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2020 Review: Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card – A Rocky Road Forward

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Evan Zimmer By Evan Zimmer Feb 14, 2015 | Updated Jun 02, 2020
Our rating
Min. credit level: Limited Credit History
Annual Fee: $39
Regular APR: 19.99% Fixed

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card

Our rating
Limited Credit History Min. credit level
Apply Now Jump to Alternatives

Our Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card two out of five Stars. While it provides a way to establish or repair credit, we’ve received multiple reports of poor customer service. Therefore, we recommend you take a look at other options.

Why We Like It

Why It Could Be Better

  • Reports of poor customer service
  • It has an annual fee
  • No credit monitoring tool
  • Few benefits or travel/shopping protections

The Green Dot primor Secured Visa Platinum card was created to help establish or repair your credit, following an initial, refundable security deposit.

Building credit is the singular focus of this card. As such, there are no rewards, and it’s hard to say what benefits you’ll get.

We’ve also received reports of subpar customer service, so you may wish to check out other secured card options before deciding this is the one for you.

Read on to learn more.

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$39
Regular APR19.99% Fixed
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Credit lines available from $200 to $1,000
  • Fixed 19.99% interest rate on purchases
  • No minimum credit score requirements
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use by reporting to three national bureaus

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Practice makes perfect: Pay your bill on time, try not to carry a balance, and build responsible habits to create a positive credit history.
  • Deposit as much as you can: Put down as much as you’re able when making your initial deposit. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you have a larger line of credit backing you up, and it can be better for your credit utilization (and credit scores) too.
  • Move on to bigger and better things: When your credit has shaped up, check out some other cards on the market. There are rewards cards, travel cards, and cards with 0% APR offers, each one able to benefit you in different ways.
  • Get your deposit back: Once you’re ready to move on, pay off your balance in full and close out your credit card account to get your deposit back.

Security Deposit

Because this is a secured credit card, you’ll be required to make a one-time, refundable security deposit that will form your starting credit limit.

The minimum deposit you can make is $200, up to a max of $5,000 (depending on your creditworthiness). You can also request to increase your credit limit beyond what you initially provided, by depositing additional funds.

You can make this deposit in a few ways:

Should you choose to deposit via debit card, your credit line will be available within one business day. If you choose to make your deposit at a retail store, it should be available within minutes.

If you mail in your check or money order, either for your full deposit or to tack on to one you’ve already made, expect it to take up to 10 days from when your payment has been received.

Lastly, there might be a fee of $4.95 for depositing at a store, and some stores may have a $500 limit. But you can mail a check or money order to make up the difference, if you like.

You’ll have 60 days after you’re approved for the card to make your deposit. If you don’t, you’ll have to reapply.

We recommend depositing as much as you’re able. Having a higher credit line is much more useful than having a lower one. You’ll worry less about declines when making larger purchases, knowing you have a sizable line of credit backing you up. Having a larger line of credit can also help keep your credit utilization low. Lower utilization can lead to less of a negative impact on your credit scores.

To get your deposit back, you’ll need to pay your entire balance and close your credit card account.

Insider tip

There are other cards on the market that could help you rebuild credit, if this card doesn’t do it for you. You can see some of our favorites right here.

The Benefits

You may receive some basic Visa benefits with your card. But the card issuer doesn’t explicitly state which benefits those will be, so we can’t definitively say what you will or will not have.

You could get some combination of travel and shopping protections, but it’s hard to say for sure. You can see some of the benefits Visa cards provide here.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
19.99% Fixed None 19.99% Fixed
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$39 3%
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
None 5%, $5 minimum
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $27 Up to $27

There’s really not much to see here, aside from the annual fee. You won’t be able to make any balance transfers, and there’s a foreign transaction fee so you won’t want to use this card if you’re going to be traveling out of the country.

The Bottom Line

As far as secured cards go, you could probably do better than the Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card.

While it can help you establish positive credit, there are better cards out there with more favorable terms. The customer service isn’t great, it offers little in the way of benefits, provides no rewards, and has an annual fee.

There are cards available for bad credit (both secured and unsecured) with no annual fee that can help repair credit. They can also provide stronger customer service, useful benefits including ways to monitor your credit scores, and reward programs. Therefore, it’d be best to look at all your available options before settling on this one — see some solid alternatives below.

How Do I Apply for the Green Dot primor Secured Visa Platinum Card?

Just hit the Apply Now button for the Green Dot primor Secured Visa Platinum. You’ll be directed to the card issuer’s website, where you can securely apply. You’ll typically hear back pretty quickly whether or not you’ve been approved.

What Credit Scores Do You Need for the Green Dot primor Card?

You don’t need any particular credit scores to qualify for the Green Dot card, because there’s no credit check required for approval. Some other cards have the same feature, but it is fairly unique.

However, that doesn’t mean everyone will make the cut. If there’s some issue with your application, like some of the information not being sound, you may not be approved.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply (19 in AL and NE; 21 in MS)
  • Security deposit of $200–$5,000: By debit card, mail-in check or money order, or retail store transaction
  • Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number
  • Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
  • Financial information: Monthly income and monthly expenses

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$39
Regular APR19.99% Fixed
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Credit lines available from $200 to $1,000
  • Fixed 19.99% interest rate on purchases
  • No minimum credit score requirements
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use by reporting to three national bureaus

Frequently Asked Questions

How much will I need for the security deposit?

You can deposit anything from $200–$5,000, depending on your creditworthiness, which will form your initial credit line.

Can I increase my credit line?

Yes, you can request on Green Dot’s site to increase your line of credit. However, you’ll be required to make another deposit to do so.

Do I have to make my deposit right away?

No, you’ll be required to make your deposit within 60 days after you’re approved. Otherwise, you’ll have to reapply.

How do I make my security deposit?

You can make your security deposit with a debit card, a mail-in check or money order, or by making a transaction at a retail store.

You can find a store to make your deposit using Green Dot’s site, and check out our detailed explanation about how the security deposit works.

Is my security deposit refundable?

Yes, you’ll need to pay off your balance in full and close your credit card account in order to get your deposit refunded. If you need further information, here’s an in-depth explanation of the security deposit.

Need some tips about paying your credit card? Take a look at our guide.

Was this helpful?

Alternatives to the Green Dot primor Secured Visa Platinum Card

Discover it® Secured

Our rating
Min. credit level Bad
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR See Terms

The Discover it® Secured (Review) is one of the more rewarding secured cards on the market.

The minimum initial security deposit you can make here is $200, while the max is $2,500 (depending on your creditworthiness). Your credit line will be equal to your deposit.

That’s less than the $5,000 maximum credit limit the Green Dot Platinum offers, but the Discover card is pretty rewarding, even by unsecured card standards. There’s also no annual fee for you to worry about.

Additionally, you’ll get a few more benefits with this card, and be able to check your FICO Score 8, based on your TransUnion credit report. But, anyone is able to access Discover’s credit monitoring tool, not just cardholders, so if you get the Green Dot card you can still use this service.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent per quarter at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cashback Match: Double all cash back earned in the first year; awarded at the end of the first year
  • FICO Credit Scorecard: Access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Free Social Security number alerts: Discover searches for your Social Security number on thousands of risky dark web sites and will alert you if your information was compromised.
  • New account alerts: Get notified of credit inquiries and new accounts on your Experian credit report.
  • Cash at Checkout: At eligible retailers you can get cash at checkout. The extra cash will be counted as part of your purchase.
  • Refer a Friend bonus: Earn a $50 statement credit bonus for every friend you refer who’s approved, up to 10 friends per year. If your friend makes a purchase within three months of opening the account, he or she will earn a $50 bonus too.
  • Security deposit: $200–$2,500
  • Purchase APR: See Terms
  • Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Discover it® Secured has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Limited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee $35
Regular APR 17.39% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card (Review) is a secured card that, like the Green Dot card, requires no credit check.

Also like the Green Dot card, you’ll need to make a refundable security deposit. The maximum credit limit here is $3,000, so it’s a bit less than the $5,000 limit of the Green Dot primor Platinum. The minimum you can deposit is $200, and whatever amount you provide will form your starting credit limit.

The benefits you can expect are probably on par with the Green Dot card’s Visa Platinum benefits, but it’s hard to say for sure what they will be.

The main draw of this card is how easily accessible it is, providing another route for you to take on your credit building journey.

The card issuer states the OpenSky Visa comes with “all the benefits of a Visa card,” but doesn’t explicitly list those benefits aside from mentioning fraud protection and global acceptance.

  • Security deposit: $200–$3,000
  • Purchase APR: 17.39% Variable
  • Annual fee: $35
  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search “OpenSky Card” in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit level Bad
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 26.99% (Variable)

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® (Review) has no annual fee and was created with the goal of rebuilding credit.

The security deposit is a bit different with this card, as you’ll be asked to make a deposit of one of three amounts from a valid bank account:

  • $49
  • $99
  • $200

Despite what you’re asked to put down, your starting line of credit will be $200. You can, however, pay more to increase it, up to a max of $1,000. And, after six months, Capital One may choose to upgrade you to a higher credit line, without requiring another deposit.

While the maximum credit limit is lower than that of the Green Dot, you may be granted a higher credit line without having to make an additional deposit — a handy feature for any secured card.

You’ll also be able to monitor one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. And it’ll come along with a few shopping and travel protections, too.

  • Access to a higher credit line: After six months, you may be automatically reviewed for a higher credit line.
  • Capital One CreditWise: Monitor one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Travel protections: Access travel assistance services, and get covered by rental car insurance and travel accident assurance.
  • Shopping protections: Get extended warranty and price protection.
  • Security deposit: $49, $99, or $200, up to $1,000
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 26.99% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Limited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 26.99% (Variable)

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card (Review) is an unsecured card for people with limited credit history.

Because it’s unsecured, you won’t need to make an initial deposit, but you may need to have a bit more of a credit history built up compared to secured cards. It’s still designed to help build credit, which means you’ll probably start with a fairly low credit limit, but after six months, Capital One may automatically review your credit card account to see if you’re eligible for an increase.

You’ll also get more shopping and travel protections than the Green Dot card, without having to worry about an annual fee.

  • Access to a higher credit line: After six months, you may be automatically reviewed for a higher credit line.
  • Capital One CreditWise: Free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report
  • Travel protections: Travel accident insurance, rental car insurance, and travel and emergency assistance
  • Shopping protections: Price protection and extended warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 26.99% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: $0

The information related to Capital One® Platinum Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$39
Regular APR19.99% Fixed
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Credit lines available from $200 to $1,000
  • Fixed 19.99% interest rate on purchases
  • No minimum credit score requirements
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use by reporting to three national bureaus

Do you use the Green Dot primor Secured Visa Platinum Card? Has it had an impact on your credit scores? Let us know in the comments!

Read more Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit
At a glance

The Green Dot primor Secured Visa Platinum is a secured card, meaning it requires an initial deposit. It’s designed to help establish positive credit, and that’s about all it does. However, we’ve received multiple reports of poor customer service, and recommend you choose a different card.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Discover it® Secured, Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, and Capital One® Platinum Credit Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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