Do you have a bad credit score or do you want to improve your credit score without getting a bank credit card? We have a great option for you to explore. Horizon card services provide an unsecured credit card option, the Merit Platinum Card, even without checking your credit score. You can secure an instant credit of $750 which can be increased over time. One important thing to know is that this is not a real credit card issued through a bank, this is a horizon outlet card that can only be used to buy stuff from them. You can shop for a variety of items including home products, electronics, clothing, beauty products, jewelry, and kids and baby products. All you need to get this card is to fill out an application form and the card is delivered to you within 2 weeks. There will be no credit or employment checks but you do need to have a debit card or a bank account.
When you talk about credit cards, you often have a lot of questions regarding credit scores, payments, eligibility, etc. Here we are to answer all of that. As we already mentioned, this card does not require you to have a good credit score, infact, your credit score is not checked at all when you apply for this card. Not just this, owing this card also ensures that your credit score gets better with time if you pay your monthly dues on time or at least the minimum payment required. Let’s have a look at the complete review of the Merit Platinum card.
Application and Charges for Merit Platinum
Applying for a Merit Platinum card is pretty simple. All you need to do is visit the Horizon card website and fill up their application form. You will need to provide information such as your personal information, your financial information, and your address. You will then be asked to review the details and submit the information. That’s it, now you wait to get your card. Since there are no checks for credit and employment, the approval does not take much time and you are guaranteed to receive the card in a short duration.
Horizon card does not charge any interest rate on the credit but you do have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $14.77 which sums up to a total of $179.40 per year. As per Federal Reserve Board, credit cards have an average APR of 15% and it can be as high as 17% for accounts that carry a balance. Having a credit card for shopping with 0% APR is some real deal.
If you ever opt for cancellation of the Merit account, you can call Horizon Member Services at 1-800-251-6144.
Benefits of the card
Membership charges also mean that you get to enjoy some membership perks. Do you want to see what else you get apart from the not-so-bad credit limit? Here is our review of Merit Platinum Card Benefits.
- Credit Hawk: You will get to check your credit score for free. However, we don’t consider this a great perk as you also get to check your credit score once a year through credit bureaus. However, for frequent checks, owing a merit card can be beneficial.
- My Universal Rx: you can get up to a 50% discount on prescription medicines if you buy from partnered pharmacies.
- My Roadside Protection: Cardholders can get covered for three service calls or towing requests up to 15 miles per year. However, there can be only one service call or towing request each month or every 30 days. This is only applicable if the cardholder is driving the car.
- My Legal Assistance: you can avail a 30 minutes free consultation in legal matters or for some legal advice from a professional. This, however, does not include assistance for criminal defense.
How to pay card bill
Once you have decided to own this card, the next big question comes on how to make the payments. The payment process is pretty simple. After you receive your card, you will be required to sign up for an online account where you can log in to check your card balance, make payment and also review your transactions. Also, once the card is linked to your debit card or bank account, you can set up an automatic payment from your bank account every month. This is a great option to avoid late payment fees of $20.
Like and don’t like
Since we have already covered the summary and membership perks, let us once go through some of the advantages and disadvantages of having the platinum card.
- 7-day free trial: If you are still in doubt regarding going for this credit card, here is a great solution for you to experience having the Platinum card without committing to all the charges. As a customer of the horizon outlet, you are eligible for a 7-day free program. This is a risk-free trial from Horizon Services. You can use this period to review the card by shopping at the outlet and if you don’t like the experience, you can return the card by just paying the cost of the items purchased.
- Unsecured $750 – $1,500 Credit Limit: When you first receive your credit card, you will receive an unsecured credit of $750 straight away. But this can also be increased after three months of owning the card, provided that you pay your bills on time. A greater credit limit also helps you increase your credit score faster.
- 0% APR On Purchases: Horizon services provides the merit card for you to shop now and pay later. So, they also ensure that “pay later” does not have any interest attached to it. You can pay the whole amount of the purchase as the card bill or make a minimum payment of 10% of the bill amount or $25.
- Quick application process: When you apply for the Merit Platinum, horizon services do not conduct any credit checks or employment checks, which means that you are guaranteed to receive your card within 7 business days. Though you would need to at least have a debit card or a bank account through which you can.
- Reports to the credit bureau: As per their terms and conditions, Merit Platinum maintains its reporting to one of the credit bureaus at any given time.
- Monthly membership fee: the membership fee is a bit on the higher side. You need to pay $14.77 per month just for maintaining the card when the card does not provide any reward points on the purchases.
- Use only at Horizon Outlet: Even though horizon has a variety of items for you to purchase, Merit Platinum is not a visa or a MasterCard, so this card cannot be used anywhere outside the horizon outlet.
Merit Platinum Card Review in Comparison
You may opt for Merit Platinum due to a bad credit score, but there are other options available in the market which provide similar services. In this Merit Platinum Card review, we have listed down a few alternate options for the shopping credit card.
- Unique Platinum: Unique card services provide an online merchandise card called the unique Platinum. Here too, you won’t have to go through a credit check or employment check to secure the credit limit of $1000. You will get instant approval along with benefits like roadside assistance, discounts on medicines, and reward points. Unique Platinum also reports to one credit bureau.
- Other cards by Horizon: Horizon outlet provides other cards similar to the merit platinum card such as the Freedom Gold Card and Net First Platinum. These too can only be used at horizon outlets and charge a similar fee. You can get a credit limit of up to $3000 if you opt for Net First Platinum.
- OpenSky Secured Visa: For an OpenSky secured visa, you will need to make a security deposit of $200 but it has a very low annual fee of $35. Opensky does not require you to check your credit score and reports to all three credit bureaus.
- Credit One Platinum Visa: This is another credit building option which also offers 1% cash back on a variety of items including grocery, internet, cable and mobile phone service. This comes with a $39 annual fee and reports to one credit bureau. You can also opt for your preferred monthly due date. However, if your credit score is too bad, you might not be eligible to own this.
- The Tomo Credit Card: Issued by Community Federal Saving Bank, Tomo cards can be owned by anyone without checking the credit history or giving a security deposit. It also gives 1% cashback on everything you buy.
- PCB Credit card: This is another great option for people looking for something to build their credit score. You need to make a deposit of $200 to $1000 which would act as your credit limit. This reports to all major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
We went through various sources to find some first-hand reviews and we can safely presume that the Merit Platinum review is mostly positive. Some are happy with the $500 credit limit; others are delighted about getting a chance to improve their credit score. One user called the overall experience of owning the Merit platinum card amazing and praised the customer service for having a terrific network that speeds up the transactions. Some users also recommended going for the merit card if you are new to credit cards. The regular customers of Horizon outlet said that the Platinum card gives almost all the benefits of a regular credit card.
We also encountered a few negative reviews where the members were not happy with the high membership plan even when it was not a real credit card.
If you are often denied credit cards due to low credit score and you want to opt for a shopping card, Platinum card is a great option. It is particularly beneficial if you shop regularly at Horizon outlets. If you just want to build credit, there are other options available as well such as a secured credit card. In our opinion, one should opt for outlet based cards if even secured credit cards are denied. It may seem that getting an outlet-based card is a great option to boost your credit score, but you should also keep in mind the charges you need to pay. However, Merit card does come with its own perks and users are greatly satisfied with it. If you are still not sure whether you should go for it, try out the 7-day trial offer and find out for yourself.