Answered by Vanessa Watson, expert at CreditCardFlyers.com:
It pays to actually compare store cards with traditional credit cards to see where you get the best benefits. Let’s get started by looking at two cards from Lowe's.
Instead of getting the 5% discount, you can choose to pay 0% interest on purchases of $299 or more for six months. However, the usual interest rate for this card is 24.99%, which kicks in after the promotion period ends.
These cards offer benefits similar to other store cards, but it’s important to look at the fine print and what they actually offer. There can be some very real cons to signing up for store cards. A more traditional credit card may actually give you more in terms of benefits and rewards. In this case the exclusions for discounts put a damper on savings, high interest rates after the promotional period is over can be an issue later on, and you do not earn rewards.
With store cards you can’t usually use them to shop elsewhere, and you don’t earn rewards, which is a real downside. Credit cards that offer rewards programs are a great way to earn rewards that can be cashed in for everything from cashback and merchandise to flights and hotel stays.
0% Intro APR on Purchases: 6 months
Ongoing APR: 10.99% - 22.99% Variable±
- Double all the cash back you´ve earned at the end of your first year automatically - only for new cardmembers.
- 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter like gas, restaurants, Amazon.com and more - up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.
- 1% cash back on all other purchases.
0% Intro APR on Purchases: 12 months
Ongoing APR: 11.9% - 19.9% (Variable)
- 5% Earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year.
- Unlimited 2% Earnings on every purchase after that.
- Redeem Earnings toward the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle.
- Save even more when you combine your available Earnings with most current GM offers and incentives.
Ongoing APR: 17.90% - 23.90% (Variable)*
- Unlimited 1% cash back gas rewards.
- Rewards post to your account automatically each month.
- Get Pre-Qualified without affecting your credit score.
- Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities.
- Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges.
0% Intro APR on Purchases: until March 2016
Ongoing APR: 22.9% (Variable)
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
- No rotating categories or sign ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back doesn′t expire and there′s no limit to how much you can earn.
Ongoing APR: 19.8% (Variable)
- Earn 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 25% bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time, for a total of 1.25% cash back
- There′s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don′t expire.
So yes, you can use either of the Lowe's credit cards to finance a project, but rewards earning credit cards, which offer low APR's or no APR for a promotional period, can get you more bang for your buck. This way maybe you can get that home improvement project done and have enough points to book a flight to an exotic destination.
financial expert at CreditCardFlyers.com
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until March 2016
until March 2016