Home renovations can add to the value and beauty of your house, but they can also be expensive. Offset your costs by earning great rewards on all of your home improvement purchases with a credit card. Here are the Nerds’ three favorite cards for home renovations.
Discover it® - Cashback Match™: Best for a summer spruce up
If you’re planning a big home renovation project, the Discover it® - Cashback Match™ is a great option. It offers 5% cash back on rotating quarterly bonus categories that you activate (on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending). In both 2016 and 2017, home improvement stores were a category for a quarter. The current bonus categories are as follows:
|Discover bonus categories for late 2017 and 2018|
|Q4 2017 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)||Amazon.com and Target|
|Q1 2018 (Jan. 1 – March 31)||Gas stations and wholesale clubs|
|Q2 2018 (April 1 – June 30)||Grocery stores|
|Q3 2018 (July 1 – Sept. 30)||Restaurants|
|Q4 2018 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)||Amazon.com and wholesale clubs|
Bonus category purchases above the $1,500 quarterly cap will be rewarded at 1% cash back, as will any non-bonus category purchases.
The Discover it® - Cashback Match™ has an annual fee of $0 and an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24% - 24.24% Variable APR. This will allow you to take your time paying off purchases if necessary.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: Best for high rewards on all your home purchases
If you’re looking for high ongoing rewards on your home purchases, and all others, check out the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. It gives you 1% cash back on every purchase when you make it, and another 1% back when you pay it off. Rewards can be redeemed starting at $25 for statement credit, check or gift card.
Make sure to register your purchases on Citi Price Rewind to get reimbursed the price difference if your purchase goes on sale within 60 days.
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has an annual fee of $0 and an introductory APR offer of 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for getting out of the house
If your renovation will leave you without a place to sleep for a few days, you may want to get a flexible redemption travel card. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® offers 2 miles on every dollar spent and a killer sign-up bonus: Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase. Miles are redeemable for travel statement credit, and you’ll get 5% of your miles back when you redeem.
You can redeem rewards for most travel expenses, including flights, hotels, cab rides, cruises and campgrounds. Use your miles to cover costs when you have to get out of the house a few days for a large renovation project. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $89.
Nerd note: Whichever card you choose, keep in mind that many contractors charge extra fees for using a credit card to pay for services. Find out if this is your contractor’s policy before paying with plastic, because the rewards you’ll earn are unlikely to outweigh the fees.
Updated Oct. 1, 2017.