Lowe's, like many stores, offers its own branded credit card. Similar to how other store cards work, the Lowe's card can only be used in Lowe's stores, and the discounts and perks you get are available only at the popular home-improvement store.
The good news is that those discounts and perks abound. You’ll benefit from no annual fee, you can save up to $100 on your first in-store purchase after becoming a cardmember, and you can score special financing on qualifying purchases (more on that below).
The standard APR, or annual percentage rate, on the Lowe's card is pretty high, though, just as it is for many store cards. And the special financing only saves you on interest if you pay off your card within the promotional period. Interest is charged starting back to the purchase date if you don’t pay off the balance in full, so you could get hit with big bills. You also don’t get the flexibility you'd get with other rewards cards not tied to a single store brand.
You’ll need to think carefully about whether the Lowe's card is right for you — but many DIYers do find the Lowe's credit card is worth using. Here are seven things you need to know to make the decision for yourself.
5% discount at check-out
When you make most purchases with your Lowe's credit card, you’ll get an automatic 5% discount at the register. This is one of the best perks of this card. Unlike many other store cards, which only send you periodic coupons or provide rewards after spending, Lowe's gives this discount up front. This means you never need to wait for your card to provide savings.
However, the 5% discount does not apply to gift cards. It also can’t be used with any other coupons or discounts, including the Lowe’s military or employee discount or the Lowe’s low-price guarantee. It can’t be used with Contractor Packs, either, and you won’t get a discount on fees, taxes, extended protections, replacement plans, assembly charges, shipping, or delivery. Certain brands are excluded from the discount as well, including AGA, Bosch Benchmark, Fisher & Paykel, Heartland, ICON, Kichler, Liebherr appliances, NXR, MARVEL, Monogram, SMEG, and Weber.
Deferred financing offers
On purchases of $299 or more, you have the option to choose six-month financing at 0% interest instead of the 5% discount. Lowe's also periodically runs special promotions where you can get 0% financing for longer. For example, you can get 12 months at 0% APR on appliances or installed heating, ventilation, or air conditioners as of July 2019.
The 0% rate applies only if you pay off the full balance of the purchase within the promotional period. Otherwise, you’ll owe interest back to the purchase date, which can become very expensive.
Special project financing
If you make a purchase of $2,000 or more, you have the option to choose Project Financing. This reduces your APR and allows you to pay off your project with fixed payments over a set period of time.
As of July 2019, you have three options for project financing:
- 3.99% APR if you opt for 36 fixed monthly payments
- 5.99% APR if you opt for 60 fixed monthly payments
- 7.99% APR if you opt for 84 fixed monthly payments
You’ll need to request special project financing at the time you make the purchase. Regular account terms will continue to apply to other purchases you make with your card, and your fixed monthly payment required for special project financing may be higher than your normal monthly minimum payment would be.
Special savings on your first in-store purchase
You’re also eligible for special savings on the first purchase you make in-store with your new Lowe's card. You’ll save $30 if your first purchase is between $30 and $599.99, and you’ll save $100 if your first purchase is $600 or more.
You have a limited amount of time to make your first purchase, and your savings cannot be combined with any other offer, including other credit card savings, coupons, discounts, or special promotions.
A high standard APR
There are also some big negatives to be aware of when considering whether to apply for a Lowe's credit card — and the standard APR of 26.99% is one of them.
This is a pretty high interest rate, so you could end up owing a lot of money if you don’t pay off your balance at the end of a billing cycle or before your 0% promotional rate expires. The interest you’d pay would be significantly greater than the 5% discount you’d receive for using your card, which means you’d be incurring a high cost for using this card.
Deferred interest on financing options can result in owing a lot
Deferred interest offers are dangerous because you end up owing back interest if you fail to pay off the full amount you owe on the card by the end of the declared time period.
For example, if you borrow $1,500 on your Lowe's card, qualify for 0% interest for six months, and don’t pay the loan off in full, you’ll owe back interest at 26.99% on the $1,500 dating back to the purchase date. This means you’d owe interest on $1,500 at 26.99% dating back six months, which would be around $200 in back-interest costs.
Project financing can be a risky option, too
Project financing can also pose a similar risk of not being the best financial option, considering your interest rate could go back up to the standard APR if you miss a fixed monthly payment.
Plus, even the low fixed interest rates can make your project more expensive than if you had paid cash — although the special rate may still be better than what you’d pay with personal loans or home improvement loans.
Who the Lowe's Advantage Card is best for
So, with four strengths and three risky aspects, who is the Lowe's Advantage Card best for?
The card is a great option for DIYers who will take advantage of the 5% discount regularly or who want to pay off a project over time and are confident they can make payments on schedule. However, the card is worth it only if you don’t have to pay the standard APR on any of your purchases — which means you need to be sure you can pay off your balance in full.
Since the Home Depot credit card doesn’t offer the same type of 5% discount on all purchases that the Lowe's card does, it may even be worth switching to Lowe's to get this card if you have a lot of projects planned and both stores are available in your town.
And because you get that 5% discount on everything, if you’re spending a fortune on home improvement and would likely exceed rewards limits on regular cashback credit cards, the Lowe's card could be a better option for you as your discount isn’t capped.
How to Apply for the Lowe’s Advantage Card
You can apply for the Lowe's Advantage Card online by visiting the Lowe's website and clicking “Apply Now.” You’ll need to provide personal details, including your name, address, and Social Security number.
You can also apply for the Lowe's card in-store, if you prefer. Ask at a register or talk with customer service about applying for credit.
Alternative to the Lowe’s Advantage card
The Lowe’s credit card isn’t right for everyone. You may be better off with a general purpose rewards card you can use in more stores rather than adding another card to your wallet that you have to keep track of. The Chase Freedom Unlimited could be a great option. You can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, and do it at a wide variety of stores so your home-improvement choices aren’t limited.
Other 0% APR cards may also be a better deal, as many cards provide this promotional rate for months after the time of purchase without the risk of deferred interest. You should compare these other cards to see if one may be a better fit than the Lowe’s card if you’re hoping to pay for purchases over time.