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How to Save on Home Improvements with Credit Cards

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Here's how to save on home improvement materials with the right credit cards in Canada!

How to Save on Home Improvements with Credit Cards

2020-2021: years of home improvements

The last two years have been unlike any other we’ve experienced. Many households have had to adapt their homes or even make the decision to move for a better lifestyle.

Radio-Canada recently reported on a survey produced by the Léger firm. It was reported that 65% of Quebec homeowners had undertaken home renovations in 2020. This trend is expected to continue until the end of 2021.

With an aging rental housing stock in Quebec, many people have turned to one or another of the three government programs for energy-efficient transition work.

To give you an idea, the subsidies for the Chauffez vert program went from $27 million to $94 million in a single year, according to Radio-Canada. Add to that the tax credits that reduce the bill. The homeowners can definitely congratulate themselves for using their confinement time for home renovations!


Avoiding debt

Subsidies and tax credits have encouraged the transition to eco-responsible renovations. In addition, there were many other types of renovations in Quebec: painting, landscaping, patios, decks and balconies, new kitchens and bathrooms.

Good advisors will remind you that financing major home renovations should not result in high interest payments. Ideally, you’ll have the savings you need before you start renovating your home.

If this is not possible, your bank will be able to show you the different options: mortgage line of credit, personal loan or line of credit, or others.


Purchasing materials

Using a credit card to purchase materials and tools is the way to go. All the more so with the soaring prices of both lumber and plumbing. Think about it: the price of a 2×4 went from $3 to $7 in a few months.

In this context of home renovations, the right credit card will serve to optimize expenses. You will, however, need to pay off your balance on time, every month. And you must not pay interest.

Good credit cards offer rewards in airline, hotel or travel points, or cash back.

What would make you happy?

Credit cards also offer excellent insurance benefits. Examples include extended warranty and purchase protection.

What if the purchase of materials during your home renovations could help finance your next vacation? Think about it!

Cash Back Credit Cards

Choosing the right credit cards

Here are our suggestions for the best credit cards for home improvement expenses. Depending of course on your reward preferences. And they all offer welcome bonuses that make a difference!

A credit card with cash back

The SimplyCash™ Preferred from American Express is one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.

You get 2% cash back with no annual limit, unlike other credit cards. This card is therefore particularly recommended for all your renovation expenses, furniture purchases, household appliances, etc.

Plus, for a limited time, you get 10% cash back for the first four months (up to $4,000 in purchases). That’s $400 that is easily accessible when renovating!

A credit card with points for travel

The National Bank World Elite Mastercard® is the best credit card from NBC. Right now, they’re offering a $300 cash back bonus after $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

You can earn up to 2 points per dollar in card purchases, including at Costco. Also, since it is a Mastercard credit card, it will be accepted at all home improvement stores, even in more remote regions. And some contractors can accept it!

Besides, you get up to $250 in travel credits per calendar year:

  • Airport parking: $100
  • Baggage fees: $100
  • Seat selection: $50

A credit card with points for free hotel nights

The Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card is the best credit card for free hotel nights.

You can earn 50,000 Welcome Bonus points, enough for several free hotel nights at one of the 7,000 Marriott Bonvoy properties around the world. And you can earn 2 points per dollar on all your purchases. Even for your renovation purchases!

Besides, you will receive an Annual Free Night Award after your anniversary each year (35,000 points value) and 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year, counting for your Marriott Bonvoy status.

Finally, this Card has reliable insurance: Baggage delay, Lost or Stolen Baggage, $500,000 Travel Accident, Flight delay, Hotel or motel burglary, Car Rental Theft and Damage, Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan, Purchase Protection Guarantee.

Are you an entrepreneur? The Marriott Bonvoy Business American ExpressMD Card is available for you too!

Airline points credit card for airline tickets

With the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, you earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on eligible:

  • grocery
  • gas
  • Air Canada purchases, including Air Canada Vacations

And 1 point everywhere else, including home improvement stores (consider buying Home Depot gift cards at your grocery store or gas station to get 1.5 points per dollar)!

Think about home improvement store gift cards!

Don’t forget that you can earn more points, miles or cash back by purchasing home improvement store gift cards at multiplier stores.

For example, you could use the American Express Cobalt Card to earn 5 points per dollar on grocery and convenience store gift cards.

See those Home Depot, Home Hardware or Canadian Tire gift cards available at that Super C grocery store? By purchasing them there along with your grocery cart, it’s like getting 5 points per dollar for your home improvement purchases too!

500 in gift cards purchased at your Metro or Super C grocery store with this Card = 2,500 points = $25 towards travel! Got a big $10,000 renovation project? That’s $500 back!

5X The Points On Amazon.ca For Cobalt Cardmembers!

Or, you could use the American ExpressMD Gold Rewards Card to earn 2 points per dollar when purchasing gift cards at drugstores, grocery stores, or gas stations.

For more information on this tip, check out this article.

Think of the welcome bonuses!

Renovations are a major expense in the life of a household. It is also a time when these expenses happen over a few months (between 1 and 6 months generally).

You need to take advantage of this temporary overspending by unlocking welcome bonuses for cards you wouldn’t have targeted first because of the high spending requirement.

One example is all those business credit cards that require you to spend between $3,000 and $5,000 in 3 months. And even individuals can apply for them.


Homeowners in Canada have been on a roll since the start of the pandemic when it comes to home improvements. They have been able to take advantage of grants from various levels of government and tax credits. Happy initiatives that are reviving a shaken economy.

All they have to do is find the right credit card to optimize their purchases of materials and tools during these home renovations, so that they can make the most of their expenses.

Have you found yours?

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