Lowe’s Advantage Store Credit Card Review
Lowe’s has been going strong for 100 years and has over 1,800 locations across the United States. It is a leading home improvement store and can help with everything from the smallest of projects to the biggest of renovations. If you find yourself making large purchases at this store and spending a lot of time here, you may want to look into the Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card.
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The Lowe’s store card is one of the best credit cards offered by home improvement stores (although, admittedly, there isn’t much competition and the cards that do exist haven’t set the bar very high) and it offers a handful of impressive benefits to all of its users.
The Lowe’s Credit Card: Basics
The Lowe’s consumer credit card requires a credit score of Fair and higher, which means it’s available to the majority of consumers. However, it’s a closed-loop card, and as a result, it can only be used in Lowe’s locations.
As is so often the case with these cards, the regular interest rate is high, and while there are benefits, they are somewhat lacking when compared to open-loop reward credit cards.
- Credit Card Issuer: Synchrony Bank
- Annual Fee: None
- Regular Interest Rate: 26.99% Variable APR
- Intro APR: 0% – 7.99% for up to 84 months (special financing)
- Rewards: Choose from a 5% discount or special financing
- Account Opening Bonus: 10% off your first purchase (discount capped at $100)
Lowe’s Credit Card Rewards
All new cardholders are given a 10% discount on their first purchase to a maximum of $100. After that, they can choose to receive either a 5% discount every time they use the card at Lowe’s or opt for special financing, which applies to purchases of at least $299.
The special financing option comes with a 0% APR for a fixed number of months (minimum of six months) but it uses something known as deferred interest. If you fail to make your monthly payments or underpay by the smallest amount, all interest will retroactively be applied to the balance and you could find yourself in serious hot water.
Like all store cards, the Lowe’s credit card has a very high APR, and when those interest charges hit, it could have a considerable impact on your finances.
Bottom Line: Is the Lowe’s Credit Card Right for you?
We have reviewed countless credit card offers on this site, including a few from similar home improvement stores (such as Home Depot). Unfortunately, most of these pale in comparison to popular reward cards. In most cases, they’re just glorified loyalty cards; a way to convince you to take out some special financing offers.
The Lowe’s card, however, actually does have some benefits and we do recommend it to some users. If you have some big Lowe’s purchases coming up or you’re planning a major renovation, it’s worth considering.
If you know you’re going to be spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on home improvement supplies in the near future, you can apply for this card to get 10% off your first purchase (as long as it’s $1,000 or less) and then 5% on all other purchases. The card doesn’t have an annual fee, so there’s no reason you can’t keep it in your wallet/purse and pull it out when you’re at Lowe’s.
Of course, your credit score will take a hit, but only slightly. and if you don’t fall behind with your minimum payment, the negatives will outweigh the positives before long.
Whatever you do, just be careful when opting for the financing options and try to stick with the reward offers when you can.
Alternatives to the Lowe’s Credit Card
As you can see, the Lowe’s credit card has its benefits, but the fact that it can’t be used outside of this store and has limited rewards means it falls short in many key areas.
To show you just how this piece of plastic compares in the rewards and perks department, take a look at these alternatives. The following three credit cards surpass the Lowe’s store card in nearly all areas and will, therefore, be the better option for most consumers.
Amazon Prime Credit Card
The Amazon Prime credit card doesn’t have the lowest interest rates and it can get very expensive if you use it to make cash advances. However, it doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees and also benefits from being part of the Visa Signature program, which comes with travel protection and purchase protection perks, among other things.
The main benefits of this card, however, are the $100 Amazon gift certificate, which is offered to all new members who meet the qualifying criteria and the rewards program. This program offers 3% or 5% (depending on whether the cardholder is a Prime member or not) for all purchases at Amazon.com and Whole Foods, along with a 1% rate for everything else.
- Credit Card Issuer: Visa Signature by Chase
- Annual Fee: $0
- Variable Interest Rate: 15.74% up to 23.74%
- Intro Rate: Not Available
- Rewards Program: All Amazon Prime members can get between 3% and 5% cash back when they use the Amazon Prime Credit Card on select purchases.
- Welcome Offer: Gift card of up to $100
- Other Rewards and Perks: Not Available
Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi
The Costco Anywhere Visa is one of the best branded credit cards on the market and we have sung its praises many times on the PocketYourDollars website. One of the unusual things about this credit card is that the highest rate of rewards, 4%, is not reserved for Costco purchases, but is instead offered on all gas stations purchases up to $7,000 a year.
In addition, cardholders will receive 3% every time they use the card at qualifying restaurants and on specific travel-related purchases. All Costco and Costco.com purchases return a rate of 2%, while everything else pays just 1%.
The Costco Anywhere Visa has a relatively low-interest rate for a rewards credit card and there is no annual fee to worry about. However, unlike other top cash back cards, including the one mentioned below, there is no welcome offer or intro rate.
- Credit Card Issuer: Visa credit card by Citi
- Annual Fee: $0
- Variable Interest Rate: 16.24%
- Intro Rate: Not Available
- Rewards Program: 4% cash back on gas purchases; 3% on travel and dining; 2% at Costco; 1% for everything else
- Welcome Offer: Not Available
- Other Perks and Benefits: Credit card reward certificate sent every year
Discover It Cash Back Credit Card
With the Discover It cash back card; you can get 5% cash back on select quarterly bonus categories up to a maximum of $1,500. Once this limit has been passed, the rate drops to 1% and this applies to all other purchases as well.
The Discover It cash back card is one of the best rewards cards in the business and a lot of this has to do with its welcome bonus. On the cardholder’s first anniversary, Discover will match all cash back generated, effectively doubling your total cash back. There is no limit to the amount that you can earn with this bonus, which essentially coverts the 1% and 5% rates into 2% and 10% for that first year.
- Credit Card Issuer: Discover
- Annual Fee: $0
- Variable Interest Rate: 13.49% to 24.49%
- Intro Rate: 0% for 14 months on balance transfers and purchases
- Rewards Program: 5% cash back to a quarterly maximum of $1,500; 1% on everything else.
- Welcome Offer: Discover will match all of your cash back earnings (with no limit) at the end of your first year
- Other Perks and Benefits: Redeem cash back at any amount; rewards never expire; free FICO credit score.
Other Reward Credit Cards
If you’re planning some big home improvement projects and looking for a card that card help, the Home Depot card will no doubt have been brought to your attention. However, this is seriously lacking when compared to the Lowe’s credit card and we wouldn’t recommend it. If none of the options above appeal to you, try a few of the following:
- American Express Cards: AmEx credit cards are great for big spenders, especially if you don’t mind earning travel rewards instead of cash back. The most generous cards are the BlueCash Preferred, AmEx Gold, and AmEx Platinum, but you will need to spend a lot of money to make them work for you. We also recommend looking into the BlueCash Everyday, which is a cash back card aimed at average families.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card gives you a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on everything that you purchase. That doesn’t really compare to the 5% discount offered by the Lowe’s advantage card, but it has a lower regular APR, a much better signup bonus, and a generous intro APR. It can also be used at all stores.
- Capital One Cards: Capital One has some great cash back credit cards and travel credit cards, such as the Capital One Savor and VentureOne. These cards can be used anywhere, offer high credit limits, and are much better than the majority of store credit cards. The low APR and generous intro rates mean you can use them as a form of financing and one that is less demanding than the Lowe’s financing option.