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Net First Platinum Card Review

Written by ogus2019 on July 2, 2020
Net First Platinum Card Review

The NetFirst Platinum credit card is one of the best options if you want to rebuild your credit.

It offers perks like instant approval with a $500 credit line, fast approval if you have bad credit and an APR that's always at zero.

If you've been denied credit in the past, the NetFirst Platinum would be an excellent option if you don't qualify for a regular card.

There's a significant difference between the regular credit cards and the NetFirst Platinum card. This card is a line of credit issued by Horizon outlet stores, which means that you won't be able to use this card in the stores you usually use your Visa or MasterCard.

Your usage will only be restricted at Horizon stores, which has some similarities with a department store credit card.

While the NetFirst Platinum card makes it clear that it's neither a bank nor a credit service provider, you have to read through the fine print to understand these restrictions.

This card issuer makes lots of promises to the clients: ranging from no employment or credit check, $500 approval if you have bad credit, and sounds perfect if you want to improve your credit. However, if you read through the details carefully, you'll realize the restrictions might not be a good fit for you.

Before signing up for the card, we've outlined what you need to know.

NetFirst Platinum stats

At a glance, the card has the following features:

  • Instant approval with a $500 credit line
  • It reports to one of the three credit bureaus
  • Ideal if you have bad or no credit
  • APR – 0.00%
  • No credit checks or employment scrutiny
  • Straightforward online application
  • Annual fee: $300
  • Has no rewards, cash back or bonuses

Perks of NetFirst Platinum card

Like any other card, the NetFirst Platinum card has a couple of advantages.

Fast approval process

Primarily, the NetFirst Platinum card is marketed towards people with poor or no credit.

Neither does the company pull your credit report nor check your employment history, so you don't have to worry about an inquiry that could tank your score.

After approval, you'll have a $500 credit limit, but you can only make the purchases from Horizon outlets, which has several limitations in terms of the items you can buy.

No APR purchases

You won't incur any interest in the payments you make. However, some other fees could affect this provision.

Membership benefits

With the Horizon membership plan, you'll have benefits like pharmacy discounts, legal assistance, roadside assistance, and prescription discounts.

This plan costs $24.95 every month, and once you enroll the plan, you'll automatically be eligible for this membership, so you have to be careful and cancel this package subscription if you don't want to pay the monthly charge.

NetFirst reports to one data center.

Although NetFirst doesn't specify the credit bureau to which it reports account activity, the company has written in its terms and conditions page that it reports payment activity to at least one of the three data centers.

While NetFirst explicitly outlines that it offers no credit building assistance, posting activity to one of the bureaus would undoubtedly work to your leverage.

Drawbacks of NetFirst Platinum

Unsurprisingly, the NetFirst Platinum has its share of disadvantages. Below are some to consider before signing up:

Expensive membership fees

One of the most notable features of this card is the expensive fees.

While it offers zero APR, you'll have to pay $24.95 monthly, which makes approximately $300 annually.

Additionally, the card has a membership plan, which, if you cancel, you'll lose membership benefits and have to pay a $6 maintenance fee.

Besides, you'll incur handling and shipping charges for all purchases you make in the Horizon store, including a $20 late payment fee, a $5 card issuing charge, and $25 for insufficient or returned checks.

Limited usage

Unlike the conventional Visa or MasterCard, the NetFirst Platinum card allows you to make purchases only through the Horizon outlet store.

You won't use your card in grocery stores and some outlets where you'd have used MasterCard or Visa card.

Automatic enrollment for the monthly membership plan

Conventionally, it's the cardholder's decision of whether or not they want to enroll in the monthly membership plan.

Several NetFirst cardholders reported that they weren't told about the enrollment, which costs $24.95 monthly when they signed up for the card.

Besides, getting specific information about how you'll reap the benefits isn't straightforward. While the platform explicitly states that cardholders will benefit from legal assistance, roadside assistance, and pharmacy discounts, the platform does not say precisely where and how to claim them.

Bad rating

According to the Better Business Bureau, NetFirst Platinum has a B+ rating coupled with several 1-star ratings by several users.

At a glance, the ratings are the epitome of bad customer service and unfriendly terms.

It reports to only one bureau.

This downside may be counter-intuitive from the highlighted perks.

However, if you critically look at it, NetFirst does not specify the credit bureau to which they report account activity and states that they don't offer any assistance to any credit rebuilding activity.

A card issuer should be transparent about the data centers to whom they report account activity and their willingness to help rebuild credit, but NetFirst does not specify it.

Cost overview

The NetFirst card has no interest, but it costs $24.95 monthly fees, which translates to almost $300 every year.

Compared to a secured credit card, these costs are incredibly high, and they also come with additional charges that could cumulatively be expensive.

  • Signature verification charge-  $3.50
  • Residential delivery fee - $2.50
  • Processing fees that vary depending on the item you purchase
  • Card issuance and account verification fee - $5.00

Besides, the monthly fee translates to automatic enrollment to benefits as outlined below:

  • Pharmacy discounts – Also known as My Universal RX, you'll receive a discount of up to 40% on all purchases from participating outlets.
  • Legal protection plan – this package gives you a 30-minute consultation with a paralegal who specializes in the area of your interest.
  • Privacy protection plan – Although you're entitled to a free credit report every year, this plan gives you the entitlement to a free credit report each year.
  • Roadside benefit – cardholders are eligible for a maximum of three calls and request towing services for vehicles within 15 miles. Members can't use this benefit for motor vehicle accidents, and if they decide to use it for fueling, they'll be limited to two gas gallons, but will incur fuel costs.

The places you can use the NetFirst Platinum

One unique element about this card is that it doesn't work like the conventional Visa or MasterCard for bad credit.

Besides, you won't use the card in any retail outlets like the grocery store, gas station, or shopping stores.

While the card has some benefits like the $500 credit line and zero APR, the primary reason for these features coupled with the significantly low thresholds for qualification is because you can only use it in one retail location: The Horizon outlet.

This credit card, also known as merchandise or catalog credit card, may appear to have great deals from a shallow look, but the truth is that NetFirst also sells you the merchandise that you purchase along with this card.

It closely resembles a departmental store card, but one significant disparity is that though the NetFirst Platinum credit card has no location at the local mall. That said, the merchandise quality that you can buy with your NetFirst Platinum card is undoubtedly not excellent.

Some consumers have reported comparing the merchandise to high-end stores and admittedly paid lots of money for low-quality goods. Moreover, there are several charges and monthly enrollment packages into which you'll automatically have opted when you get your NetFirst Platinum card.

Among the several charges is the monthly fee that is almost $30. In exchange for this fee, you won't see any accompanying benefit – like building your credit report – and you'll continually incur this charge without getting maximum value.

Besides, if you look at the fine print on the company's website, you'll see that it explicitly states it reports to a major bureau. At first, you might get an illusion that this reporting would reap you lots of benefits in building credit, but the truth is that it helps build only a small portion of your report.

The company will report your account activity to only one of the three bureaus, and it isn't going to be reported as an unsecured credit card. Instead, your account activity will have less weight on your report since it won't be treated as a regular credit card.

Can I pay shipping fees using my NetFirst Platinum card?

The Horizon store, which is the only outlet on which you can use your NetFirst Platinum card, has a whole array of products. From home accessories to clothing and electronics, prices are closely similar to those in a discount store, but there is a great disparity due to the hidden fees.

Besides the delivery fee of $2, there is an additional signature verification fee of $3.50 and lots of high peak fees that you can't pay using your NetFirst Platinum card.

According to the card issuer's page, the company asks you to pay little shipping and processing fee during the time of order, which allows them to finance you at 0% interest, and you won't need to provide a Visa or MasterCard.

Before submitting the order, you'll be charged the amount during checkout, and you'll need a conventional debit card to pay this fee.

Can NetFirst Platinum help me rebuild my credit?

Considering that NetFirst Platinum reports account activity to one of the credit bureaus, it theoretically helps you build your credit.

However, the fine print states that it doesn't guarantee assistance for rebuilding credit by posting any positive activity from your account.

These situations are counter-intuitive since the reporting of your activity should naturally help build your credit. Still, if you want to build your report, NetFirst might not be the ideal option.

Since your payment history adds immense weight to your credit score, it would be great to consider credit card issuers that show your ability to use credit responsibly.

Is it worth applying for NetFirst Platinum credit card

Generally, NetFirst Platinum has several negative reviews.

The majority of consumer complaints are around limited user access and expensive membership fees with nothing to show.

On average, NetFirst Platinum has 2.5 starts ratings that constitute the following criteria:

  • Effectiveness – 2.5 stars
  • Pricing - 2.5 stars
  • Customer support – 3 stars
  • User-friendliness – 3 stars

Looking at some cardholder reviews, one user at credit forums claims that NetFirst terms and conditions are missing, and they do a disservice by not letting people know they can only use the Horizon outlet store.

Another reviewer on Sitejabber claims the card has several limitations, and it's not a legitimate credit card.

The application process

One of the requirements for application is that you must be a US citizen and at least 18 years of age.

Application entails three distinct steps as follows:

  • Open the application page where you'll have to enter your email address and zip code.
  • Complete the application
  • Submit the application after which you activate your card

Since the application process is automatic, you won't have to wait for approval, though some applicants have reported waiting five days to 2 weeks before receiving their card.

How to cancel your NetFirst Platinum Subscription

According to the card issuer, you don't have to pay anything to cancel your NetFirst Platinum card.

To cancel, you must call the member service available from Monday to Friday between 8:30 am, and 9:00 pm or on Saturday between 9:00 am, and 4:00 am.

NetFirst Platinum alternatives

If your primary motive is to build your credit history, you might consider other alternatives that have better features than NetFirst Platinum card.

While NetFirst Platinum could work well with other people, you might have some hoops with the costly fees, and you might consider better alternatives.

1. Credit builder loans

Credit builder loans have small monthly fees, and the loan issuers don't perform a hard inquiry on your report.

One of the most excellent perks is that it reports your account activity to the three data centers so that timely payments would work to your leverage.

2. Fingerhut account

Fingerhut is one of the top products for rebuilding your credit since it reports account activity to all three credit bureaus, and you'll have access to more than 400,000 products.

This account has no expensive fees, and after a few months of positive usage, you'll have the chance to increase your credit limit.

3. Secured credit cards

If you're happy with parting with some bucks to rebuild your credit, then a secured credit card might be a good option.

With a deposit of about $200 to $500, you'll pay that amount as collateral, and you'll have several options from which you can choose.

Like Fingerhut and credit builder loans, a secured credit card company reports positive account activity to the three data centers, which would certainly work to your advantage.

 Review of some alternatives

In addition to the three general options, you might consider the following options:

1. OpenSky secured Visa

You can qualify for this secured Visa without a credit check, which means you don't have to worry if you have bad credit.

One downside of this card is that is has a $35 yearly fee, which is slightly higher than that of other cards.

Pros

  • Requires no credit check
  • Requires a deposit as low as $200
  • It reports account activity to the three bureaus

Cons

  • Some applicants might be unable to raise the deposit
  • You'll have no provision to upgrade to an unsecured card
  • An annual fee of $35

2. Capital one secured MasterCard

Depending on your credit score, you can make a deposit ranging from $40 and $200. If you have a good score, you'll pay a minimal upfront fee.

One of the top perks of this card is that you can complete payments anywhere with a MasterCard merchant. In other words, it works like a real credit card.

Pros

  • It reports account activity to the three data centers
  • The card has no annual fee
  • You'll be eligible for a credit limit increment after five months of positive usage
  • You're the one who'll pick your desired payment due date

Cons

  • The card has no rewards program
  • High APR of close to 27%
  • It takes 2 to 3 weeks to receive your card.

3. Deserve Pro MasterCard

This card is an unsecured type, so you won't have to pay collateral.

It comes with cash rewards on purchases you make with the card and has no annual fee.

Pros

  • Zero foreign transaction charges and annual fees
  • You'll earn cash backs on restaurant use, travel, and other purchases
  • It has a variable APR between 17.49 and 24.49%

Cons

  • You'll need a higher score – at least 690 – to qualify
  • If you're a non-US citizen, you'll need a certain Visa status

Additional tips for building your credit

Whether you sign up for a NetFirst Platinum credit card, you must take actionable steps to build your credit.

Lower your credit utilization.

You should be mindful of how you use your credit.

Preferably, it would be great if you keep utilization below 30%. For instance, if you have a limit of $1000, you should never go above $300.

Make timely payments

Late payments could severely dent your credit score.

To avoid late payments, you should automate all transactions so that you never miss a payment.

Check your credit report

One of the critical things to do is getting a copy of your report and check for accuracy issues.

According to the Federal Law, you're entitled to a free copy of your report every year.

Once you retrieve it, check for any mistakes, fraudulent activity, and dispute any inaccurate entry.

Become an authorized user

If your score is meager, you might ask someone with good credit to add you as an authorized user.

Remember to make sure the cardholder's account holder reports account activity to the bureaus to receive credit for timely payments.

Conclusion

NetFirst Platinum might look like a perfect way to grow your credit history.

While the platinum card has a set of advantages over other cards, you'll realize that its viability as a tool for repairing credit might not be friendly considering the expensive fees and limited usability.

Besides, the card issuer reports account activity to only one bureau, so your chances of growing credit might not turn out as your expected.

You can consider alternative cards that rely on your creditworthiness, employment status, and payment history to grow your credit score tremendously.

Article written by ogus2019

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