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Green Dot Secured Credit Card Review 2019

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What makes the Green Dot Platinum Visa® Secured Credit Card unique is the fact that you won't get a hard credit pull for approval and you don't need a bank account to be approved.  In this post we will show you how you can use this card to establish or rebuild your credit.

green dot secured credit card

On Green Dot Bank's Secure Website

Green Dot Platinum Visa® Secured Credit Card

3.7

Annual Fee
$39.00

APR 
19.99%

Credit Needed 
Damaged/Poor/Bad/No Credit

EFFECTIVENESS

Adds account to your credit report

PRICE

$200 minimum security deposit + Annual Fee

EASE OF USE

Apply in less than 5 minutes

SUPPORT

Responds pretty quickly

    Credit Knocks Overall Star Rating:     

  • No Credit Check
  • Easy to qualify
  • Credit building tool
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • No Bank Account Needed
  • No Processing or Application Fees
  • $39 Annual Fee
  • High APR
  • Requires $200 minimum security deposit

SUMMARY: 

The Green Dot Platinum Visa® Secured Credit Card is a great tool to have when attempting to start your credit journey or re-establish your credit.

You don't need a bank account, there aren't any processing fees, and you don't have to worry about a hard credit pull when you apply for this card; however, the card does have an annual fee.

I created this review so that you can understand how their card works, its benefits and short comings.

On Green Dot Bank's Secure Website


What's The Green Dot Platinum Credit Card?

The GreenDot Secured Visa® Credit Card was created by Green Dot Bank primarily to help people establish or rebuild credit.

There is a "soft" pull on your credit report so this means it won't affect your credit when you apply for coverage and anyone can be approved no matter their credit score or history.

This card will report to all three major credit card bureaus which in turn will help you build your credit history. 

Like most secured cards, it does require an initial security deposit once you get approved which we discuss below.

Who Is Green Dot Bank?

Green Dot Bank, also operating as GoBank and Bonneville Bank is a single FDIC insured bank that is headquartered in Pasadena, California and is owned by the Green Dot Corporation.

The Green Dot Corporation is a financial technology leader and bank holding company  focused on the branchless future of banking. 

Enabled by proprietary technology and Green Dot’s wholly-owned commercial bank charter, Green Dot’s “Banking as a Service” platform is used by a growing list of America’s most prominent consumer and technology companies such as Apple and Uber.

What Makes Them Different?

The biggest selling point of the GreenDot Secured Visa® Credit Card is that it focuses on helping everyone gain access to credit because you don't need good credit or a bank account to apply.

green dot secured credit card reviews

You don't need a  bank account to submit the initial security deposit or to make your monthly payments.

To top it all off, you get to choose your credit limit based on your initial security deposit up to $5,000.

Green Dot Platinum Card Basics

Below are some of the basic features of the Green Dot Secured Credit Card credit card:

  • Card type: Secured
  • Interest rate: 19.99% APR
  • Annual fee: $39
  • Rewards: None
  • *Security deposit: $200 minimum, $5,000 maximum
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each Transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Credit reporting: Reports payment history to all three credit bureaus.
  • Cash advance fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Late payment fee: Up to $27.00
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $27.00
  • Over The Credit Limit: None

*With secured cards you will need to provide a refundable security deposit, which determines what your initial credit limit will be. The credit card company holds that deposit in case you don't pay your final bill.

In my opinion, paying a small fee to establish credit is 100% worth it; just be sure to make on-time payments.

On Green Dot Bank's Secure Website

GreenDot Secured Visa® Features

The GreenDot Secured Card is packed with several features that make it one of the best secured credit cards without a credit check.

The main features of this card include: 

  • No bank account needed to make your monthly payments
  • Protection against fraud with Visa Zero Liability policy
  • Monthly reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Raise your credit score with responsible card use
  • Your application will not impact your credit score

Green Dot® Platinum Visa®  Credit Cards help you to establish a solid payment history without impacting your credit score.

Paying Your Security Deposit

Your security deposit is what will determine your initial credit limit.

During the application process you will have 2 options:

You Have A Bank Account

You need to provide your debit card details.  

GreenDot accepts  either MasterCard® or Visa® and the application is designed to make it quick and easy no matter if you are on mobile or desktop..

When you submit your application, you are giving Green Dot the authority to process the full security deposit, this will place an immediate hold on the funds you chose, as your credit line.

If your application is not approved, your money will be posted back to your account within five days.

They don’t store your debit card information on file.

You Don't Have A Bank Account

If you don't have a bank account, during the application you will need to select the "Pay my security deposit at a later date" option.

Once you have been approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how and where to send in your deposit.  

Unlike with other secured card issuers, you can pay your bill at thousands of participating retailers, including Walmart and CVS.

When you’re ready to close your account, your security deposit will be refunded to you by check.

Keep in mind that as long as you don't have an outstanding account balance the funds will come back to you, otherwise they will keep whatever you owe and return the difference. 

Requesting A Credit Limit Increase

You can request a credit limit increase at any time by contacting their Customer Service Department.

If you get approved, you’ll receive instructions on how to send the additional security deposit needed to fund the increase to your credit limit.

You may be charged a fee to get the increased credit limit and all credit lines are subject to underwriting approval. 

On Green Dot Bank's Secure Website

Green Dot Platinum Visa® Card Pros & Cons

PROS

CONS

No Credit Check

Improves Payment History

May Improve Credit Score

No Bank Account Needed

Pay Bill At Thousands Of Locations

$39.00 Annual Fee

19.99% APR

No Rewards Program

Alternatives To The Green Dot Credit Card

A secured credit card through Green Dot Bank is a great option to get things started with your credit profile.  

However, there are a few other options available for building or re-building your credit, and if you can, I would get them in addition to the Green Dot Card.

Credit Builder Loan Through Self Lender

While these loans have a small monthly fee attached to them,  they also pull your credit report for approval.

Just like with a GreenDot card, Credit Builder Loans report to all 3 credit reporting agencies.

The major difference is that it is an installment loan and not a revolving loan, but once the loan is paid off, the funds will be sent back to you.

We wrote a detailed guide here and a review of Self Lender here.

Catalog / Merchandise Account Through Fingerhut

Another great alternative are Catalog/ Merchandise Accounts.

While these types of accounts require a credit pull, it is very easy to get an approval and to start building your credit profile.

These accounts will report to all 3 credit reporting agencies; however, you can only use the credit at the Catalog or Merchandise company that gives you the credit.

One of the best catalog accounts comes from Fingerhut, we wrote a detailed review here

Steps To Take After You're Approved

The real work starts once you have been approved for your GreenDot Visa® Secured Card.

Monitor Your Credit

One of the most overlooked area of building credit, is monitoring your credit

This is truly your first line of defense when trying to build or rebuild your credit.

You should try to find a service that allows you to monitor all 3 of your reports.

Helpful Tip

If your application goes to "Pending" status it doesn't mean Declined. Usually, more information may be needed.

Make On Time Payments

Making on time payments sounds like a super simple thing to do; however, we all live in the real world where things almost never go as planned.

Be sure, no matter what, to make your payments on time because it is super important and is one of the largest factors in your credit score.

No matter what, avoid late payments.

Keep Credit Utilization Low

Another factor to consider is credit utilization, you really want to keep this under 3% of total credit if you can but try to never get it over 15%.

For example, if your Green Dot/Platinum credit card has a $300 limit and you spend $60.

Spending $60 on a $300 card limit means you are utilizing is around 20% of your credit on that card and it is above the recommend credit utilization percentage, so be mindful of how much you spend.

On Green Dot Bank's Secure Website

How Do I Close My Green Dot Credit Card?

You can close your account at any time by contacting their Customer Service Department at the phone number listed on your billing statement or on the back of your credit card.

Is There A Fee For Closing My Account?

Outside of the fees associated with your remaining balance, there is no fee for closing your account. 

You will also receive your security deposit back that you used to open your account.

I would recommend keeping the card active as long as you can, there really isn't a reason to cancel the card any time soon.

Taking Action On Your Credit

Hopefully, you found this Green Dot Secured Credit Card Review helpful because starting your credit journey can be complicated and confusing.

There is no better time than now to get things started and the sooner you get your card setup, the faster it will hit your reports and start helping your credit.

Having the card in your wallet is going to feel great, but growing your credit is going to feel even better. 

Start establishing or rebuilding your credit today with a Green Dot/Platinum Visa® Secured Credit Card Today.

On Green Dot Bank's Secure Website

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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