Reviews Lowe’s Consumer credit card review
Lowe’s Consumer credit card review

Lowe’s Consumer credit card review

Published: June 13, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Retail Rating:
2.2 rating
2.2 rating
2.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.5
Rewards Flexibility: 4.0
Features: 1.0

In a nutshell:

Frequent Lowe’s shoppers will love the card’s automatic discount and special financing offers, but those who rarely visit the home improvement store would be far better served by a general-purpose rewards card with a much lower APR.

Rewards Rate
Choose 5% discount at Lowe’s or up to 24 months special financing

Sign-up Offer
10% off your first purchase (maximum $2,000 discount) or 6 months special financing (minimum $299 purchase) or 36-, 60-, 84-month financing at reduced APR

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$195

APR
26.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • 5% discount applied automatically at cash register
  • Choose between 5% discount or deferred-interest financing

Cons

  • Can’t combine discount with special financing offers
  • Can’t stack other discounts with 5% discount
  • Can’t stack other discounts with 10% introductory discount
  • 10% discount requires in-store application approval and purchase
  • Discount doesn’t apply to extended protection or replacement plans, shipping, fees or taxes, gift cards or certain brands of appliances

Other Notable Features: Special financing offers

For homeowners and do-it-yourselfers who make periodic runs to home improvement stores for any number of purchases, the Lowe’s Consumer credit card is an easy choice. Though the card is only usable at Lowe’s, the 5 percent discount, myriad of special financing offers and lack of annual fee is hard to beat, especially if you have several upcoming renovation projects in mind.

And unlike standard cash back cards, there’s no wait to collect rewards – the discount is immediately applied at the register or online checkout. Like most retail cards, however, the excessive APR and lack of fringe benefits mean occasional customers need not apply.

Flexible rewards, but restrictions apply
Where the Lowe’s Consumer credit card really shines is in its choice of rewards. Cardholders can decide between a 5 percent discount (automatically applied at checkout) on in-store or online purchases, or 0 percent promotional financing on purchases of $299 or more. The ability to spread your payments over six months could save you more money on interest charges than the instant discount, so choose your rewards carefully depending on your purchase total and ability to pay. However, these offers can’t be used simultaneously – you’ll have to choose one or the other.

For larger purchases of $2,000 or more, the Lowe’s Consumer card offers reduced interest rates of 3.99 percent, 5.99 percent and 7.99 percent for three-, five- and seven-year periods, respectively. This option applies to in-store purchases only, and minimum monthly payments are required. Like the other rewards, discounted long-term financing cannot be combined with other credit-related promotional offers.

While a choice of rewards is a nice perk atypical of store-branded credit cards, the limitations on the Lowe’s Consumer card don’t stop there. Cardholders are unable to combine the everyday discount – nor the 10 percent introductory discount – with other in-store discounts or manufacturer’s coupons. Certain appliances, extended protection or replacement plans, and services such as in-home assembly or installation don’t qualify for the discount, either.

Finally, the 10 percent sign-up offer applies to in-store application approvals and purchases only, which isn’t ideal if you prefer to do your shopping online.

Read the promotional fine print
While the card’s reduced-interest financing is pretty straightforward, the 0 percent option requires closer examination thanks to the inclusion of deferred interest. It’s easy to zero in on the “0 percent” language and think the interest for that purchase is waived entirely, but that’s not the case: Interest accrues during the promotional period and comes back into play if you don’t pay your entire balance by the end of the term.

Making minimum payments as outlined in your statement won’t likely be enough; you’ll need to divide the purchase total by the number of months in the deal (in this case, six months) and make that your minimum payment instead. Otherwise, interest that built up over the last few months will be added to your remaining balance – and could increase the amount you owe by hundreds of dollars if you financed a big-ticket item.

Above-average APR
It’s no secret store-branded credit cards come with hefty interest rates, but this one takes the cake: At 26.99 percent, the Lowe’s Consumer card’s APR exceeds the average retail card’s APR by more than 3 percent. In other words, unless you’re taking advantage of promotional financing, it’s best to resist the temptation to charge more than you can afford to pay off every month.

Nonexistent perks
Unlike many other retail cards, the Lowe’s Consumer card offers zilch in the way of special benefits – no free shipping, purchase security, extended warranty or return protection. Indeed, the only “extra” you’ll find here is the card’s exclusive financing offers.

Why get it?:

  • You already spend a lot of money at Lowe’s and want to benefit from an ongoing discount without having to pay an annual fee.
  • You’re a do-it-yourselfer who wants access to promotional financing for those big home renovation projects.
  • You’re a Home Depot customer who’s willing to switch for the 5 percent rewards.
  • You don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month. 

How to use it:

  • Because of the card’s high APR, opt for deferred-interest financing over the discount if you’ll need more than a month to pay off a purchase.
  • That being said, beware of deferred interest associated with the card’s special financing offers. Interest is imposed retroactively if you still owe a balance on your purchase at the end of the promotional period.
  • If you anticipate several shopping trips in the near future, combine them into one large purchase to take advantage of a one-time 10 percent discount after opening your account.
  • Pay your regular balance in full every month to avoid paying higher-than-average interest.

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