Make no mistake about it, the Green Dot Platinum Visa Credit Card—like any secured credit card—is for people who are rebuilding their credit or have no credit history. Many secured cards still require a credit check, though, and that can lead to a temporary dip in your credit score. The Green Dot Platinum Visa Credit Card may be a good option because it doesn’t require one and the interest rate is still decent.
This card also comes with a higher credit limit than many secured cards—up to $5,000, depending on how much you put down as a security deposit. (The minimum is $200.) A higher limit, if you make sure not to max it out, can be helpful in improving your credit score because lenders like to see you’re not using more than 30% of your available credit.
No credit check
Many payment options
High annual fee
Limited deposit options
- No credit check: When you’re trying to rebuild your credit, the fewer inquiries on your credit report, the better, and Green Dot won’t check your credit when you apply. Of course, that doesn’t mean anyone can get this card; the company will still look at factors such as your income.
- Many payment options: You can schedule an ACH payment directly from your bank account, use your debit card online, or mail in a check. You can also use a Green Dot MoneyPak (a store-bought card that lets you send money electronically) or make a cash payment at over 100,000 partnering retail locations, but these options come with a fee.
- High annual fee: This card’s $39 annual fee is sizable considering many secured cards don’t charge anything at all.
- Limited deposit options: You can’t use an ACH bank transfer to make your initial security deposit. You can mail a check or money order, use your debit card online, or pay a fee of up to $4.95 to pay in cash with one of Green Dot’s retailer partners.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Credit score formulas, and therefore lenders, like to see that borrowers aren’t using the bulk of the credit that’s available to them, so you should avoid maxing out your card. In fact, if you can use under 30% of your credit line at any one time, that’s ideal. (Bear in mind that you have ultimate control over your credit limit, but you also must supply a security deposit to match.)
Once you have your credit limit in place, focus on making your payments on-time every month and, if you can, paying off your balance in full.
Religiously paying on time, along with keeping your balance well below the max can make a noticeable difference in your credit score. Payment history and your credit utilization ratio account for about 65% of your credit score.
You might find Green Dot’s customer support features a little lackluster, especially compared to the bigger-name card issuers like Capital One and Discover. There’s no access to your credit score or other extras.
The Green Dot Visa Secured card comes with industry-standard security protocols, like fraud monitoring and secure online logins, but don’t expect virtual card numbers for online purchases, instant freezing and unfreezing, Social Security number monitoring, or credit report alerts.
Fees to Watch Out For
Besides the $39 annual fee, the Green Dot Platinum Visa Credit Card’s fees aren’t out-of-line with many of its competitors. It’s worth noting that there is no penalty APR and balance transfers aren’t allowed. We’d also recommend using cash or your debit card if you plan on traveling overseas since this card comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee.