Why Menards credit card is not the best choice!

Posted by CreditCardGuru

menards storeMenards stores are perhaps the best one-stop-shop for home improvement in Wisconsin and the entire Midwest for that matter. Unfortunately their credit card – the Menards Big Card – isn’t such a good deal. Here’s why…

Sneaky Financing Offers

Some folks don’t realize that the promotional financing offers on the Menards card are structured as deferred interest. This means that if you don’t pay off the entire amount before the promo period is up, you will be slapped with back interest on the full balance going all the way to the date of purchase… and that’s a lot of money if that APR is 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 for private label credit cards, this is still extremely high, and you almost can certainly do better with just about any run-of-the-mill normal credit card.

Small Signup Bonus

At the time of writing their credit card application listed 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 a very convincing selling point 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.

Whatever you do, just make sure you never carry a balance on Menards card because their interest rates are so high you would be shooting yourself in the foot.

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 credit card 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 November 13, 2013

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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’.

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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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