If you're planning a home-improvement project, it could be time to open a new credit card to earn rewards or get 0% APR
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- If you're sprucing up your space, make sure to think long and hard about how you'll pay for the project.
- Covering for your home or landscaping remodel with a credit card can yield some significant benefits, including 0% APR, cash back, or travel rewards.
- Some of the best rewards credit cards let you earn a significant sign-up bonus as well, which can help you rack up more points for travel, gift cards, statement credits and more.
- If you're not interested in rewards but you want to save money on interest, the top 0% APR credit cards may be worth considering.
- See Business Insider's list of the best rewards credit cards »
With the summer season in full swing and interest rates at record lows, it's not surprising to see people working on indoor and outdoor projects meant to bolster their home's value. Some sources say that home remodeling is booming during the pandemic, as more and more people are stuck at home, looking around, and getting the itch to complete long-awaited projects.
No matter the type of home upgrade you're dreaming of, you should know that some credit cards offer rewards and perks that can make using them more beneficial than paying with cash or using a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). Of course, that is all predicated on the idea you can use credit to pay for your indoor or outdoor project, reap the benefits, and pay your credit card balance off before any interest accrues.
We looked up the average cost of three home remodeling projects — an asphalt roof replacement ($24,700), vinyl siding replacement ($14,359) and a garage door replacement $3,695) — to see how much you could benefit with a few top rewards cards. All information on pricing comes from Remodeling Magazine's 2020 cost versus value study.
If you're considering a new deck, new windows, or an outdoor landscaping overhaul this year, the following credit cards could be your best bet.
We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Best sign-up bonus
If you want to parlay your home remodeling project into a big sign-up bonus, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card starts you off with 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $750 in travel when you redeem them through Chase) when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. You'll also earn 5x points on Lyft purchases through March 2022, 2x points on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
A $95 annual fee applies, but you can redeem your rewards in a ton of different ways. The new Pay Yourself Back feature lets you redeem points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to wipe home-improvement purchases from your statement. Your points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when you redeem them this way — and you can also use Pay Yourself Back on dining, grocery, and charity purchases.
You can also use Ultimat Rewards points to book travel through Chase, transfer them to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio, redeem them for cash back or merchandise or cash them in for gift cards from an array of popular retailers, dining establishments, and more.
You can even redeem your rewards for gift cards to places like Lowes or Home Depot, where you can use them to buy more supplies for projects around the home.
Here are the rewards you'd earn on three different types of home-improvement projects, based on the pricing from Remodeling Magazine's cost versus value study:
• Asphalt roof replacement ($24,700): 84,700 Chase points, worth a minimum of $847
• Vinyl siding replacement ($14,359): 74,359 Chase points, worth a minimum of $743
• Garage door replacement ($3,695): 64,000 Chase points, worth a minimum of $640 (when you meet the remaining minimum spending requirement by spending another $305 on your credit card within three months of account opening)
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
- Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
- To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
- Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
- Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
- If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
- There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
- No annual fee
- Simple earning structure
- Some cards earn higher rates of cash back on rotating categories
Consider 0% APR offers
Finally, don't forget the benefits of securing 0% APR for a limited time. The Citi® Double Cash Card offers 0% APR on purchases (and balance transfers) for 18 months, so you could complete your project and pay it off without interest for more than a year. Note that the APR goes up to 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) once the introductory offer expires, so you would definitely want to pay your balance in full during that timeline.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
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