NEW YORK – If you use the right credit card, home renovations may offer rewards beyond beautifying your living quarters.
The Chase bank and Reader's Digest Association have recently teamed to launch the Chase Home Improvement Rewards card that pays dividends to users who buy home-improvement items. Every dollar spent on home improvement earns cardholders three points. All other purchases earn only one. For accumulating 2,500 points, cardholders win a $25 gift card redeemable for electronics goods and retail items at such stores as Circuit City (CC), Best Buy (BBY), Sears (SHLD), Linens-n-Things (LIN) and Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY).
The new Chase card charges no annual fee. The annual percentage rate is variable and currently set at 13.24%. This rate is midrange for cards offering similar benefits on home-improvement purchases, though some cards charge no interest for the first year.
"When it comes to home improvement, we are amazed with the projects our readers are willing to take on," says Lou Sassano, Reader's Digest marketing director for partnerships. "By offering card members triple points on all their home-improvement purchases, we encourage our customers to continue doing what they love."
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry, a trade group in Des Plaines, Ill., is projecting that homeowners will spend $291 billion on materials and services for residential remodeling this year, up from an estimated $275 billion in 2005.
"We haven't seen a drop in spending for more than a decade," says Gwen Biasi, NARI's communications director. "As the housing stock continues to age, this industry will continue to grow."
Biasi said that financial institutions are actively targeting the surge in spending for remodeling. "We've seen representatives from between eight and 10 financial institutions at recent industry events, whereas a few years ago we used to see only one or two."
In addition to the Chase card, home-remodeling enthusiasts can choose a reward plan with the Sears Gold MasterCard, Home Depot Rewards MasterCard, Lowe's Credit Card, and the Discover Platinum Home Improvement Card.
Each card has its own special benefits, but only the Chase card offers triple points for home-improvement purchases.