And if you have a last-minute, necessary home improvement project you don’t have cash on hand to cover? In this case, a 0% APR introductory offer can be a lifeline. You can finance the project while giving yourself time to pay it off–without accruing interest charges.
The key here is to figure out which cards offer the best rewards or introductory APR offers so that you get the most bang for your buck when it comes time to pull out the old tool belt. Here are a few cards in each category you might check out for your DIY adventures.
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Home Improvement Cards with Rewards
We’ve focused specifically on cash-back and flexible reward types here. The thinking is that you can leverage some of your rewards to lower the costs of your home improvement project or even upgrade parts of your project. But keep in mind that you could also use a credit card to earn travel rewards from your home improvement expenditures, which is a great way to take a well-deserved vacation after the construction dust clears.
This is a great card for home improvement projects because the cash back structure is simple. You get 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. And it has no annual fee.
Plus the Chase Freedom Unlimited has a great introductory APR offer; 0% for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. So you could finance your project for free and get great rewards.
Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card
If you’re a big credit card spender, this credit card might be the one for you. It’s designed for those who spend $50,000 or more per year on their card. But it offers 3% cash back the first year on all purchases, and 2.5% cash back per year after that. The card has a $99 annual fee, but that’s waived the first year. In short, you won’t find better cash back than this card.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa®
This card is another great unlimited cash back rewards card. It offers 1.5% cash back on all rewards and no annual fee. Plus, if you spend $1,000 in the first three months of purchase, you’ll get a $200 cash back bonus. Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, this one offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, but only for the first twelve months of card ownership.
Citi Double Cash
If you need some incentive to pay back those home improvement purchases in a timely fashion, check out the Citi Double Cash. This card offers 1% cash back at the time of your purchase, and another 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases. The total of 2% cash back on every purchase puts this card in a slightly higher rewards category than the other cards on this list. If you plan to pay off your purchases right away, this no annual fee card is a great option.
Best Store-Based Credit Cards for Home Improvement
If you have a particular hardware store you prefer for your purchases, you might consider getting a store card from that particular store. We don’t typically recommend a lot of store cards. But for big ticket purchases like home improvement projects, they can make sense. That said, having just one store card means you won’t be able to shop around for the best prices on your materials, so keep this in mind.
Lowe’s Advantage Card
Instead of cash back, the Lowe’s Advantage Card gives you 5% off of your Lowe’s purchases every day. It also offers special financing for six months on purchases of $299 or more and reduced APR project financing. The 5% off offer cannot be combined with coupons or other discounts and does exclude certain products and services. Still, that’s a better deal than most of the cash back credit cards on our list, and it’s certainly worth considering.
Home Depot Consumer Card
This card mainly offers special financing on purchases of $299 or more, and sometimes that financing deal can last up to 24 months during promotional periods. At times it also offers a cash-back bonus, again during certain promotional periods. It doesn’t offer additional discounts or cash back, though, so only go with this card if your goal is special long-term financing and you qualify for such an offer.
Best 0% Introductory Offers
Some of the great cash back cards above also come with good introductory APR offers, so they’re worth checking out. But here are a few more cards to consider for your home improvement project if you’re specifically looking for an introductory APR.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
This no annual fee card is currently offering a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. When you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months, you’ll also get $150 cash back as a statement credit. Unfortunately, most of your purchases for home improvement would likely fall into the “other purchases” category for this card, which only earns 1% cash back.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
This card also offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months for those with excellent credit. It offers a solid 1.5% cash back on every purchase, plus a $150 cash back bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months of opening your account.
The ongoing APR is 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable).
Any of these cards could be a good option to help you finance your home improvement project and earn some valuable rewards while doing so. Be sure to choose a card you’re likely to qualify for that will give you the most bang for your buck, then use it for your project and rack up some rewards.