Why Menards credit card is not the best choice!

Posted by CreditCardGuru

menards storeMenards stores are quite well known for their home improvement stores across the Midwest and especially in Wisconsin. Unfortunately their credit card – the Menards Big Card – isn’t such a good deal. Here’s why…

Sneaky Financing Offers

Most consumers are probably unaware that the promotional financing offers on the Menards card are structured as deferred interest. This means that if you fail to pay the entire balance prior the promotional period ending, you will experience retroactive interest on the full balance going all the way to the date of purchase… and that could entail quite a bit of money if your purchase was substantial with an APR of 24.99%.

So let’s say your financing offer with the Menards Big card was 0% if paid in full within 6 months. Well if you don’t pay it in full, you are left paying a small fortune in back interest! So if you’re carrying a balance, transfer it to a different card like this that does NOT use deferred interest:

Extremely High APR

The Menards credit card has one of the highest APRs around. At the time of writing, the interest rate on the Menards card was 24.99% (that’s 21.74% plus the prime rate, which is 3.25%). Even though the prime rate has been stuck at that level for several years there are signs that it’s going to go up next year, meaning cards like this will get even more expensive. Accounting for the fact that its a private label credit card, this is still extremely high and you almost can certainly do better with just about any off the shelf general use major credit card.

Small Signup Bonus

The Menard store credit card application currently shows a $10 in-store certificate after charging a $100 purchase on a new Menards Big card. Sure, something’s better than nothing, but there are many other credit cards on the market that give you a signup bonus worth 10x as much – $100!

Not The Best Rewards

Many store credit cards on the market give up to 5% in rewards when shopping at their stores. The Menards card only gives 2% rebate on an annual basis. With such low rewards it’s not the most compelling selling offer to get you to apply for a Menards credit card.


Although it’s a great home improvement store, the Menards Big Card leaves a lot to be desired. The only people I would recommend this card to are those with bad credit, because comments/reviews online have said they seem to be lenient to applicants with poor credit.

The main piece of advice I can give is to never, ever carry a balance on Menards card because their interest rates are so high you would be doing your pocket book some incredible harm.

How To Save 5% At All Home Improvement Stores?

Did you know there’s a free credit card that gives a 5% rebate in rotating categories, including home improvement stores? Find out how to save 5% for free by reading my Discover it review (a new version for 2013).

How To Finance a Big Purchase & Save The Most Money?

If the primary reason you were interested in the Menards Big Card was for its financing offers, then you would be better offer using a normal bank-issued general use credit card (like a Visa or MasterCard) that gives a promotional 0% rate on purchases. Why? Because normal credit cards don’t use deferred interest. So if it takes you longer than the 0% period to pay it off in full, you won’t have to worry about being charged back interest. For the best current offers, check out our 0% credit cards for purchases and transfers

Last updated August 21, 2014

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

23 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Gwen December 26, 2014 at 2:07PM

    i love Menard’s and shop there often, but beware of Capitol One, who administers Menard’s credit card! I had a snafu with an on-line payment and, long confusing story short, CapOne cancelled my Menard’s card with no warning, after the situation had been rectified! Be sure to read and memorize your cardholder’s agreement, people! To the folks making snarky comments (grow up, pay your bills on time, blah, blah, blah), I take my credit standing very seriously (784, thank you very much), but in this imperfect world, sometimes mistakes are made and the little guy (me) pays for the totally inflexible punitive actions of money hungry corporate slugs (CapOne). As a result, my secondary checking account and savings account, roughly $32K) will be moving elsewhere. CapOne couldn’t care less but I feel better.

  2. THunder August 19, 2014 at 9:08PM

    Got the card, but never use it as I am aware of all the pitfalls associated with the card! I still shop at Menards all the time, but use one of my other low interest cards !!

  3. Doug June 22, 2014 at 8:40AM

    I have stopped using my Menards Big Card due to what I consider unethical and perhaps illegal practices. I have made some big purchases and used their deferred interest plan. I know that I need to pay it by the deadline or I pay the accrued interest (from the day that I made the purchase). That I can understand and do not have a problem with. I made smaller purchases on the Big Card which I would pay off each month. NOW I sent in a 600.00 payment to cover the small purchase and more than enough to cover the promo items. What Menards did was applied everything “over the minimum” to my promotions that were coming due in TWO months then charged me interest on the small purchase. So I cannot pay off the small purchases until my promotion is complete while they get their interest and shorten the promotion time. I called them and was told that is there policy and they would not do anything about it. I now avoid Menards if I can because of this card. I have a Home Depot card and they do not do it this way. If I have to buy something at Menards I would NOT use the Big Card. As I stated this is unethical and I would think illegal.

    • Ashley September 20, 2014 at 8:16PM

      I know exactly what you mean in order to avoid this you literally have to write a different check for each purchase like you have 5 charges 3 of which are 6 months no interest 2 are small purchases you have to write 5 checks allotting how much money you want paid to each purchase putting in the memo line the corresponding number that is put on your bill next to each charge it is s huge hassle but the only way to not get everything messed up because they allot the money where best benefits them not you

  4. Newton Mikesell April 21, 2014 at 12:07PM

    Can’t understand people who pay late, then are mad about the late fees! Come on people, there are consequences in this life. Grow up! Just got a new BIG CARD and will not worry about penalties, interest, late fees, etc. I pay my bills on time!

    • Concerned shopper in Indiana September 27, 2014 at 8:44AM

      I totally agree with you on the concept on paying on time and responsible credit card use. The problem is that some companies i.e. Capital One will play tricks on you when you use deferred payment plans and if you don’t watch your statements, you can be tricked into paying interest when you shouldn’t be. I have had to call Menards Big Card 4 times on 4 different occasions because they attempted to charge me interest on a purchase that I had 6 months to pay on. I am a responsible credit card user, my credit scores are around 800.

    • Gwen December 26, 2014 at 2:11PM

      Consequences are one thing–circumstances are another. Congratulations on being a grown up who never makes a mistake. Please don’t hurt yourself with those mighty pats on your own back.

    • JD March 10, 2015 at 6:21PM

      Newt, some people are not as lucky or not as smart as you. These predatory lenders (and that’s what they are) prey on those who can least afford it and lure them in with phony “offers”. Kudos to you for paying your bills on time. With today’s economy and low-pay standards, many try to maintain a decent standard of living for their families, but get sucked in by these predators. There was a time when late fees were reasonable, but these predators (including most banks) have found they can bleed people dry with late fees and high interest rates. These are financial children, many of whom do not or do not have the capacity to understand these things.

  5. kurmat April 5, 2014 at 9:45AM

    Always pay bill online but one time forgot and was a few days late. Got stuck with $35 late fee which they wouldn’t waive. Learned my lesson and now schedule the payment for the due date as soon as I get the bill. Now that Capital One is providing the credit processing, not sure whether policies will change. Interest rate doesn’t affect me since no balance carried. Unless Chase or Discover is in a 5% bonus for home improvement purchases, the Menard’s card is best to use at Menard’s for its 2% rebate. They also include coupons in the bill mailing which are sometimes useful.

  6. Dave February 22, 2014 at 8:27PM

    I went to use my Big Card today and the cashier says the card has credit denied. The workers at the store could have cared less saying I must have not made a payment or paid it late. My payments are always made on time. Then I spent every bit of 30 minutes on the phone with customer service to get nothing done. Evidently you can’t have issues with your card on Saturdays. My next step will be simple and just cancel since no one seems to care if I have a cardor not.

  7. Irene February 11, 2014 at 6:45AM

    Got the card and I love it, one of my favorite store. If I happen to forget or I’m late with a payment. I may call and explain the situation, but a also understand it’s my fault I’m late. So as a adult I except my part and pay the late fee and interest.
    If you want a credit card, be a responsible adult.

  8. Candi February 9, 2014 at 10:23AM

    Menards is no different than all other cards that offer so many months no interest. You just have to be responsible and make sure you pay on time. I’ve used their card for years and never had a problem. Plus the 2% yearly rebate is nice at the end of the year. Plus the 11% rebates all the time throughout the year. If you don’t like the high interest pay your bill in full each month.

  9. corrine Dubbeldee August 3, 2013 at 4:47PM

    I was issued a BIG CARD in January 2013 I have been using it and pay the full amount, now I went to buy something and they said I have 2 accounts, a month ago I did received another BIG CARD, but I have not used it. why was I sent that card ? wish you correct this and cancel that second card, it is confusing to cashers and my self. please tell be what to do and you can do your part. I don’t want that account to be out there so someone could use it, SHOULD I SEND THE NEW CARD BACK OR CUT IT UP? please clear this up, because I have a big project coming up and don’t want that last account to be used, CONFUSED

  10. deli July 9, 2013 at 3:30PM

    Interesting comments. I worked for Menards for four years and it was the best job I ever had. They pay well and are reasonable with scheduling. I have never had a problem with my card. I was late once and paid a low late fee (nothing like other cards I have) and always pay it off each month.

    • Lah Mor February 9, 2014 at 8:56AM

      They will also extend a fair amount to people in the middle of rebuilding credit… Nice store… Nice people… Nice Card… American Ethics…

  11. KurtB June 21, 2013 at 8:01PM

    I always pay my Big Card on time and in full to get the 2% discount. Last summer I bought shingles for several out buildings, about $1300 worth. All my other cards were auto-pay ( VISA, Farm & Fleet, etc.) but not Menards. As luck would have it I forgot and missed the due date by two days and they hit me with a late fee plus interest. I called and bawled about what a good payment history I had but all they would do is reduce the late fee even thou I had paid the balance in full. I like the store but not the ‘gotcha’.

  12. tracyann May 17, 2013 at 11:15PM

    Was thinking about getting card…WAS… THANKS FOR THE INFO.

  13. Barbara March 10, 2013 at 8:16AM

    Was thinking about getting a Menards Big Card but after reading the comments decided not too. I shop there a lot but will continue to pay cash for what I need. It’s a much safer bet from what I can see. Thanks for the info.

  14. Ken March 7, 2013 at 12:00PM

    Have made many large purchases with this card, come on people read and understand what the possible charges and penalties are this doesn’t make Menard’s or any other store bad because of your stupidity.

  15. pete kammerud March 2, 2013 at 10:00AM

    We use this 12 months or 6 month offer all the time the secret is to pay off two months ahead than there is no question. I have used it a dozen times or more once on about 12,000 dollars never had aproblem.

  16. Don February 26, 2013 at 11:17AM

    Glad I found this site as I also just got stuck with fees and interest on a payment I missed last month. I rarely miss a payment but they refused to wave fees. I do a lot business here but not using the Big Card in the future.

  17. Michigan Jim February 21, 2013 at 5:48AM

    We have been planning to build a cabin in the U P of Michigan so off we went with our new Menards card and charged the 17 K on the card. We paid that off within a month so there was no Zap on the APR. Then about 5 months into owning the card I get a notice in the mail of $30.00 “zap” ouch for a late fee I called and told the HSBC folks I have never been late on any of my cards (Visa-Sears) etc.

    I got a very cold oh well to bad for you, which was my fault,come to find out we had forgot to click the send us our bill via our e-mail….so they cut me no slack. Good-bye Menards card and back to mounting more point on my Cabela’s card…P S which is the best card I have ever… had great people to deal with.

  18. Cindy November 22, 2012 at 6:38AM

    I have a Menards card and everything that is being said here is right on the money. What is left out is that if you miss your payment date they will sock u with a double + payment and the interest rate is outrageous. Will never be back after i get it paid off.

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