Green Dot Platinum Visa Credit Card Review

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The Green Dot Platinum Visa Credit Card has a reasonable APR for a secured credit card and doesn’t require a credit check. If you don’t want your credit score dinged with another credit inquiry, you should consider this option for rebuilding or establishing your credit.

Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card

overall rating
2.7
Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 19.99% fixed
Annual Fee $39
Minimum Deposit to Activate $200
Allows upgrade to unsecured card No
Pay deposit in installments No
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.1
for Fees
2.8
for Rewards
2.2
for Credit
3.7

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

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. Most 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.  

Pros
  • No credit check

  • Many payment options

Cons
  • High annual fee

  • Limited deposit options

Pros Explained

  • 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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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.

Customer Experience

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.Security Features

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.

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CURRENT CARD
Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card
overall rating
2.7
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 19.99% fixed
Annual Fee $39
Minimum Deposit to Activate $200
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

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  1. GreenDot. "Secured Credit Card." May 14, 2020.

  2. Experian. "What Is a Credit Utilization Ratio?" Accessed May 14, 2020.

  3. Green Dot. "Secured Credit Card Agreement." Accessed May 14, 2020.

  4. Green Dot. "Green Dot Platinum Secured Credit Card FAQs." Accessed May 14, 2020.