Credit cards can help pay for home improvements
By Jeremy M. Simon | Published: June 23, 2006
Credit cards are a good option for those individuals looking to pay for home improvements. While many Americans enjoy fixing up their houses, home improvements cost money. Credit cards can help. If you decide to pay with a credit card, there are two main credit card options:
Major credit cards can be a great choice for a smaller home projects. Many credit cards now offer zero or low interest for an introductory period. Meanwhile, reward credit cards or cash back credit cards enable the cardholder to earn something for themselves when they use their plastic to pay for home improvements. There are even credit cards directly aimed at paying for home improvements. The Chase Home Improvement Rewards Visa credit card, for example, gives you the option of store gift cards, gift certificates, or checks on the points you earn shopping for home improvement necessities. Experts note that a good strategy to employ when paying for home improvements with such a credit card its to earn as many rewards or as much cash back as possible and then to have backup financing available.
The possible cons of paying with a major credit card include the likelihood of high interest rates, with variable rates meaning you could end up paying more over time. Also, potential limits mean homeowners may not be able to put the full amount of their improvements on the credit card.
Meanwhile, private label credit cards from stores where you shop for home improvement necessities are another potential option. Many credit cards of this type may also provide an introductory offer with zero or low interest, while others provide occasional bargains on home improvement purchases.
The negative when using a credit card from a specific home improvement retailer is that you are limited to only shopping at that chain of stores. So it pays to know where you plan to shop for tools and supplies. If you think you might want to earn rewards to use toward home improvements but also need a credit card for all other types of purchases, a credit card like the Chase Home Improvement Rewards credit card is probably the way to go.
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