If you’re starting a home improvement project, or you consider yourself a frequent weekend tinkerer, the Home Depot Credit Card may seem like an obvious choice.

Indeed, if you are the type to get your hands dirty on regular DIY projects, this card can save you some money at the home repair retailer. But if you’re only making a one-off purchase, and aren’t on top of your money management, the Home Depot Credit Card’s deferred-interest financing deal might bury you in interest. In that case, a standard cash-back card with an introductory 0% APR may be a better fit.

Read on to find out if the Home Depot Credit Card is right for you and, if it isn’t, we’ll recommend some others that might be a better fit.

ALSO READ: CardCruncher’s Complete Guide to Improving Your Credit Score

Home Depot Credit Card Review

Here are the highlights of the Home Depot Credit Card:

  • Annual Fee: None
  • APR: 17.99%, 21.99%, 25.99% or 26.99%, depending on creditworthiness
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Save $100 on a purchase of $1,000 or more within 30 days of account opening
  • Financing offer: 6 months of deferred-interest financing on purchases of $299 or more
  • Discount: and financing on products and services offered by Home Depot, such as:
    • 10% off installed sheds and garages
    • 12 months of deferred-interest financing on installed fencing
    • 24 months of deferred-interest financing on special order blinds, shades, and shutters
  • Minimum Payment
    • If the balance is under $27, then the full balance
    • If the balance is $27 or more, then $27 or 1% of the new balance, plus any billed interest charges, whichever is greater
  • Other Fees:
    • Up to $38 for late payments
    • Up to $38 for returned payments

Why to Apply for the Home Depot Credit Card

If you’re working on a home improvement project, the Home Depot Credit Card could save you a lot of money on interest. Here are a few specific reasons to apply for this card.

You want more time to pay off your home improvement bill: The Home Depot Credit Card offers automatic, deferred-interest financing on every purchase of $299 or more. There’s no extra paperwork or applications to deal with. This deal gets you six months to make your Home Depot Credit Card payments before you’ll incur interest charges. And if you pay the full balance off before that six-month period ends, you won’t pay any interest at all.

You’re a regular Home Depot shopper and want discounts: The Home Depot Credit Card offers users a rotating list of discounts on Home Depot products. One month, you may be able to get a discount on a new shed. The next, you might be able to save money on the installation of new windows. The month after that, you could get a deal on patio furniture.

You can use your Home Depot Credit Card login to check which deals are available and when new deals will arrive. These deals often offer discounts up to 10% or 15% and regularly include long-term financing deals, allowing you to defer interest charges for up to 24 months. If you’re the type of person who is constantly working on his house, these discounts can definitely help you save some money.

Home Depot Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides

There are a few reasons to be wary of applying for the Home Depot Credit Card.

Deferred-interest financing can be dangerous.With deferred-interest financing, if you manage to pay off your balance in full before the deferred-interest period ends, you won’t have to pay any interest at all. If you don’t pay the balance in full, you’ll be responsible for the full amount of interest that you would have been charged had you not had the financing deal. The only way to get the biggest benefit of the Home Depot Credit Card is by paying your balance in full before the promotional period ends.

You won’t earn rewards and rotating deals make it hard to know the card’s value. Many store credit cards offer simple cash back or points as rewards for any type of purchase. That makes it easy to calculate the card’s value based on how much you spend at the store. The Home Depot Credit Card doesn’t offer rewards, and the discounts it offers rotate regularly. If you wind up not needing to purchase anything that is discounted, you might not get much value out of the card beyond its financing deals.

Home Depot Credit Card Alternatives

If you want 0% financing on your purchases, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card. This card offers a 15-month 0% interest period upon sign up which is true interest-free financing, unlike the Home Depot Credit Card’s deferred-interest financing. As a bonus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases and an additional $150 back if you spend $500 in the first three months after opening the card. That means you can make up for some of the discounts lost by choosing the Chase Freedom over the Home Depot Credit Card.

If you want to maximize your rewards, look into rotating category cards such as the Discover it Credit Card or the Chase Freedom Credit Card. Every three months, these cards offer 5% cash back rewards on purchases made at a different category of store. Many rotating category cards have offered home improvement stores as their bonus category in the past. If you don’t mind waiting for the home improvement bonus category to come around again, one of these cards could be a good option. You can also use them to earn great rewards at other stores when home improvement isn’t the 5% cash back category.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Home Depot Credit Card?

The Home Depot Credit Card isn’t a bad card, but it is useful for only a small subset of consumers. If you’re the kind of person who always has a home improvement project going and you know how to manage your money, you can find a use for the Home Depot Credit Card. If you have just one project that you’re looking to handle, another card might be a better fit.

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