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Popular home improvement retailer Lowe’s offers two credit cards for businesses and consumers to earn rewards when they make their purchases. We’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each, as well as see if alternative cards offer better deals for qualified applicants.
Love to tackle home projects? Got a love for all things DIY? If so, then you’re probably no stranger to popular home improvement retailer Lowe’s. Considering that you spend a lot of money taking matters into your own hands, you may have wonder if Lowe’s retailer credit card, the Lowe’s Advantage Card issued by Synchrony Financial, can help save you money on that next big project. If that’s the case, read on to learn more about using the Lowe’s Advantage Card today!
Overview | Lowe’s Credit Cards
To start using the Lowe’s Advantage Card, you’ll want to apply in-store or online. Approval can either be instantaneous or may take 7-10 days depending on your creditworthiness. To help you start making your purchases with the Advantage credit card, Lowe’s typically offers a sign-up bonus for new cardholders. As an example, Lowe’s Advantage cardholders may receive $30 off on their first in-store purchase or $100 off for your purchase of $600 or more (subject to restrictions).
Once you’re issued a Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card, you can begin using it in Lowe’s stores and online. Because it is a store-branded credit card, use is restricted to these locations. Also, it is important to note that Lowe’s Advantage Card offers “either/or” benefits, which include:
- 5% off everyday purchases
- 6 months special financing
- Project financing
5% off everyday purchases
When using your Lowe’s Advantage card, you can earn 5 percent off eligible purchases, applied after other relevant discounts have been submitted. There are, however, a fair number of limitations to this offer in the fine print, as Advantage cardholders cannot use the following:
- Lowe’s low-price guarantee
- Lowe’s volume special discount programs
- military discount
- Lowe’s employee discount
- Contractor Packs™
- specific brands
- and other restrictions
Furthermore, the 5% off discount also doesn’t apply to other Lowe’s features and costs, including:
- gift cards
- extended warranty plans (protection and replacement)
- shipping fees
- delivery & assembly charges
- fees and taxes
6 months special financing
For purchases over $299 made with the Lowe’s Advantage Card, cardholders are given the option to apply 0% APR deferred interest to the purchase within the first 6 months (the 5% off benefit doesn’t apply if you select this option). Instead, you’ll be required to make minimum monthly payments to finance the purchase. If you are not able to do so, the introductory 0% APR becomes void, which then adds the standard APR (currently 26.99%) to the balance back to the purchase date.
The 3rd either/or option for those who use the Lowe’s Advantage Card enables cardholders to finance purchases over $2,000 (only available for in-store purchases), which must be requested at the time of purchase. And like the 6-month special financing option, the 5% off benefit doesn’t apply if this option is selected.
Cardholders have 3 repayment options to choose from:
- 36 fixed monthly payments at 3.99% APR (until the balance is paid in full)
- 60 fixed monthly payments at 5.99% APR (until the balance is paid in full)
- 84 fixed monthly payments at 7.99% APR (until the balance is paid in full)
As you can see, the longer the payment period you have to pay off the purchase, the greater the APR. You’ll probably want to pay as much as possible, as the monthly minimum payments may not be enough to pay off the balance in full by the end of the promotional period. And as with the 6-months special financing option, if the entire balance isn’t paid before the promotional period elapses, the full APR of 26.99% will be applied to the original balance when you first purchase the item–which can be quite substantial!
|Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card|
|Cash Back Benefits||5% off every day off Lowe’s and online purchases (or 6-months special financing/project financing)|
|Average FICO Score to Qualify||630 and above|
The Drawbacks of Lowe’s Credit Cards
Unless you’re a frequent shopper at Lowe’s, there are some significant drawbacks that come with using the Lowe’s Advantage Card:
- For starters, the Lowe’s Advantage credit card comes with a high APR. For those that are choosing this card to defer payment through special financing options, cardholders must be careful to pay off the entire statement balance or more than the minimum to avoid interest charges. Therefore, the Lowe’s Advantage Card is only for responsible cardholders.
- Because the Lowe’s card can’t be used anywhere other than Lowe’s stores and online at Lowes.com, the versatility of this credit card is significantly limited. While this is par for the course with many retailers credit card, the Lowe’s Advantage Card doesn’t come with many enticing perks typically found with other retailer credit cards, such as free shipping, extended warranties, extended return periods and so forth.
It’s for these reasons that qualified applicants may want to compare the Lowe’s Advantage Card to other options for better perks, rewards opportunities, better APR, and more.
How does Lowe’s Credit Card Compare to Alternative Programs
Before applying for Lowe’s credit cards you should explore all-purpose cards that will offer more spending flexibility and favorable rewards programs. Three we recommend are:
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card
Wells Fargo Cash Wise is the best card if you want a little bit of all the goodies that are offered in a credit card. This card has no annual fee, you can earn $150 cash rewards bonus if you spend $500 in purchases within the first three months. You can receive 1.5% cash rewards on all your purchases as there are no restrictions on spending categories. You can get 1.8% cash rewards if you shop online using qualified mobile wallets within the first year of account opening.
By applying for this card you could be eligible for 12 months, 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. You also get cell phone protection, travel & emergency assistance, travel accident insurance and car rental insurance as part of the benefits.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards comes with a 1.5% cash back on your everyday purchases. As a new member, you would be eligible for a one time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.
You do not have to worry about the annual fee or foreign transaction fee as currently there are no charges applicable.
The points collected can be redeemed for cash, a statement credit, gift cards or for shopping. This card does not have a minimum redemption requirement so you can redeem your points whenever you seem fit.
You could avail the 0%, 15 months of Introductory APR for balance transfers and purchases on this card for executing the DIY projects. Beyond the 15 months period, the variable APR rates take into effect. The credit wise app could be used to monitor your credit score. By utilizing the AutoPay option the streamlining of repayments on various projects could be carried out.
Do not lose out on travel benefits either as you are eligible for travel accident insurance, 24-hours concierge service and travel assistance.
HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard
When implementing a home improvement or renovation project there may be multiple tools that need to be procured that we wouldn’t usually buy. Getting cash back on all purchases without having to spend extra time calculating rewards is a big plus. HSBC Cash Rewards MasterCard presents an opportunity to earn 3% cash back in the beginning 12 months of opening an account if you spend on purchases up to the first $10,000.
Beyond the first year or after reaching the first $10,000 you would still be eligible for flat cash back of 1.5%. The added anniversary bonus of 10% on all your cash back makes this card desirable as it increases your cash back value.
There is no annual fee, foreign transaction fee and no charge for an additional authorized card user. If you are working with someone and would like to issue them a card you do not have to pay for the issuance of the add-on card. As per of the introductory offer you can apply within the first 60 days of account opening for a 0%, 12 months APR on balance transfers. Also, the intro APR rate is available on purchases.
This is one of the few cards which still offers price protection along with purchase assurance, and extended warranty. The card offers essential travel benefits and the details can be found by clicking on the rewards page here.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card can provide cardholders with a 5% off discount and special financing options that help make large purchases at Lowe’s. However, there is no benefits program with the Advantage Card, so stronger credit card alternatives are available that can offer more versatility and rewards/perks. Unless you’re a loyal Lowe’s shopper and need help to pay off large purchases, qualified applicants may want to look elsewhere.