Best credit cards and strategies to maximize home improvement spending
Editor’s note: This is a recurring article, regularly updated with new information and offers.
When it’s time to renovate or build a home, you may encounter significant costs. Readers often ask us which credit cards will increase their rewards when shopping at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and other home improvement stores.
Today we’re going to cover several factors and credit cards you should consider when it comes to maximizing the return on your home improvement investment. As you’ll see, many of the best credit cards for home improvement purchases don’t carry an annual fee and are useful for certain types of purchases as well. Savings cards are often not a good idea because they offer poor returns on spending – or none at all. The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, for example, doesn’t offer any cash back rewards, although it does have the benefit of cash back offers, which can come in handy for big purchases.
Considerations for the best cards for home improvement purchases
Cards we considered
There are many credit cards you can use to shop at home improvement stores. Some will carry the name of that store and others will not. On the same subject : How to Claim Billions in Green Home Improvement Tax Credits and Rebates. Before we decide which cards are the best for home improvement purchases, let’s take a look at the cards we considered during our review.
For personal credit cards, we considered the following:
We also thought of the following small business cards:
Information on the Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, Home Depot Consumer, Huntington Voice Business, Ikea Visa Credits Card, Lowe’s Advantage Card, Lowe’s Business Rewards, and Wells Fargo Active Cash was collected independently by The Points. Guy. The card information on this page has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Earning rates on the cards we considered
Here’s a comparison of the interest rates for home improvement purchases on the individual cards we looked at: On the same subject : Energy experts say climate bill could help consumers cut utility bill costs.
Must have an eligible Alliant checking account and complete the tasks required to qualify for this rating; otherwise, cardholders get 1.5% back on all purchases.
5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases with eligible Prime members.
2% back at restaurants, gas and drug stores.
2% back at grocery stores and full clubs.
2 miles per dollar on other purchases.
3% back at restaurants, including pickup and delivery.
3% back at restaurants, including pickup and delivery.
1.5% back on all other purchases.
1 point per dollar on other purchases.
3% back through Rewards points on dining, grocery and utility purchases.
1% back through Reward points on other purchases.
2% back in one unit of your choice.
* Reward value is based on TPG’s current valuation and is not provided by the card issuer
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And here’s a comparison of the access rates for home improvement purchases on the small-business cards we’ve seen:
2% back on US purchases at restaurants, gas and wireless services purchased directly from providers.
1.5 points on the dollar on US purchases from building materials and hardware vendors, electronics vendors, software and cloud system providers and carriers.
1.5 points per dollar on purchases of $5,000 or more.
1 point per dollar on other purchases.
2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.
2% back on Lowe’s purchases thereafter.
2% back at gas stations and restaurants.
* Reward value is based on TPG’s current valuation and is not provided by the card issuer.
The best personal cards for home improvement purchases
Home improvement projects can be expensive. Any card vying for consideration as the best credit card for home improvement purchases can’t have the lowest percentage spend on bonus rewards. This may interest you : Curbio emphasizes the need for DIY in the new brand’s campaign ahead of the listing. After weeding out cards where your rewards potential is severely limited – or where your rewards are limited, like the IKEA Visa – we’ve chosen the following cards to take a look at.
Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card
Earning rates: 2.% cash back on the first $10 of eligible purchases each billing cycle and unlimited 1.5% cash back on additional purchases as long as you are a Tier One Rewards member. This requires an Alliant High-Rate checking account with at least one monthly deposit and an average daily balance of $1,000. Otherwise, Tier Two members only get an unlimited 1.5% back.
Why we like it: While there is no signup bonus and there are events that should earn you 2.% back, it is easy to meet. The bonus amount is up to $10,000 per payment, which is much higher than other cards with earning caps. There is also no annual fee on this card.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature
welcome bonus: Get a $100 Amazon gift card immediately after account approval.
Earnings rules: Get 10% back on grocery items on Amazon, 5% back on Amazon.com, Amazon physical stores and Whole Foods Market with eligible Amazon Prime members, 2% back on restaurants, gas and drug stores and 1% back on all other purchases.
Why we love it: Amazon has everything these days. If you buy things from Amazon because you can’t find them in your area or because you like to buy online, you can get 5% back on these purchases – or maybe 10% back, if your items are in the rotating list of bonus-gain items. However, you must maintain an Amazon Prime account for these access opportunities.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
welcome bonus: Get 75,000 bonus Capital One miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
Earnings: You’ll earn 5 miles per dollar on hotel and rental car rentals through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on everything else.
Why we like it: Earning two miles per dollar at home improvement stores translates into a 3.7% return, according to TPG valuations. You can use these miles to cover purchases on your credit card or transfer them to airline and hotel partners for upcoming travel. Plus, the card comes with a good number of perks packed into the $95 annual fee.
Official application link: Capital One Venture Reward Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
welcome bonus: Get $200 cash back after spending $150 on purchases within the first six months from account opening.
Earnings: Earn 2 points per dollar on all purchases – 1 point per dollar on purchases and 1 point per dollar on checkout.
Why we love it: While the card’s name says “cash,” you actually earn ThankYou points and can use them for a limited number of Citi card transfers. If you have another Citi ThankYou points-earning card, you can combine rewards to access all of Citi’s transfer partners and earn 3.6% back on all purchases, based on TPG’s latest value. However, if you are looking for cash back, you can withdraw your points for 1 cent each to your statement or as a deposit in a checking account.
Official application link: Citi Double Cash Card
Lowe’s Advantage Card
welcome bonus: 20% off (up to $100 max) when you open a new account until January 31, 2023.
Earnings rates: Get 5% back at Lowe’s.
Why we love it: While this card can’t be used at other stores, you can get a 5% discount when you shop at Lowe’s and you can get exclusive discounts available only to cardholders.
The best business cards for home improvement purchases
For business cards, we used the same concept, eliminating cards with lower limits than bonus-earning ability. These are your best options when using a business credit card to make a home improvement purchase.
Amazon Business Prime Card
Annual fee: $0 (see prices and fees).
welcome bonus: Get a $100 speaker credit after making $3,000 in purchases on your Card in the first three months.
Earnings rates: Earn 5% on US purchases with Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back on US purchases at restaurants, gas and wireless phone services purchased directly from providers and pick up. 1% back on other purchases.
Why we love it: You can choose to get 5% back on Amazon purchases or choose 90-day terms on these purchases, giving you flexibility when you buy home improvement products from Amazon.
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
Annual fee: $0 (see prices and fees).
Welcome bonus: Get 15,000 bonus member rewards after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
Earnings: Earn 2 points per dollar on the first $50 of purchases each calendar year, then 1 point per dollar.
Why we love it: Membership reward points are very valuable and have many uses. Earning two points per dollar regardless of where you shop and paying no annual fee is a great combination.
Official application link: The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Annual fee: $0 initial annual fee, then $95.
welcome bonus: Get 50,000 bonus Capital One miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
Earnings rates: Earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases.
Why we love it: Based on TPG’s promotions, you’ll get 3.7% back on all purchases and you don’t have to worry about which store you’re shopping at. Whether you’re shopping for home improvement at Lowe’s or paying a contractor to work on your home office, you know you’ll earn two miles on every dollar.
Official application link: Capital One Spark Miles for Business
Ink Business Cash Credit Card
welcome bonus: Get $900 cash back after spending $600 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Earnings rates: Get 5% cash back on the first $25 in combined purchases at office supply stores, internet services, phone services and cable services during your membership year, then 1% back. Earn 2% back on the first $25,000 in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants during your cardmember year, then 1% back. Get 1% back on all other purchases.
Why we like it: If you’re shopping for home improvement items at a store where you won’t get bonus rewards, the best way to go is to buy gift cards to that store. By buying Home Depot gift cards at the office store, for example, you can get 5% back on those purchases and then use your gift cards to shop at Home Depot. Plus, if you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards eligible credit card, you can convert these cash back rewards into Ultimate Rewards points, doubling the value of your rewards and enabling the use of your rewards with Chase partners.
Official application link: Ink Business Cash Credit Card
When other cards and strategies could make sense
Believe it or not, you shouldn’t always be using a card with a higher fee for your home improvement purchases. Here are some situations where it might make sense to use another rewards card.
Meeting minimum spending – With a large amount of money in your sights, you should consider adding a new credit card to your wallet. You can use home improvement purchases to quickly knock out less spending on one or more new cards and qualify for bonus points. There are some great enhanced sign-up bonuses available right now.
Meeting the annual bonuses – Housekeeping is not cheap, so be sure to check the cards in your wallet and see if you can use this money to hit the annual threshold that triggers bonus miles, a friend’s ticket, free. award night or the Southwest Companion Pass. Many credit cards offer benefits that come after spending a certain amount of money on that card during the year; using a large purchase to get the benefit can be significant.
Using a targeted higher ranking – Some credit cards allow you to earn a position or enhance your progress to a higher ranking through the use of a credit card. We have a collection of these cards here. You can run your elite status in programs like United MileagePlus, World of Hyatt and American Airlines AAdvantage.
Use shopping portals – We say it often: When you shop online, you should always click through the shopping portal first. With one or two clicks before you shop online, you can maximize your cash back rewards or reward points, and these rewards are on top of what you’ll get from your credit card. Sites like Cashback Monitor and Rakuten generate return rates for home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot and all you have to do is choose the one with the highest return. Additionally, these sites often offered bonuses for new users and high return rates on popular shopping days.
Offers from your credit card – Options like Amex Offers, Chase Offers, Capital One Offers and Citi Merchant Offers can offer discounts or bonuses at the merchant you plan to shop with. By checking this out first, you can get offers like 5% cash back on your card or get 3 points on purchases over a certain amount. Note that these offers are on a rolling basis, so not everyone will see the same offer and not every store has an offer available every day.
Coupons – Look for coupons in your local newspaper or online – or even consider buying coupons from someone on eBay for a few dollars – as these can lead to big savings on your home improvement purchases. If you find a lot of coupons, split your purchases into multiple transactions to maximize your savings.
Lowe’s Military and Veteran Discount – Attach your proof of eligibility to your My Lowe’s card either through the automated system at Lowe’s.com or by taking your DD-214 or military ID to your local Lowe’s, where customer service can help you register. You then automatically save 10% on everything in the store every time you check your card at checkout.
Purchase materials for your contractor – Most contractors who do remodels or home improvement projects do not accept credit cards. Talk to your contractor to see if you can purchase the materials yourself for the project. If the contractor provides a purchase list, you can purchase that item separately and get credit card rewards on the project portion, even though you won’t be able to use the credit card to pay for the work.
Earning credit card rewards when financing home improvements
If you are looking to make a down payment or take out a home improvement loan, you must pay directly to your bank. There is no free way to pay them with a credit card and earn points. If your financial institution accepts checks, you can use services like Plastiq which usually charge a 2.5%-3% service fee to be able to use your credit card (and earn points).
Most of the time, the rewards you get in exchange payments aren’t important enough to justify paying, or the margin you get out front is so small that it should be avoided. However, if you can earn enough Plastiq referral credits by having friends, family and colleagues sign up for work and make payments using your referral code, you can get a few months of payments with no payments down the line. belt and earn credit card rewards.
Another way to finance big projects is to use a credit card with an annual introductory rate (APR), paying 0% interest for a year or more, depending on the card. If this sounds like a good option for you, see our guide to the best credit cards with 0% introductory APR for more information.
Most home improvement projects represent a significant investment, and you should do everything you can to minimize the bite. With the right combination of savings and rewards-earning credit cards, you’ll do better than if you walked into a store paying cash.
At the end of the day, the best card for your home improvement purchase depends on the amount and type of items you’re buying. For example, if it’s a lot of inexpensive or basic building materials, you may want to use a combination of discounted gift cards and coupons to save as much money as possible. Just remember that, if you are using gift cards, you will lose the credit card security deposit benefits.
If it’s an appliance or electronics, you may want to use a shopping portal and a credit card with purchase protection to earn more points while getting the special protections your credit card offers. You can also consider a combination of methods, depending on your situation. There is no one credit card that is best for every home improvement project for everyone, so consider what works for you.
The only wrong answer when it comes to your home improvement purchase is none of the above.
New to TPG? Check out our first guide.
Additional reporting by Richard Kerr and Benji Stawski.
For rates and fees for the Amazon Business Prime card, click here. For rates and fees for the Blue Business Plus card, click here. For rates and fees for the Business Platinum Card, click here. For rates and fees for Lowe’s Business Rewards. Card, click here.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are those of the author alone, not those of any bank, credit card, airline or hotel company, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any of these organizations.
The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, issued by Citi, charges no interest for the first six months on purchases of $299 or more.
Which bank can gives instant credit card?
The ICICI Bank Instant Platinum Credit Card is a good choice for you if you want an instant and free Credit Card. Build or improve your Credit score with our secured credit card from fixed deposits.
Can I get a credit card right away? A. Yes, some credit card issuers offer pre-secured credit cards. You can use them normally like any other instant credit card, the only difference is that they are issued against a fixed deposit. Q.
Can I get a credit card at the bank same day?
While it’s common to be approved for a credit card the same day if you apply online, you’ll have to wait an additional 7-10 business days before your card arrives for use.
Can you get a credit card right away at the bank?
In most cases, you can find the credit card you really want, apply for the card online and receive approval for your new card in the same day. But this is not always the case, and you also have to wait a while to receive your credit card after you have been approved.
Can I walk into a bank and get a credit card?
Applying for your first credit card doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you already have a checking or savings account in good standing, consider applying for a credit card at your current bank. For most credit cards, you can apply online or visit a bank branch to work directly with an agent.
Why do contractors prefer cash?
In the view of the federal and state tax authorities, this reason may be: Avoidance of taxes; Helping the producer avoid his income tax obligations; and/or, Misrepresenting your company’s income in order to reduce the amount it pays.
What is the safest way to pay a producer? Paying by credit card is often the safest and most efficient way to pay your contractor. You can arrange to pay off your credit card in easy installments through direct deposit. It also provides great evidence of how much and when you paid your contractor.
Why do contractors want money up front?
Why do contractors need a deposit? Contractors’ deposits are important because they are the only way to get your project started! Your main contractor wants to save the workers and start ordering the goods right away. They may also need to hire equipment.
Do contractors ask for money upfront?
A: It is not unusual for contractors to ask for a down payment in advance to secure your spot on their schedule or to purchase additional materials for the job in advance. Asking for more than half the project cost up front, however, is a red flag.
Why do contractors ask for half up front?
@Alex Varner generally speaking, if a contractor asks for that much up front, it’s because they don’t have enough money or credit to buy the materials for the job.
How much money should you give a contractor up front?
Avoid paying in cash. Contractors cannot request a deposit of more than 10 percent of the total cost of the job or $1,000, whichever is less. * (This applies to any home improvement project, including swimming pools.) Stick to your payment plan and don’t let payments mount up before the job is done.
Why do contractors offer cash discounts?
Cash discounts are used by business owners to encourage customers to pay their invoices sooner. Learn exactly what a discount is and if it’s the right choice for your business.
Do contractors give a discount for cash?
As a general rule, a contractor is prohibited from overcharging because the client is willing to pay for the work. However, this is not the same as offering a tax to customers who want to pay in cash.
Why do people give discounts for cash?
Why Can a Retailer Offer a Cash Discount? The seller can offer the buyer a discount to 1) spend the money early, if the seller is experiencing a lack of funds; 2) to avoid the cost and effort of paying the customer; or 3) reinvesting in the business to help it grow faster.
Why do businesses offer discounts for paying in cash?
The goal of reducing fees is to eliminate the processing fee for your business, which can be up to 4% in lost revenue every time customers swipe a card. Also, if a small business wants to differentiate itself from the big companies, they can offer brands for customers who pay with paper money.
Can I deduct cash payments to contractors?
Cash payments made to vendors and other business partners must be verified if you want these payments to be deducted as income on your business tax return. Even a small amount of money must be paid through a small fund, with the necessary documents.
Can I 1099 someone I paid in cash?
You only need to issue a 1099 for direct payment methods such as cash, check, or bank transfer. You do not need to report credit card or third-party merchant network payments on Form 1099-MISC. They can be reported on Form 1099-K.
How much can I pay someone without putting them on payroll?
There has been a long-standing belief that if you pay an employee, if the contract is less than $600 a year it can be called a “regular job” or “day job”, and not report it as wages. Although this may have been true many years ago, it is true today. The first dollar you pay is subject to tax.
Is it OK to pay contractors in cash?
If you pay money to independent contractors, the first thing you need to know is that there is nothing illegal about doing so. Cash is still the best way to pay. If you have cash on hand and want to use it to pay your contracts, then you can do so.
What are good strategies for credit card use?
6 Credit card tips for smart users
- Pay your bills every month. …
- Use the card for what you need, not what you need. …
- Never skip a payment. …
- Use a credit card as a budgeting tool. …
- Use a rewards card. …
- Stay under 30% of your loan amount.
What credit score do you need for a Home Depot or Lowes credit card?
A credit score of 640 or higher is required on the Home Depot® Credit Card; this means you have to have good credit to get it. That’s the case with both the Home Depot® Credit Card and the Home Depot® Business credit card.
What FICO score does Lowes use? The minimum credit score required for a Lowe’s card is a 620 FICO. This is similar to the Lowe’s Advantage Card and the Lowe’s Business Cards. Make sure your revolving credit is under 30% when you apply or they may reject you.
What kind of credit score do you need to get a Lowe’s credit card?
What is the credit score required for the Lowe’s Advantage Card? The Lowe’s Advantage Card is a commercial card, so it may be easier to qualify than a traditional credit card. However, you will have the best chances of qualifying with a good-to-excellent credit score of at least 60 to 70.
What credit score do I need to get credit at Home Depot?
A FICO® Score of 600 is recommended to apply for the Home Depot® Credit Card — ideally, a score of 640 or higher. Applicants who get this card usually have fair credit scores or good credit.
Is Home Depot financing hard to get?
In fact, while most major lenders require customers to have a credit score of at least 700, applicants can qualify for a Home Depot credit score of just 640.
How can I get approved for a Home Depot credit card?
The basic Home Depot® Credit Card requirements are that the applicant must be 18 years of age with a valid Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number. Applicants must also have a physical US address, enough money to make a minimum monthly payment, and good credit.
Is it hard to apply for a Home Depot credit card?
No, it’s not difficult to get the Home Depot® Credit Card, although it’s not particularly easy, either. You need a credit score of 640, minimum. This means that people with good credit or better should have a shot at being approved.
Can I get a Lowes card with a 600 credit score?
What credit score do I need for a Lowe’s card? You may need a fair, good, or excellent credit score to qualify for a Lowe’s credit card. Good scores start at 600. Good scores start in the high 600s, and good scores start in the high 800s.
Why is it so hard to get a Lowes credit card?
In 2022, you’ll need a FICO score of 620 or better to get a Lowe’s Advantage card. When you apply, Lowe’s randomly checks either Equifax, Experian or TransUnion credit bureaus for your score. In addition to the FICO score, your revolving credit must be less than 30%.
What is the lowest credit score for a Lowes card?
The Lowe’s Store Card credit score requirement is 640 or better. This means that people who have a credit card have a chance of being approved for this card.
How hard is it to qualify for a Lowe’s credit card?
The Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card is said to be among the hardest credit cards to get, often favoring applicants with “good” credit or better (FICO score above 620). While you can apply for a Lowe’s card online, it’s recommended that you apply in-store to take advantage of the real-time sign-up offer.