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With the weather improving in many places throughout the United States, it’s common for many people to start looking at various home improvement projects. Whether you’re looking to do a major renovation or just looking at sprucing up your curb appeal, you may find yourself making repeated stops at home improvement stores. Here is a list of some of the credit cards that you can use to maximize the value of your miles and points while you do.
Best Credit Cards for Home Improvement
Most credit cards reward spending in one of two different ways — either they offer the same amount of rewards for all purchases, or they offer different rates in different categories. Some of the more popular bonus categories are things like groceries, dining, travel, or gas purchases. Home improvement stores are not a common bonus category, but there are still a few ways to maximize your rewards when shopping for home improvement.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
One card to keep in mind is the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card doesn’t bonus home improvement stores directly. Instead, you can get 3% cash back on a category of your choice, and home improvement stores are one of the available options. You are limited to getting 3% back on the first $2,500 in purchases each quarter, and you’re giving up the ability to earn 3% back on any other categories, but this still can be an attractive offer, especially if you can combine your purchases over multiple categories. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card has no annual fee.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature® Card
Like the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card lets you choose your bonus categories from a list. You can get 5% cash back on two categories of your choice, up to a maximum of $2,000 in spending each quarter. Home Improvement stores are not currently an eligible category, but you can choose from things like furniture stores, electronics stores, and home utilities. That can cover a lot of home improvement spending. This card also has no annual fee.
A new credit card you’re meeting the minimum spend requirement on
Another option for the best credit card for home improvement purchases is a new credit card where you are trying to meet the welcome offer. The initial signup bonuses from opening new credit cards is one of the most lucrative ways that you can earn credit card rewards. Consider a card where you will earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of having the card. While you’re meeting that initial spending offer, you are earning FIFTEEN points per dollar on every dollar you spend. That is an outstanding return on investment.
Any card with good everyday earning rates
If you don’t have either of the two cards we mentioned previously and aren’t interested in signing up for a new credit card, you’ll want to use a card that offers good earning rates on all purchases. A few options to consider:
- Citi Double Cash – 2% cash back on all purchases
- American Express Blue for Business – 2 Membership Rewards points on all purchases up to $100,000 in purchases each year. Terms apply.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year and 1.5% Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
- Capital One Venture – 2 Venture miles for each dollar spent on all purchases
Consider using gift cards for your home improvement costs
Another option is to use gift cards for your home improvement spending. The reason that you might do this is because many grocery stores and office supply stores sell gift cards to places like Lowe’s or Home Depot. And it’s a lot easier to find a credit card that offers a bonus in one of those categories.
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred – 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year. Terms apply. Rates and Fees
- Chase Ink Business Cash – 5% cash back (5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar) at office supply stores.
- American Express Gold Card – 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in spending each year. Terms apply. Rates and Fees
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card– 6 Hilton points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets. Terms apply. Rates and Fees.
It’s true that doing this may require an extra trip to get a gift card first, and there’s a bit more to keep track of in trying to figure out exactly how many gift cards to buy. You’ll also lose any purchase protection you might get by paying for your home improvement purchases with a credit card. Still, for the right rewards, it may be worth it for you.
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