*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Aug 27, 2015, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
For homeowners, there are few things that are as rewarding as completing a home remolding project. Whether big or small, home renovations are a wonderful investment because not only are you adding equity to your property, you also get to enjoy the new and improved living space! Funding a home improvement project can be tough, but Lowe’s and Home Depot each offer a store credit card that have some unique financing options.
What They Have in Common
Both cards come with no annual fee and the line of credit you get approved for will depend on your credit worthiness. For those looking to finance big purchases (like new appliances, for example), the consumer credit cards from both Lowe’s and Home Depot has some great options that allows you to pay no interest on purchases over $299 as long as your balance is fully paid off within 6 months. What makes this feature stand out over normal credit cards is that it is always available as long as you have the card; not just for an introductory period. However, it’s important to be aware that if you carry a balance past the 6 month period, interest will be charged on your balance from the purchasing date, known as deferred interest. Since the APRs are painfully high with 24.99% on the Lowe’s Card and 17.99%-26.99% on the Home Depot Card, it would be a very bad idea to carry a balance past the 6 month mark.
Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card – 5% Discount
A great feature that the Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card offers is a consistent 5% discount off your everyday Lowe’s purchases. So if you regularly shop at Lowe’s, carrying this card in your wallet can help you score some major savings in the long run. But it’s important to note that the 5% discount cannot be used in conjunction with the promotion that allows you to pay no interest on balances paid off within 6 months.
Home Depot Consumer Credit Card – Longer Interest Free Periods
Unfortunately, the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card doesn’t come with a built-in discount feature. But it does give the chance to have interest free financing on some purchases for longer than 6 months. According to their website, Home Depot runs special promotions throughout the year that will give up to 24 months of interest free financing on select purchases, as long as the balance is paid in full before the interest free period is up. These special financing promotions can include broad categories like doors and windows, building materials, water treatment systems, and much more. Check out their website to find out what the current promotions are and how long they’ll last.
Which is Best for You?
The main factor that will determine which of these credit cards is best for you will have nothing to do with the card features. You’ll first want to consider if there is a Lowe’s or Home Depot conveniently located where you live. If both home improvement stores or close by, then the differences between the two cards are something to consider. While the Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card can get you a consistent 5% discount on purchases, the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card may give you more options for lower interest rates and longer financing terms.
In my opinion, you should avoid carrying a balance on your credit card when possible. Even if you wholeheartedly intend to pay your balance in full by the time the interest free period is up, things may come up and you may end up paying much more than you originally planned. With that being said, I prefer the Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card, because it rewards customers by offering a 5% discount instead of enticing them to carry balance with limited-time promotional financing options.
Choosing between the Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card and the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card will depend on your individual situation, but both cards offer good financing options for loyal customers. It’s important to note that these are store branded credit cards, which may not be the best option if you need to make a large, one-time purchase at Home Depot or Lowe’s.
Better Options than the Lowes Credit Card or Home Depot Credit Card
Even though they might catch your eye at the checkout counter, the Lowes Credit Card or Home Depot Credit Card might not be your be. Not only will these products pigeon-hole you into purchasing all of your products at one store, but when you crunch the numbers, there are a handful of low interest credit cards and rewards credit cards that have more favorable terms and could save you a lot of money.
0%* for 18 months on Purchases* at ANY retailer
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: As an alternative to the Lowe’s or Home Depot credit cards, the Citi Simplicity® comes with no annual fee and currently offers an intro APR of 0%* for 18 months on Purchases* and 0%* for 18 months on Balance Transfers*. So this card would give you more time to pay off a large purchase from a home improvement store. The ongoing APR is 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable), which is lower than what you’d pay if you carried a balance on a store credit card, such as the two listed above. The other huge benefit when using the Citi Simplicity® instead of a Home Depot or Lowe’s credit card is that you can shop at any retailer and still enjoy the 0% introductory offer.
Maximize Rewards on Your Big Spending
Discover it® Cashback Match™: If you’ve saved up enough money to pay for your home remodel outright, then putting your expenses on a rewards credit card can help you bring in a huge chunk of cash back. The Discover it® Cashback Match™ card offers 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases. But right now, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.*. This incredible sign-up bonus will give you a chance to save a lot of money on your home improvements by earning cash back on all of the purchases you make along the way. To top it off, cardholders will also enjoy a low APR of 0% for 14 months, which is twice as long as the Home Depot and Lowe’s credit cards.
Best of Both Worlds: Low Interest AND Cash Back Rewards
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: This is the perfect credit card for consumers who would like to earn cash back on their home improvement purchases AND enjoy the comfort of having a long period of interest free financing. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with an unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. You’ll also have an APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months, which means that you won’t have to worry about paying the full price of your home remodel all at once. There is a $0 annual fee with this card and no foreign transaction fee too.
The Bottom Line
The Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card and the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card offer great continuous financing options for loyal customers and they can be a helpful tool if you frequently make purchases at their stores. However, there’s a good chance you’ll be better off with one of the other credit cards mentioned above. The Lowes Credit Card and Home Depot Credit Card may restrict you to earn rewards or getting low interest just within their stores. Instead, you should apply for a credit card that offers rewards or low interest on all of your purchases!
* Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.