Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card Review

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The Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card offers one of the lowest interest rates of any secured credit card on the market, albeit with an annual fee and other random fees. If your goal is to rebuild your credit and you expect to carry a balance on your card, the savings on interest may be worth the costs. 

Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card

overall rating
2.8
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold 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 (%) 9.99% fixed
Annual Fee $49
Minimum Deposit to Activate $200
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.7
for Fees
3.6
for Rewards
3.3
for Credit
4.4

Top Rated For

  • Best Secured Credit Cards
  • Best Credit Cards for No Credit
  • Best First-Time Credit Cards

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

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

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.

Pros

  • Low interest rate

  • No credit check required

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Lots of miscellaneous fees

  • Restrictions on how you can make your deposit

Pros Explained

  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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.

Note

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 that 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

Customer Experience

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. 

Security Features

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%.

For Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card
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CURRENT CARD
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card
overall rating
2.8
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 (%) 9.99% fixed
Annual Fee $49
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.