What Is Care Credit For Pets?

A dog collecting some medicine

It's no secret that pet care can be expensive. From vet bills to food, toys, and a place for them to sleep, the costs add up quickly. That's why many pet owners turn to credit cards to help pay for their furry friends. But what if you don't have a credit card? Or what if you're not sure if you're eligible for one?

Fear not! There is an option available specifically for pet owners called "pet care credit." CareCredit is a type of credit card designed to help pay for veterinary expenses. It can be used at most vet clinics in the country, and there are no annual fees or interest charges. Sound like something you might be interested in? Keep reading to learn more!

What Exactly Is CareCredit?

A dog looking at the camera

CareCredit is one of the best pet credit cards out there! It is extremely beneficial for pet parents who have little to no health insurance or for those who must pay out-of-pocket costs for expensive procedures that may not be covered by insurance.

While pet insurance can be expensive, CareCredit provides an affordable option that can help cover the costs of your furry friend's medical care. This healthcare credit card has become well known and widely accepted by various types of healthcare practitioners, making it easier than ever to get the care you need.

How Does CareCredit Work? 

A dog sitting on a bean bag chair

This pet credit card is similar to traditional bank cards; however, it offers several financing alternatives to help you stay within a budget. With deferred interest terms and repayment terms of 6, 12, or 18 months with promotional financing available, this may be the best option for you.

With these deferred interest financing options provided by CareCredit, you can avoid paying any interest if you're able to pay off your account balance within the promotional period. Although, If it takes longer than the agreed-to promotional period to pay off your promotional balance, you will be charged with interests from the original purchase date.

CareCredit offers longer-term financing options with reduced interest and monthly payments, though the longer you choose to finance, the more interest you will end up paying.

According to their website, "CareCredit offers longer healthcare financing terms for 24, 36, 48 or 60 months with Reduced APR and Fixed Monthly Payments Required Until Paid in Full. Purchases of $1,000 or more may be eligible for a 24-month offer with a 14.90% APR, a 36-month offer with a 15.90% APR, or a 48-month offer with a 16.90% APR. For purchases of $2,500 or higher, there may be an option for 60 monthly payments at 17.9 %APR."

What Can You Use Care Credit For?

A dog with a vet

As long as you stay within your credit limit, your CareCredit card can be used for virtually any pet-related expense. And, in most cases, all medical expenses for regular people if they have a CareCredit account.

One thing you should note is that it isn't an insurance product, so there are no coverage restrictions. The only limitations on the card are whether your veterinarian accepts it as payment and the amount of available credit you have.

If your veterinarian accepts CareCredit, you can use it to pay for their services. If you spend $200 or more, you can take advantage of promotional financing options. Here are some examples of what CareCredit can help pay for at enrolled provider locations:

Routine Care:

- Teeth cleaning

- Annual check-ups

- Dermatology

- Microchipping

- Prescription pet food and nutrition

- Spay and neutering

- Vaccinations

- Parasites

Unexpected Care:

- Medications

- Emergency services

- Care of chronic pet diseases and conditions

- Chemotherapy

- Surgical procedures

- Diagnostics

- Rehab

What Vets Accept CareCredit?

A dog at a vet

CareCredit is accepted in over 24,000 veterinary clinics and 225000 service providers. If you have a vet that you frequently visit and trust, give them a call to see if they accept CareCredit as a form of payment. If not, no worries! You can also use the provider locator on the CareCredit website.

Additionally, speciality and emergency veterinary hospitals almost always accept CareCredit so that you're financially prepared for whatever unexpected situation may arise with your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

A man holding a puppy

What Credit Score Do You Need For CareCredit?

CareCredit considers the borrower's credit score when determining eligibility. TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian all offer credit scores. When making a decision on approval or denial, CareCredit also considers the borrower's past two years of credit history.

To be eligible for a CareCredit card, pet owners must have a credit score of at least 620 with all three major credit agencies. Approvals have been granted with borrower scores as low as 600 in some cases, but this is unusual. Need a free credit score report? Click here.

What Do I Do If I Can't Afford A Vet?

A cat coming out of a bamboo box

If you don't have the money for a vet visit, see if you qualify for veterinary financial assistance. For example, CareCredit allows you to pay your veterinarian at the time of service and then pay back the money via low minimum monthly payments. Check to see if you pre-qualify.

What Veterinary Services Can I Use My CareCredit Credit Card On For Dogs?

CareCredit can be used for a variety of dog care expenses, including annual check-ups, vaccinations, and teeth cleanings at veterinary providers in the CareCredit network. Additionally, CareCredit can be used for spay and neuter procedures, parasite prevention, prescription dog food, surgeries, diagnostics testing emergency treatment.

Can CareCredit Be Used For Horses And Other Animals?

A dog in a cage

Upon credit approval, your credit card can be used to pay for a wide range of veterinary treatments at participating clinics, including horses, guinea pigs, and rabbits; snakes and turtles; and tiny donkeys.

What Pet Stores Accept CareCredit?

CareCredit is restricted to use only for routine or emergency veterinary care and cannot be utilized in pet stores. According to Care Credit's website, you may also be able to use it to pay for other expenses such as pet food, nutrition, and microchipping.

Do Pet Pharmacies Accept CareCredit?

A sign pointing towards to veterinary surgery

Yes, most pet pharmacies accept CareCredit as a form of payment. However, it's always best to call the pharmacy in advance to confirm they do before making a purchase.

Is CareCredit Worth It?

CareCredit can be an excellent way to finance your pet's medical care, especially if you're unable to pay for the full cost upfront. It's important to remember, however, that you will be responsible for paying interest on any balance you carry beyond the promotional period.

CareCredit is best used for unexpected or emergency veterinary expenses. For routine care, it may be better to set up a savings account specifically for your pet's health needs. This way, you can avoid paying interest and will have the funds available when you need them.

If you decide to apply for CareCredit, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully. This will help you avoid any surprises down the road.

Using CareCredit With Pet Health Insurance

A cat peeping out of a blanket

Both CareCredit and pet insurance can be used to pay for your pet's medical expenses. Even though CareCredit is a credit card, you will have to pay the cost of vet visits eventually, which can be quite expensive. By splitting up the payments into manageable installments instead of one large sum, you can avoid going broke or maxing out your other credit cards.

Adding pet insurance to the equation can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenditures. You can pay for treatment with your CareCredit card at the veterinarian's office, then submit a claim to your insurance provider and receive a reimbursement of 70 percent or more of the covered charges. Many pet insurance companies accept claims and provide reimbursements within a week.

Having pet insurance combined with CareCredit means you're always ready to finance the care your pet needs at every stage of their life. Asides from that, knowing that you have coverage can provide peace of mind as it typically only requires You paying a fraction of the veterinary bill (after meeting your deductible). This financial safety net allows for effective budgeting and management of vet care costs long-term.

Want to pair CareCredit with insurance? Here is a list of the best pet health insurance companies in the US.

Summary

A cat being pet by its owner.

  • If you have an existing CareCredit card, you can use it to pay for pet medical care. One card can be used at over 225,000 service providers for all authorized treatments.
  • You can also pay off your card within six months, 12 months, 18 months, or 24 months. You will not be charged any interest if you pay in full within the promotional period and you make $200 worth of purchases minimum. ( as of October 2021)
  • CareCredit cards can only be used for health services related to you or your family--you cannot purchase items like toys or flea collars for pets in stores.

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