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Best credit cards for home improvement

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Owning a home may be a common goal for many Americans, but it can also be a pricey endeavor. In addition to the ongoing maintenance and repairs that all homeowners expect, most people choose to spruce up their properties — including outdoor spaces — every few years. Add on new flooring, the occasional kitchen or bathroom remodel and other upgrades that are necessary over time, and it’s easy to spend a pretty penny keeping your home in tip-top shape.

Whether you’re buying mulch, a new kitchen backsplash or a lawnmower to replace one on its way out, a credit card can be a powerful tool for home improvement projects. Many credit cards earn exceptional rewards on purchases for your home, like sign-up bonuses after you meet a minimum spending threshold and 0 percent APR offers on purchases for a limited time, giving you a short-term home improvement loan without interest.

There are many credit cards that can work well for DIY home renovations or even a major home improvement project. Here are our top picks.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: Best for higher rewards on choice categories

Why we picked it: The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is ideal for home improvement purchases because it allows you to choose two categories (out of 12) in which you’ll earn 5 percent cash back. There are several categories to choose from with this card, but options you may consider for home improvement include department stores, furniture stores and even sporting goods stores. These can be great options for kitchen cabinets, new furniture, home decor, household appliances and more.

Note that this 5 percent rate only applies to the first $2,000 in combined spending each quarter (then 1 percent back). Still, you can easily maximize this perk to rack up more rewards than usual on home improvement purchases. And if you do, you’ll earn up to $100 per quarter, or $400 per year, in these categories alone.

This card also gives you 5 percent back on prepaid airfare, hotel stays and car rentals through the U.S. Bank Rewards Travel Center and 2 percent back in one everyday category of your choice (including gas stations and EV charging centers, grocery stores and restaurants), all of which could help you rack up even more rewards each quarter.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $200 rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 within the first 120 days of account opening
  • 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles (then a variable APR of 16.74 percent to 26.74 percent)
  • Can redeem rewards for Real-Time Rewards or as a statement credit, prepaid rewards card or deposit to a U.S. bank account
  • Visa Signature benefits

Cons

  • 2 percent foreign transaction fee for purchases or ATM transactions in U.S. dollars and 3 percent foreign transaction fee for purchases or ATM transactions in a foreign currency
  • Very few card perks beyond those mentioned

Who should apply: If you plan to make many (or all) of your home improvement purchases at a department store or furniture store, it’s hard to beat 5 percent cash back on these purchases, even with the $2,000 cap.

Who should skip: You shouldn’t choose this card if you don’t want to pick your choice categories or if you want to be able to change your choice categories more frequently.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for home improvement stores

Why we picked it: The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card earns 3 percent cash back in one eligible category of your choice. Eligible categories include home improvement, gas stations, online shopping, dining, travel and drugstores. You’ll also earn 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. However, note that the 2 percent and 3 percent categories have a combined purchase limit of $2,500 per quarter (then 1 percent back).

If you max out the 3 percent home improvement category with your Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards, you’ll earn $75 in cash back per quarter ($300 per year). Plus, your rewards could be even higher if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member since members earn 25 percent to 75 percent more points (depending on the membership tier).

You can also earn a welcome bonus of $200 after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening, which you can put toward home improvement costs. And if you need to pay off a large home improvement project over time, this card also comes with a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 18 billing cycles (then a variable APR of 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent).

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles (then a variable APR of 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent)
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn 3.75 percent to 5.25 percent (depending on membership tier) on choice category purchases
  • It’s easy to change your 3 percent category each month if needed

Cons

  • 2 and 3 percent categories capped at $2,500 each quarter
  • Can only redeem rewards for statement credits or direct deposits to an eligible Bank of America or Merrill account
  • 3 percent foreign transaction fee

Who should apply: This card would be a good choice for those looking for a bit more flexibility each quarter and long term, since the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards allows you to swap out your 3 percent home improvement category for one of five other categories on a monthly basis.

Who should skip: This card isn’t a good choice for those who don’t want to select or change their choice categories or worry about spending caps.

The Bank of America content in this post was last updated on 08/25/2022.

Citi Custom Cash Card: Best for earning rewards in your top spending category

Why we picked it: The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card works similarly to the U.S. Bank Cash+ in that you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on your top spending category each billing cycle (on up to $500 each billing cycle, then 1 percent back). You can earn 5 percent back in any one of 10 eligible spending categories, including home improvement.

While the Citi Custom Cash lacks the U.S. Bank Cash+ card’s ability to choose your own category, this card still ensures that you’ll earn a high rate of rewards on a category you spend a lot of money in. That means if a home improvement project is taking up a big chunk of your budget one month, you might earn 5 percent cash back at home improvement stores, whereas if you spend more at grocery stores next month, you’ll earn 5 percent back in that category.

The Citi Custom Cash also comes with a 0 percent intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent. Plus, you’ll get the chance to earn a welcome offer of 20,000 ThankYou points — worth $200 in cash back — after spending $1,500 in the first six months of account opening.

Pros

Cons

Who should apply: If you want to automatically earn a high rate of cash back in your top spending category — and if you tend to spend a lot of money in the categories that the Citi Custom Cash offers — it’s hard to go wrong with this card.

Who should skip: If you don’t want to keep track of your spending to make sure you earn 5 percent back in a particular category, it would be better to choose another card.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Best for simple, flat cash rewards

Why we picked it: Those looking for a generous flat rate on purchases can’t do better than the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. This card offers an unlimited 2 percent cash reward on purchases. You can also earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 within the first three months of card membership — a major plus if you have a lot of home improvement purchases to make right away. Plus, you’ll enjoy a 0 percent intro APR on new purchases for the first 15 months from account opening (variable APR of 17.99 percent, 22.99 percent or 27.99 percent thereafter).

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers from account opening for 15 months (then a variable APR of 17.99 percent, 22.99 percent or 27.99 percent)
  • Numerous redemption options like statement credits, physical cash in $20 increments from a Wells Fargo ATM, direct deposits, or gift cards.
  • Cellphone protection
  • Visa Signature benefits

Cons

  • 3 percent foreign transaction fee

Who should apply: The Wells Fargo Active Cash is a great choice if you want to earn a high cash rewards rate without keeping track of bonus categories or rotating categories. It’s a great addition to any wallet since you’ll get 2 percent cash rewards on your purchases — a rarity in the rewards world, when most cards offer 1 percent cash back on all purchases.

Who should skip: If you’re looking to earn more cash rewards on specific types of home improvement purchases, you should go with a card that offers boosted rewards on select bonus or rotating categories.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for long-term value

Why we picked it: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 5 percent cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025), 3 percent cash back on dining and at drugstores and 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases. As a welcome offer, you can earn an additional 1.5 percent cash back on top of all purchases’ original cash back rate during the first year (on up to $20,000), which could be worth up to $300 in cash back.

Homeowners who want to save money on interest should also consider this card for its 0 percent APR on purchases for 15 months (followed by a variable APR of 16.49 percent to 25.24 percent). If you have a large home improvement project coming up and want some time to pay it down, scoring a lengthy 0 percent offer can lead to significant savings over time.

It’s also worth noting that the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s sibling, the Chase Freedom Flex℠, offers many of the same rewards rates and features, but it earns 5 percent cash back (on up to $1,500) in activated quarterly rotating categories. The Chase Freedom Flex is also a prime candidate for home improvement purchases since its bonus categories have included home improvement stores, Amazon and Walmart in the past.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then a variable APR of 16.49 percent to 25.24 percent)
  • Pairs well with premium Chase cards
  • Numerous redemption options like statement credits, direct deposits, travel, gift cards, shopping at Amazon.com and charitable contributions
  • Card benefits like purchase protection, extended warranty coverage and trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Free DoorDash DashPass membership for three months, then 50 percent off for nine months (if activated by Dec. 31, 2024)

Cons

  • 3 percent foreign transaction fee

Who should apply: The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good pick if you’re more interested in a card that will provide you with long-term value, additional perks and no interest on purchases for a limited time. You won’t have to keep track of rotating categories, and you’ll earn at least 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases.

Who should skip: It’s hard to go wrong with this card in the long run, but it may not provide as much value to you in the short term when it comes to maximizing cash back on home improvement purchases.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Best for business renovations

Why we picked it: For small business owners, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card can be perfect for both home improvement purchases and all of your other business purchases. This card starts you off with a $750 cash bonus after spending $7,500 within three months of account opening. You’ll also earn 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each year, 2 percent cash back on $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each year and 1 percent back on all other purchases.

As a bonus, this card also offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months (variable APR of 14.74 percent to 20.74 percent thereafter), a feature that is less common with business cards. This gives you a full year to pay off your home improvement purchases without interest.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards
  • Numerous redemption options like cash back, gift cards, travel or pay with points at select merchants

Cons

  • 3 percent foreign transaction fee
  • Bonus categories capped at $50,000 per year

Who should apply: This card is best for small business owners who spend a lot on telecom services and office supplies.

Who should skip: Business owners who don’t spend a significant amount in the bonus categories offered should consider a card that better matches their spending habits. This card is also not well suited for large businesses.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for Amazon purchases

Why we picked it: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* can be extremely useful if you plan to order tools and home improvement supplies from Amazon.com. From kitchen islands to flooring, light fixtures and dishwashers, there are endless home improvement purchases available through Amazon (often with free shipping, too).

With this card, you’ll earn 5 percent back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2 percent cash back at gas stations, restaurants and drugstores; and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. You can even qualify for a $100 or $150 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon card approval. And although there’s no annual fee for this card, you must have an Amazon Prime membership to get it.

Pros

  • Unlimited 5 percent cash back on Amazon purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Must have an Amazon Prime membership (currently $139 per year)
  • Low welcome bonus

Who should apply: This card is a great choice for anyone who spends a lot of money at Amazon and Whole Foods.

Who should skip: Even if you have an Amazon Prime membership, you may not want to get this card if you don’t spend a lot of money at Amazon and Whole Foods. In that case, there are plenty of other top cash back cards to consider that include no annual fee, higher rewards on everyday purchases and a larger welcome bonus.

Compare the best cards for home improvement

Card Annual fee Welcome bonus Rewards rate
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card $0 $200 cash back after spending $1,000 within the first 120 days of account opening
  • 5% cash back in two choice categories (on up to $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter, then 1%)
  • 5% cash back on prepaid airfare, hotel stays and car rentals through the Rewards Travel Center
  • 2% cash back on one choice everyday category
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card $0 $200 cash back after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
  • 3% cash back on one choice category
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • 3% and 2% categories limited to $2,500 in combined spending each quarter, then 1%
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Citi Custom Cash Card $0 20,000 ThankYou points (worth $200 in cash back) after spending $1,500 in the first six months
  • 5% cash back on your top spending category (on up to $500 each billing cycle, then 1%)
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card $0 $200 cash rewards after spending $1,000 within the first three months
  • 2% cash rewards on purchases
Chase Freedom Unlimited $0 Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on top of all purchases’ original cash back rate for the first year (on up to $20,000; offer through Bankrate)
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3% cash back on dining and at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
Ink Business Cash Credit Card $0 $750 cash back after spending $7,500 on purchases in the first three months
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card $0 (with $139 Prime membership) Up to $150 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

How to choose a card for home improvement

As you look for a rewards credit card for your next project, consider these tips to find the best card for your needs.

How do you want to earn and redeem rewards?

Make sure to choose a credit card that offers generous rewards on home improvement purchases or at stores where you are likely to shop. You can choose from cards that offer higher rewards in specific bonus categories or opt for a credit card with a flat rewards rate on everything you buy.

Further, make sure you are happy with the redemption options available to you. Some cards only let you cash in rewards for statement credits while others offer gift cards, travel redemptions and more.

Do you want to earn a welcome bonus?

If you plan to make a large home improvement purchase, coordinate your spending so you earn a generous cash bonus with a rewards credit card. Just make sure you can easily meet the minimum spending requirement within the timeframe specified or you’ll miss out. But don’t go over budget just to qualify for a bonus — those extra rewards are not worth taking on high-interest balances.

Do you need to pay off purchases over time?

Consumers who want to save money on interest can also opt for cards that offer 0 percent APR on purchases for a limited time. Although these offers can easily lead to significant interest savings, it’s important to remember that they don’t last forever. Make sure you pay down your balances beforehand because once the 0 percent intro APR timeframe is up, your card’s APR will reset to a much higher variable interest rate.

Do you want a card with long-term value?

Finally, remember that you’ll want a credit card that serves you long after your home improvement project is complete. With that in mind, you’ll want to select a credit card that offers rewards that align with your regular spending. If you’re going to be paying for gas, groceries and utility bills anyway, you might as well get something in return.

The bottom line

The best credit card for home improvement varies since many homeowners have different goals and spending habits. Ultimately, you’ll want to choose a card that both rewards you for home improvement purchases and offers you value long after you’ve finished your project.

*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards, loyalty and insurance topics. In addition to writing for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.
Edited by
Associate Editor