A couple is on the couch looking at a laptop while their home is being renovated.

Best Credit Card for Home Improvement

Published November 30, 2023
3 min read

Key points about: Credit cards for home improvement

  1. A credit card can help you finance home improvement projects like renovations or emergency repairs.

  2. Cash back rewards credit cards can work for home renovations if they offer cash back as a percentage of your spending on purchases.

  3. If you need time to pay for your purchases, consider saving on interest with a low intro APR card.

If you just bought a new house, it might take some renovations to transform it into your dream home. Maybe you want to expand your kitchen to host dinners and add a new backsplash to impress your guests. On the other hand, if you've had your home for many years, some changes, like transforming a spare bedroom into an office, might help you meet your family's changing needs. Perhaps your home needs basic repairs to address life's wear and tear. In any case, the right financial tool can help you get the job done. Read on to learn how you could use a credit card for your home improvement projects.

How to make use of a credit card for home improvement

A credit card can help you with both emergency and planned home renovations. You can't always predict when your home will need a repair, so you might not always have room in your budget. If you need to patch your roof after a big storm or fix a flooded basement, a credit card can help you make repairs right away. Even if you're starting a substantial renovation that you've budgeted for meticulously, you might uncover unexpected repair needs. For some, it might also make sense to finance your entire project with a credit card from the start. That way, you can pay for supplies and labor as you need them.

The type of credit card you use for home improvement projects can make a major difference. You can set yourself up for success by using a rewards credit card. When you make purchases with a rewards credit card, you receive cash back or other rewards as a percentage of your spending.

How to choose the best credit card for home renovations

Factors like interest rates, fees, reward types, and reward amounts all influence which credit card best fits your home renovation needs. If you need to spread payments out over several months, you may want to choose an option with a low introductory APR on purchases, so you can pay little to no interest as long as you pay your balance before the end of the introductory period. Discover has no annual fee on any of our cards, including the Discover it ® Cash Back Credit Card.

With the Discover it® Card, you can also earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Did you know?

The right credit card could help you save more on your home improvement project. Whether you're adding on a bedroom, updating your kitchen, or planting a new garden, cash back rewards can help you buy what you need, from tools to backsplashes to mulch. We’ll automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. There is no limit to how much we’ll match.1 That means if you earn $150 cash back, we’ll give you another $150.1 You can reap the benefits of your repair expenses during your renovation and long after you finish your project.  

Alternatives to using a credit card for home repairs

The best financial tool for your home improvement project depends on your unique situation. Using a credit card for your renovations and repairs is a sensible option if you know you can repay the balance before interest starts to accrue. Otherwise, you might consider a loan or saving toward your home improvement goals.

Home equity loans

If you've owned your home for a while, you could consider a Home Equity Loan (HEL). With your home as collateral, HELs are secured loans. If you can't repay your HEL, your lender may foreclose on your home, so it's important to assess your financial situation before applying.

Personal loans

 If you haven't yet built your home equity, you may be able to use a personal loan to pay for home improvements. Unlike home equity loans, personal loans are unsecured, meaning you don't provide collateral. That means a personal loan does not necessarily put your property at risk, but you might pay more interest.

You could also use your savings account to cover renovations and repairs, especially if your renovation needs aren't urgent and you can gradually save.

The bottom line on selecting the best credit card for home improvements

If you decide to fund your home renovations or repairs with a credit card, a cash rewards credit card could be the option that suits you best.

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  1. Cashback Match: We’ll match all the cash back rewards you’ve earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods. You’ve earned cash back rewards only when they’re processed, which may be after the transaction date. We will not match: rewards that are processed after your match period ends; statement credits; rewards transfers from Discover checking or other deposit accounts; or rewards for accounts that are closed. This promotional offer may not be available in the future and is exclusively for new cardmembers. No purchase minimums.

  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.