Lowe’s Advantage Card Review: Should You Apply for It?
The Lowe’s Advantage Card is the in-house credit card offered by home improvement giant Lowe’s. The card is their way of offering you discounts on purchases or extended periods of financing for small and big projects.
When you sign up for the card, you‘ll be put to a decision point. Do you want the cash rewards or do you want the financing?
Making that decision isn’t as easy as it seems, though, and requires a little forward thinking and honesty on your part.
We want to help you with that, which is why we’ve created an in-depth review of the Advantage Card that will cover the following crucial areas:
- Long-Term Rewards
- Short-Term Rewards
- Rates and Fees
- Public Opinion
These sections will go pretty in-depth with the various details but we’ll keep this simple so that you can get quick, informed takeaways about this card.
We’re going to finish up our review with the pros and cons of this card, and a quick overview of who this card is good for.
Along the way, we’ll mention a few other credit cards that will help you see how this card shapes up against the competition.
Pro tip: The Lowe’s Advantage Card can only be used at Lowe’s.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card’s Long-Term Rewards
Whenever you sign up for a regular rewards card, the card issuer usually tells you what your rewards will be. For example, with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, all your purchases get 1.5% cash back. The same goes for the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express: 6% on groceries, 3% on gas and 1% on everything else.
With Lowe’s Advantage Card, you get several different promotional offers related to discounts and special financing.
5% Off Every Day on Purchases or 18 Months of 0% Financing
The Lowe’s Advantage card’s 5% daily discount is identical to what you get with the Target REDcard. Whenever you use your card at the register or online, you’ll get an automatic 5% discount off your purchase.
There are a few exclusions to this, though, according to the card’s fine print. You won’t get the 5% off when you’re using a:
- Military discount
- Employee discount
- A price match
- Volume discounts
- Price adjustments from managers
- Contractor packs
- Extended warranties
Also, you won’t get discounts on the following appliance brands:
- Fisher & Paykel
The good news here is that you’ll get the 5% off when you buy sale items. The bad news is that you can’t combine it with most non-sale discounts. This one-or-the-other method is a bit frustrating, in our opinion, but it’s standard with many store card rewards perks.
Now, you have a choice between this 5% discount and 18 months of 0% interest. This financing offer is very specific, though. According to the fine print, the following type of purchase is the only one that’s eligible for 0%: “in-store product purchase or order with an installation service of $999 or more.
It’s important to note that this financing offer, as well as the other ones you’ll read about, are deferred-interest offers, which means that you pay interest on the entire original purchase if you can’t pay off the purchase by the end of the promo 0% APR period.
So, in the case of the 18-month offer, if you spend $2,000 and pay off all but, say, $100 at the end of 18 months, Lowe’s will calculate interest on the original $2,000. Non-store credit cards, on the other hand, would only charge you interest on the remaining balance of $100.
Zero Interest for Six Months
The next option that you have when you sign up for your card is to choose no-interest financing for six months on any purchases of $299 or more.
This perk is good on any purchases you make at any time, which is a departure from non-store credit cards that offer zero-interest deals that expire a certain amount of time after you open the card.
This reward is like the previous one but requires more spending and offers much longer repayment periods. These various repayment periods are treated as a loan, too. You have to pay the purchase back in fixed payments. APR varies based on the length of repayment:
- 36 months: 3.99%
- 60 months: 5.99%
- 84 months: 7.99%
It’s really important to remember that you won’t automatically get this offer at the register like you would when you make purchases that qualify for six-month financing.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card’s Short-Term Rewards
Along with these long-term benefits, the Advantage Card, at the time of publishing, was offering you three different types of perks.
12 - 24 Months of Special Financing
Lowe’s special financing is a twist to the either/or decision you have to make about your everyday rewards. Basically, if you choose to go the 5% route, then you have the choice of getting 12 - 24 months of 0% financing on purchases:
- $299 - $998.99: 0% for 12 months
- $999 - $1,998.99: 0% for 18 months
- $1,999 or more: 0% for 24 months
These types of offers work off deferred interest and, according to the fine print, are good for a week at a time. For example, the offers listed above were only good for a week.
0% APR on Appliance Purchases
Lowe’s will give you 0% deferred interest for 12 months on appliance purchases of $299 or more. Remember, if you don’t pay off the balance by the end of 12 months, Lowe’s will charge you interest on the entire original purchase amount.
This offer can’t be combined with the 5% discount.
$30 Off Your First Purchase
In order to get this discount, you’ll have to apply for your card in-store and make a purchase before a deadline that’s set as part of the offer. Ask the customer service or sales associate what that deadline is, as it changes throughout the year.
Now, this discount only applies to your first purchase with your Advantage Card. In the event that your purchase could get a bigger discount with your 5%, then the 5% bonus will apply and you’ll lose the $30 offer.
Basically, you can get the $30 off as long as you spend less than $600.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card’s Interest Rates and Fees
In the introduction to this review, we mentioned that you can only use the Advantage at Lowe’s. In that sense, it’s a true store credit card. The main drawback to this fact is that the card has a 26.99% APR, which, when compared to regular credit cards, is crazy.
However, it’s not that outrageous when you compare it to other store credit cards. The Home Depot Consumer card, for example, has APR’s ranging from 17.99% to 26.99%. If you’ve got excellent credit, you can snag that low rate.
With the Advantage card, it doesn’t matter how good or bad your credit scores are – you’re getting 26.99%. This rate only kicks in if you don’t pay your entire balance every month, so make sure you do that to avoid big interest charges.
The only other charge you have to worry about is the late/returned payment fee of $38.
Pros of the Lowe’s Advantage Card
We believe this card’s strength is the 5% discount on Lowe’s purchases and the fact that you can get occasional offers for special financing based on purchase amounts and items you purchase.
This combination of perks can save homeowners a lot of money, especially if you have some big purchases to make and need financing.
Another perk, in our opinion, is the fact that you have the option of choosing a free six months of financing on purchases over $299. We think that you can leverage this option when you’ve got a long list of projects you’re doing around the house.
You can use the financing to plan out your purchases, knowing that, each time you make a $299+ purchase. Once you’ve got the balance paid off before the six-month deadline, then you can make your next big purchase with 0% interest for another six months.
Cons of the Lowe’s Advantage Card
The biggest drawback of this card is the high APR. If you carry a balance on credit cards and you choose to take the 5% discount over the zero-interest offer, then there’s a good chance the interest payments you rack up will negate any discounts you earn.
Who This Card Is Good For
We believe that the best fit for this card is the consumer who has low credit scores but also doesn’t have a problem paying off their balances and has a lot of home-improvement related purchases ahead. The reason we say that is that someone with low credit scores – think 650 and below – would most likely get a high APR on another credit card so the high APR on the advantage card isn’t a big deal.
As you make on-time payments and pay off your balances, your credit scores should increase and the risk of your credit limit dropping or Synchrony closing your account goes down.