If you’ve found yourself in a less-than-ideal financial situation, it’s never too late to turn your life around. You may have been on a quest to find a credit improvement tool when you came across the Net First Platinum.
As a slightly less famous tool, you might hesitate to get it. The Net First Platinum aims to provide financial aid to individuals without credit or with a damaged credit score. And whether it’s a good option for that is precisely what this article will help address.
About Net First Platinum
Before evaluating how well the Net First Platinum does its job, let’s first establish what it is. The Net First Platinum is designed to be a line of credit, not a standard credit card, debit card, master card, or visa.
In other words, it’s an online store card; you can use it to make purchases from an online retailer, in this case, the Horizon Outlet and the Horizon Outlet only. Still, you have access to thousands of products via the Horizon Network. You acquire the card for a monthly fee, and it’ll provide you with a $750 unsecured credit limit for merchandise from the Horizon Outlet.
The appeal of the Net First Platinum is that you aren’t required to have a good credit score to get it. If you have no or bad credit, you can apply for it still.
Even better, it won’t take its toll on your credit score, so it’s suitable for those looking to work on their credit. To illustrate, this application will get reported to a credit bureau. Which bureau remains to be disclosed. It’s also perceived as a credit builder because if you pay your bills on time, this activity will slowly but surely help you establish a good credit history.
It’s worth noting that the institution issuing and managing this card is Horizon Card services, neither a credit services organization nor a bank. In its own words, “Horizon Card Services™ is not a credit services organization, banking institution or insurance company, nor is it affiliated with any credit services organization, banking or insurance institution …
Horizon Card Services™ does not facilitate nor provide assistance in obtaining credit from any other credit-issuing entities. Horizon Card Services™ does not charge an advanced fee to establish credit, nor does Horizon Card Services™ attempt, or claim to attempt to repair a customer’s credit history.”
Pros and Cons of the Net First Platinum Card
An accurate assessment of the Net First Platinum card is possible if we list its pros and cons.
6 Pros of the Net First Platinum Card
There are quite a few advantages, which you can enjoy if you invest in the Net First Platinum card, and they’re as follows:
1. Easy Approval
The main reason people are lured into getting this card is that no terms are too difficult to fulfill. Almost anyone is eligible for a Net First Platinum card, which is especially tempting for people with bad credit.
Individuals with bad credit or no credit history run the chance of having their applications rejected with other cards. Perhaps even they’ve had their applications for secured or unsecured credit cards rejected, leaving them with more hard pulls on their credit report than they can afford.
The reason for this easy approval is that Horizon Card Services doesn’t conduct a credit check or verify your income or employment information. Also, the no-check policy is a perk because hard inquiries tend to reduce your credit score, and if it’s already low, you certainly want to avoid that.
The only thing you need to apply for a Net First Platinum card is a debit card or a checking account so that you can pay your membership fees. With that secured, your application has guaranteed approval.
2. Reporting to Credit Bureaus
We’ve briefly alluded to this, but let’s take a second to dissect this advantage. The terms and conditions dictated by the Horizon Card Services site state that it reports the card holder’s payment history to one of the three credit bureaus every month. However, it doesn’t specify which one.
This can be helpful because if you can secure the Net First Platinum card and make sure your bills are paid on time, Horizon will report this account, increasing your credit score. Then, you’ll be eligible for better credit cards.
3. Membership Benefits
One of the perks of getting the Net First Platinum card is its membership benefits. If you’re enrolled in the monthly membership plan, you’ll get a $500 limit card and get access to prescription discounts, privacy protection, legal assistance advantages, and roadside assistance. You can get that for a $24.95 monthly fee.
Tip: Note that you’re automatically subscribed to the monthly plan on opening an account, so be sure to cancel your membership if you aren’t willing to pay the fees.
Additionally, let’s unpack these privileges. When it comes to prescription discounts or My Universal RX, you’ll get up to 40% discounts on covered prescriptions if the pharmacy is a participant. Unfortunately, you can only access the qualified medications list after signing up for the Platinum card.
When we say privacy protection, we mean unlimited internet access and access to your credit report. But, you can already get a free weekly report from one of the three credit bureaus on AnnualReport.com.
Moreover, members receive legal assistance in the form of a free 30-minute call to consult with a legal professional in their area of law interest, except for criminal law cases.
Last but not least, roadside assistance provides members with up to three calls or requests for towing for a maximum of 15 miles or requests that cost $50 or less for the operator. However, you can’t make more than a single call in 30 days. And the Net First can’t assist you with accidents involving motor vehicles.
In addition, if you call to ask for fuel delivery, you can get a maximum of two gas gallons. Also, you’ll be responsible for the gas cost.
Tip: The former benefits are only accessible to the cardholder, but they can add relatives for a price, which customer service can inform them of.
One thing that many people don’t seem to realize is that you can simply downgrade from the $24.95 monthly subscription to a standard membership that only costs $6. Even better, downgrading to the basic plan doesn’t come with much loss. The only privilege you’d have to give up is roadside assistance, which we’d venture you can live without.
Furthermore, you can call their support team to exchange the pricey membership plan for the basic one. Also, you’ll automatically be downgraded to it if you miss the $24.95 monthly fee for three months.
4. High Credit Limit
Upon approval, you’ll have no less than a $750 unsecured credit line. According to customer feedback, some cardholders got as much as $1500 starting credit limits. And they can use that to buy any Horizon Outlet Store items.
This starting credit limit is a lot more than you’d get out of most subprime credit cards. If you were to get an unsecured credit card, you’d perhaps have a maximum of $300 to $500. Not to mention, the Net First Platinum has an impressive record of increasing credit card limits for cardholders. Some may have it increased from $750 up to $1,700, $2,000, or even $3,000.
This feature is ideal for increasing credit lines and decreasing the credit utilization ratio. It may prove helpful if you only have $500 standing limit cards, and your requests for extending their limits have been denied.
5. No APR
We appreciate how the Net First Platinum credit card’s annual percentage rate (APR) is 0%, meaning that you won’t pay interest on any purchases. There’s only the $6 monthly maintenance fee, and you don’t have to pay that if you’re enrolled in the membership plan. Still, you have to pay %10 of the product’s price or $25, depending on which value is the bigger.
Instead, making a purchase via credit card and carrying the balance will have interest accumulating.
6. 7 Day Free Trial
With the Net First Platinum, you’re given a free trial of 7 days, which is rare for any credit cards or merchandise catalog cards to do. This free trial is a chance to test the waters, get access to any information which had been previously withheld, and decide if you like the card without any repercussions.
5 Cons of the Net First Platinum Card
Perhaps more important than the pros are the cons because we want you to form an objective opinion, and the disadvantages of the Net First Platinum card are:
1. High Membership Fees
The monthly membership fee of $24.95 is undoubtedly expensive. You’re paying $299.40 per year (a relatively high annual price) for a $750 card limit. And although the APR is %0, you’ll be paying other fees. For instance, there’s a $6 maintenance charge for those who’ve withdrawn from the monthly membership subscription.
In addition, you’ll pay $5 when issuing your card to activate it and pay shipping and handling fees on your Horizon merchandise. And you get charged $3.50 for signature verification when delivering shipments and a $2.50 residential delivery fee. Also, you can’t pay for shipping using your Net First Platinum card.
According to the Net First Platinum, “We ask that you pay a small shipping and processing fee at the time of ordering; this allows us to finance you at a 0% interest rate. You do need to use a Visa or Mastercard and provide a valid CVV #. The amount you will be charged will be available at checkout before you submit your order.”
If you’re late on a payment, you’ll be charged $20. And we’re not forgetting the $25 fee in case of returned checks or insufficient funds. As for your purchases, you have the option of paying for them over time or every month.
Therefore, it’d be wise to consider whether the Net First Platinum card is really worth the money, especially when you can only use it in a single store. However, consider downgrading to the $6 basic plan if you’re going through with this purchase.
2. Reporting to One Credit Bureau
We’ve talked about the credit report to a bureau as a perk before. Still, it’d be wise to contemplate whether this is a true advantage or not. For one, Horizon doesn’t specify which credit bureau it reports to.
Not to mention, reporting to one rather than two or all three bureaus isn’t a very effective method of building credit. It’s a risk because a future lender might pull your credit report from any other bureau. Without a record of your Net First Platinum account history, that account is utterly useless in helping you secure a loan.
But then again, many similar stores to Horizon that extend credit don’t report to any bureaus at all. Therefore, it’s only a pro in the way that reporting to one credit bureau is admittedly better than none at all.
However, we can’t help but note that there are much better options for rebuilding credit. If that’s your goal, it’d be helpful to look for a credit-building card, one that reports to the three main credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
The company’s statement seems to be in favor of that idea when it says the card “does not guarantee aid in building or rebuilding credit, or to the posting of any positive references to any credit report.”
Regarding your options, you can apply for secured credit cards even with bad credit, and there are many which report to all the major credit bureaus. You’ll have to put forth money for an upfront security deposit (probably equal to that of the credit limit, which you can retrieve when closing the account.
Having built better credit, you can, then, get unsecured credit cards, or the former card’s issuer might save you the trouble by allowing a sort of switching to an unsecured card with no need for closing the original account.
3. Automatic Enrollment in the Monthly Membership
This automatic enrollment is problematic because many cardholders get the card unaware of that; this is especially alarming when you consider the automatic deduction of $24.95 a month.
It also doesn’t help that the company isn’t exactly forthcoming about the membership benefits. When you visit the Horizon Card Services terms and conditions, you’ll be directed to a membership benefits site, which requires a login and password.
4. A Single Store Card
This isn’t something you’re unaware of, but it’s probably Net First Platinum’s biggest downside. You can only shop with it at the Horizon Outlet store since it isn’t a regular credit card. Now, this isn’t so bad if you’re generally someone who shops at thehorizonoutlet.com frequently. Otherwise, we’d advise against it.
5. Bad Customer Experience
It’s always a red flag when a product or service has an alarming number of bad reviews. That is true for the Net First Platinum, with about fifty one-star reviews on the SiteJabber website. Besides, the BBB has rated the business a B+, and it isn’t accredited, to the surprise of anyone. As for the customer service, their response time is average.
Best Alternatives to Net First Platinum
Since we’ve alluded to there being more superior options to the Net First Platinum, here are a few:
OpenSky Secured Visa
Like the Net First Platinum, the OpenSky Secured Visa doesn’t require a credit check. But unlike it, it reports to the three credit bureaus, and your card can be used anywhere that accepts Visa cards. And you pay only $35 a year to keep it. However, you have to put forth a secured deposit ranging from $200 to $3,000, depending on the approval.
A Fingerhut Account is a similar product to the Net First Platinum in the way that it enables you to buy products from over 400,000 options. It’s preferable to it because Fingerhut reports to three credit bureaus, rendering it an efficient credit-building tool. Moreover, you can increase your credit limit after some months of timely payments. And it doesn’t have a lot of fees.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
As a standard credit card, the Capital One Secured Mastercard allows you to pay for purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted. This card reports to the three main credit bureaus. Furthermore, you can increase the credit limit if you make your payments on time for five months. And you won’t be charged an annual fee.
On the downside, the APR is high (26.99%), and you’ll have to present a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200 beforehand, based on your credit rating.
FAQs About the Net First Platinum
Can I Use My Net First Platinum Card at Walmart?
No, it isn’t a regular credit card, so you can’t use it to go shopping at Walmart or the mall. It’s a line of credit that you can only use at the Horizon Outlet.
What Kind of Item Does Horizon Outlet Sell?
You can find a diverse collection of items in many categories, including women’s clothing, men’s clothing, kid’s clothing, toys, kids, baby, home, season, boutique, and entertainment.
Who Does the Net First Platinum Report to?
Net First Platinum doesn’t disclose that information, only that it reports to at least one of the major credit bureaus. Nevertheless, cardholders claim that it used to report to TransUnion but is currently reporting to Equifax between the 10th and 15th, each month.
Is the Net First Platinum Card Worth It?
Although its interest rate is 0%, the Net First Platinum card costs $24.95 per month, which amounts to $299.40 per year, along with additional fees. This is undoubtedly much more costly than a secured credit card, and its benefits are way less. Thus, we’d say that unless you buy plenty of products from the Horizon Outlet, the Net First Platinum isn’t worth the price.
Overall, the Net First Platinum is a decent option if you’re looking for a store card and happen to buy a lot of items from the Horizon Outlet. However, it isn’t the best option for credit building, and we’d advise you to look into other cheaper cards that report to all three bureaus, not just one.