Lowe’s Credit Card Review – Could This Be The Best Store Credit Card?

0
6
Lowe’s Credit Card Review - Could This Be The Best Store Credit Card?


Lowe's Credit Card

Home improvement fans head to Lowe’s constantly to pick up appliances, tools, and major project supplies or to replenish those smaller items you can’t finish up the job without. Customers are generally loyal to their Lowe’s stores, so a store credit card that offers discounts on your purchases is a welcome reward for that loyalty.

Today I’m reviewing the Lowe’s Advantage Card—a Lowe’s store credit card with benefits. Good discounts, financing options, and no annual fee await the cardholders, but is this the best option for you? Let’s find out.

Lowe’s Advantage Card Is Best for

  • DIY-ers and home improvement fans
  • Anyone with a Lowe’s branch near them
  • Contractors or regular people planning a large project who want to take advantage of low APR financing options

Lowe’s Advantage Card Overview

Lowe’s actually offers two store credit cards, a private card called the Lowe’s Advantage Card and a business version (that actually has three different options). For the purpose of this review, I’m going to focus on the private card.

The Lowe’s Advantage Card is easily one of the best store credit cards I’ve come in contact with so far. It offers good discounts that are easy to redeem, flexible financing options, and even special deals for major projects. Super low APRs make this store card even more attractive, and the convenient mobile app only adds to the attractiveness of the Lowe’s Advantage Card. I signed up for the card to test drive it in person. Here’s what I discovered.

Lowe’s Advantage Card Key Features

  • 5 percent off all purchases automatically applies
  • Option for financing of six, 12, 18, or 24 months
  • Big project financing for up to 84 months
  • Mobile app
  • Friendly customer service
  • Weekly promotions

Taking a Closer Look at The Lowe’s Advantage Card

You can sign up for a Lowe’s Advantage Card online or in person. The online application asks for basic information (name, email, address, monthly income), asks which type of statements you want (electronic or paper), offers Card Security that cancels your balance in case of unemployment, hospitalization, etc., and shows you a copy of the terms agreement. The whole thing just takes a minute or two. In person is just as quick and easy.

After signing up for the Lowe’s Advantage Card I was excited to see it in action, so I headed over to Lowe’s. Normally, I’m an online shopper, but home improvement supplies are things that you need to hold in your hand before you buy them, so a brick and mortar store it was.

Lowe’s Advantage Card Rewards Program

I put a few things in my cart and headed for checkout. I was given a $30 coupon to use on my first purchase, which was a nice welcome bonus. After your initial purchase, things get even better. When you get to the register, you’re given a choice of which Lowe’s Advantage Card benefit you want to take advantage of: 5 percent off your purchase or financing (how long depends on how much money you’ve spent).

On my second run, I chose the 5 percent discount because I wanted to see what would happen. The 5 percent discount was taken off of my total right there. I didn’t have to spend money to earn points, go to my card account and redeem the points, or even log in to opt into the promotion. Right there, I saved 5 percent instantly. Lowe’s earns major points for having the most flexible and easiest to use rewards program I’ve ever seen.

Five percent is a generous discount the likes of which I haven’t seen yet from other store credit cards. And it is particularly liberal when you consider that Lowe’s’ biggest competitor, Home Depot, doesn’t offer any discounts with its store credit card.

Lowe’s Advantage Card Extended Financing Options

Another aspect of the Lowe’s Advantage Card that I like is that you get to choose your bonus feature. You can elect to get the 5 percent off your purchase, or you can choose from Lowe’s extended 0 percent financing options of six, 12, 18, or 24 months depending on the category and size of your purchase. Here is the financing breakdown:

  • Spend $299+ and get six-month financing
  • Spend $299-$998.99 and get 12-month financing
  • Spend between $999-$1,998.99 and get 18-month financing
  • Spend $1,999 or more and get 24-month financing

Lowe’s’ financing options are extremely flexible and the perfect way to make purchases more affordable. This way, you can get the supplies you need to finish a project and pay off the balance over time without interest.

Big Project Financing

Additionally, if you are a contractor or are doing your own major renovations, the Lowe’s Advantage Card offers even longer financing options for really big projects. Here are the numbers for that feature:

  • Spend $2,000 or more and get 36 months of a fixed APR at 3.99 percent
  • 60 months at 5.99 percent
  • Or 84 months at 7.99 percent

These rates apply to any purchase over $2,000, and I have to say, they are some of the best APRs you will find anywhere, even with a regular credit card (unless you find a 0 percent APR introductory rate, but even those promotions only last at most 18 months).

So, these are fabulous rates and great options for anyone who wants to spread out their payments over a really extended amount of time. Let’s create an example to help you see how this financing option works.

Let’s say you purchase $10,000 worth of goods with your Lowe’s Advantage Card. In this case, you are given the choice of a three, five, or seven-year repayment plan with respective interest rates. Here is what you would pay in actuality:

  36 Months 60 Months 84 Months
APR 3.99% 5.99% 7.99%
Monthly Payment $295.20 $193.28 $155.81
Total Interest Paid $627.03 $1,596.89 $3,088.24

As you can see, the longer you take to pay off your purchase, the more interest you’ll pay, but the lower the monthly payment will be. Which financing option is best for you depends on your finances. Regardless of which option you choose though, these APRs are some of the lowest you’ll find anywhere including standard credit cards and lenders.

Note that if you come into extra money and make additional payments so that you pay off your purchase faster, you’ll end up paying less interest than the chart above displays.

Big project financing options can be applied to purchases and installations.

Deferred Interest

The one thing you don’t want to do is get caught paying deferred interest charges. When you opt for a financing option that gives you 0 percent APR or reduced APRs for a certain amount of time, the deferred interest builds silently in the background.

If you pay off your purchase fully before the financing term ends, you won’t have any issues, and you’ll never hear about the deferred interest. If, however, you have a balance at the end of the financing term, even if it’s only $1, you’ll be charged the deferred interest. That means you’ll have to pay interest charges dating back to the date of purchase until the current date. Additionally, you’ll be charged the regular APR which at the date of this writing was 26.99 percent. Here’s what that looks like:

  • You spend $1,000 with your Lowe’s Advantage Card
  • You opt for the 18-month 0 percent APR financing promotion
  • After 18-months you haven’t finished paying off your $1,000 purchase
  • You will be charged 26.99 percent APR for the full 18 months, a total of $227.10

That’s a lot of interest to be hit with all at once. And if you don’t finish paying off your purchase, each month the interest will climb. Basically, you want to avoid deferred interest at all costs, so make sure to pay off your purchases within the allotted financing time frame. Finance experts recommend paying off your purchases one month before the deadline, so you don’t run into any timing issues.

Lowe’s Advantage Card Rates & Fees

Here’s a quick look at the usual fees and charges that come with owning a Lowe’s Advantage Card:

Annual Fee

The Lowe’s Advantage Card charges no annual fee, so even if you don’t use it, you won’t lose out on anything.

APR

The Lowe’s Advantage Card standard APR is 26.99 percent. That’s a lot, as is the norm for store credit cards, so make sure to avoid APR charges by paying off your balance in full each month or by the end of the financing period.

Late Payment Fee

The Lowe’s Advantage Card charges a $27 late payment penalty fee if you are late or miss a payment. If you’ve been late making payments before, within the last six months, you’ll be charged a $38 late payment penalty fee.

Lowe’s Advantage Card Rewards & Benefits

Aside from the great 5 percent discount and financing options available, the Lowe’s Advantage Card also gives you some nice rewards. Check out some of these benefits you’ll get:

Welcome Bonus

As mentioned, when you sign up for the Lowe’s Advantage Card, you’ll automatically receive a $30 coupon to use on your first purchase. $30 isn’t a lot of money, but it’s more than most store cards offer as a welcome bonus, and besides, getting $30 of free stuff is always a bonus.

Mobile App

Lowe’s really went all out when it came to the mobile apps. There are actually three different apps you can download (Lowe’s Mobile, Lowe’s Iris that works with your IoT to help you control your smart home devices remotely, and Lowe’s TV for entertainment on the go), but I’m just going to focus on the Lowe’s Mobile shopping app.

The mobile app is beautifully designed and easy to use, to begin with. Plus, it lets you add your Lowe’s Advantage Card so you can check out instantly at any store or online. You can create shopping lists using the product or department finder on the app, scan barcodes to find out information about a specific item while you’re in the store, or limit your online search to items that are currently available in the store for pick up.

One of the coolest aspects of the Lowe’s Mobile app is that you can collaborate with project specialists in Lowe’s to help you create a shopping list of the materials you’ll need for a project. And, of course, you can handle all of your Lowe’s Advantage Card account details via the app including payments history, upcoming payments, and more.

Weekly Savings Coupons & Deals

The Lowe’s Advantage Card entitles you to weekly deals and promotions, and Lowe’s runs some amazing deals.While this article was written, for example, you can get 40 percent off on major appliances and 25 percent off of lawn furniture and patio accessories.

Additionally, if you put in your zip code, Lowe’s will tell you exactly what deals are available in your area. That’s a nice touch.

Vanity Card

Another small perk is that you get to choose the design on your card. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s always nice to be able to personalize your life.

Free Shipping

Get free one to three day standard shipping on select purchases. No minimum purchase required.

Online Tools

Not limited to the Lowe’s Advantage Card cardholders, Lowe’s also offers great online tools to assist with getting the most out of your building projects. Tools include buying guides, how-to tutorials, and project calculators.

Customer Support

Lowe’s has a fabulous customer support team that is knowledgeable and ready to help you solve your problems. I like that you can send a text message with questions and receive an SMS answer back. It makes customer service interactions a lot more convenient. You can also call one of Lowe’s toll-free numbers if you prefer to speak to someone.

Alternatively, you can always connect with Lowe’s via one of its social media handles including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Cashback Rewards Credit Card Comparison

Of course, you might not like the idea of having to carry around a credit card that only works in a single chain of stores. If that’s the case, there are better options for you to consider.

Here are a few great cash back credit cards that not only give you rewards points every time you shop, but these cards are accepted in just about any store you patronize, including Lowe’s.

  Lowe’s Advantage Card Discover it® Cash Back Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
Balance Transfer Intro APR N/A 0% for first 14 months, the regular rate will apply after that. 0% for first 12 months 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Purchase Intro APR 0% APR 6-24 months depending on purchase OR 5% discount 0% for first 14 months, the regular rate will apply after that 0% for first 12 months 0% Introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles
Regular APR 26.99% 14.24% – 25.24% Variable 16.24%-28.24% (Variable) 16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Welcome Bonus $30 Discover will match any cashback you’ve earned after the first year $200 cash back rewards when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of receiving the card $200 cash back rewards bonus upon spending $1,000 within the first 90 days
Cashback Rewards 0% APR financing for 6-24 months depending on purchase amount OR 5% discount at time of purchase 5% cashback on rotating quarterly categories up to a quarterly max, activation required, 1% cashback on everything else Unlimited 1.5% bonus points for every dollar you spend, no categories, plus get 1.8% bonus points on qualified mobile wallet purchases for the first 12 months 3% cashback on your choice of category, 2% cashback for groceries and wholesale club, up to $2,500 in combined choice category / grocery / wholesale club purchases per quarter, and 1% cashback on everything else
Annual Fee $0 $0 $0 $0

Normally, when I compare a regular cash back credit card to a store credit card, there is no competition. The regular card always wins hands down. With the Lowe’s Advantage Card though, it’s not as clear-cut. It’s hard to beat an instant 5 percent savings on the spot, and financing options make purchases more cost-effective. So, the Lowe’s Advantage Card is really a great choice.

Alternatives to the Lowe’s Advantage Card

On the other hand, if you’re in the market for a real cash back rewards program, or if you want a credit card that you can use anywhere you go, then the Lowe’s Advantage Card isn’t the card for you. Instead, one of the other options will serve you better.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • NEW OFFER: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR on purchases 12 billing cycles 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days 12 billing cycles 16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers $0

For example, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card has a nice signup bonus, 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3 percent cash back on your choice category for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/ wholesale club/ choice category purchases each quarter.  There’s a continuous 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.

Learn more: See card details or apply here

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0% 12 months 0% 12 months 16.24%-28.24% (Variable) $0

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card has the same signup bonus than the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, and it offers the convenience of a flat rate earn rate, so you don’t have to think twice about which card to use where.

Learn more: See card details or apply here

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Credit Needed: Excellent, Good
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0% 14 months 0% 14 months 14.24% – 25.24% Variable $0

Finally, the Discover it® Cash Back has an enticing offer of 5 percent cashback on rotating categories up to a quarterly max, when you activate, and a huge bonus after the first year where Discover will match your cash back rewards.

Learn more: See card details or apply here

Any of these cards are accepted by the majority of stores around the world, and the cash back programs are solid, making them more suitable options for someone looking to rack up points everywhere they go.

Is the Lowe’s Advantage Card Right For You?

The Lowe’s Advantage Card is by far the best store credit card out there. I really like that you get the 5 percent discount straight away when you go to checkout instead of having to earn points and wait for them to convert, etc. Offering so many financing options with such low APRs is yet another feather in Lowe’s cap. Not to mention the $0 annual fee.

Lowe’s also has great benefits like the useful mobile app, fun welcome bonus, and free shipping on select items. It’s not the most convenient option if you’re looking to take your credit card earnings wherever you go, but for Lowe’s customers who frequently purchase in this chain store, it is an excellent option. You’ll save more every time you shop with the Lowe’s Advantage Card.

Summary

If you are looking for a store credit card that packs a lot of punch into its offerings, the Lowe’s Advantage Card is your best bet. You won’t find another store card that offers as much as this piece of plastic does to its members, and you get it all without having to pay any annual fee, ever.

The Lowe’s Advantage Card offers two great incentives for frequent customers: Financing options and purchase discounts. You get to choose the benefit that works best for you from these options.

The first option is a 5 percent discount that you get on your Lowe’s purchases. The discount is applied immediately when you go to the register (or check out online), so you don’t have to think about how many points you’ve collected, opt into any promotions, or do anything else that is normally asked of you from a credit card rewards program. Nice!

The other reward option is purchase financing. This means that you’re able to spread out your payments over several months, paying a little bit of the total each month. What’s really exciting about this option is that it comes with 0 percent APR which means you pay absolutely no interest for the entire length of time that you are financing for.

Financing options include six, 12, 18, and 24 months (or three , five, or seven years for big projects and large purchases), and how long you can finance for will depend on how much you spend.

Add to these great benefits an amazing mobile app, excellent customer support, and weekly deals, and it’s easy to understand why the Lowe’s Advantage Card is racing for the number one place in the store credit card race.

Read More



(Source)