit. "CareCredit vs. General Purpose Credit Cards: How CareCredit is Different?" Accessed Nov. 17, 2020.

  3. CareCredit. "Synchrony Bank. Keep for Your Records. Rates and Fees Table. CareCredit Credit Card Account." Accessed Nov. 17, 2020.

  4. J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed Nov. 17, 2020.