CareCredit for Pets: How Does It Work?

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CareCredit for Pets: How Does It Work?

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card intended to help families and individuals pay for out-of-pocket healthcare bills that their main insurance may not cover completely or at all. This specialty card may assist you in paying for cosmetic operations, dental care, health and fitness programs, and yes, even pet healthcare.

And there are many pets in America. According to the American Pet Products Association’s 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of U.S. homes have one or more pets.

Pet owners often see their animals as four-legged family members, and veterinary medication, like family health and dental care, is typically costly. The expense of veterinarian treatments, even simple yearly checks, can quickly build up, and if a pet owner has a sick animal, the bill becomes considerably larger. 1

There are four possibilities for obtaining inexpensive pet healthcare: acquire pet insurance, pay out-of-pocket charges for treatments, create an account with a credit card intended only for healthcare, such as CareCredit, or combine a couple of these options.

Key Takeaways

  • You do not need a second CareCredit card to pay for your pet’s medical treatment. A single card may be used to pay for all recognized services at over 225,000 providers.
  • There are six-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month financing options with no interest charges if paid in full during the promotional term (as of October 2021) provided a $200 minimum in purchases are made.
  • CareCredit and pet insurance may save you money in the long run.
  • CareCredit cards may only be used to pay for medical services. In-store purchases of pet products such as toys or flea collars are not permitted with the card.
  • A CareCredit card may be obtained online.

What Is CareCredit?

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card that has gained popularity among the general population and is generally recognized by a variety of healthcare practitioners. The CareCredit credit card is particularly beneficial to people who have limited health insurance coverage or who must pay the upfront expenses of pricey health, beauty, or wellness operations and treatments that may not be covered by insurance.

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CareCredit now offers veterinary medical financing, which is useful for pet owners who are unable to cover the initial expenditures of treatment. While veterinary treatment is legally a medical specialty, pet owners are typically aware that health insurance for pets may be expensive depending on the pet and the coverage.

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, there are 20 pet insurance firms in North America as of 2020 (the most current statistic as of 2021). 2

If a pet owner cannot afford insurance, it may be a financial disaster, particularly when factoring the cost of caring for a pet. With regular inspections, vaccines, dental cleanings, and even ordinary treatments like deworming tablets costing hundreds of dollars, it’s understandable that pet owners would want aid in paying these large expenditures.

Understanding CareCredit

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card that you may use to pay for your own, your family’s, or your pet’s medical expenses. The CareCredit card is accepted at over 225,000 providers listed on the company’s website. However, since it is a credit card, you will owe anything you spend on it. As of 2021, CareCredit offers six-, 12-, 18-, or 24-month financing with no interest costs if you pay off your debt in full before the conclusion of the promotional term. However, if you are unable to pay it off in full, you will be charged interest from the initial purchase date, according to the company’s website.3

The card is provided by Synchrony Bank, one of the top private label credit card issuers in the United States, and it, like other credit cards, imposes fees and interest on transactions.

CareCredit, unlike standard credit cards, offers longer-term healthcare financing for 24-, 36-, 48-, or 60-month terms with a lower APR and set monthly payments. According to the company’s website, “Purchases of $1,000 or more may qualify for a 24 month offer at 14.90% APR, a 36 month offer at 15.90% APR, or a 48 month offer at 16.90% APR. Purchases of $2,500 or more may be eligible for a 60-month, 17.90% APR deal.” 4

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Why Use CareCredit?

Instead of bringing a wad of cash or a check to the doctor, pet owners may use their CareCredit credit card to pay for all or a part of their pet’s medical requirements and then pay off their credit card account in a similar manner to a traditional credit card. 5 If you can’t afford to pay your vet bills in full, CareCredit gives you time to pay down your amount while your pet continues to get necessary medical treatment.

For a list of approved health professionals that accept CareCredit, visit the company’s website. If your veterinarian isn’t on the list, be sure they accept CareCredit for pet services.

How Does CareCredit Work?

The main advantage of using a CareCredit card at the vet instead of a conventional credit card is that the cardholder may never have to pay interest depending on how long it takes to pay off the purchase amount.

For example, if the medical purchase is $5,000, the credit card user will not be charged interest if the complete amount is paid off during the promotional time. The anticipated monthly payment for a 12-month period is $417, and for an 18-month term, it is $278.

Assume, however, that the cardholder needs a payment term that is greater than 18 months. After the 18th month, CareCredit adds a 14.90% annual percentage rate (APR) to the monthly payment until the debt is paid in full. To qualify for a payment term longer than 18 months but no more than 48 months, the purchase price must be larger than $1,000. The purchase price must be larger than $2,500 to qualify for a 60-month payment limit, with an APR of 14.90. According to the website, this policy was in force in October 2021. 6

To assist pet owners considering applying for the CareCredit card, the firm provides a calculator on its website, which provides a better sense of the monthly payments based on the total price of the care purchase. 7

CareCredit provides an online calculator to assist you in calculating your payment expenses.

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CareCredit for pets FAQs

What Credit Score Do You Need For CareCredit?

CareCredit’s website does not specify a minimum credit score, although third-party sources indicate that a score of at least 620 is required to be authorized. 8

What Pet Stores Accept CareCredit?

CareCredit is not accepted at pet retailers. It is only used for regular and emergency veterinary treatment. You may be able to use CareCredit to pay for pet food, nutrition, and microchipping, according to the company’s website. 9

Do Pet Pharmacies Accept CareCredit?

Because CareCredit covers pet medicine, several pet pharmacies used by your veterinarian may accept CareCredit. 9

What Is Pets Best Pet Health Insurance?

CareCredit offers Dogs Best, a health insurance coverage for your pets. Major operations, cancer treatments, exams, and accidents are all covered by Pets Best insurance. However, you must pay for the surgeries and drugs covered by your coverage out of pocket (using your CareCredit card) and then be paid by Pets Best. 10

The Bottom Line

A CareCredit card is one option for paying for your pet’s medical treatment without having to pay cash up front. Pet insurance paired with CareCredit might help you cover all of your vet bills while also managing your finances. A CareCredit card may be beneficial if you are adept at managing your debt and credit.

If you are having difficulty making payments on your credit cards and loans, you may want to consider another method of paying for veterinary expenses. CareCredit is a credit card, even though its conditions differ significantly from regular credit cards, and if you fail to make a payment, interest and penalties will accumulate. Furthermore, not paying off your credit cards will have an influence on your credit score and history.

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