[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]
For people with bad credit, one of the fastest ways to build or re-establish their credit is to responsibly use a credit card, but not all cards are created equal. The NetFirst Platinum credit card is one such example.
At first glance, the NetFirst Platinum card sounds like a good deal: It’s an unsecured credit card with a 0% APR and a $500 credit limit that requires no credit check, and your account information is reported to at least one credit bureau. But the NetFirst card can only be used for purchases on a single website, thehorizonoutlet.com, and further reading of the member agreement shows there’s a $24.95-per-month membership fee that’s payable whether you make purchases on the card or not. That amount is automatically debited from your bank account each month “for ease and convenience.” That’s nearly $300 a year for a card with very little flexibility.
What Is the NetFirst Platinum Card?
The NetFirst card is a lot like the company’s other shopping card, the Horizon Gold card. Both cards are similar to a lot of other “catalog card” programs that restrict use to just one company site or store. And while the Horizon Outlet Store appears to have reasonable prices on the merchandise they sell, the inventory seems limited. Many apparel items, for instance, had just one size or color available at the time of this writing, and the quality of the products could be questionable, as there are very few name brands available. On top of that, the $24.95 monthly fee we mentioned above doesn’t mean you’ll get free shipping and processing on the items you buy. You’ll still pay $2.50 for shipment signature verification, for example.
Are There Better Options for People With Bad Credit?
If you’re considering the NetFirst card because you have bad credit and want to rebuild it, it’s good to keep in mind there are other options available. For example, a secured credit card could end up costing you less and give you more flexibility with how you are able to use it. There are even secured cards available that offer rewards. Keep in mind, however, that if you have a bankruptcy that hasn’t been discharged, you could be turned down for even a secured card. In that case, you can consider some of these credit cards for bad credit.
Our Picks for Alternatives to the NetFirst Platinum Card
Here are two cards to consider as alternatives to the NetFirst and other catalog cards:
Discover it® Secured
- No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
- Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line. You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
- We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
- Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Card Details +
Card Details: This card offers cardholders 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations up to $1,000 every quarter, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card can be secured for a deposit of as little as $200 and can be transitioned to a non-secured account if you manage the account responsibly and make on-time payments.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 24.49% Variable on purchases & balance transfers
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Building Credit
- See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
- Track your progress with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
- Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
- Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
- Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
- Stay in-the-know with customizable account alerts via email and text
- Receive 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases, terms apply
- Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
Card Details +
Card Details: This is an unsecured card designed for people who need to improve their credit. It offers cardholders 1% cash back on eligible purchases, fraud protection and account alerts.
Annual Fee: $0 to $75 the first year, $0 - $99 thereafter
APR: 17.49% - 25.49% Variable
Remember, if you have bad credit and want to rebuild it using a credit card, it’s worth your time to do some research and read the fine print for each card offer. It’s also important to know your credit scores and put together a plan for improving them. You can use Credit.com’s free credit report summary to check your two free credit scores, plus you’ll get a credit report card showing you how you’re doing when it comes to payment history, debt usage, credit age, account mix and credit inquiries, plus a plan to help you track your improvement.
Remember, just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you have to settle for a card with bad terms and high fees. It’s possible they can end up damaging your credit, so do your homework to find the right card for you.
At publishing time, the Horizon Gold card, Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Building Credit card and Discover it® Secured are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.