Best Credit Cards for Home Improvement

Here's a list of some of the best credit cards you can use to maximize the value of miles and points while shopping for home improvement. Full Story The post Best Credit Cards for Home Improvement appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Best Credit Cards for Home Improvement
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With the weather improving in many places throughout the United States, it’s common for many people to start looking at various home improvement projects. Whether you’re looking to do a or just looking at , you may find yourself making repeated stops at home improvement stores. Here is a list of some of the credit cards that you can use to maximize the value of your miles and points while you do.

Best Credit Cards for Home Improvement

Most credit cards reward spending in one of two different ways — either they offer the same amount of rewards for all purchases, or they offer different rates in different categories. Some of the more popular bonus categories are things like groceries, dining, travel, or gas purchases. Home improvement stores are not a common bonus category, but there are still a few ways to maximize your rewards when shopping for home improvement.

Bank of America Cash Rewards card

One card to keep in mind is the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. The Bank of America Cash Rewards card doesn’t bonus home improvement stores directly. Instead, you can get 3% cash back on a category of your choice, and home improvement stores are one of the available options. You are limited to getting 3% back on the first $2,500 in purchases each quarter, and you’re giving up the ability to earn 3% back on any other categories, but this still can be an attractive offer, especially if you can combine your purchases over multiple categories. The Bank of America Cash Rewards card has no annual fee.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature® Card

Like the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card lets you choose your bonus categories from a list. You can get 5% cash back on two categories of your choice, up to a maximum of $2,000 in spending each quarter. Home Improvement stores are not currently an eligible category, but you can choose from things like furniture stores, electronics stores, and home utilities. That can cover a lot of home improvement spending. This card also has no annual fee.

A new credit card you’re meeting the minimum spend requirement on

Another option for the best credit card for home improvement purchases is a new credit card where you are trying to meet the welcome offer. The initial signup bonuses from opening new credit cards is one of the most lucrative ways that you can earn credit card rewards. Consider a card where you will earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of having the card. While you’re meeting that initial spending offer, you are earning FIFTEEN points per dollar on every dollar you spend. That is an outstanding return on investment.

Any card with good everyday earning rates

If you don’t have either of the two cards we mentioned previously and aren’t interested in signing up for a new credit card, you’ll want to use a card that offers good earning rates on all purchases. A few options to consider:

  • Citi Double Cash – 2% cash back on all purchases
  • American Express Blue for Business – 2 Membership Rewards points on all purchases up to $100,000 in purchases each year
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited – 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
  • Capital One Venture – 2 Venture miles for each dollar spent on all purchases

Consider using gift cards for your home improvement costs

Another option is to use gift cards for your home improvement spending. The reason that you might do this is because many grocery stores and office supply stores sell gift cards to places like Lowe’s or Home Depot. And it’s a lot easier to find a credit card that offers a bonus in one of those categories.

  • American Express Blue Cash Preferred – 6% cash back at supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year
  • Chase Ink Business Cash – 5% cash back (5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar) at office supply stores
  • American Express Gold Card – 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in spending each year
  • Hilton Honors Surpass – 6 Hilton points per dollar spent at supermarkets

It’s true that doing this may require an extra trip to get a gift card first, and there’s a bit more to keep track of in trying to figure out exactly how many gift cards to buy. You’ll also lose any purchase protection you might get by paying for your home improvement purchases with a credit card. Still, for the right rewards, it may be worth it for you.


These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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The Best Financial Advice I Got From Mom

Everyone knows that Mom is always right. Here's the best money advice from moms - and how to apply that wisdom to your own life. Full Story The post The Best Financial Advice I Got From Mom appeared first on MintLife Blog.

The Best Financial Advice I Got From Mom

Everyone knows that Mom is always right. But on Mother’s Day, we could all use a little reminder.

We talked to some of our favorite financial experts about the best money advice they ever received from their moms – and how you can apply that wisdom to your own life.

Why You Should Wait Before Buying Something

When CFP Nate Nieri of Modern Money Management was little he saved up enough money to buy a video game. He asked his mom for a ride to the store to buy it, but she would only take him if he waited two weeks to make sure he really wanted it. As his mom predicted, he changed his mind before the time had passed.

“It was a very valuable lesson on impulse purchasing and patience, and something that has really stuck with me,” he said.

How to apply it: A general rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 hours before buying something or a week if the item is particularly expensive. Add it to your wish list or a special folder on your browser and walk away. Chances are, you’ll forget about the item – and if you don’t, it might actually be worth buying.

Plan Your Meals Early

Mindy Jensen, host of the “BiggerPockets Money Podcast,” said her mom told her, “Always know what you’re having for dinner by 8 a.m.”

Jensen got this advice when she was a stay-at-home mom and would forget to plan dinner until late in the day. Usually, this meant getting take-out or going to a restaurant.

How to apply it: The advice rings true, whether you’re cooking for a family or just yourself. If you can plan dinner first thing in the morning, you won’t be tempted to get DoorDash at 6 p.m. Starting in the morning gives you enough time to defrost something, throw a chicken breast in the slow cooker or run to the grocery store for ingredients.

Set Specific Savings Goals

Ricardo Pina of The Modest Wallet said his mom always told him to save for a particular item, instead of stashing money away just because it’s the responsible thing to do.

“Whether we were saving money to buy a new video game or a brand new bike, she used to say that when you have a savings goal, saving becomes so much more enjoyable,” he said.

How to apply it: Set up a savings goal in Mint. Every time you transfer money into your account named “Italy trip,” for instance, you’ll remember why you’re saving in the first place.

If you’re saving for retirement, get a clear picture of what kind of retirement you want. Whether it’s living in a Tahoe cabin or a Florida beachfront condo, a more specific image will make it easier to save.

Start Saving Early

Marcus Garrett, author of “Debt Free or Die Trying,” said his mother encouraged him to start saving early by taking him to open a savings account at age 16. When he got his first job at a movie theater, she agreed to match whatever he saved toward his first car.

“By age 16, I already saw and understood the value of an ‘employee match,’” he said.

How to apply it: If you have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you may receive a company match. This means the company will contribute money to your retirement account, usually up to a certain amount. Always contribute enough to earn the full company match, because it’s essentially free money.

If you’re a parent, you can also utilize this strategy with your own kids by matching every dollar they save. It will encourage them to save more, because every dollar they put away will be doubled.

Don’t Rely on Future Earnings

Jacob Wade of I Heart Budgets said his mother-in-law gave him some crucial advice when he and his wife first got married: always live on last month’s income.

“That changed everything for us and helped us avoid day-to-day financial stress,” he said.

It took him and his wife six months to save up a full month’s income, but it’s been worth it. Even 13 years later, they still live on last month’s earnings.

How to apply it: Having a month’s worth of income in the bank means you won’t have to wait for payday to afford your bills. If you’re self-employed, this is especially important because clients can pay late. If you have enough money in your checking account, you won’t have to dip into your savings to make rent.

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