The Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card Review — Everything You Need to Know [2017]

Lowe's Storefront for the Lowe's Advantage Credit Card

Everyone knows home improvements can be costly. And hiring a contractor? Even more so. That’s why many people choose the do-it-yourself option.

This likely means you’re spending a lot of time (and money) at places like Lowe’s. So should you be using their store-branded credit card?

To answer that question, we’re taking an in-depth look at the Lowe’s Advantage Card by Synchrony Bank.

The Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card at a Glance

Main Benefits*
  • 5% off every day, OR
  • 6 months special financing, OR
  • Project financing
Annual Fee $0
APR** 26.99% (fixed)
Late Fees up to $38

*See additional explanation below (rules/restrictions apply to all main benefits)
**Special financing/intro APR rates may apply

This credit card is best for consumers who shop at Lowe’s often and are responsible cardholders. This means you pay off your balance on time and in full each month. If you don’t, the high APR on this card can get you into some trouble.

If you don’t shop at Lowe’s often, there are likely a number of other rewards-based credit cards that are worth your while.

Lowe’s Advantage Card Rewards

An important point to note right away is that the Lowe’s Advantage card offers either/or benefits: these are not cumulative! Keep this in mind, and we’ll explain more below.

5% off every day: Cardholders who pay with their Lowe’s Advantage card can earn 5% off their eligible purchase or order. This discount will be taken after all other relevant discounts have been applied.

HOWEVER, the offer cannot be used with any coupon, Lowe’s low-price guarantee, Lowe’s volume or special discount programs, military discount, employee discount, and in some other specific cases.

Additionally, the 5% off benefit does NOT apply to gift cards, extended protection/replacement (warranty) plans, shipping/delivery/assembly charges, or fees and taxes. Furthermore, some specific brands are excluded from this discount, so check carefully before you apply for the card to justify a big appliance/brand purchase.

6 months special financing: On Lowe’s Advantage Card purchases over $299, cardholders are given the option of applying a 0% APR to the purchase if the balance is paid in full within the first 6 months. (The 5% off benefit will not apply if this option is selected.)

If and 6 months are the key words here. If the cardholder is not able to comply, the introductory 0% APR is void and the standard APR of 26.99% will be applied to the balance all the way back to the purchase date — this is called “deferred interest.”

Bottom Line: This option should only be chosen if a cardholder is confident they can pay off the full balance within the first 6 months. Otherwise, the 26.99% APR applied retroactively can result in some seriously hefty interest fees.

Hot Tip: In general, the minimum monthly payment due is usually NOT ENOUGH to pay off your balance by the end of the promotional period. This is extremely sneaky – so be sure you’ve calculated your payments correctly and pay more than the minimum when needed.

Project financing: Lowe’s offers this option to customers because they feel big projects should have more payment options. For Lowe’s Advantage Card purchases over $2,000, cardholders may ask for a special financing option.

May ask for are the key words here. This special project financing is not automatically applied; it must be requested at the time of purchase. (The 5% off benefit will not apply if this option is requested.)

Cardholders have the following options:

  • 36 fixed monthly payments at 3.99% APR (until paid in full)
  • 60 fixed monthly payments at 5.99% APR (until paid in full)
  • 84 fixed monthly payments at 7.99% APR (until paid in full)

Lowe’s states: Each fixed monthly payment will be approximately 2.9520% for 36 months; 1.9328% for 60 months; 1.5581% for 84 months of the initial promo purchase amount and will not be adjusted for merchandise returns, which may result in paying the promo purchase in less than 36, 60 or 84 months. The fixed monthly payment calculated may be higher than the minimum monthly payment that would be required if the purchase was a nonpromotional purchase.

Additionally, this benefit is not applicable to purchases made at Lowes.com.

The either/or stipulation: Generally, cardholders receive 5% off purchases every day (within restrictions) until they reach a certain purchase amount. When cardholders reach $299 (the minimum purchase amount for 6-month special financing option), they are given a choice between the 5% off OR the special financing option.

Which is the better choice? That depends. Let’s look at an example.

Say you want to purchase a new Maytag high-efficiency washer for $600.

  • The 5% off option would yield $30 off your purchase.
  • If you choose the 6-month 0% APR and pay it off in full — congratulations, you’ve stretched out your payments successfully.
  • If you choose the 6-month 0% APR and do not pay it off — your clothes may be clean, but you’ll be in a sticky situation financially.
Special Financing, Delinquent Account
(26.99% APR deferred interest)
Payments Balance Interest Applied
Month 1: $50 $550 $12.38
Month 2: $75 $475 $10.69
Month 3: $75 $400 $9.00
Month 4: $50 $350 $7.88
Month 5: $75 $275 $6.19
Month 6: $100 $175 $3.94
Total Interest Fees Accrued $50.08

In the final example above, you did not pay your balance in full for your new washing machine, so deferred interest was initiated. This means the standard 26.99% APR was applied to the balance for each month, all the way back to the purchase date.

This adds up to a total of ~$50 in interest fees, or about 12% of the initial cost of your washer. This $50 in accrued interest will then be added to your remaining balance. So what happens next?

If you do not pay this new remaining balance in full, the standard APR of 26.99% will be applied moving forward since you are now out of the promotional period.

Bottom Line:Only choose the special financing options if you’re 100% certain you can pay the balance off in full within your 6-month period. Ideally, you’d pay more than the monthly minimum if possible since this amount usually isn’t enough to pay off your balance in full by the end of the promotional period!

Either/or continued: Again, remember that cardholders who request the special project financing will not receive the 5% off on their >$2,000 purchase.

Additional Card Features

The Lowe’s Advantage Card comes with a couple additional features:

  • $0 annual fee
  • Special promotions
  • Fraud prevention

Fees & Drawbacks of the Lowe’s Advantage Card

There are a couple of BIG drawbacks to the Lowe’s Advantage Card.

As we discussed earlier, the Lowe’s Advantage card has a ridiculously high standard APR (26.99%), and shoppers can get into some serious trouble if they choose special financing options and are not able to pay them off in the allotted time frame.

Additionally, the Lowe’s card cannot be used anywhere other than Lowe’s and Lowes.com.

Other notable fees/drawbacks:

  • Late fees can cost up to $38
  • No cash advance option
  • Lack of perks found with other retail credit cards (no free shipping, extended returns, extended warranties, etc.)

Additional Lowe’s Credit Options

Lowe’s does have a couple of other credit options specific to businesses, and while we aren’t reviewing them here, you can find more information online.

  • Lowe’s Business Account
  • Lowe’s Accounts Receivable
  • Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express

Alternative Rewards Credit Cards

  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card is very easy to understand, without so many complicated strings attached. Upon signing up, you’ll earn a cash-back sign-up bonus after you spend a certain amount on your new account within a specified timeframe (check our review for the most current offers). Those purchases can be made anywhere at any store. Plus, the card earns you 1.5% unlimited cash-back on any purchase (also from any store). The APR is also significantly lower than the Lowe’s credit card. Finally, the annual fee is $0.
  • The Chase Freedom Card – This is potentially another good option. This card has rotating 5% cash-back bonus categories every quarter. Based on past trends, there’s a good chance that spending at Lowe’s for 3 months of the year will net you 5% cash-back, but it’s not going to be for more than 3 months per year since the bonus categories rotate quarterly.

Applying for the Lowe’s Advantage Card

You can apply for the Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card in-store or online.

In general, you’ll likely need a fair credit score to be approved, although those with a slightly lower scores have noted approval in the past.

Upon credit review, some applicants will be approved instantly. However, some applications may need further review resulting in a 7-10 day waiting period. Additionally, applicants should note that the age requirement is 18 years+ to apply.

Sign-up bonuses/promotions: Lowe’s may offer certain sign-up bonuses when you apply for the Lowe’s Advantage Card. For example, cardholders can currently receive $30.00 off their first in-store purchase. Of course, restrictions apply. In this case, the shopper must apply in-store and utilize the coupon within a certain period or the coupon is forfeited.

Lowes Credit Card Login & Online Account Management

If you are a Lowe’s Advantage cardholder, you can sign up/log in here to manage your credit card account. Here are a few options you have within the platform:

  • Pay your bill
  • Monitor your account activity
  • Enroll in e-billing
  • Learn about special offers and promotions

Final Thoughts

The Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card could certainly be a money saver if you shop at Lowe’s often and you’re a responsible cardholder. The 5% off every day benefit can come in handy, but pay attention to the fine print as there are some exclusions. As a cardholder, be sure to make wise decisions when you’re presented with the 5% off vs. special financing option.

If you’re not a frequent shopper at Lowe’s or you have difficulty paying your balance on time, you’re much better off opting for an alternative rewards credit card. Most of these can be used virtually anywhere and offer good benefits with a lower (or 0% in some cases) APR.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Here are the top 5 reasons to have this card in your wallet, where you can earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Plus – you can convert your cash-back to points if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card!

FAQ

How does a Lowe’s credit card work?
If you are approved for the Lowe’s Advantage Card, you may use it for purchases at Lowe’s or Lowes.com.

When you make a purchase with the card, a 5% off every day discount is automatically applied after all other relevant discounts. There are of course some exclusions and restrictions.

For the special financing option (0% APR for 6 months if paid in full), customers must make a minimum purchase of $299. They will be given an option to take the 5% off or the special financing option.

To use the project financing benefit, customers must request this at the time of purchase. This cannot be combined with the 5% every day discount.

Can my Lowe’s credit card be used anywhere?
No, your Lowe’s Advantage Card can only be used at Lowe’s and Lowes.com.

Can I use my Lowe’s credit card to purchase gift cards?
You can use your Lowe’s Advantage Card to purchase gift cards, but the 5% discount does not apply toward this purchase.

What is the Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card interest rate?
The Lowe’s Advantage Card standard interest rate is 26.99%. However, this may differ if you opt for a special financing option with your purchase.

Can I pay my Lowe’s credit card in the store?
Yes, you can pay your Lowe’s Advantage Card balance in-store. You can also make payments online and by mail.

Is a My Lowe’s card the same as a Lowe’s credit card?
No, a My Lowe’s card is not the same as a Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card.

The My Lowe’s card is a tool to help customers manage their home improvement projects.  It goes along with the My Lowe’s online account that allows customers to track their purchases, make lists, set reminders, create a home profile, save address/billing information, and more.

The My Lowe’s card can be used to view your purchase history online, including purchases made in-store and on Lowes.com. You can scan your card at the register in-store or provide your phone number. These purchases will be added to your online account so you can inventory them or add them to lists and reminders once there.