Whether you’re a DIY pro or prefer hiring a professional, superstores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have just about everything you need for home repairs and home improvement projects.
Like many other retailers, these stores accept a variety of credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
But even though you can use any credit card in your wallet to finance a home project, there are benefits to applying for a Home Depot or Lowe’s store credit card. These cards often have financing offers and deals that you won’t find elsewhere.
The question remains: Which one is right for you?
Comparing features and terms of both credit cards can help you decide which one offers the most bang for your buck.
Home Depot vs. Lowe's Credit Cards
|Feature||Home Deposit Consumer Credit Card||Lowe's Advantage Card|
|Special financing||Special financing offers for up to 24 months on purchases that change and vary (e.g., mower, fencing installment, shades & shutters, etc.)||Reduce APR financing for 36, 60, or 84 months on any purchase of $2,000 or more|
|Everyday financing||No interest if paid in full within 6 months financing on purchases of $299 or more||No interest if paid in full within 6 months financing on purchases of $299 or more|
|Everyday discounts||Limited time offers available||5% off|
Annual Fee: Tied
Annual fees are common with many reward credit cards, such as those that offer travel rewards, airline rewards, and cash back.
These yearly fees vary from as little as $25 to hundreds of dollars per year, and they help offset the cost of a rewards program.
The good news about a Home Depot and Lowe’s credit card is that neither card charges an annual fee.
So if you’re looking specifically for a card that doesn’t nickel and dime its customers, both are a suitable match.
APR/Interest Rate: Home Depot
Don’t forget to compare annual percentage rates (APRs) when shopping for a home improvement store credit card.
Retail credit cards tend to have higher interest rates than non-store credit cards. The Home Depot and Lowe’s credit cards are no exception.
Your card’s interest rate plays a role in determining your minimum monthly payment, which factors in your principal balance and interest charges. Comparing rates is especially important if you know that you’ll carry a balance from month to month.
Credit card issuers decide an applicant’s interest rate based on their credit history. According to the terms and conditions of each card, Home Depot offers its applicants more favorable rates compared to Lowe’s.
Both cards, however, have a minimum interest charge of $2.
These charges can add up and increase the cost of a purchase. But you can avoid interest by paying off your entire credit card balance by the due date each month.
If you can’t afford to pay off the entire balance, aim to pay off the balance within two or three months to minimize how much you owe in interest.
Special Financing: Lowe's
This offer lets you choose a term of 36, 60, or 84 months. You’ll receive a fixed monthly payment during your term, with makes it easier to budget.
The APR with project financing—which is lower than the regular purchase APR — is based on your chosen term.
Home Depot has special financing offers, too. But the retailer’s offers aren’t as extensive or impressive as those offered by Lowe’s.
Home Depot's special financing offers are limited-time and have shorter financing periods.
Everyday Financing Offers: Tied
Both cards include everyday financing offers that compensate for the lack of reward options.
If you make a larger purchase with your Lowe’s credit card, there’s also the option of six months everyday financing. This is available on purchases of $299 or more.
If you use your Lowe’s credit card for these purchases and pay off the entire balance within six months, it’s the same as paying with cash.
But although you’re not charged interest during this six-month period of special financing, you’re still required to make your minimum monthly payment.
Keep in mind that this offer doesn’t waive the interest. Instead, the offer defers interest. In other words, interest is still calculated during these six months.
This is need-to-know information because if you don’t pay off your balance by the end of this special financing period, you’re charged all the interest that’s been adding up since day one. So, only accept this financing offer if you’re absolutely sure that you’re able to pay off your balance before the interest kicks in.
The APR with project financing—which is lower than the regular purchase APR—is based on your chosen term.
The Home Depot credit card also advertises six-months of everyday financing on purchases of $299 or more. Similarly, you can avoid interest by paying off the entire balance during the deferred interest period.
Deals and Discounts: Lowe’s
Make sure you understand how deals and discounts work with both credit cards.
Even though Lowe’s offers its customers 5% off everyday, six-months special financing, and project financing, you cannot combine these offers or use them in conjunction with other deals or discounts.
If you’re eligible for multiple deals, you must select one at checkout. The chosen offer will then appear on your sales receipt.
Another benefit of being a Lowe’s credit cardholder is the discount you can receive on late payment fees.
Even if you’re responsible and budget your money, you may get busy and overlook (or forget) a due date. This can result in a late payment and a late fee.
The Lowe’s credit card charges a $38 late payment fee. But if you’ve made your minimum payments by the due date during the previous six billing cycles, you only have to pay a $27 late fee.
Home Depot deals
You’ll also enjoy deals and discounts with the Home Depot credit card. For example, Home Depot cardholders receive a full year of hassle-free returns.
On the other hand, customers who pay with cash, debit card, or use another type of credit card must complete all of their returns within three months of the purchase.
As a Home Depot cardholder, make sure you keep an open eye for occasional discounts. These include offers to take a percentage off of purchases of a certain amount.
The late payment fee with the Home Depot credit card is also $38. Likewise, the fee is reduced to $27 if your previous six payments arrived by the due date.
Verdict: Lowe’s Is Better
Even though Home Depot offers its customers a lower regular APR than Lowe’s, the Lowe’s Advantage credit card comes out on top. It offers a greater variety of everyday offers and many ways to save compared to its competition.
Six-months zero financing can help you save a significant amount on interest. And if you feel that you can’t pay off a purchase within six months, you can opt for 5% off instead.
Getting 5% off of purchases charged to the credit card is comparable to the savings offered by some rewards credit cards.
Other Credit Card Options
If you’re looking for a way to finance home improvement projects, applying for a Lowe’s or Home Depot credit card isn’t the only option available to you.
Maybe you enjoy the perks of a rewards program. A credit card that’s accepted everywhere can help you earn points or cash back at a faster rate.
With the Chase Freedom card, you can earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases. Every quarter, you'll earn 5% cash back in specific purchase categories, which change every 3 months.
We've followed this card for years and it has historically had home improvement stores among the 5% cash back categories every year.
Usually, the category shows up in the spring and summer months -- times when you are most likely to buy home improvement products and tools.
And the best part, your cash back rewards never expire, and you don’t have to pay an annual fee.
Discover it is another top contender if you’re looking for a credit card to use at home improvement stores and elsewhere. Again. you can earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases.
Similar to Chase Freedom, you earn 5% cash back on categories that change every 3 months, including home improvement stores.
In addition, Discover will match your cash back earnings at the end of your first year. Your cash back rewards also never expire.
When you’re not spending money on home improvement projects, there’s an opportunity to earn more cash back rewards through Discover Deals. Sign into the credit card’s shopping portal. And then browse deals offered by different retailers.
When you shop through Discover Deals, you can earn up to 5% cash back on purchases, or discounts ranging from 10% to 20%.
Home improvement projects can improve the appearance of your property and increase your home’s equity. But at the same time, these projects can be costly.
With the right credit card in your pocket, however, you can complete all the projects on your wish list without breaking the bank.
Whether you choose a Home Depot credit card, a Lowe’s credit card, or a credit card that’s accepted everywhere, make sure you do your homework and understand how financing offers work to avoid surprises down the road.