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If you decide to start home improvement, the general consensus is to avoid credit card debt. Average credit card interest rates are rising — currently, above 16 percent — and can add significant costs to financial recovery.
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Hence, most people opt for low interest options like home equity line of credit (HELOC) or personal loans for these projects. But what if these products are not suitable for your business?
Because there are some exceptions to this rule, some people choose to use credit cards to pay for their home renovations. Although it can be risky, there are times when it makes sense — like when you can take advantage of an introductory 0 percent APR offer, a generous welcome bonus, or rewards for your spending. If you're planning this trip, here's what you need to know.
A while ago I had the unfortunate experience of having a plumbing rod outside our toilet tank just reach a broken pipe and become useless. I was already saving money to renovate the place, now I just need to fast track the plan. Even though I didn't have all the money, I decided to make it happen. I decided to use a credit card.
I paid about half of this bathroom renovation project in cash, and put the rest on my Well Fargo Platinum* card, which came with a 0 percent intro APR offer for 18 months (after a variable APR of 16.49 percent to 24.49 percent).
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The remaining $4,000 is split between employer expenses and materials on paper. It took about seven months to pay that amount. I did my bathroom, for credit, with no interest because I paid off the balance well before the APR period ended.
After I paid off the balance, I didn't use the card for new purchases when the regular APR started, but I kept the account open. Hence it provides new transfer balance from time to time. There were some for 0 percent, others slightly higher, but still lower than the average APR, varying from six to 18 months.
Another time I bought an investment property to renovate and host guests on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb or VRBO. Once the renovation was complete, I needed to add appliances and furniture. At this point I already had two credit cards and decided to add Business Infinity Ink to the credit card mix.
It's hands down because it offers a welcome bonus of $900 within three months of account opening and $6,000 with a 12-month 0 percent APR period (after 16.24 percent to 22.24 percent variable APR). Both features helped me save money on my purchase and interest expenses. Plus, I can earn reward points for everything I spend.
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In this case, I kept a small balance after completing the introductory APR offer period. Fortunately, I was able to transfer it to my Wells Fargo Platinum, which offered another balance transfer at the time.
Since then, it has offered a combination of favorable benefits, credit rewards and 0 percent APR to help with personal finance and real estate related projects. If you want to use a credit card for home renovations or even a real estate business, here are some best practices that can help.
There are ideal and less-than-ideal ways to use your credit cards for home improvement purposes. These tips can help you avoid some of the pitfalls of using a credit card for big purchases like home renovations.
Depending on your goals, you should choose a card that offers the features you need. A 0 percent APR offer can work if you need more time to pay off a large loan on time.
Reasons To Pay Off A 0% Interest Loan Early
Consider getting a rewards card with a “family improvement category,” such as the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card or the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card. Then, cards with a better deal with higher cash back requirements may be available for your larger purchases that require program renewal.
Many contractors accept credit card payments for work these days, but you should be aware of the fees charged for using a card. Some may have small dresses
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