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Credit Cards

Here are the best credit cards to help pay for your home improvements

The best credit cards for home improvements can score you perks like cash back, promotional financing and more.

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Americans pay a pretty penny to upgrade their homes every year.

In 2020 alone, homeowners spent an average of $8,305 per year on home improvement renovations, according to a Home Advisor report.

It's inevitable — no matter how careful you are with your budget, unexpected costs will always arise with renovation projects large and small. But, if you use the right credit card, you can save on these expenses and even benefit from added perks like cash back, promotional financing and more.

Below, CNBC Select rounds up the best credit cards for home improvements so you can earn rewards while remodeling your home (and potentially raising the resale value) — no matter what kind of project you have planned.

Best credit cards for home renovations

Best for financing a big-ticket remodel

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    20.49% - 29.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Member FDIC. Terms apply.

Who's this for? Credit cards with an introductory 0% APR offer buy you time to pay off large home improvement projects, such as remodeling a kitchen, gutting an old bathroom or finishing a basement.

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you get one of the longest intro periods to finance these projects with no interest from account opening on new purchases and balance transfers over the course of 15 months (after, 20.49% - 29.24% variable APR). There's an intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that it's either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. To really take advantage of savings over a year, we recommend that you make sure you can pay off the full balance before the introductory period ends.

In addition to using this card when planning a big-ticket remodel, it's also good for everyday use with its generous welcome bonus which lets you earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back! Earn 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service), and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

There's no annual fee, and rewards can be transferred to a Chase Ultimate Rewards® card.

Best for buying tools and appliances

Citi Double Cash® Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    For balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening, an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Fair/Good/Excellent

  • See rates and fees. Terms apply.

Who's this for? Whether you're painting a room or installing an extra light fixture, buying all those new supplies can add up. A card that lets you earn cash back no matter where you go and how frequently you shop can help you offset those small but consistent costs.

The Citi Double Cash® Card has an easy-to-use rewards program that lets you earn on each dollar you spend. Cardholders earn 2% cash back on all purchases, 1% when you make a purchase and an additional 1% when you pay your credit card bill. It doesn't require quarterly activation and there's no limit to how much cash back you can earn.

Although the Citi Double Cash Card doesn't come with a ton of additional perks, it encourages good financial behavior since you lose half of your cash back when you forget to pay off your balance. This is certain to benefit you in the long run.

Best for cash back on purchasing new decor

Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases-automatically.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will match all the cash back earned for all new cardmembers at the end of your first year.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 15 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    17.24% to 28.24% Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good / Excellent

  • *See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

Who's this for? Improving your home usually entails some redecorating to match your fresh new space. For this, credit cards with a rotating calendar of cash-back categories can give you the most bang for your buck.

How? Some cards with quarterly bonus categories reward you for shopping at popular home decor retailers. If you wait to shop for home goods until the correct bonus quarter, you can make your design inspo dreams come true while also earning 5% back.

The Discover it® Cash Back is a no-annual-fee card that offers 5% cash back in rotating categories on up to $1,500 in combined purchases after you activate the bonus every quarter (then 1%). After you reach the $1,500 limit, you'll still earn 1% on all eligible purchases. And if you maximize your spending in these categories, you could earn $75 cash back each quarter on top of the unlimited 1% cash back you automatically earn in all the other categories.

With this card's unique welcome bonus for new card members in their first year only, Discover will automatically match all the cash back they've earned at the end of their first year. There is no limit to how much Discover will match.

Best for banking other rewards while spending

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.49% - 28.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Terms apply.

 

Who's this for? Though you may be focused on seeing your home renovation to its end, it's nice to have a credit card where your spending racks up rewards in other areas that may allow you to catch a break.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a travel rewards credit card with a low $95 annual fee and a decent welcome bonus. You can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, which is worth up to $750 when redeemed for travel via Chase Travel℠. All that spending on your new renovation can help you earn rewards to use to cover the cost of a quick getaway.

You also earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.

Find the best credit card for you by reviewing offers in our credit card marketplace or get personalized offers via CardMatch™.

Best home improvement store card

Lowe's Advantage Card

Information about the Lowe's Advantage Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5% off eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    For a limited time, new accounts get 20% off a qualifying purchase, up to $100

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    Standard APR is 28.99%

  • Balance transfer fee

    Not applicable

  • Foreign transaction fee

    Not applicable

  • Credit needed

    Not applicable

Terms apply.

Who's this for? Though store cards can have their drawbacks, such as low credit limits and high interest rates, homeowners who find themselves visiting home improvement stores often may want to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Lowe's Advantage Credit Card.

The Lowe's credit card offers an everyday 5% discount on eligible in-store and online purchases. It can't be combined with other promotions and discounts, nor can it be used to pay for service charges like delivery and installation fees. Yet, this 5% can go a long way when you're racking up a large bill on expensive items like light fixtures, tiling and cabinets.

If you have a larger project to finance, the Lowe's Advantage Credit Card can also provide a decent 84-month fixed payment plan that acts similar to what you may get with a personal loan. If your project is not large enough for such a long financing period, you can opt for a more basic option of no interest on purchases of $299 or more when paid in full within six months.

Like every promotional financing period, in order to reap the full benefits of this card you must be diligent with your repayment plan. Make sure you pay the balance in full before the six-month offer ends to avoid interest charges. Continuing to carry a balance after six months will cause you to incur deferred interest, which is a charge for all the interest you accrued since the date you made your purchase.

Check out how the Lowe's Advantage Card compares to the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card.

Our methodology

To determine which cards offer the best value for remodeling a home, Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including: rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

Since the home improvements you plan on completing may have a higher or lower cost than the average $7,560 per year Americans spend on home improvement renovations, we selected cards that have a good overall value in several common categories.

Information about the Lowe's Advantage Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Cash Back, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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