Looking to build your credit score? Grow Credit is the best fit for the business, as it offers you a starter credit card. Here is everything you need to know about Grow Credit.
Grow Credit is a “starter” credit card designed to help people with poor or limited credit history quickly gain a foothold in the credit world.
To sign up for the credit card, you must have at least one major subscription (such as Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Mint Mobile, etc.). You are required to pay for that subscription using the Grow Credit card.
Each month, Grow Credit automatically pays off your credit card in full. By doing this, it can report low credit utilization to the credit bureaus.
Grow Financial Credit Union
Grow Credit offers members an interest-free virtual credit card they can use to pay their monthly subscriptions to streaming services.
These payments are reported to all three major credit bureaus, allowing members to place a tradeline on their credit reports for routine payments that they’re already making. The basic service is free.
Our Grow Credit review shows you how it works so you can decide if a membership may be for you.
Grow Credit Reviews
Grow Credit can place a new tradeline on your credit record with no risk or cost.
Even though the premium plans offer convenience and additional discounts, they will probably not have a greater impact on your credit score. This service is a good option for people who have a thin credit file.
‣ Free version
‣ Simple to use
‣ No interest
‣ Easy to qualify
‣ Some reviews indicate slow customer service
‣ Confusing plan descriptions
‣ Support answers inadequate
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What Does It Offer?
Grow Credit offers a 0% interest and no-fee Mastercard to all US Residents age 18 and older who have at least one qualifying subscription.
The company reports payments to all three major credit bureaus which can help people build or rebuild their credit.
Easy To Qualify
A legal US Resident age 18 or older can qualify for a Grow Credit Mastercard. The only additional qualifications include having a bank account and a subscription to a digital service.
The payment for the digital service must be transferred to the new Grow Credit credit card.
1. Subscriptions Automatically Paid Via Grow
Grow Credit customers must charge their digital subscription to their credit card. Grow Credit automatically pays off the card by drafting the full amount from your bank account each month.
This doesn’t change your cash flow at all, but it allows you to build up your credit – because you already had this existing subscription coming out of your bank account.
You’re now simply using your Grow card to pay for it.
2. Difficult to Run Up Credit Card Bills
Grow Credit users don’t have any temptation to run up huge credit card bills, because the credit card is locked down.
Users can only use it to pay for one subscription (or the number allowed by the plan), and that subscription is paid off each month.
Grow Credit helps people build up their credit without helping them take on debt.
3. Reports to All Three Credit Bureaus
Grow Credit reports timely payments and credit limits to all three of the major credit bureaus.
This ensures that a person’s good credit behaviors are being taken into account by other lenders when a user applies for new credit.
4. No Interest or Fees on Loans
Grow Credit doesn’t charge interest or fees on its loans. The company will charge a membership fee for people seeking larger credit limits for premium subscriptions.
How Grow Credit Works
Normally, when you pay for services such as Netflix, Showtime, and Disney, your payments don’t show up on your credit report.
Grow Credit offers you a virtual Mastercard to pay these companies and reports your payments to all three credit bureaus.
The card is structured as an installment loan. Grow Credit “lends” you the money to pay your bill, and deducts the payment from your bank account.
Grow Credit Plans
Grow Credit offers several plans. Look over all of your options before deciding which plan might work for you. All plans offer free FICO scores and financial literacy education materials.
1. Build Membership
This plan allows you to pay up to $17 worth of subscription fees per month, with an annual limit of $204. You have access to a limited number of subscription services you can pay for with your Grow Credit card.
Available subscriptions include Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Pandora.
There are two versions of the Build plan.
1. Build Free
If you qualify for this plan, you pay no interest or fees.
2. Build Secured
If you do not qualify for the Build Free program, you can opt for Build Secured. You get the same features, but you provide a $17 deposit.
You can get your deposit back after 12 months of payment. You also pay a monthly fee, currently $1.99. After six months of on-time payments, you can upgrade to another plan.
All you need to qualify for Build Secured is $1 in an active bank account that has been open for 30 days.
2. Grow Membership
The Grow Membership plan lets you spend as much as $50 per month on subscriptions, up to a $600 per year limit with periodic limit increases. You get access to discounts on many subscriptions.
3. Accelerate Membership
This top-tier plan allows you to spend up to $150 per month on subscriptions or $1,800 per year. You’ll get periodic limit increases.
You can access all subscription services and include your cell phone payments.
Grow Credit Pricing
The premium plans offer convenience and additional discounts, but there is some question over whether they will have a greater impact on your credit score.
The impact of an account on your credit score is typically defined by your payment habits, not the size of the account.
If this is the case you can get the full impact by signing up for the free service and using it to pay for Netflix or Spotify.
It is possible – but difficult to verify – that the larger spend limits of the Grow and Accelerate plans could have a greater impact on your credit, but that may not offset their cost.
Monthly Spend Limit
Annual Spend Limit
Access To Subscriptions
|$1.99/month for the 1st year
$2.99/month after that
|$3.99/month for the 1st year
$4.99/month after that
|Non-premium and Premium services
|$7.99/month for the 1st year
$9.99/month after that
Non-premium and Premium services
How Does Grow Credit Work
You will need the following to apply to Grow Credit:
1. A bank account where you deposit your income
2. A valid email address
3. A valid phone number
4. A social security number (SSN)
5. You must be a permanent resident of the United States.
6. You must be at least 18 years of age.
When you register for Grow Credit you will be asked to link your bank account. They will then analyze your accounts to determine which memberships you are eligible for.
Grow Credit uses Plaid to verify bank accounts, and will only work with banks that work with Plaid. Most banks will but several reviews complained of account linking problems.
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Grow Credit Alternatives and Competitors
How does Grow Credit stack up against competitors? There’s no other service offering exactly what Grow Credit offers, so we’ll compare the service to a range of other credit-building products.
Credit Bureaus Reported To
Hard Credit Check
|You pay for streaming subscriptions.
|Experian, Equifax, TransUnion
|You use a $500 line of credit to buy from the Kikoff store.
|You set up a savings plan and get credit for deposits.
|Experian, Equifax, TransUnion
None, but a $40 withdrawal fee at end of one year.
|Experian, Equifax, TransUnion
|14.7% plus a $9 administrative fee and $125 finance charge.
|You use a debit card and each purchase is reported to credit bureaus.
Are There Any Fees?
Grow Credit’s core product is free. Users will not pay interest or fees for Grow Credit’s core product.
With this product, Grow Credit reports a $204 annual credit limit to the credit bureaus.
However, people who want larger credit limits must pay monthly membership fees.
$204 credit limit reported to credit bureaus. Become eligible for Grow or Accelerate after 6 months of on-time payments.
$17 Security Deposit (refundable after 12 months)
Same as Build Free. This is a plan that is an alternative if you don’t qualify for Build Free.
$600 annual credit limit and some premium subscriptions.
$1,500 annual credit limit and cell phone service can be added.
How Do I Open An Account?
They also have to connect a specific subscription to the account. Applicants also have to connect a bank account to a credit account.
Grow Credit deducts the monthly cost of your subscription from your bank account, so your account is paid off each month.
Is It Safe and Secure?
Grow Credit uses encryption and other bank-level security protocols to keep user information safe. The company only deducts the monthly cost of your subscription from your bank account.
How Do I Contact Grow Credit?
Grow Credit is headquartered in Santa Monica, but the company doesn’t have branch locations for customers. Instead, Grow Credit has an online chat option staffed by real people.
If you prefer to contact the company through more traditional methods, you can email the company at [email protected] or call customer service at 1-888-244-5886.
Is It Worth It?
Grow Credit’s free option is an incredible option for people with no credit history or poor credit. It’s a stepping-stone option that can help users build credit history at all three credit bureaus.
And they can grow credit without paying interest and fees and without the temptation to go deep into credit card debt.
While users are unlikely to build credit quickly, regular payments should lead to improved credit over time.
However, Grow Credit’s Grow and Accelerate Membership are not likely worth the cost. These products essentially increase the cost of your monthly subscriptions for the long haul.
Grow Credit MasterCard
The Grow Credit MasterCard can help you build credit with qualifying subscriptions or bill payments. It doesn’t charge fees or interest. Plus, it skips the credit check.
There’s a new wave of “alternative” credit cards — products from startup issuers that are exploring different ways of evaluating creditworthiness beyond traditional FICO scores and credit history.
Among such products, the Grow Credit MasterCard stands out.
Here are five things to know about the Grow Credit MasterCard
1. No Credit Check Is Required, But You’ll Have to Link a Bank Account
There will be a “soft” credit check for identification purposes, which won’t affect your credit scores. But instead of relying on a hard inquiry on your credit reports;
This is common among most credit card companies when they evaluate applications.
Grow Credit has its proprietary technology that can look at income to determine credit worthiness, according to Joe Bayen, CEO and founder of Grow Credit.
2. You Can Build Credit with Qualifying Bills or Subscriptions
Payment for subscription services isn’t generally factored into your credit reports, but here’s how the Grow Credit Mastercard makes it work:
It offers a traditional line of credit that allows you to establish credit as you pay for qualifying monthly subscriptions that include eligible bills, TV, music, and other streaming services.
The virtual card is tied to one of four membership plans, depending on your eligibility. These plans allow you to build credit with qualifying subscriptions, each with a different limit.
The company will let you know which plans you’re eligible for, and you can make the final selection, but the membership tiers are as follows:
‣ “Build” membership (free): This plan offers a $17 monthly spending limit on subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Pandora, to name a few.
‣ “Secured” membership ($2.99 per month): Those who can’t qualify for the free “Build” membership plan may be eligible for this option if they meet certain requirements.
Applicants must have a bank account that’s older than 30 days and it must contain a minimum of $1. To cover the $17 monthly spending limit, this plan also requires a security deposit for that amount.
The security deposit is returned after 12 months of consecutive on-time payments.
‣ “Grow” membership ($4.99 per month): The Grow membership offers a $50 monthly spending limit and access to “premium” subscriptions that include payments at;
Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Coursera.
‣ “Accelerate” membership ($9.99 per month): This plan offers a $150 monthly spending limit toward these same premium subscriptions.
3. It Has a Low Spending Limit
The monthly spending limit on the Grow Credit Mastercard can only be used to pay for subscriptions included in your membership plan.
The monthly spending limit is different for each membership plan, but it’s only a fraction of the card’s credit limit.
For instance, with the free membership plan, you can only spend up to $17 per month, but your limit on the card is $204.
4. You Can’t Carry a Balance, so there are No APR or Fees
With the Grow Credit MasterCard, carrying a balance from one month to another is impossible. You can only charge the eligible subscriptions to the card up to your available monthly spending limit.
As a result, it charges no interest or fees whatsoever. Grow Credit makes its money through interchange fees and the cost of the paid membership plans.
Since you’re required to pay on time and in full, you can’t fall into a debt cycle with this card. Its sole purpose is to help you build credit.
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5. It Reports To All Three Credit Bureaus
Payments are reported as a revolving line of credit. Previously, they were reported as installment loans.
A card that reports payments to all major credit bureaus is a must-have when building credit is your goal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Popular questions and answers hovering over Grow Credit are elicited below.
9. Can you build credit with Hulu?
Experian Boost now lets you improve your credit score with on-time HBO, Hulu, Disney+ and Starz bill payments.
Starting today, July 27, consumers can now include their Netflix on-time payment history on their Experian Boost accounts, which can help improve their credit scores.
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