Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cash Back Credit Cards that Reward Home Improvement Purchases This Spring

This guest post was written by Jason Bushey. Jason is a full-time personal finance blogger, and he runs the day to day operations at 

It's already April, which means spring has arrived and homeowners are ready to crawl out of hibernation and get cracking on the spring cleaning we've all been putting off for months. DIY repairs may be the cheaper (and more fulfilling) route when it comes to home improvement this spring, but those expenses can certainly add up.

For their part, some credit card companies are willing to help out by offering bonus cash back on these home improvement purchases. Chase, Discover and American Express are all promoting 5 percent cash back or more on home improvement purchases made in quarter 2 of 2013, extending through June 30th.

If you're hoping to earn rewards on the home improvement purchases you plan on making anyway, here are four cards that can help take the sting out of spring cleaning:

1.) Discover it

Home Improvement Bonus: 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at home improvement stores

This popular cash back card from Discover is offering members 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in eligible home improvement purchases through June, 2013 when they enroll. All other purchases net 1 percent cash back per dollar spent. And since there's no annual fee, this is essentially one of the best free credit cards to carry so long as you pay your balance back in full each month.

What's the catch? The cap on bonus cash back earned is $1,500, so the most a member can earn on bonus cash back is $75 per quarter. That said, all other purchases earn the standard one percent, so no matter what you're buying with a Discover it Card you're still earning some cash back.

The Final Word: The quality of this card goes way beyond the 5 percent cash back bonus - there's also a 14 month 0 percent APR period applied to purchases and balance transfers, making this one of the best 0 percent interest credit cards on the market today - and in the short term you can earn some decent cash back for your home improvement purchases.

2.) Chase Freedom

Home Improvement Bonus: 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at Lowe's

The Chase Freedom card is offering cardholders 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at Lowe's. And if you want to reward yourself at the end of a day for a job well done, that same 5 percent offer extends to restaurant and movie theater purchases, too. That sounds like a pretty good Saturday!

What's the catch? If you don't live near a Lowe's you're sort of out of luck, and there's the aforementioned cap on 5 percent cash back at $1,500 in purchases. But like the Discover it Card, Chase Freedom members will earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases, so again you're still getting something for each swipe of your card.

The Final Word: This is another excellent cash back option, and as a bonus members who spend $500 within the first three months of their account opening will earn a $100 cash back bonus. Combined with your 5 percent cash back offer and you can save a bundle on home improvement purchases this spring.

3.) TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express

Home Improvement Bonus: 3 percent cash back on up to $4,000 in purchases made at Costco each year.

Costco has all the tools you'll need to get the ball rolling on those home improvement plans. Plus, they'll even reward you with 3 percent cash back at stand-alone US gas stations (again, up to $4,000), so not only will you receive cash back for the purchases you make at the store - you'll earn bonus cash back just for getting there, too.

What's the Catch? You'll need a Costco membership card to take advantage of cash back offered with this American Express card, and the $4,000 cap means a max of $120 bonus cash back each year. Like the cards before it, cardholders still earn 1% on all other purchases.

The Final Word: If you frequent Costco often (and we know there are plenty of you out there that do), this is an excellent card to carry year-round, long after you've put the finishing touches on that broken gutter or new doghouse.

Earn more than just self-satisfaction - and an improved living space - when you use the above credit cards to make your home improvement purchases this spring.


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