Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express Review: Good Option for Your Business?
The Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express is a rewards card that provides users with Business Rewards points they can redeem for a variety of things including purchases at Lowe’s.
The card is unique because it has a solid trio of rewards rates for several types of purchases, while at the same time giving you 5% off Lowe’s purchases. In a sense, the card is a combination of a good store credit card and a good rewards credit card.
In this review, we’ll talk about the rewards the card provides, discuss its benefits, detail its rates and fees and then compare this business card to the Lowe’s consumer store cards so you can see how this card could be useful for your business.
We pointed out that this card is a combination of a store card and a regular rewards credit card and a lot of that has to do with the rewards it offers.
Can’t be used in conjunction with:
- Military discount
- Low-price guarantee
- Price adjustments managers offer you
- Contractor packs
Also, you won’t get a discount on protection plans, shipping fees, delivery fees, assembly charges, taxes/fees and gift cards.
What this means is that you won’t get the 5% off if you use any of the discounts listed above and the 5% won’t apply to all the various fees and charges, taxes included. So, if you bought $1,000 worth of lighting for your office and you were paying $75 in taxes, you wouldn’t get 5% off that $75.
The fine print notes the discount doesn’t apply to the following brands, either:
- Fisher & Paykel
3%/ 2%/ 1% Points Bonuses on Purchases
In addition to the 5% off you get on most of your Lowe’s purchases, you’ll also earn rewards points for nearly every dollar you spend.
All purchases made at restaurants and office supply stores in the United States will earn you 3x points. So, if you spend $5,000 at Staples and $5,000 at restaurants over the course of one year, you’ll earn 20,000 points.
The next rewards tier is the 2% tier. Any cell phone plans you pay for directly from a U.S.-based service provider will earn 2x points, according to the fine print.
All other purchases you make will earn one rewards point. This tier has exceptions too, though. Any fees you pay (more on that later) for using your card like interest and late fees won’t earn points.
It’s hard to say how many rewards points you could earn per year with this card because every business is different.
But, let’s say you spend a total of $30,000 a year and your bonus spending is split up as follows: $5,000 per year on 3% purchases, $3,000 year on 2% purchases and $22,000 on everything else. This spending pattern will earn you approximately 43,000 points.
Also, if you can spend $100 in the first 30 days of owning the card, you’ll earn another 5,000 rewards points, putting your first-year rewards total at 48,000 points.
According to the fine print, you can redeem those points for Lowe’s gift cards in denominations of $25, $50 and $100. You can also use your rewards balance for the following gift cards:
- American Express
- Gas rewards
- L.L. Bean
- Bass Pro Shops
When we read through the fine print and found out that there are restrictions for using the AmEx cards:
“Some limitations apply, including restrictions on use at cruise lines or for recurring billing.”
With your 48,000 first-year points, you could buy the following number of gift cards:
- 19 $25 gift cards
- 9 $50 gift cards and a $25 gift card
- 4 $100 gift cards, 1 $50 gift card and 1 $25 gift card
The AmEx Lowe’s card has a series of benefits related to the store itself, accounting-style tools and various protections for purchases you make.
Getting this card means you have access to the Lowe’s Pro Services purchasing portal, where you can get discounted shipping as well as bulk discounts on things you may need for your business. People with the consumer version of the Lowe’s credit card don’t get this perk.
AmEx also provides expense tracking that allows you to take photos of your business receipts and upload them to your AmEx app. The app then matches those receipts with your transaction record.
Finally, you AmEx gives you two free protections for purchases you make with your card:
- Extended warranty on certain items you buy
- Protection for items you buy that are stolen or accidentally damaged within 120 days of purchase
These two benefits have their own restrictions and limitations. You can read about them in the benefits guide AmEx sends along with your credit card.
The Rates and Fees
Many of the American Express credit cards are charge cards, meaning there is no credit limit and you have to pay off your entire balance every month.
This card is different in that it’s a traditional credit card, which means you have a pre-determined credit limit and you can carry a balance. Here’s a list of the card’s rates and fees:
- Purchase APR: 17.74%, 21.74% or 26.74%
- Cash advance APR: 27.24%
- Penalty APR: 29.99%
- Cash advance fee: 3%
- Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%
- Annual fee: $0
- Late/returned payment: $38
This card’s low APR is average and its high APR is pretty high compared to other business credit cards. Also, this card doesn’t allow balance transfers.
The key to understanding this card is the penalty APR. This interest rate kicks in three circumstances, the fine print says:
- Two late payments in a 12-month period
- You don’t make at least the minimum payment
- You have a returned payment
AmEx says this APR will remain on your account for 12 months and will be removed when you make 12 consecutive on-time payments with no returned payments.
How the Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express Compares to Lowe’s Consumer Cards
As a business owner who wants a credit card for Lowe’s, you have a couple of options if you’re willing to get a consumer card under your name. Just remember that the cards we list in the following chart don’t include the business accounting tools you get with an AmEx business card:
|Lowe’s Business Rewards||Lowe’s Advantage Consumer Card|
|Sign-Up Bonus||$50||$25 or 5% off|
|0% intro APR||6 months||6 months on certain purchases|
The main difference between these two cards (aside from the business tools) is that the Lowe’s AmEx card has a profitable rewards structure that can earn you, depending on how much you spend in bonus categories, around 40,000 points a year.
That factor alone makes the business card a better fit for you if you want a card that’s going to give you rewards.
The consumer card, however, has two distinct advantages. There is no penalty APR and you get various financing offers when you sign up for the card. For example, at the time of publishing, you could use the consumer card to get 0% interest on purchases of more than $299. The card also provides low-interest long-term financing of 36, 48 or 80 months for purchases of $2,000 or more.
Based on these various features, we believe that the AmEx card is the better choice if you want rewards or if you have good enough credit scores (720 or higher) to get the best APR the card has to offer.
If you’ve got to make a big purchase for the company and you can’t pay off the purchase all at once, you may want to consider the personal card, as the interest rate on a $2,000 purchase and above is much more reasonable over time than the business card.
How You Can Use the Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express to Get the Most Value
What became clear to us during our research is that this Lowe’s AmEx card is a powerful rewards card, especially considering it doesn’t have an annual fee.
We see this card being a great tool for you if you, for example, have a big office renovation project coming up or you’re moving into a new office and you’re DIY’ing some or all of it.
However, because the rewards structure is set up to reward you most for restaurant and office supply purchases, you could easily use this card specifically for those categories without ever spending a dollar at Lowe’s.
Granted, the redemption options are limited, but they could be great perks for employees, as we mentioned earlier. Gift cards are a great idea for surprise rewards and incentives, especially considering that you can redeem the points you earn for AmEx gift cards your team can use wherever AmEx is accepted.
In a general sense, this card is one of many that offer rewards for business-specific purchases. Take a look at our rankings of the best business rewards cards of 2018 to see other cards offering bonuses on things like shipping, travel, and advertising.