The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card for those looking to build or repair their credit history. Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card is issued by First Choice Bank, which is a newer regional bank founded in 2007.
The card can be used by anyone in the US, but potential cardholders will need to make a savings deposit with First Choice Bank to open the Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card. The minimum is $200 and maximum is $5,000.
Cardholders then use the card just like any credit card, and the deposit cannot be used for the monthly payment. The deposit is refundable. The card is issued by Visa and is widely accepted, meaning the card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
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Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
Green Dot Secured - Benefits
Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Green Dot Secured card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card allows potential cardholders to apply for the card without a credit check. Applying for the card will not affect your credit.
If your income is at least $100 more than your expenses, you’re almost guaranteed approval. There is no credit check and a simple application process.
Even with terrible or no credit history, you will be approved. The card is issued after an initial deposit into a savings account.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card rate is 9.99%, which is way below the average credit card on the market. This is due to the fact that the card is secured by your cash. If you think you are going to carry balances, this is the card to use.
Also, Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card does not have a penalty interest rate if you are late. Many credit cards on the market will jack up your interest rate if you are late or delinquent. Not the Green Dot card – the rate will stay the same. If you are late you will still be charged a $29 late fee.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card is designed for those with limited or poor credit, so it is a benefit that it reports to all three of the major credit bureaus.
Make all payments on time if you want to build your credit. This will help the cardholder build a credit history.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card allows for a deposit of just $200. If you are looking to rebuild credit and do not have a lot of money, you can start with just $200 with the Green Dot card. You can also build your credit limit with depositing more money. The limit is raised in $50 increments.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card funds are deposited in a savings account that is FDIC insured and earns a small amount of interest. As of June 2019 the rate is 0.15% APY.
Green Dot Secured - Drawbacks
Here are the most important cons you should consider before apply to the Green Dot Secured card:
If you would like to withdraw cash from your security deposit it will take time and require the bank’s approval.
Cardholder must deposit money in a savings account to get the Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card, but unlike many savings accounts that payout increases once a month you have to wait 12 months for the savings to be deposited in your account.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card has a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you want to avoid this fee, leave this card at home when traveling abroad for one that does not have a fee.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card has a $49 annual fee for cardholders. That is high for a secured credit card. It may be lower than many cards on the market, but most cards on the market with an annual fee have rewards and cash back bonuses.
There are other secured credit cards that do not have annual fees. If you would like a 2nd card there is a $29 fee. If you lose your card there is a $29 replacement fee.
All fees except the annual fee are charged to the cash advance interest rate; that means late fees, card repayment fees, and other fees are charged the 18.99% rate.
Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card does not offer an introductory rate like many cards on the market.
If you need or are looking for an introductory rate you will have to look at other offerings. It makes sense that they do not offer this because you need to secure the card with your money first.
Many cards on the market offer rewards for spending, such as cashback rewards, points, or travel rewards.
The Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card does not offer any rewards. Its main purpose is to help consumers rebuild credit.
The standard fee for cash advances is $5 or 3% but with the Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card the fee is higher and cash advances should be avoided. The fee is $5 or 5% of the amount withdrawn, whichever is greater.
Also the APR on a cash advance is 18.99% and starts accruing interest as soon as the money is taken out, meaning there is no grace period like there is with purchases.
Also, The card does not have $0 fraud liability protections like most cards on the market. If there is fraud on the card you will be responsible for the fraud up to $50 per incident.
There are dozens of other products and services that help borrowers build credit. Many of these options are cheaper. There are secured credit cards that do not have annual fees, but may have higher interest rates.
Alternatives to Green Dot Secured Card
There are several other secured credit card options that will help you establish credit history and fix your credit score. Let’s take a look at a few alternative options:
The Discover It Secured Credit Card is a great card for any new card holder who is looking to open a line of credit. This card designed to help card holders build or rebuild their credit score.
The Discover It Secured Credit Card earns 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically, and Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The biggest difference between these two cards is the APR.
However, the Discover It Secured Credit Card has a set APR of 22.99%, compared to the 9.99% of the Green Dot secured card.
The Discover it Secured card’s benefits include a $0 annual fee.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard is another alternative card option to help you build your credit until you can qualify for a better credit card. It does not offer any sign-up bonus or cash back rewards program but there are no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee.
Upon making a secured deposit of $49, $99, or $200 you’ll get a minimum credit line of $200 to start. You can increase your credit line up to $3,000 by making a larger security deposit. It comes with a high APR of 26.99% which can make this card expensive if you have a balance.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard’s benefits include a $0 annual fee.
The AvantCard Credit Card is a great starting place for anyone who is looking to build a line of credit, or has limited credit options due to past credit encounters.
Despite the fact that the Avant Card has limited bonus options and perks when compared to other credit cards, it does give a lot of love for people who are looking for a card that can help boost their credit score quickly, especially when it comes to people who are applying for a first credit card.
While for some AvantCard Credit Card holders the annual fee may be $29, the company does state that this is subject to change based on market testing.
Is the Green Dot Secured card Right for You?
The Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card’s main purpose is to help consumers rebuild or build their credit. This card is secured by a refundable deposit which determines the cardholder’s credit line.
This can be as high as $5,000. Applying for this card does not affect your credit because they do not do a credit check. As long as your income is $100 more than the expenses you should be approved.
The Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit card reports your on-time payments to all 3 major credit bureaus, but they also report any missed payments or derogatory actions on your credit card to the credit bureaus.
The card has a low-interest rate but that’s because it is secured by your cash. This card does have an annual fee of $49, which is high for a secured card. If you have poor credit or limited options this is a great card to consider, but there are other secured cards on the market that do not have an annual fee.
The card has limited fraud protection while most cards on the market have 0%. This card is great for customers looking to improve their credit scores but should be closed once your credit has improved.
If your score is above 650 you should start looking for more traditional credit cards that offer rewards and benefits to cardholders.