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Home renovations can add value to your property and allow you to enjoy a newly remodeled space, but they’re often costly. If you don’t have the cash on hand for home improvements, you may consider opening a credit card from Home Depot or Lowe’s to benefit from discounts and/or special financing offers.
Both home improvement retailers offer store cards that you can use to your advantage when doing any home renovations. The cards have similar perks, making it hard to choose a card if you don’t prefer one store over the other.
Below, CNBC Select compares the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card and the Lowe’s Advantage Card, so you can choose the best card for your next home improvement.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card offers a 5% discount on eligible purchases, but there’s a catch: The discount can’t be combined with other credit-related promotional offers. If you want to get 5% off, you won’t be able to finance a purchase with an available special financing offer.
The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card does not offer a discount, but there are rotating limited time offers for a variety of products and services. Currently, cardholders can receive 10% off the base price of select installed sheds and garages from TuffShed, plus an additional 5% off by statement credit, valid through 3/18/2020.
The welcome bonus offers for both cards are worth up to $100.
Winner: Lowe’s Advantage Card, for its everyday discount (despite the inability to receive 5% off along with a special financing offer).
Special financing offers
The basic special financing offers are the same for both the Home Depot and Lowe’s cards: no interest if paid in full within six months on purchases of $299 or more.
If you choose to use one of these offers, be diligent with your repayment plan. You’ll need to have the balance paid in full before the six-month offer ends in order to avoid interest charges. Continuing to carry a balance after six months will cause you to incur deferred interest, which is a charge for all the interest you accrued since the date you made your purchase.
In addition to special financing offers, these cards offer project financing for larger purchases:
- Lowe’s Advantage Card: 84 fixed monthly payments at a 7.99% APR on purchases of $2,000 or more
- Home Depot Consumer Credit Card: Up to 24 months during special promotions, minimum purchase requirements may apply
Winner: It’s a tie when it comes to the six-month special financing offer. But if you have a larger project to finance, the Lowe’s Advantage Card can provide a decent 84-month fixed payment plan that acts similar to a personal loan.
The Home Depot card and Lowe’s card both have no annual fee, but different interest rates. The Home Depot card provides a 17.99% to 26.99% variable APR, while the Lowe’s card has a 26.99% variable APR.
Winner: Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, if you can qualify for an APR less than 26.99%.
The best home improvement store card for your needs depends on what benefits you’re looking for in a credit card. Overall, the Lowe’s Advantage Card has the best everyday discount at 5%, but the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card also offers rotating discounts on eligible purchases that can be over 10%. Make sure you review current offers prior to selecting a card.
You should also consider the location of the nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s store to your home. If you only have one store nearby, that may help you choose the better card. But if both stores are nearby, select the one that has the benefits you’re looking for.
And if you’re opening a new card primarily for special financing, you should consider alternative cards that don’t charge deferred interest. The best 0% APR cards offer over a year of no interest without the risk of deferred interest. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card offers 0% for the first 15 months on purchases (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable) and 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and at drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases.
If you want a longer intro period, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers 0% for the first 20 billing cycles on purchases (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR). This card has no rewards.
Information about the Lowe’s Advantage Card, Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, and U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.