Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Review
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If you are in the process of rebuilding a positive credit rating, your best option may be a secured credit card. Secured cards are cards which require a security deposit to be held by the card issuer in the event of a default. In exchange, you receive a credit card to use just as you would an unsecured card. Your account activity is reported to the credit bureaus and as you make your payments on time and stay within your credit limit, you can establish a positive credit rating. The can help consumers who have bad credit or no credit build a better credit score.
Some Card Highlights
- Low fixed interest rate on purchases
- No minimum credit score requirement
How This Card Works
When you apply for this card, you have 30 days to make your security deposit of $200 to $5,000, which is debited from a checking account, and held in a savings account. When your security deposit is accepted, you'll receive a card with a credit limit in the amount of the security deposit. You can choose to increase your credit limit by making additional deposits in increments of $50.
Savings account. Your security deposit is held in a Personal Savings Deposit Account which accrues interest. This interest is credited monthly but not compounded. It is important to keep your account open at the end of the year in order for the interest to be credited. You also must maintain the balance in the amount of the deposit.
- $49 Annual Fee
- 9.99% fixed APR
- 3% Foreign Transaction Fee
Low APR on a secured card. An APR as low as this a secured card is unheard of. This is important not only if you frequently carry a balance rather than paying in full each month, but also because the primor cards include additional fees that are posted as Cash Advances, which also incur interest. If you carry a balance or expect to be charged any of the extra fees, you should choose the card with the lowest APR. (See also: Best Secured Cards with Low APRs)
No minimum credit score requirement. Even if you have a low credit score, you can qualify for this card. (See also: 5 Best Secured Credit Cards That Don't Require Credit Checks)
Reporting to credit bureaus. If you are attempting to build or reestablish credit, it is of utmost importance that your account and payment activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus. This is one of the biggest differences between prepaid and unsecured cards — prepaid card issuers do not report payment activity. If your payments aren't reported, the account is not going to help build a positive credit rating.
Savings account. Not all secured cards hold the security deposit in an interest bearing account.
A lot of extra fees. You are charged a fee for most card activity, including when you make credit limit increases. This, however, is one of the problems typical of secured credit cards. If you plan on making credit limit increases or multiple account inquiries, you may want to opt for a secured card with fewer fees. These fees, however, are for services that you may not necessarily ever need.
No graduation to unsecured. You cannot transfer your account to an unsecured card once you've rebuilt your credit. Some secured cards offer this option so that you don't have to close your account, losing the credit history of the secured card on your credit score.
Foreign transaction fee. If you travel abroad frequently, this can amount to a great deal of money. (See also: 5 Best Secured Credit Cards with Low or No Transaction Fees)
Who This Card Is Best For
The Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card offers one of the lowest APRs offered by any secured card. While it is often recommended to always pay your balance in full each month in order to avoid paying interest on your purchases, if you do have to carry a balance from month to month, the lower APR may be worth the annual fee. Additionally, this card is best for those who do not travel abroad frequently or will not be using it for foreign purchases because of the foreign transaction fee.