What is a Medical Credit Card?

What is a Medical Credit Card – Overview

A medical credit card pays for eligible dental, medical, and health care expenses.

Once approved, a medical credit card can help you finance healthcare charges not covered under your health insurance.

Medical credit cards can provide a way to manage healthcare expenses, but like any credit product, medical debt also requires careful management to avoid potential debt. This depends on several different factors.

Medical Credit Card – How does it work

Medical credit cards are not the same as conventional credit cards. Firstly, medical credit cards are accepted by healthcare service providers participating in the particular card’s program.

Secondly, medical credit cards cannot be used to pay for all medical procedures, as several exceptions exist.

So, before you apply for a medical credit card, you should ensure that your healthcare services provider accepts it.

You should also make sure that the card will cover the expense of the medical treatment you need.

Apart from this, there are major differences between the features of different medical credit cards. Different companies offer different features.

The terms and features of medical credit cards, such as interest rates and limits, may vary based on your creditworthiness.

Pros and Cons of Medical Credit Cards

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of the medical credit card so you can decide if it is worth buying:

Pros of Medical Credit Card

  • Give quick access to credit if conventional credit cannot cover the medical bill.
  • Promotional zero-interest periods if the balance is paid in full before the promotional period ends, otherwise deferred interest may be charged.
  • Medical debt gets isolated to a specified amount, making it easier to keep track of medical expenses and pay off the bills in a well-organized way.

Cons of Medical Credit Card

  • If you fail to pay off the balance within the deferred interest period, you may be charged interest retroactively for the deferral period. The late payment penalties could be very high, and late payment may result in the introductory period ending early.
  • Sometimes, your conventional credit card could be better than a medical credit card. For instance, if your conventional credit card has an introductory 0% rate, an overall low interest rate, and greater versatility, you may find conventional credit cards more convenient and affordable than medical ones.

Will Medical Credit Cards affect my credit score

Medical debt can appear on your credit report if unpaid and turned over to a collection agency, potentially affecting your credit score.

This is the case unless you are significantly past due on your medical debt payment, in which case your account will be transferred to a debt collector.

Owing a balance on a medical credit card is part of your overall credit profile and can affect your credit utilization ratio, similar to conventional credit cards. This is true from the perspective of your credit score.

Besides, different medical credit cards affect your credit history in different ways. Some credit programs may accept all patients, irrespective of their credit score.

Some medical credit cards may not report to credit bureaus unless the account becomes delinquent, but this varies by issuer; always verify reporting practices.

All medical credit card providers require a credit application and perform a credit check, similar to conventional credit cards, impacting your credit score. In such cases, your credit line gets included in your available revolving credit.

Any charge you incur on your medical credit card will go to your credit utilization ratio.


A medical credit card is an excellent alternative to pay off higher medical expenses. Understanding the rates and terms and how they will impact your credit score is highly advisable.

Take the time to decide whether a new medical credit card is the best option for you before applying for one.

See Also

How to Negotiate Medical Bills in Collections

How to Dispute Medical Bills

What Credit Score Do You Need for a Medical Loan

Grants for Dental Implants

Current Version
April 22, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 24, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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