home depot consumer credit cards

Home Depot Credit Card: Are the Benefits Worth It?

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Popular home improvement retailer Home Depot offers several credit cards that earn rewards for purchases. We’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each card, and cover the and coverage offered by each of these cards.  

If you’re working on a project for your house or embracing the DIY spirit, then chances are that you call Home Depot as your second home. Whatever may be your reason, purchasing supplies and materials, going to Home Depot is probably a common occurrence. Undoubtedly, you’ve probably come across advertisements of Home Depot’s own version of its retailer credit cards geared towards its consumers-the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card and the Home Depot Project Loan Card.

In this review, we’ll break down each credit card that Home Depot offers, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks, as well as determining whether qualified applicants should apply for other credit cards on the market.

(Note: Home Depot also offers two cards geared towards businesses, the Home Depot Commercial Revolving Charge Card and the Home Depot Commercial Account Card, which are beyond the scope of this article).

Overview | Home Depot Credit Cards

To apply for the consumer-oriented credit cards, the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card and the Home Depot Project Loan Card, you can fill out an in-store application or apply online.

Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

Home Depot’s Consumer credit card is a store-branded card issued by Citibank, which restricts cardholders to only make purchases at Home Depot locations and online at HomeDepot.com. While this credit card doesn’t come with any rewards to earn, it enables the cardholder to earn a few valuable perks and offers special financing for items at Home Depot.  

Some of the perks included with the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card include:

  • 1-year no-hassle returns, which is 4x the standard policy
  • Special discount offers
  • Zero liability for unauthorized charges
  • Pre-qualification from Citibank that doesn’t impact your credit score

Of course, many alternative credit cards offer similar benefits (see below), so many shoppers choose the Consumer Card for its special financing offer.

Special Financing Offers with the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

Because large purchases may put a damper on your budget, Home Depot’s special financing can help you take on projects that are just beyond your means. Home Depot Consumer Credit Card’s primary special financing offer is for 6 months everyday financing on purchases of $299 and above. There are also a number of limited-time-only financing offers offered by this card, including:

  • 12 months special financing on
    • appliances priced $299 and above
    • riding mowers priced $899 and above
    • installed fencing priced $2,999 and above
    • installed roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters, and leaf protection priced $5,000 and above
  • 24 months special financing on special order and installed blinds, shades, and shutters

These financing options enable Home Depot Consumer cardholder the ability to pay off their balance without interest within the allotted period, which is known as “deferred interest.” This means that if you don’t pay off the balance in full within the promotional period, interest will be applied on the starting balance at the APR for regular purchases retroactively from the purchase date. In other words, if you don’t pay off the entire purchase by the deadline, you’ll be responsible for the entire interest rate as if you haven’t made a single payment.

Home Depot Project Loan Card

If you’re looking for non-traditional credit cards that will enable you to finance a project that may be out of your immediate financial abilities, the Home Depot Project Loan Card is meant for you. While the Project Loan card is technically a Mastercard, it’s not a traditional credit card. In actuality, this card enables you the ability to access funds from a consumer loan by Home Depot Loan Services, with funding provided from the online lender GreenSky, LLC. Like most store-branded cards, you can only use the Project Loan card for purchases at Home Depot and HomeDepot.com, as well as purchases made via Home Depot’s Home Decorators Collection and Home Services, a contractor service provided from the retailer.

What makes Project Loan Mastercard so appealing is that it provides cardholders with a substantial line of credit (from $2,500 up to $55,000), a six-month timeframe to make purchases, and a generous seven-year period to pay off the amount you borrowed. Because of this, cardholders should exercise caution when funding their projects and assess their ability to realistically pay off the amount borrowed.

When applying for the Home Depot Project Loan Mastercard, you’ll need to request a specific estimate of costs to complete your home project. As a best practice, you’ll want to only request what you’ll need to finish the project. While it can be difficult to accurately assess the cost of the project–especially for a renovation project that exposes more problems to address, for instance–the Project Loan card only makes you responsible for the amount spent during the 6-month purchasing window.

Project Loan is an unsecured loan. This means that instead of requiring collateral to finance the loan, only your creditworthiness is considered, weighing your FICO score, debt ratio, the reasons you need the loan, and a variety of other factors. While you may be tempted to request a large line of credit, not having a credit profile in good standing will make it difficult to be approved.

Once you’ve been approved for the loan, cardholders can purchase items and supplies in a 6-month window. During the first 6 months, Project Loan cardholders are responsible for making minimum interest-only payments based on the fixed 7.99% interest rate. After this period has elapsed, then 84 months at a 7.99% fixed monthly payments begin.

As an example, if you take out a $10,000 with your Project Loan card, you’ll end up paying $3,104 in interest ($156/month in minimum payments for 84 months) for a total of $13,104 overall. For the maximum loan amount of $55,000, you’ll end up paying $71,988 (with $857 charged each of the 84 months, for a total of $16,988 in interest). Note that these interest amounts are only accumulated if you let the monthly payments stretch out over the full period of 84 months (7 years). However, it should be noted that Home Depot doesn’t apply penalty fees for paying off your loan early.

Home Depot Consumer Credit CardHome Depot Project Loan Card
Cash Back Benefitsn/an/a
Annual Fee$0$0
APR17.99% – 26.99% (variable)7.99% (fixed)
Average FICO Score to Qualify640 and above600 and above

The Drawbacks of Home Depot Credit Cards

Of course, both the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card and Project Loan card come with some  drawbacks that may make you reconsider applying in the first place:

  • Purchases are limited to Home Depot and homedepot.com, as well as Home Depot’s Home Decorators Collection and Home Services. If Home Depot doesn’t carry a product for your project, you may be out of luck.
  • Considering that there are no rewards perks for using either Home Depot credit card, you may want to look elsewhere to earn while you spend.
  • Depending on your creditworthiness, the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card can come with a hefty APR, which can become a nuisance if you regularly carry a balance.

How does Home Depot’s Credit Card Compare to Alternative Programs?

Before applying for Home Depot’s credit cards you should explore all-purpose cards that will offer more spending flexibility and favorable rewards programs. Three we recommend are:

Chase Freedom Unlimited

You could be eligible for a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfer for a period of 15 months from the date of account opening. After the intro period, a variable APR of 14.99%–23.74% would be applied.

Freedom Unlimited also gives a 3% cashback on all purchases within the first year or up to $20,000 spending limit beyond which you receive a cash back at 1.5% on all your purchases. The cashback rewards do not have an expiry date and you could redeem them for a higher value in the travel category with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

There is no annual fee for this card and it does not have any usage restrictions such as in-store or online purchase. You can use it at any place where Visa is acceptable.

The 120 days of coverage is offered to protect your purchases against theft and damage. You can get up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account (conditions apply).

In addition, you receive up to one year extended warranty benefit and zero liability protection.

HSBC Gold MasterCard

HSBC Gold MasterCard has tons of benefits such as No Annual Fee, No Foreign Transaction charges, No Penalty APR, and One Late Fee waiver per year. While this card does not offer rewards or welcome bonus, as part of the introductory offer you could get a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months from the date of opening an account. On completion of the 15 months, variable APR rates would be applied.

HSBC Gold MasterCard has tons of benefits such as No Annual Fee, No Foreign Transaction charges, No Penalty APR, and One Late Fee waiver per year. While this card does not offer rewards or welcome bonus, as part of the introductory offer you could get a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months from the date of opening an account. On completion of the 15 months, variable APR rates would be applied.

What you miss in form of rewards are well made up for through other benefits such as 60 days of price protection, purchase protection and an extended warranty up to one year. Besides these benefits, this card can be used at all locations where MasterCard is accepted. As a MasterCard holder, you also gain access to travel benefits like Travel Accident Insurance, Roadside service assistance and MasterAssist travel assistance.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card and the Home Depot Project Loan card are essentially designed to offer special financing options for small and large home purchases, respectively. However, there are many other credit cards available for qualified applicants that offer better rewards benefits and unrestricted spending. Still, the Home Depot Project Loan card may be useful if you’re focused on completing a big project and expect to have the funds in the allotted time frame.

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