What to Know About the Home Depot Credit Card, and Other Options That May Be Better for Your Next Project

A photo to accompany a story about the Home Depot credit card Bloomberg/Getty; Illustration by Next Advisor

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People have spent a lot of time at home over the past year — and they’ve spent a lot of money at home too. 

A recent Harvard study found spending on home improvements increased substantially more than expected in 2020, driven by DIY projects and a new flexible, remote-friendly workplace.

With many workers interested in maintaining a hybrid approach going forward, the home improvement craze could continue, and cards like those offered by Home Depot might look appealing for your next project. Before you sign up and start spending, though, consider how the Home Depot credit card may help you plan for larger renovation expenses.

Home Depot’s consumer credit card option doesn’t offer much incentive for everyday spending with the retailer. But depending on how big of a project you’re planning — and if you have a clear plan to pay off your balance before the promotional period ends — it might make sense to take advantage of 0% financing with a Home Depot Consumer Credit Credit Card or the Home Depot Project Loan. 

Benefits and Perks of the Home Depot Credit Card

The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, issued by Citi, charges no interest for the first six months on purchases of $299 or more. During special promotional periods, you may qualify for up to 24 months of no interest on certain larger purchases. 

Unlike many 0% interest credit cards, the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card just defers your interest payment. So if you don’t pay the balance in full by the end of the promotional period, you’ll be charged interest at the standard variable rate going back to your original purchase date. 

Make sure you have a plan to pay off your balance in full during the financing period, because once it’s done your balance will be subject to the ongoing variable 17.99%-26.99% APR. 

The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card is also a standard retail card, so you can only use it for purchases you make in Home Depot stores or at homedepot.com. There’s no annual fee, and you can check to see if you prequalify online without impacting your credit score.

Extended Returns and In-Store Discounts with the Home Depot Card

The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card doesn’t offer any ongoing rewards, but you will get a few added benefits. You can make returns up to one year after your purchase, which is four times longer than the normal Home Depot returns window. 

The card also offers a one-time discount for new cardholders through July 28, 2021, which varies based on how much you spend: 

  • $25 off a single purchase of $25 to $299
  • $50 off a single purchase of $300 to $999
  • Or $100 off a single purchase of $1,000 or more

Otherwise, you won’t receive ongoing rewards from Home Depot. The main benefit of this card is special financing on purchases of $299 or more, ideal if you’re buying an appliance, or need to stock up on supplies for your project. 

For larger renovations which may cost significantly more (up to $55,000), the Home Depot Project Loan might make more sense.

The Home Depot Project Loan

The Home Depot Project Loan is more like a fixed personal loan than a traditional credit card. If you qualify, you can access a line of credit up to $55,000 with up to 84 months pay it off. You’ll have six months after approval to purchase everything for your project, which you’ll pay off in fixed monthly payments at a fixed interest rate. There’s no annual fee.

Your APR is based on your loan amount and credit approval. There are four tiers you may be approved for: 

  • 66 monthly payments at 7.42% APR
  • 78 monthly payments at 12.86% APR
  • 90 monthly payments at 16.24% APR
  • 114 monthly payments at 19.96% APR 

Monthly payments will not exceed $20 per $1,000 spent. Here’s what your monthly payments might look like depending on your loan amount, according to Home Depot’s website:

Loan AmountMonthly Payments
$1,000$20
$5,000$100
$10,000$200
$25,000$500
$35,000$700
$55,000$1,100

While the interest rates on a Home Depot Project Loan can be much more affordable than interest on the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, your total will quickly add up if you only make minimum monthly payments over the lifetime of the loan. Before you start your project, budget for the supplies you’ll need and come up with a plan to pay off your purchase as quickly as possible to avoid racking up interest payments.

Instead of a loan through Home Depot, also consider whether a personal loan through a bank may be a better option for a costly renovation project. Depending on your credit, you may qualify for better rates and terms for your project timeline and wallet. Today, you can find offers from several lenders with rates below 6% for varying term lengths and loan amounts. 

Alternatives to Home Depot Credit Cards

Home Depot’s retail card and project loan aren’t the only ways you can save on your next project using a credit card. Before you apply, consider whether a general credit card with a 0% introductory APR on purchases or a card that earns rewards at home improvement stores may better suit your needs.

Lowe’s Advantage Card

If Home Depot isn’t the only home improvement store in your area, you may save more with a retail card from its competitor, Lowe’s. Unlike the Home Depot card, the Lowe’s Advantage Card lets you choose between ongoing rewards or special financing. You can choose between ongoing 5% off every day, 6-month deferred interest on purchases of $299 or more (this time period and purchase minimum can vary during special promotional periods), or up to 84 monthly fixed payments at a reduced rate on purchases of $2,000 or more. There’s no annual fee, but after the special financing period you’ll take on an ongoing 26.99% APR. 

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Depending on the size and expense of your home project, a 0% APR card with a long introductory period might make more sense than a branded store card. The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum offers 0% APR for the first 20 billing cycles on purchases, has no annual fee, and a regular APR of 13.99%-23.99%. 

There’s a bit less risk with this card than the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card too. Any balance remaining at the end of the intro period will only begin accruing interest from that date, rather than taking on retroactive interest from your purchase date like the Home Depot card’s deferred interest offer.

However, you should still pay off as much of your balance as possible — and ideally all of it — before the end of your introductory period to avoid being hit with the high ongoing APR. You also won’t earn any special rewards or discounts with this card, but it can be a good choice to give yourself a buffer to pay down your project expenses. 

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

If you want to take advantage of a 0% APR introductory period and the opportunity to earn some cash back over time, the Capital One Quicksilver Card could be a good option. You’ll have 15 months of 0% APR on new purchases, then a regular variable APR of 15.49%-25.49%. Plus, you’ll get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase and can earn a $200 welcome bonus when you spend $500 within three months of account opening. 

The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

  • Intro bonus:
    No current offer
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    See Details, Rates & Fees
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    No current offer
  • Annual fee:
    $99
  • Regular APR:
    15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable based on your creditworthiness
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.2/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Other Ways to Pay for Home Improvement

If you’re considering a big home renovation project, a credit card may not be your best resource, or can be a tool to use in tandem with other methods. Even if you use a credit card for the financing perks or rewards, it’s smart to have money saved that you can put toward your project before any interest charges kick in.

But there are other resources for home improvement to consider too, such as a non-retail home improvement loan, home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Here are more resources for financing your next home improvement: