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How to save on home renovations with credit cards

To the point Here's how to save money on your home improvement purchases with the right credit card in Canada!

2020-2022: Years of home renovations

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 through 2023.

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 Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has no annual fee and offers cashback.

Apply for a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card by May 31, 2022, and earn an extra 10% back (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.

You can choose two to three categories that interest you (groceries, gas, furniture, home improvement, recurring bills, pharmacy, etc.) to earn 2% cash back ! And there is no annual cash back limit. It is one of the best credit cards for renovations.

In addition, the Tangerine Mastercard offers several insurance coverages for your purchases :

  • 90 days purchase insurance
  • One year extended warranty

Finally, during your first 30 days, transfer balances and pay only 1.95% interest on the transferred balance for the first 6 months.

A credit card with points for travel

The National Bank World Elite Mastercard® is the best credit card from NBC.

With this exclusive welcome offer for Milesopedia readers, you can earn 35,000 points after $3,000 in Card purchases, and the first-year annual fee is waived for the primary and first additional cardholder.

You can earn up to 2 points per dollar in card purchases, including at Costco. Besides, you get up to $250 in travel credits per calendar year:

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

Besides, you can enjoy access to the LoungeKey airport lounges as well as free Wi-Fi with Boingo.

The National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® is a credit card to keep, year after year, for several reasons:

  • it has one of the best travel and purchases credit card insurance on the market
  • up to $250 travel credit per year
  • Unlimited access to the National Bank Lounge at Montreal-Trudeau airport

A credit card with points for free hotel nights

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

With this welcome offer, you can earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. When you apply for this Card via Milesopedia, all you have to do is make $1,500 in Card purchases within the first 3 months.

With this Card, you earn 5 points per dollar on all purchases at Marriott Bonvoy properties and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.

Finally, this Card comes with comprehensive insurance: baggage delay, lost or stolen baggage, $500,000 travel accident, flight delay, hotel or motel burglary, rental car theft and damage, Purchase Security, Purchase Protection.

Like all American Express Canada Cards, there is no minimum income requirement.

Airline points credit card for airline tickets

With the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, you can earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points and a full Annual Fee Rebate for the first year:

  • A welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card†
  • 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $1,500 within 90 days of Account opening†
  • an additional 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of Account opening†
  • Plus, get an annual fee rebate for the first year (instead of $139)†
  • Annual fee rebate for the first year for up to 3 additional cardholders (instead of $75 per additional card)†
  • $100 NEXUS fee rebate†
  • Up to eight passengers travelling on the same reservation will all enjoy their first checked bag free (up to 23kg/50lb) when your travel originates on an Air Canada flight†

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

  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Air Canada purchases, including Air Canada Vacations

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?

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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