Home Depot Credit Card vs. Lowe’s Credit Card

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Updated on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Updated June 28, 2018

Home improvements can be extremely costly and many people don’t have the money to pay for them upfront so they look to special financing options like store credit cards. If you’re looking to make renovations to your home, there’s a good chance you’ve looked into buying supplies from two of the biggest home improvement retailers in the U.S. — Home Depot and Lowe’s. Both stores offer special financing options and discounts that you can utilize to make your purchases more affordable.

In this post, we compare the key features of the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card and the Lowe’s Advantage Card, and provide you with our top pick for your next home improvement project.

We also discuss a few alternative financing options because credit cards aren’t always the best financing option — especially if you can’t afford to pay them off quickly.

Home Depot Consumer Credit Card vs. Lowe’s Advantage Card


Home Depot Consumer Credit Card


Lowe's Advantage Card


Winner


Annual Fee

None

None

Tie


Regular Purchase APR

17.99%-26.99% Variable

26.99% Variable

Home Depot (so long as your credit is good enough to score the better rate).


Everyday Financing

6 Months Every Day Financing on Purchases of $299 or More. No interest if paid in full within 6 months.*

6 months special financing on purchases of $299 or more. No interest if paid in full within 6 months.*

Tie


Project Financing

Up to 24 months during special promotions.*


(Note that Home Depot offers a Project Loan Card with a fixed rate and 84 months to pay off purchases.)

Special fixed-rate interest offers for 36, 60 or 84 months and on purchases of $2,000 or more.*

Lowe’s (they offer financing options greater than 24 months).


Fine print

“Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the purchase balance is not paid in full within 6 months.”


This is called deferred interest and means you are responsible for all the interest you would have been charged during the 0% interest period if you carry a balance after the 6 months.

If you don’t pay in full within 6 months, “interest will be assessed on the promotional purchase from the purchase date.”


This is called deferred interest and means you are responsible for all the interest you would have been charged during the 0% interest period if you carry a balance after the 6 months.

Tie


New card member discount

Save $100 on your qualifying purchase of $1,000 or more. Valid 5/24-7/11/18.*

None

Home Depot


Everyday discount

No everyday discount, but rotating limited time offers for a variety of products and services.*

5% off your eligible purchase.*

Lowe’s (since Home Depot doesn’t offer a discount).


The Overall Winner: Lowe’s Advantage Card


The Lowe’s Advantage Card is the winner in this comparison since it offers a consistent, everyday discount and several financing options. Both cards offer the same everyday financing option, but the Lowe’s Advantage Card offers more options for project financing, which may be more beneficial for a home financing project. The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card unfortunately doesn’t offer everyday discounts or long-term financing options past two years, though it does have the potential for a lower APR with its range; unlike the Lowe’s Advantage Card which only has one APR. All in all, the Lowe’s Advantage Card provides more benefits to consumers looking to finance a home improvement project.


*Terms and conditions apply.

What to know before you open a store card for home improvements

Focus on your needs vs. rewards. Prior to applying for a store card, try not to let the promise of a cushy reward offer cloud your judgment. Consider which store you shop more and which store card has offers that suits your needs best.

For example, if you’re planning on doing exterior installations like roofing, siding or windows, Home Depot has no interest if paid in full within 12 months on purchases of $5,000 or more (offer valid until 1/31/18). Meanwhile, Lowe’s offers 5% off your eligible purchase, which can be helpful if you plan on making numerous purchases below $299 — since the 5% discount can’t be combined with special financing discounts that start at $299.

Decide how long you need to finance your improvements. Home Depot and Lowe’s both offer different financing options where you can pay a fixed interest rate for up to 84 months. While the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card only offers up to 24 months financing, they have another card, the Project Loan card, offering 84 months financing at a fixed 7.99% with a 6-month buying window to purchase needed products and services. On the other hand, the Lowe’s Advantage card offers project financing on any in-store purchase of $2,000 or more: 36 fixed monthly payments at 3.99% APR until paid in full, 60 fixed monthly payments at 5.99% APR until paid in full or 84 fixed monthly payments at 7.99% APR until paid in full.

Review selection offerings. Another key point to consider is that one store may have a better rewards program, but you may prefer the selection of items at the other store.

Consider access to the retailer. If you’ve never shopped at either store, do some research to see which one has more items you need. Also, check out the location of the stores — Home Depot has over 2,200 while Lowe’s has over 1,700. It may not make sense to apply for a Lowe’s card and trek 30 minutes to the nearest store if there’s a Home Depot around the block.

Read the fine print. Another key point to look at are the terms and conditions for each card. You want to check if there are any unusual fees and what the interest rates are if you carry a balance. This information can be a deciding factor in your decision. As you can see from our review, both Home Depot and Lowe’s credit card offerings carry a deferred interest clause — if you don’t pay off your balance by the time the promotional period ends, you could get hit with a hefty interest charge.

Take note that a store card can only be used at the issuing store, meaning you will only be able to use a Home Depot credit card on Home Depot purchases. Meanwhile, regular credit cards have more flexibility and can be used anywhere.

Other ways to finance a home improvement project

There are several other options for you to utilize if you decide that a store card from Home Depot or Lowe’s isn’t the best choice. There are other types of credit cards you can choose, such as cards with long 0% intro periods or cashback cards that offer high rates. Besides credit cards, you can take out a personal loan, home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Below, we detail what other options you have for your home improvement project and the pros and cons associated with each.

0% Intro APR cards

An alternative to store cards are 0% intro APR cards, which provide a period of time for you to carry a balance without racking up interest. The better 0% intro APR cards have intro periods of 18 months, allowing you well over a year to pay off debt from new purchases. These cards often offer longer 0% intro periods than store cards, and although they won’t have store specific rewards, you can benefit greatly from the long intro period.

Pros:

  • Long intro periods: The 0% intro periods for these cards are longer than those provided by store cards and can provide you with as long as 18 months interest-free.
  • Wide acceptance: These cards can be used at any store, unlike store cards, which are restricted to the issuing store.

Cons:

  • Often lack rewards or store specific discounts: Many 0% intro APR cards lack rewards programs or don’t provide store specific discounts like the Home Depot or Lowe’s cards.

Cards to Consider

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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The information related to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 18 months on Purchases
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
Balance transfer fee – either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever offers a competitive intro 0% for 18 months on Purchases, then 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) APR applies. This is one of the longest intro periods for purchases available and can provide you ample time to pay off your debt. Other great features of this card include no late fees, no penalty rate and a $0 annual fee. Although there are no rewards, the long 0% intro period can provide more benefit if you can’t pay off purchases within the short 0% periods of the Home Depot or Lowe’s cards.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Regular Purchase APR
13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Purchases*
Intro BT APR
0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Balance Transfers*
Annual fee
$0*
Balance Transfer Fee
3%
Credit required
good-credit

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers an 0%* intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Purchases* on purchases (after, 13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable) APR applies). This is a great length of time for you to pay off any purchases you make, regardless if they’re for home improvement or not. The APR range for this card has a low starting rate, promising if you have Good credit. Besides the 0% intro period, this card is fairly basic and has no rewards.Read our guide to the longest 0% purchase credit card offers and use our personalized tool to compare introductory 0% interest cards.

Cashback and rewards cards

Another alternative to a Home Depot or Lowe’s credit card may be cashback or rewards cards. These cards offer rewards for all your spending, with some offering higher rates on select purchases and 0% intro periods. Often, these cards provide more long-term value than a store card you may open since they don’t limit your purchases to select stores.

Pros:

  • Versatile rewards programs: These cards provide rewards or cashback programs that allow you to earn rewards on all your spending, regardless of where you shop. Some cards even offer high rates on certain purchases, like home improvements.
  • Wide acceptance: There are no restrictions on where you can use these cards, and you earn rewards on all purchases.

Cons:

  • No store discounts: Since these cards aren’t store cards, you most likely will not receive the same store discounts or rewards that a store card offers.

Cards to consider

The Farmers® Rewards Visa® Card from Comenity Bank

The Farmers® Rewards Visa® Card from Comenity Bank

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
3X points for $1 spent on Farmers products, 3X points for $1 spent on Fuel / Gas, 3X points for $1 spent on Home Improvement, 1X points for $1 spent everywhere else Visa is accepted
Regular Purchase APR
15.49% to 22.49% Variable
Credit required
good-credit

The Farmers® Rewards Visa® Card from Comenity Bank offers a high 3X points for $1 spent on Farmers products, 3X points for $1 spent on Fuel / Gas, 3X points for $1 spent on Home Improvement, 1X points for $1 spent everywhere else Visa is accepted. Each account anniversary you receive 1,000 points (equal to a $10 statement credit). Although you earn points, they can be redeemed as a statement credit with 1 point worth $.01. This card offers more flexibility than a Lowe’s or Home Depot card since it can be used anywhere. The intro period is also longer with a 0% introductory purchase APR for 12 months. After that your APR will be 15.49% to 22.49% Variable APR.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Regular Purchase APR
13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is the trend setting flat-rate cash back card where you can earn cash back twice on every purchase. You Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.. Points are redeemable for statement credit with 1 point worth $.01. This card allows you to earn a high, consistent cash back rate on all spending without limiting you to select categories or stores. With this card, you have the freedom to use it anywhere and can see more long-term value compared to a store card you may only use for a home improvement project.Read our roundup of the best cash back cards for every category and compare cash back cards.

Personal loans

Depending on your situation, a credit card may not be the best option; especially if you have less than perfect credit and can’t get approved. A personal loan is when you borrow a fixed amount of money for a fixed time period at a fixed rate.

Personal loans are a more liquid approach to financing a home improvement since you receive deposited money in your bank account. The interest rates for personal loans vary by issuer and your creditworthiness, but if you’re someone with excellent credit you may receive the lowest rates, with some issuers offering as low as 3.49% APR. That’s substantially lower than a credit card.

On the other hand, you may find some personal loan lenders willing to work with you if you have bad credit, although you are likely to get stuck with a pretty high APR. Some APRs can easily run above 30% on the high end.

Pros:

  • Better approval odds: If you’re someone with bad or fair credit, you may have an easier time qualifying for a personal loan compared with a credit card. Some personal loans either don’t have a minimum credit score or accept people with low scores.
  • Fixed interest rates: Unlike the majority of credit cards, personal loans have a fixed interest rate. You don’t have to worry about your rate increasing during your term.
  • May be able to check your rates without harming your credit: Some personal loans allow you to see if you prequalify by performing a soft pull of your credit. A soft pull doesn’t affect your credit score, and with many personal loans you can shop around for the best rate without harming your credit. Just be careful and read the disclaimers before you check to make sure it’s a soft pull — not a hard pull. Once you officially apply for a loan, they will do a hard pull.

Cons:

  • Origination fee: Some personal loans have origination fees. These fees are a percentage of the total loan amount. For example, a 1% origination fee on a $5,000 loan is $50.
  • Possible prepayment penalty: Some personal loans will charge a fee if you pay off your loan early, which can be more costly than riding out your term.

How to compare personal loan options

LendingTree

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on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree

Loan Amount
up to $50,000
Term
24 to 60 Months
APR Range
As low as 3.49%
Origination Fee
Varies
Credit Required
Minimum 500 FICO®
Soft Pull
Compare offers without hurting your score.

LendingTree is not a lender. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. Terms Apply. NMLS #1136.



As of 17-May-19, LendingTree Personal Loan consumers were seeing match rates as low as 3.49% (3.49% APR) on a $10,000 loan amount for a term of three (3) years. Rates and APRs were based on a self-identified credit score of 700 or higher, zero down payment, origination fees of $0 to $100 (depending on loan amount and term selected). Terms Apply. NMLS #1136

LendingTree has a great feature where you can compare personal loans from multiple issuers within minutes. You can select home improvements from the drop-down menu when asked “How are you going to use the money?” and continue with the prompts until you receive your personalized loan rates. This tool performs a soft pull on your credit so your credit score will not be affected by comparing rates.

We have a personal loan calculator that can help you see if a personal loan is a good option for your home improvement project:

Check out where to get the best personal loan rates online and use our personalized tool to compare personal loans.

Home equity loan or home equity line of credit

You may have heard the terms home equity loan and home equity line of credit (HELOC) before, and are now considering them as options to finance your home improvement project. Before you decide, it’s a good idea to know what these home equity options are and how they can be helpful — and potentially harmful.

A home equity loan is similar to a personal loan where you have a fixed loan amount, with a fixed interest rate and fixed term — but a home equity loan is secured by your home. This means your home is collateral and if you don’t pay your loan, the lender can foreclose on your home.

Similar to a credit card, a HELOC provides you with a revolving line of credit where you can borrow money and you only make payments on what you borrow. Any funds borrowed are charged interest, and unfortunately, the interest rates are often variable, which means they can increase at any time. You can withdraw funds with a credit card or check linked to your account. And, like home equity loans, your home acts as collateral if you don’t pay off your HELOC.

Pros:

  • Fixed interest for home equity loans: When you borrow money with a home equity loan, you receive a fixed amount of money for a fixed term and a fixed interest rate. This creates stability when repaying your loan and you don’t have to worry about increasing interest rates.
  • Revolving line of credit for a HELOC: With a HELOC, you receive a revolving line of credit. Similar to a credit card, when you make charges and pay them off, your available credit is replenished.

Cons:

  • Your home is collateral: If you don’t pay off your loan, the lender can take action against your home and possibly foreclose. This is a big risk that other financing options on this list don’t have.
  • Look out for fees: Home equity loans and HELOC can come with numerous fees like origination fee, lender fee, application fee, appraisal fee and more. It’s a good idea to ask questions and read the terms before signing anything.
  • You need equity in your home to qualify: Most lenders require you to have a loan-to-value ratio of 80% or below. To get your LTV, it’s pretty simple: add the amount you want to borrow with a home equity loan to the amount you still owe on the home. Once you’ve got that figure, divide it by the market value of the home. Let’s say you’re looking for a $10,000 home equity loan and you owe $80,000 on your mortgage. If your home is currently valued at $200,000, that would give you an LTV of about 45%.
  • Watch out for refinancing: Some lenders may pressure you into refinancing a loan that you’re struggling to pay off. By refinancing, the lender benefits from charging you more fees and interest points that end up hurting you and increasing your debt.

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