While the Merit Platinum credit card has the word “credit card” in its name, it is not a traditional credit card. The Merit Platinum card is one of several Horizon Card Services cards that can only be used to shop online at the Horizon Outlet store.
The Merit Platinum card, on the other hand, only reports to one credit bureau, which can help you raise your credit score. High fees and limited credit availability, on the other hand, are two major disadvantages.
What Is the Merit Platinum Credit Card, and Which Bank Is It Issued By?
Horizon Card Services issues the Merit Platinum card, which is part of a family of cards. Horizon Card Services is not a bank or a credit card lender, so keep that in mind.
It’s an online store that offers a credit line through one of its eight credit cards, including the Merit Platinum card.
Horizon Card Services’ credit line is more like a loan than a credit card, which is an important distinction. Horizon explicitly states that it is neither a bank nor a lending institution on its website and in its card services member agreement.
The Merit Platinum credit card, like all of Horizon’s cards, is designed for people with bad credit. Horizon does not conduct a credit check, so even people with bad credit should be able to qualify.
Overview of the Merit Platinum Card
The Merit Platinum credit card is easy to think of as an exclusive card with plenty of perks and cardholder benefits because it has the word “platinum” in its name. However, in this case, the name is a little misleading.
For starters, the Merit Platinum card has the same terms as other Horizon Card Services cards. The Merit Platinum card, for example, has the same fees and terms as the Net First Platinum and Freedom Gold cards.
High fees and limited uses make the Merit Platinum card and others offered by Horizon an expensive card to own. While credit bureau reporting may be beneficial, the disadvantages are likely to outweigh it.
Fees for the Merit Platinum Card
Despite the fact that the Merit Platinum card has no annual fee and a 0% annual percentage rate (APR), cardholders must pay a variety of high fees in other areas.
The Merit Platinum card, in particular, has a $24.95 monthly membership fee. In addition, there is a $6 monthly maintenance fee that is waived if you sign up for the membership plan.
Among the additional charges are:
Type of Fee
Late payment or NSF
Residential delivery fee
Delivery signature verification fee
Returned check fee
Card activation fee
The Merit Platinum Card’s Advantages and Disadvantages
The Merit Platinum credit card has a few advantages and a few disadvantages. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Horizon reports payment activity to at least one major credit bureau, according to the company’s website. Other credit cards marketed to people with bad credit, on the other hand, report to all three credit bureaus.
Horizon doesn’t pull your credit or ask for your credit score, so getting approved for a card is simple.
Benefits of membership – If you sign up for the membership plan and pay $24.95 per month, you’ll get benefits like free roadside assistance, prescription coverage, legal assistance, and privacy protection.
However, there are numerous limitations to the benefits, and you can probably find similar benefits from other providers at a lower cost.
The Merit Platinum card can only be used to make purchases at the Horizon Outlet store online, unlike a Visa, Discover, or Mastercard.
Horizon will automatically enroll you in its $24.95 per month membership plan when you apply for a card. This comes to nearly $300 per year, which is more than a more flexible secured credit card would cost.
Low credit limit – The Merit Platinum card has a $500 maximum credit limit. While some reviewers claim to have received a credit limit increase, it’s unclear how cardholders can get one or how long they must have had the card to qualify.
Reviews of the Merit Platinum Card
While it’s difficult to find reviews for the Merit Platinum card, the Horizon Outlet store has a plethora of them. Because many of Horizon’s cards have the same or similar terms, reading these reviews can give you a good idea of what other people think.
Horizon has received positive feedback from a number of users. One reviewer claims that Horizon helped them improve their credit score and increased their credit limit to $1,000.
Horizon, on the other hand, has a lot of negative feedback. Horizon never reported their payment history to a credit bureau, according to some reviews, and several users complained about both the credit card and the merchandise.
Alternatives to the Merit Platinum Card are listed below.
You may believe you have few options when it comes to getting a credit card if you have bad credit. However, there are a number of credit cards available that can help even those with bad credit get the second chance they need to improve their credit score.
Capital One Secured Mastercard is number one.
Although the Capital One Secured Mastercard is a secured card, you can choose a direct deposit option that fits your budget. You can put down $49, $99, or $200 as a deposit.
There is no annual fee for the Capital One Secured Mastercard. While the APR of 26.99 percent is high, you can avoid paying interest if you pay off your balance in full every month.
Capital One will increase your credit limit without requiring an additional security deposit if you make your payments on time for a minimum of five months.
Citi Secured Mastercard is the second option.
A security deposit of at least $200 is required for the Citi Secured Mastercard, but you can put down as much as $2,500 if you want a higher credit limit.
The Citi Secured Mastercard has a lower interest rate than many other credit cards, including unsecured cards, with an APR of 22.49 percent. There is no annual fee with this card.
3. Secured Visa Credit Card from OpenSky
The $35 annual fee on the OpenSky Secured Visa credit card is offset by an APR of 18.95 percent, which is quite low for a secured or unsecured credit card. A $200 security deposit is required as a bare minimum.
Because OpenSky does not pull your credit when you apply, almost anyone can get the card. It also sends information to each of the three credit bureaus.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Merit Platinum Credit Card
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Merit Platinum credit card, along with their answers.
What is the minimum credit score for the Merit Platinum Credit Card?
Horizon Card Services does not specify what credit score is required to be approved for the Merit Platinum card. Horizon, on the other hand, does not use credit scores to make lending decisions, so the vast majority of people should be able to get a credit card.
Where can I get a Merit Platinum Credit Card application?
You can apply for a Merit Platinum credit card by filling out the form on the Merit Platinum website with your name and email address.
What are the locations where I can use my Merit Platinum Card?
The Merit Platinum card can only be used to make purchases from the Horizon Outlet store online.
If you have bad credit, the Merit Platinum credit card may be able to help you improve your credit score by reporting on-time payments to a credit bureau. There are, however, probably better options available, such as credit cards with no annual or monthly fees.