As the economy strengthens and the housing market heats up, many Americans are becoming new homeowners. Moving into a new house is a big deal, but it’s just the first step to making a home. You’ll still need to buy furniture, window coverings, or decor and possibly even pay for renovations. For many new homeowners, the right credit card can offer both rewards and interest-free promotional financing on these and other purchases.
Just don’t go applying for a new credit card before your closing date. Mortgage lenders have been known to recheck an applicant’s credit right up until the loan closes, to ensure that nothing has changed and that you can still handle the forthcoming payments. And you don’t want a new credit card account or big balance associated with one to put your loan in jeopardy. (You can keep an eye on your credit during the closing process by viewing your two free credit scores, updated each month, on Credit.com.)
With that in mind, here are some credit cards to consider once your closing is complete.
1. Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card
This card could help if you need to buy new appliances or make improvements to your new home. New cardholders get to choose between getting 5% off most purchases or a special financing offer that allows you to skip paying interest for six months with a $299 minimum purchase. Just be sure to pay those balances down before the offer expires: if you don’t, interest will be assessed on the promotional purchase from the purchase date. The standard APR for this card is 24.99% and it has no annual fee.
2. Discover it
There are three reasons why the Discover it card (see full review here) can be a good choice for new homeowners. First, depending on which offer you sign up for, you can get a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months with a 0% APR on new purchases for 6 months or a 0% APR for 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers, both with a 3% balance transfer fee. (After the introductory offer expires, your APR will be a variable 11.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness.) The card also offers cardholders 5% cash back their first $1,500 spent at home improvement stores during the third quarter of 2016 (July-September). Furthermore, Discover is currently offering new cardholders double rewards paid out at the end of their first year automatically. There is no annual fee for this card.
Rather than focusing on rewards, new homeowners could consider the card with the longest possible promotional financing terms on the market for all those upcoming home improvement projects you have planned. The Citi Simplicity card (see full review here) offers 21 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, Discover and Chase advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) After that, the variable APR is 13.24% to 23.24%, based on creditworthiness, and there is a 3% fee associated with each balance transfer. Simplicity also boasts no late fees and no penalty interest rates. There is no annual fee for this card.
4. Chase Slate
The Chase Slate (see full review here) is an attractive card for new homeowners as it offers 15 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. This allows homeowners to avoid interest charges on their past purchases as well. After the introductory period, the APR is a variable 13.24%, 18.24% or 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness. In addition, it features Chase’s Blueprint program that allows cardholders to avoid interest charges by paying some purchases in full while carrying a balance on others. Blueprint also contains valuable budgeting and goal setting tools. There is no annual fee for this card. Chase Slate took the top spot in the best balance transfer credit cards in America rankings.
5. Home Depot Consumer Credit Card
If you’re looking to renovate, repair or improve your new home, you may want to look into this card, which similarly touts special financing offers, including 6 months of no interest on purchases of $299 or more. Again, be sure to pay these purchases off before the offer expires: interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the purchase balance, including premiums for optional credit insurance, is not paid in full within the 6-month timeframe. The standard APR is between 17.99% and 26.99%, depending on creditworthiness. Cardholders also can get up to 24 months of interest-free financing during special promotions and are given four times longer to return items than non-cardholders. There is no annual fee for the card.
6. Wells Fargo Home Rebate Visa Card
If you have a mortgage with Wells Fargo, you may want to look into this card, which lets the bank’s mortgage borrowers earn rebates on everyday purchases that can be put towards paying down the principal on their home loan. You earn a 5% rebate on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases for 6 months and a 1% rebate on virtually all other purchases everyday. The card features a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the APR is between 12.40% and 26.24%, depending on creditworthiness. There is a 3% fee on balance transfers and no annual fee on this card.
At publishing time, the Discover it, Citi Simplicity and Chase Slate cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for them. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
More on Credit Cards:
- Credit.com’s Expert Credit Card Shopping Tips
- How to Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit
- An Expert Guide to Credit Cards With Rewards