Lowes Credit Card vs Home Depot Credit Card
Lowe’s and Home Depot are the two biggest home improvement stores in the United States, with a combined 4,500+ locations between them. These stores sell everything you need for your home improvement projects and if you spend a lot of time and money in these stores, there’s a good time you have been introduced to their store credit cards.
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The question is, which of these cards has the best rates, financing options, and rewards? Which card offers the most tempting special offers and the lowest fees?
In this guide, we’ll compare these two credit cards to find the best one and see how they compare to regular cash back credit cards.
Lowe’s Card vs Home Depot Card: The Basics
These cards are closed-loop store cards, which means they cannot be used outside of the stores that offer them. Credit limits are low, interest rates are high, and perks are generally few and far between (when compared to open-loop rewards credit cards).
The Lowe’s card is issued by Synchrony Bank and the Home Depot card by Citi.
Lowe’s Advantage Card
- Credit Card Issuer: Synchrony Bank.
- Annual Fee: $0 Annual Fee.
- Regular Interest Rate: 26.99% Variable APR.
- Intro APR: Special financing offers 0% to 7.99% for as much as 84 months.
- Rewards: Get a 5% discount on every Lowe’s purchase or choose special financing options.
- Account Opening Offer: Get a 10% discount (up to $100) when you first use your card.
Home Depot Card
- Credit Card Issuer: Citi Bank.
- Annual Fee: None.
- Regular Interest Rate: 17.99% to 26.99% Variable APR.
- Intro APR: Special financing for up to six months.
- Rewards: No ongoing rewards program. Financing offers available and also promises a “1-year hassle-free returns” program.
- Account Opening Offer: Save up to $100 when you first use your card
Lowe’s Card vs Home Depot Card: Project Financing and Rewards
The Home Depot card only has a financing program, whereas the Lowe’s card allows cardholders to choose between a special financing offer or a 5% discount on all purchases made in-store.
In both cases, the financing only applies to large purchases. With Home Depot, cardholders are offered financing for six months, with this extending to 24 months during special promotions. The Lowe’s Advantage card offers financing for 6 months, as well.
Both offers only apply to purchases over $299 and both offer 0% APR. The problem is, the interest charges are deferred during this time. If you don’t clear the balance by the due date or make another misstep, all the interest that you avoided will be charged retroactively and you’ll be left with a substantial bill.
Deferred interest is very common with store credit cards and is one of the reasons you need to be very careful when using these cards.
Lowe’s Card vs Home Depot Card: Promotional Periods and Credit Card Offers
The Lowe’s Card and the Home Depot Card are store cards, which means you won’t get a balance transfer offer or an extended 0% APR purchase rate.
You will see intro rates being advertised on some sites, but these are basically the financing programs. And while they work in a similar way, the addition of deferred interest, as noted above, can be problematic, to say the least.
However, both cards have a promotion offer whereby you can get up to $100 off your first purchase. Some sites are advertising this offer as being exclusive to the Home Depot card, suggesting that it’s one of the few benefits this card has over the Lowe’s card. But it’s actually available on both of them, with similar terms.
With Lowe’s, you will get 10% off eligible purchases up to a maximum discount of $100. With Home Depot, you’ll get $25 off purchases between $25 and $299; $50 off purchases between $300 and $999, and $100 off purchases over $1,000.
The Lowe’s offer is subject to change, though. At the time of writing, it is due to end in just a few months and there is no guarantee that it will resurface after that. The good news is that these special promotions often come and go, so if it doesn’t reappear in the future, it will likely be replaced by something equally generally.
Lowe’s Card vs Home Depot Card: Terms and Conditions
As noted above, the 10% discount available on the Lowe’s card is subject to change and the same applies to all promotions and offers. These things come and go as issuers try new ways to entice more users.
It’s also worth noting that offers generally do not apply to gift cards or gift certificates, so if you’re thinking that you can maximize your welcome offer by purchasing a $1,000 gift card for use at a later date, think again.
Both cards, and the offers they provide, are subject to approval and there is no guarantee that you will get the interest rates quoted. With the Home Depot card, the regular APR rates can drop quite low, but you will need to have a good credit score to get anywhere near this amount.
Do You Need One of These Cards?
If your options are limited to either the Home Depot card or the Lowe’s card, and you’re not into home improvement, then you’re not doing enough research. There are far better reward credit cards out there.
The Discover It, for instance, will give you up to 5% cash back on select categories, 1% on everything else, and, more importantly, it will double all of your cash back earnings at the end of the year.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited will give you 1.5% cash back on everything, whether you’re buying groceries for your family or home improvement supplies for your next big project.
If it’s specific store rewards that you want, there are also far better options. The Amazon Prime Credit Card, for instance, will give you up to 5% cash back when you shop at Amazon.com. The great thing about this is that Amazon.com has pretty much everything you need, and the prices are usually very competitive.
The Costco Anywhere Visa card is also worth a look. Not only does this card offer 2% cash back when you use it at Costco.com or in Costco stores, it also has 3% and 4% cash back rates for everything from dining to travel and gas stations.
In simple terms, there are better credit cards out there for general spending. In many cases, you’ll be better off using a general rewards card to make home improvement purchases, because while you might not get as many benefits in the short term, the addition of account opening bonuses, lower interest rates, lower fees, and many other benefits (the Visa Signature card, for instance, offers a host of travel protection and purchase protection benefits).
But there are exceptions.
For those who already have reward credit cards that they can use for general purchases, and those who spend a lot of money on home improvement supplies (either in general or because they have a big project coming up) these cards are worth a look. After all, they don’t charge an annual fee and if you don’t have a rolling balance, you won’t stand to lose anything by keeping this card in your pocket and whipping it out when you’re buying DIY supplies.
That begs the question, Home Depot Consumer Credit Card or Lowe’s Advantage Card?
Bottom Line: Home Depot Credit Card vs Lowe’s Credit Card
Lowe’s and Home Depot are two great home improvement stores, we’re not going to dispute that. But when it comes to the credit cards they offer, there is no comparison.
It’s the Lowe’s store card all the way.
The Home Depot card may offer better interest rates (for some consumers, at least) but the lack of an ongoing discount renders it redundant in our eyes.
A store card should always try to be more than a simple, basic loyalty program. It needs to benefit the consumer as well as the store. A store card that only offers financing programs and occasional special offers is all about the store.
It’s all about encouraging you to make big purchases that you probably can’t afford and would usually turn your back on. Without that card, you probably wouldn’t have bought that $1,000+ item that you don’t really need, and while you don’t have to pay for it right now, you will pay for it later.
If you make a single misstep, you’ll pay for it with your credit score, as well as your bank balance.
The Lowe’s credit card also has these offers, but if you ignore them and focus on the 5% discounts, you have something that, when used properly, will only benefit you. Pay off your balance, only use the card to make purchases you can afford and absolutely need, and over the course of a year you could save yourself hundreds of dollars.
As a result, the Lowe’s card leads the way for us, and by quite some distance.