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Best credit cards to finance home improvement projects

From store cards with low-APR options to 0-percent cards, these are your best options

Summary

Looking for a credit card to finance your next home renovation project? Look no more. These options offer generous rewards and long 0-percent intro offers.

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Any home improvement project can feel overwhelming at first to any do-it-yourselfer.

It isn’t just those initial building supplies that can add up. As every experienced home repair maven knows, all projects have their share of unforeseen expenses as new issues are inevitably revealed over the course of the build.

With expenses no doubt mounting, it’s best to have a credit card that can carry the load of any home improvement task in your toolbelt – one that makes it easier to pay for big building supply purchases over time.

Here are your best options.

See related: Homeowners are increasingly using cards to renovate their homes

Best store credit cards for home improvement

Every home improvement handyman or handywoman no doubt has their favorite home improvement store – the one they keep going back to whether they like it or not – so why not get at least some benefit out of being a frequent shopper with a store credit card, especially one tailor-made for home improvement projects.

Store credit cards do have, however, major drawbacks.

  • They usually can only be used in the store chain that issued them.
  • The regular, non-promotional APR they charge is usually several percentage points above standard credit cards.
  • In addition, some store cards charge deferred interest. This means you’d have to pay interest on the whole purchase, not just the remaining balance, once the promotional period concludes if you haven’t paid off the balance in full.

Lowe’s Consumer credit card

Lowe’s Consumer credit card offers some flexibility in their financing on some items in addition to 5 percent off eligible purchases:

  • 5 percent off eligible purchases at Lowe’s in store or online or up to 24 months special financing.
  • Lowe’s Special Financing allows you to pay for purchases of $299 or more over a six-month period.
  • Lowe’s Project Financing allows you to pay for purchases of $2,000 or more with 36, 60 or 84 fixed monthly payments with a reduced 3.99 percent, 5.99 percent and 7.99 percent APR until paid in full.
  • No annual fee.

Alternative: Home Depot Project Loan Card

If you shop at Home Depot and you’ve got a home renovation or other large doing on the horizon, their Project Loan Card might be for you.

This card gives you a special financing period of up to 84 months and credit lines up to $55,000.

If you want more bang for your buck and you’re a professional, not just a home improvement aficionado, you may want to look into the Project Loan Card.

Other highlights include:

  • Six-month buying window to purchase products.
  • 84 months to pay the balance off at 7.99 percent APR.
  • No annual fee.
  • No prepayment penalty.

Alternative: Home Depot Consumer Card

If you are more the hobbyist home improvement dabbler, you might want to go for the Home Depot Consumer Card, but be warned this card is one of those that charges deferred interest.

In this case, interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if you do not pay the full balance within the 0-percent financing six-month promotional period.

More details are as follows:

  • Up to 24 months of financing during special promotions.
  • Exclusive cardholder credit offers.
  • 1-year hassle-free returns.
  • Seasonal discounts available: Check current promotions at the time of application.

Alternative: Amazon.com Store Credit Card

Amazon really does sell everything, so their Amazon.com Store Credit card is for the fix-it person who prefers to buy their supplies online – and, if you’re a Prime member, not only will you benefit from one-day shipping, but you’ll receive 5 percent cash back on all purchases.

Find more details on the financing options below:

  • Special financing on purchases of $149 or more.
  • Zero-percent interest 12-month Equal Pay financing on select Amazon-sold items.
  • Six-, 12- or 24-month financing on items $149 or more.

Best cash back cards for home improvement

If you’re going to buy a ton of building and repair supplies anyway, wouldn’t it be nice to get a little cash back for your trouble?

The following are the best card options for the financing of home improvement projects of all sizes, but they also offer some cash back on the side.

American Express Cash Magnet™ Card

Though the cash back rate on the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card is not the highest in the market, it is unlimited and applies to all purchases.

Where the card really shines is in its highly achievable and comparatively large sign-up bonus for a no-annual-fee card.

Plus, this card offers the “Plan It, Pay It” program, which is a great way to buy time paying off your next project. Get the details below:

  • 1.5 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • Zero-percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Regular variable APR of 15.25-26.24 percent thereafter.
  • $150 back in statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
  • Additional $100 if you spend an additional $6,500 in the first 12 months.
  • “Plan It, Pay It” program allows you to pay off a qualifying purchase at a set monthly payment with no interest over a set period of time.
  • No annual fee.

Alternative: Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited carries the same cash back rate as the Cash Magnet as well as the same introductory 0 percent APR on both purchases and balance transfers.

Though its sign-up bonus offers slightly less, the rewards are still decent and no less attainable. The real distinguishing feature for the DIY crowd is the extra warranty, theft and damage coverage.

More information below:

  • 1.5 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • Zero-percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. A variable APR of 16.99-25.74 percent thereafter.
  • $150 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months.
  • Extends U.S. warranties by an additional year on products with warranties of three years or less.
  • Purchase protection covers new purchases for 120 days on damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Alternative: Discover it Cash Back

If you prefer a little more cash back and don’t mind contending with rotating categories, the Discover it Cash Back certainly fits the bill.

With common categories such as groceries and gas stations, savvy home improvement specialists can pick up gift cards for Home Depot, Lowes or Amazon for their project supplies, while getting extra cash back on those gift card purchases.

A unique exclusive is Discover’s pledge to match your cash back after the first year.

More details below:

  • 5 percent cash back in different categories each quarter on up to $1,500 in combined purchases. Quarterly activation is required.
  • Discover rotating categories include groceries, restaurants, gas stations and Amazon.com.
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem for any amount of cash back at any time with no expiration.
  • Zero-percent introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfer for 14 months. A variable 14.24-25.24 percent APR thereafter.
  • No annual fee.

Just a note of caution about making large purchases with a gift card:

Keep in mind that you’ll be making purchases with a gift card, not a credit card – even if you purchased the gift card with a credit card. This means you will be waiving any purchase protections that may be offered by the card you pay with.

Discover cards no longer offer purchase protection, but if you use a credit card that does this benefit, make sure to keep this in mind.

See related:7 things you need to know about gift cards

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Published: March 15, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: June 26th, 2019
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Student
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