The Lowe's Consumer Credit Card from Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) offers customers financing and special perks on home improvement products at Lowe's retail locations across the United States. Cardholders can choose between discounts on everyday purchases and special financing terms for purchases above a certain amount. Like any credit card, the Lowe's Consumer Credit Card features terms and conditions that should be reviewed thoroughly by prospective cardholders.
How Does It Work?
Interested customers can apply for the Lowe's Consumer Credit Card at any Lowe's store or online through the company's website. The credit decision takes only minutes. Once approved and the card is activated, the cardholder may use it for any purchases made at Lowe's up to a certain credit limit, which is based on the customer's creditworthiness. The Lowe's Consumer Credit Card is not accepted at retailers other than Lowe's, or at ATMs.
The card, like most credit cards, provides a revolving line of credit. Cardholders can avoid interest charges by paying off the full balance every month. Any balance carried on the card beyond the first month accumulates interest at an annual percentage rate (APR) of 26.99%, as of May, 2017.
Rewards and Benefits
Cardholder benefits include 5% off all purchases made with the Lowe's Consumer Credit Card, 0% interest for six months on purchases of $299 or more, or 36, 60 or 84-month special financing on purchases of $2,000 or more.
Customers may not combine the 5% off promotion with the six-month or special financing deals. With the six-month promotion, the cardholder must make minimum payments on time each month and pay off the full amount of the purchase by the end of the six months. Otherwise, the 0% interest provision is rescinded, and interest is applied to the purchase.
The 36, 60 and 84-month special financing offer is structured with fixed monthly payments for the respective number of months at a reduced APR of 3.99%, 5.99% and 7.99%.
Who Benefits the Most?
The Lowe's Consumer Credit Card offers great benefits to home improvement gurus and do-it-yourself types who make the most of their purchases at Lowe's. Even if the special financing deals are never used, a cardholder who buys a lot of home improvement products can save significant money each year with the 5% off promotion. For example, a customer who spends $2,000 per year at Lowe's saves $100 over the year by being a cardholder.
A person planning a major do-it-yourself home renovation who does not want to pay the entire cost up front can benefit from the card. By financing the cost over 36 months at 3.99% APR, the cardholder pays significantly less in interest than he or she would pay with most credit cards.
The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), the main competitor of Lowe's, offers a credit card with similar features to the Lowe's Consumer Credit Card. The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card features the same 0% interest for six months' benefit as the Lowe's card. Its APR varies from 17.99 to 26.99% based on creditworthiness, so a cardholder might pay a lower or slightly higher rate of interest versus the Lowe's card, depending on his or her credit. Additionally, Home Depot gives cardholders a full year to return products for a full refund, as opposed to the 90 days that regular customers are given.
For major purchases, Home Depot offers a separate card known as the Project Loan Card. This card provides loans of up to $55,000 payable over 84 months at a fixed APR of 7.99%.
The Fine Print
Cardholders who choose the 0% financing offer for purchases of $299 or greater and do not pay off the full purchase within six months have interest retroactively applied all the way back to the date of purchase. Moreover, making the card's minimum payment each month is not always sufficient to pay off the purchase in full within six months. Consequently, borrowers wishing to avoid surprise interest charges should remain vigilant that they are on pace to not leave any balance left over once the six-month period has ended.