Introduction to the Primor Credit Card
The overwhelming majority of people that have heard of the Green Dot financing company are familiar with their prepaid/reloadable debit card and credit card solutions and may not be aware of the fact that this company also offers a handful of more traditional credit card options for those looking to build, rebuild, or reestablish their credit.
The Primor credit card is exactly that kind of option.
Specifically designed for folks with less than picture-perfect credit (all the way down to absolutely horrible or nonexistent credit), this is very much a secured credit card – requiring you to pony up a little bit of cash in the form of collateral to take advantage of this offer.
If you have had a tough time getting your hands on a traditional credit card in the past this might be a solid option to help you establish better credit history, but it’s definitely a card that you find you are likely to “outgrow” sooner rather than later.
Right out of the gate, you’ll find that there are two different versions of the Primor card – the Gold and the Classic security credit card.
Both of them operate almost identical to one another and the only real discernible difference between these two options is how high your credit limit can go (something wholly dependent on how much money you’re willing to put down to secure this credit line in the first place).
Throughout this review we are going to refer to these cards as pretty much the same thing, as for all intents and purposes – aside from the credit limit – they bring the exact same things to the table.
For starters, both of these cards are very much secured credit cards that operate like a traditional option but require you to put cash up front to “load” your credit limit. In 99.99% of all cases that the amount of money you put up is going to establish your credit limit, with the folks behind this card holding your deposit in reserve in case you should ever default on your payments. This allows them to take payments automatically from your deposit should they have to go down that route.
Obviously, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are only ever putting out as much money as you can to get a credit limit you are comfortable with – but it’s also good idea to make sure that you aren’t putting up so much money that you really miss it should you default on your card and have that deposit wiped away completely.
Your limit can vary from anywhere between $200 and $5000, again depending on how much money you are willing to put down. An interesting little wrinkle with this particular card is that you can continue to add to your secure deposit which increases your limit – and you can do so at any point in time, improving your credit limit, your credit utilization rate, and your credit score all at the same time.
There are annual fees associated with the security credit cards that you might not have had to pay with other companies, like Capital One, for example. The Classic card will set you back $39 a year where the Gold card is going to set you back $49 a year – and that’s just because the Gold card has a slightly lower variable APR that you may be subjected to if you aren’t paying your balances off in full.
Speaking of variable interest rates, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that these Primor credit cards aren’t going to require you to pay a sky high interest rate compared to a lot of the other security credit cards on the market right now.
The Classic version of this credit card has an interest rate of 13.99% whereas the Gold version of this credit card has an even lower APR that sits at 9.99%.
If you’ve done any research into secured cards before you know that these interest rates are almost ridiculously low compared to the competition. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about paying ANY penalty APR interest rates on either of these two cards should you miss a payment. That means that your interest rates aren’t going to bounce through the roof if you’re late on a payment or two.
Obviously, late payments are going to send your credit in the wrong direction and you’ll still be charged upwards of $29 for each individual late fee that you miss. So it’s a good idea to make sure that you are making your payments on time – but it’s nice to know you will be further penalized with sky high interest rates just because you missed a payment or made a mistake.
The ability to essentially “set your own credit limit” is fantastic with the help of these credit cards, as the amount of money you put down (a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $5000) is going to determine exactly how much credit you have going towards your name, your score, and your history.
It’s a good idea to put down as much as you are reasonably able to initially, but it’s also a good idea to return frequently to this account and “top it up” with more money as it becomes available so that you increase your credit limits.
As long as you continue to keep the amount of charges low on this card, and pay off your balance every month, you will have better and better credit utilization on a month-to-month basis – and before you know it you’re sitting on a fantastic credit score and credit history.
Secondly, the fact that these cards are going to report to all major credit bureaus (the big three) guarantees that you will be able to improve your credit or establish your credit when you may not have been able to before.
As long as you are responsible with your card, make your payments on time, and keep your credit utilization rate low you will find your able to apply for – and get approved for – much better credit cards with rewards and other bonuses sooner than you would have thought possible before.
Lastly, it’s important to highlight again just how low the APR interest rates attached to these credit cards really are. You just won’t find any other secured cards that come in close to 13.99% or 9.99% all that often, helping you to make better financial decisions while at the same time lowering your financial burden by using this card.
On the flip side of things, the company behind these Primor credit cards doesn’t have the reputation or the longevity in the financial services industry the way that some of the more established operations do.
This isn’t Capital One, it isn’t any of the major, national banks, and it isn’t any of the more traditionally recognized credit card operations but is instead a comparative startup – with a reputation that can be a little bit hit or miss for customer service, support, and hidden fees.
Secondly, the annual fees attached to both of these cards aren’t going to help folks that want to get as much of their credit limit on these cards at once as possible. You might have $200 on hand to get yourself one of these cards, but you might not have $250 on hand at any one particular point in time that you can sync on a credit card – and that’s what you’ll need to do with these annual fees.
Finally, there are absolutely no rewards whatsoever attached to these secured cards. That’s pretty much part and parcel for any of the security card options on the market today but it would have been nice to see even just a little bit of a rewards program.
As we touched on just a moment ago there are absolutely ZERO rewards and no bonus programs associated with this credit card.
Your upfront cost for this card is going to set you back anywhere between $200 and $5000, depending on what you want your credit limit to be. We made mention a little earlier in this guide of the fact that you can type up your credit limit as you have more money available, so it’s a good idea to start with say $250 or $500 and then increase your limit as you have cash available.
An annual fees will set you back either $39 or $49 per year and there is no “free year” of cardholder membership.
Finally, you’re looking at interest rates that can vary but start off at around 9.99% for the Gold card and 13.99% for the Classic card.
Final Verdict on the Primor Credit Card
If you are struggling to get approved for a traditional credit card, the secured options that come in the form of the Classic or Gold Primor credit cards are definitely worth looking into.
If, on the other hand, you have an opportunity to take advantage of other more traditional credit card options (particularly unsecured cards) or look up a little bit closer at the market to find options that do not charge annual fees and come from more established credit card/financial service companies, you may want to look elsewhere.