Home Improvement card is still alive and kicking!

I found out about this by pure chance, as it was my understanding that most Office Depot stores were not allowing purchases of Home Improvement cards (or most variable denomination cards, for that matter) with cash. Turns out that is not the case.


Earlier this month I purchased a new home and needed to spend a few thousand dollars putting new tiles on the house, and so I turned to Lowe’s for my tiles and installation option.

Once I got my purchase total, I headed to OfficeMax hoping to buy Lowe’s gift cards, but only found $100 denominations, which would have required me to buy dozens of gift cards, and something I wasn’t comfortable with doing. So I headed to Office Depot hoping to find larger denominations. Office Depot didn’t have any Lowe’s gift cards, but instead sitting right there on the rack were the supposedly defunct Home Improvement cards. I took a shot in the dark and took 6 of them to the register, expecting to get turned away. The clerk told me he believed they were cash only, but called the manager on the phone, who said credit card was fine, and didn’t even need an override.

For two weeks I was sweating bullets thinking that my 5x points wouldn’t post, but as soon as my credit card statement closed, I had over 18,000 points post to my Ultimate Rewards account (I had made other office supplies purchases that month).


It is important to note that they have significantly restricted online use of the Home Improvement card, as mentioned in this Frequent Miler article, so I used my Home Improvement cards directly at a Lowe’s store, with no issues. Still, if you have large home improvement projects and have a card that earns you 5x points per dollar at office supplies stores, this is a good option if you can find an office supplies store that lets you buy it with a credit card.

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3 Responses to Home Improvement card is still alive and kicking!

  1. Brennan says:

    That’s great news…only for use at home improvement stores though right? I remember awhile ago that they could be used as a debit card anywhere…

    • travelguys says:

      Brennan, I can’t vouch for the debit card use as I’ve never had the need to manufacture so much spending to resort to this method, but I do know from reading many reports that it’s becoming harder to use the card in more “creative” ways. I’ve even heard of reports of people having trouble even using the card online at a HI store, so if you’re planning on buying several thousand dollars worth of cards I’d have a purchase in mind and be ready to use them directly at the store.

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