The Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card is best for people who are looking to improve their credit score and don’t have the cash flow to pay off their balance in full each month. If you have a poor credit history (or none at all) and can’t avoid interest charges, the low APR on this secured card can help keep your finance charges down while you establish yourself as a responsible payer.
The relatively high credit limit—as much as $5,000 depending on how much you deposit to secure the card—may also help your score. Lenders like to see you using no more than 30% of your available credit, so the higher the limit, the more breathing room you have.
Low interest rate
No credit check required
High annual fee
Lots of miscellaneous fees
Restrictions on how you can make your deposit
- Low interest rate: You’d be hard-pressed to find a secured card with an interest rate lower than this one. A lower rate means more of your payments go towards shrinking your balance so you can get out of debt faster.
- No credit check required: Unlike many secured cards, none of Green Dot’s secured cards require a credit check when you apply and there’s no minimum credit score required.
- High annual fee: It’s easy to find a secured card with no annual fee, and among the cards that do charge one, this fee is steep.
- Lots of miscellaneous fees: You’ll pay a lot of random fees if you’re not careful, including to replace your card, add another user on your account, and even use the automated account information line more than twice per billing cycle. Furthermore, these fees are assessed interest at the higher cash-advance rate. (More on this below.)
- Restrictions on how you can make your deposit: You can’t use an ACH bank transfer to make your initial deposit. Green Dot only allows you three options: Pay online with a debit card, mail in a check or money order, or use a paid MoneyGram service.
Your credit limit will usually be equal to how much you put down in a refundable security deposit. Under certain circumstances, however, Green Dot may allow you to increase your limit without adding to your deposit, but for a fee.
Green Dot primor Visa Gold’s Excellent Perks
Most secured cards come with fewer perks than unsecured cards. Editors at the Balance have determined some perks have an exceptional value, and of those, just one on the Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card makes the cut:
- Travel accident insurance: You or your dependents can receive as much as $100,000 to cover accidental death or injury on a trip you paid for with your card.
Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card’s Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Extended warranties
- Travel and emergency hotline
Green Dot offers fewer customer support features than most other credit cards. It’s a smaller card issuer, after all. You will only be able to speak to a live customer support agent from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday for most account inquiries. However, you can contact Visa anytime if your card is lost or stolen.
Don’t expect too much in the way of extra security features with this card. It has standard fraud monitoring and secure account logins, to be sure, but you can’t get free credit scores and there is no app to manage your account or a way to “lock” your card with the swipe of a button.
Green Dot primor Visa Gold’s Fees to Watch out For
Besides the $49 annual fee, the Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card comes with a lot of miscellaneous fees you won’t necessarily find with other cards.
You’ll be charged $29 for getting a replacement card if yours is lost or stolen, for adding another user, or for getting your account reinstated. You’ll be charged up to $49 if you’re granted a credit limit increase without an additional deposit. If you call Green Dot’s automated phone line more than twice a month, each call will cost 50 cents. And from the day these fees are charged until you pay them off, you’ll also pay the higher cash-advance APR of 18.99%.