Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household
Spends time making their house or condo a comfortable, safe place to call home
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
The Lowe’s Advantage Card is ideal for Lowe’s fans who spend a fair amount of money improving and maintaining their homes. If you regularly find yourself needing tools, supplies, appliances, hardware, or paint, this card offers an automatic 5% discount on most purchases. Even people with just an occasional project can benefit since you don’t have to spend a certain amount to use your rewards.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card may also be a good choice if you’ve only got fair credit—especially if you need to finance a big appliance purchase and don’t think you’ll qualify for a card with a 0% APR promotion. (Good credit is recommended for many co-branded store cards and most general rewards cards.)
Generous discount on store purchases
No waiting for discount
Decent sign-up bonus
Can't be used anywhere but Lowe's
Risky promotional financing
- Generous discount on store purchases: A 5% discount on most store purchases is as good a rewards rate as you’re likely to find on a store credit card, and far better than what’s offered by some direct competitors.
- No waiting for discount: The 5% is taken off at checkout, so you’ll get to benefit from the discount immediately, rather than having to wait to use vouchers or reward certificates that can’t be redeemed until you’ve accumulated a certain amount. This makes the card worthwhile even if you only shop at Lowe’s occasionally.
- Decent sign-up bonus: The sign-up bonus on this card isn’t bad, considering some store cards offer nothing at all. Depending on the amount of your first purchase, you’ll get either $30 or $100 off ($30 if you spend at least $50, or $100 if you spend at least $600.)
- Can’t be used anywhere but Lowe’s: Since the Lowe’s Advantage Card is a private label card, you can’t use it at any other store. Some retail outlets offer co-branded credit cards that you can use everywhere—and that will earn you rewards everywhere. For instance, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card offers at least 1% of every purchase back in points (and more when the purchases are at Walmart, or for travel or dining out.)
- Discount exclusions: Lowe’s excludes a number of appliance and homewares brands from the 5% discount, including ICON, Fisher & Paykel, Monogram, SMEG, Lieberr, Weber, and Kichler. You also can’t stack coupons or other Lowe’s promotions onto the 5% discount, limiting your overall savings.
- Steep APR: Store credit cards tend to have higher interest rates than cash-back or travel rewards cards, and the Lowe’s Advantage Card is no exception. If you carry a balance, you could get stuck with hefty finance charges. (On qualified purchases of $2,000 or more, you may be able to get a fixed APR of 7.99% for 84 months, but prolonging your borrowing for this long can be very expensive.)
- Risky promotional financing: This card has a number of special financing offers (separate from the 7.99% offer) that give cardholders a break on interest payments for a certain number of months. But these aren't traditional 0% APR promotions. They are deferred interest promotions, which have a major catch. If cardholders don’t pay off their entire balance in the allotted time period, they’re charged retroactive interest on that entire balance.
Deferred interest promotions may save you substantial amounts of money on finance charges, but only if you are super vigilant. If you live on a tight budget or have any doubt you’ll be able to pay off the entire balance in the specified time period, these offers can be a big gamble.
Lowe's Advantage Card Sign-Up Bonus
When it comes to opening a new account, bonuses for store cards are rarely as generous as they are for general rewards cards, and many store cards don’t offer any such incentive. The sign-up bonus on the Lowe’s Advantage Card is one of the better bonuses offered on a store card, rivaling competing cards in the home improvement sector.
You’ll either get $30 off your first in-store purchase of between $50 and $599.99 or $100 off of your first in-store purchase of $600 or more. The offer is valid through Feb. 1, 2020.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Lowe’s Advantage Card’s 5% discount stands out against Lowe’s competitors in the home improvement sector. Home Depot’s store card, for instance, doesn’t offer any ongoing rewards or discount.
Even among other big-box store cards, 5% back on purchases is a competitive rewards rate, and can add up. The average homeowner spends around $3,300 per home improvement project when they use savings or credit cards to pay for their purchases, according to a 2019 study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. If you spent that at Lowe’s, you’d get $165 off the cost of your project.
Just remember that the Lowe’s Advantage Card doesn’t offer the same earning opportunities you would have with a co-branded store card that rewards spending at other merchants. (Co-branded cards usually have a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express logo.)
If you’ve got good credit, you may want to consider a co-branded card instead, depending on your spending habits and budget for home improvement projects. If a co-branded card offered 2% back on gas and groceries, for instance, it may be more valuable to you, even if you’d only earn 3% back on purchases in the store affiliated with the card.
Lowe’s doesn’t offer a co-branded credit card for consumers. (Just an American Express card for small businesses.)
You can’t get lower-maintenance rewards than an automatic 5% off at the register. There are no points or vouchers, no waiting for rewards to accrue before you can redeem them, no special accounts to check. The only downside is you can’t use your savings for anything else.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Check the store’s list of inventory and consider shifting some of your everyday purchases to Lowe’s. In addition to building supplies and appliances, Lowe’s sells a surprising variety of home-related items: plants, home decor, furniture, cleaning supplies, pet care items, sports equipment, games, organization tools, and many other lifestyle items.
If you’re a member of an airline or hotel loyalty program, you may also be able to stack your rewards by using that program’s shopping portal to shop online at Lowe’s. If you are a Delta SkyMiles member, for example, you can go to the SkyMiles online mall and then click through to the Lowe’s online store. In addition to getting 5% off your purchase by having a Lowe’s Advantage card, you’ll get one Delta SkyMile for every $1 you spend at Lowe’s.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card’s Other Features
The Lowe’s Advantage Card doesn’t come with any perks or extras such as insurance on purchases, but this is pretty standard for a store card.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card is issued by Synchrony Bank, which doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to customer satisfaction. Synchrony ranked 10th out of 11 national credit card companies in J.D. Power’s 2019 survey, which looked at the opinions of more than 28,000 credit card customers.
Synchrony does make it relatively easy to reach someone, though. In addition to calling customer service, you can contact Synchrony Bank through secure email or online chat.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card comes with standard security features like zero liability for unauthorized purchases.
The Lowe’s Advantage Card’s Fees
The fees are comparable to those on other private label store cards.