Home Depot has got several credit cards. In this review, I am going to primarily look at the Consumer Credit Card and the Business Rewards MasterCard. The Home Depot Rewards MasterCard is issued by Citibank and is going to discontinue on 31st October 2009. It could either be because they are stopping it altogether or they could be partnering with another bank to issue their card. If it becomes available again, we will update this review page. But essentially, it is the same as the business rewards card.
Home Depot Consumer Credit Card - The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card is not a Visa or a MasterCard, but rather a store credit card issued by Home Depot. Hence it can only be used at Home Depot and no where else. I guess the main attraction of the card is that if you make a purchase of $299 or more. There is no annual fee and the apr ranges from 17.99% to 26.99% (although they mention on their site that only half of the applicants get a rate of less than 25.99% - yikes!).
Home Depot Business Rewards MasterCard - This card is targeted at those in the contracting industry who make a lot of purchases on Home Depot. As an incentive, you can earn 3,500 bonus points after your third purchases. You also earn 3 points for every dollar that you spend on the card 2 points for every dollar that you spend on gasoline, restaurants, groceries and drugstores. For other regular purchases, you earn one point for every dollar you spend on the card.
Points can be redeemed for Home Depot gifts and others as well (their partners). You can also redeem points for airline tickets from Home Depot's reward program.
Verdict - The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card appears to me a store credit card that is designed for folks who shop at Home Depot and want to get an interest free period where they do not have to pay anything (for 6 months). As they have pointed out on their site, only half of the applicants get a APR rate below 25.99%! This tells me many
folks get this card have bad credit and are perhaps looking for a "starter" store credit card. I guess the advantage is that aside from the benefits of being able to use the card at Home Depot, you can also use the card to rebuild or build a credit history if you have no credit or poor credit. If you fall into this category, you might actually want to consider a secured credit card instead as they are likely to have a lower APR and you can use them anywhere.
While the Business Rewards MasterCard looks attractive at first, I'm not too sure convinced about their reward program. The reward program is not comprehensive at all (but what do you really expect from a Home Depot reward program?). You also cannot get discounts at Home Depot. Rather, all you get is "reward points" which you have to exchange for Home Depot Gift Cards.
Alternative - For those who shop online or are just in the market for a one-time home renovation, I would suggest that you consider the Discover® More® Card instead. The reason is that while the Home Depot Credit Card allows you to earn 3 points for every dollar that you spend there, with the Discover Card, you can earn 5% rebates. How?
Discover has a shopping portal called shopdiscover.com. If you go to homedepot.com through your Discover account, you purchases using the Discover Card will be tracked and you will actually get 5% cash rebates (which I look at it as a discount), and is much better value than any of the Home Depot Cards. Here are screen shots of how it works.
This will take you to the shopdiscover.com merchant partner pages. There are over 100 partners. But here, we just want to highlight Home Depot. The next step is to click on the Home Depot Page.
This will then take you to a page which list out out the fine prints and disclosure.
When you click on the start shopping button. it will take you to the Home Depot site.