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Best credit cards for home improvements

Selecting the right rewards card for a home improvement project yields benefits like a cash back bonus just for spending

Summary

Whether it’s a small-scale DIY project, fixing up a home for resale or investing in new accessories to make your new home welcoming for guests, choosing the right credit card for your home improvement projects can earn you cash back and other lucrative rewards.

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The Bank of America content was last updated on May 3, 2021.

Warmer months are an ideal time to tackle the home improvement projects you’ve been putting off, but costs for DIY or other home improvement projects add up quickly.

Working on projects yourself instead of hiring help can save labor costs, but another way to save money is to pick the right credit cards. Many of the best credit cards can offer you not only rewards for spending but also bonus incentives in certain shopping categories or flexible repayment for purchases for your DIY undertaking.

When selecting a credit card to finance your home improvement projects and other large purchases, consider opting for one with a 0% APR introductory offer – especially if you don’t have the cash on hand to cover all the expenses. This offer can help you finance the costs with a grace period to pay off the debt without hefty interest charges.

Here are five of our top picks to choose for home improvement spending:

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: Best for long-term flexibility

If you’re always sprucing up your home on a smaller scale, the Citi Custom Cash Card card could be a terrific fit. This no-annual-fee card offers a uniquely flexible blend of flat-rate and rotating cash back that’s highly customizable. You can earn top-rate rewards in a slew of categories, including home improvement stores, but you’ll automatically earn maximum cash back in whichever eligible category you’ve spent the most in that particular month. You’ll earn 5% back in your top spending category each billing cycle (on up to $500 in spending, after which you’ll earn 1% back), as well as 1% back on all other purchases.

Though the spending cap will limit your cash back on larger purchases, it could give you plenty of room to earn rewards if you spend less than $500 per billing cycle at home improvement stores. Plus, since this card offers a wide variety of eligible categories in addition to home improvement stores (including practical expenses like groceries and dining) and adapts automatically based on your spending habits, it will offer terrific value even if you decide to take a break from DIY projects.

On top of that, the card boasts a 0% introductory APR on both new purchases and balance transfers for your first 15 months (after that, a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% applies). That intro period gives you some nice wiggle room to pay off your various projects over time.

Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®: Best for long-term home renovations or an addition

Planning on renovating your master bedroom suite or building out your family room? The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa card’s cash rewards rate of 3% back in the home, health and auto categories is hard to compete with for a large-scale, pricey renovation.

There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn and the card’s home category is wide-ranging, including purchases at home improvement stores like Home Depot, at furniture and home goods stores like IKEA, with housing contractors and more. While earning cash back at home improvement and furniture stores isn’t very common on rewards credit cards, earning cash back with a contractor or plumber is almost unheard of.

Plus, if you have an especially pricey home improvement project on the horizon, this card could be a solid alternative to a personal loan since it gives you the option to borrow at a fixed APR against your credit limit and offers credit limits as high as $25,000. If you have excellent credit, you could even get a super low APR for a credit card: as low as 8.99% fixed.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for a large fixer-upper project

Reach for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card first because of a generous introductory 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers – must be made in the first 60 days of account opening – for your first 15 billing cycles. After the intro APR offer ends, a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to all balance transfers. This length of time should give adequate time to pay off the balance before that interest rate kicks in.

For large-scale renovations that involve a combination of professional hands and your own toiling, this card is a great pick as it allows a cardholder to select a 3% cash back spending category from several choices. One of these choices is home improvement, so qualifying purchases on this card yield a smart benefit of 3% cash back. Then, you can also enjoy 2% cash back at wholesale clubs, which can be a great place to shop for necessities for your projects (on up to $2,500 a quarter in combined 2% and 3% categories). For all other purchases, the rewards still roll in with 1% cash back.

See related: Which is the best card to use on Costco purchases?

Note, combined purchases in your chosen 3% bonus category and at wholesale clubs and grocery stores are capped at $2,500 per quarter. You’ll earn 1% thereafter.

Lowe’s Advantage Card: Best for the store loyalist

If there’s a go-to Lowe’s in your neighborhood, the Lowe’s Advantage card stacks up very well, especially for large purchases. Cardholders save 5% off eligible purchases and orders – think paint, fixtures, plumbing, appliances and any other item to make your dream renovation.

The savings can quickly add up when purchasing expensive items, and for these purchases, there are both deferred interest options and fixed-payment financing plans. One of the most attractive offers is to spend $299-plus and get a six-month grace period to pay with no interest.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card: Best for home décor sprucing

The convenience of buying accessories and home décor accents online will be rewarded by choosing the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, which boasts no annual fee. An Amazon Prime membership is required, but the cash back benefit is a generous 5% cash back on every Amazon.com purchase. The benefit of free shipping makes the value here even greater.

On top of that, you can enjoy flexible Amazon financing on eligible purchases with the Amazon Prime card, which could give you as much as 24 months to pay off a large purchase while minimizing interest charges. You even have the option of either splitting your purchase into set installment payments or opting for deferred interest and a longer financing period.

So, browse away for soft furnishings, picture frames, dishes, bedding and small furniture.

See related: Amazon store cards vs Amazon Visa credit cards

Bottom line

Whether it’s a small-scale DIY project, fixing up a home for resale or investing in new accessories to make your new home welcoming for guests, choosing the right credit card for your home improvement projects can earn you cash back and lucrative rewards just for spending.

Even with a working budget, there will be unexpected costs that creep into your home improvement projects that you haven’t anticipated. But, if you use the right credit card, you can save on these expenses and even benefit from added perks like cash back, promotional financing and more.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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