Primor Secured Visa Gold Card Review: A Useful Tool for Improving Credit

Primor Secured Visa Gold Card Review

Obtaining a secured credit card is a great way to build your credit history. In fact, MyFICO (the consumer website for FICO credit scores) recommends it.

But even if this is your first time building credit – or you have bad credit – it’s important to pick the right secured card.

Finding a secured credit card with low costs and solid customer support is ideal. That way you can work towards the credit score of your financial dreams in a manageable way.

So if you’re shopping around for a secured credit card, check out our Primor Secured Visa Gold Card review below. This could be the secured card to help you take your credit to the next level.

Primor Secured Visa Gold Card review

The Primor Secured Visa Gold Card is a secured card that can be used to help you establish credit for the first time – or improve spotty credit.

There are several pros to using this secured Visa credit card:

  • It has a very low purchase APR.
  • There’s no fee to apply.
  • There’s no penalty interest rate.
  • If your income exceeds your expenses by at least $100 a month, you’ll have guaranteed approval.

However, there are also several cons to using this card:

  • You can’t request a balance transfer with this card.
  • This card has a relatively high annual fee.
  • You’ll have to manage and pay your credit card on two separate online platforms.
Apply for the Primor Secured Visa Gold card

Berkshire Bank products

The Primor secured card, managed by Berkshire Bank, is one of many products the bank offers.

Other services provided by Berkshire Bank include general banking, insurance, and wealth management. You can house all your banking needs in one place if you decide the Visa secured credit card is right for you.

However, keep in mind that Berkshire Bank is primarily in the Northeast. You might not want to do all your banking with them if you live elsewhere.

Using the Primor Secured Visa Gold Card online platform

If you sign up for this secured Visa credit card, you won’t be managing it on Berkshire Bank’s main website. Instead, you’ll have access to your card at firstchoicebankcc.com. To make a payment online, you’ll have to do it at fcbcards.com.

Some reviews on the card have pointed to confusion with the online management of the card, especially since you have to manage the card on separate websites.

Primor Secured Visa Gold Card interest rates and fees

This Primor Secured Visa Gold Card secured card comes with a low purchase APR but a high annual fee. Here’s a breakdown of costs and fees to consider:

  • The purchase APR is 9.99%.
  • The annual fee is $49.
  • A replacement card or an additional card is $29.
  • Late fees are $29.
  • An increased credit limit or upgraded card is $49.
  • The cash advance APR is 18.99%.
  • The cash advance fee is either $5 or five percent, whichever is more.
  • A three percent fee is charged for foreign transactions.

Since all fees are charged to your account, you will pay interest on them if you don’t pay them in full by the end of the billing cycle.

The interest rate on the fees isn’t the same as the purchase interest rate. Instead, the interest rate on fees is the same as the interest rate on cash advances, which is double the rate.

Primor Secured Visa Gold Card eligibility requirements

Like many other secured credit cards, it’s easy to be approved for this secured Visa credit card. All you have to do is show that your monthly income exceeds your expenses by $100 and pay the security deposit.

Since the annual $49 fee is charged to the card, you can either pay it off within the billing cycle at no interest or pay it off slowly if you need more time.

Remember, the credit limit on the card will equal the security deposit you put down. Additionally, your credit limit for cash advances will be half of the credit limit on your card.

Check out the Primor Secured Visa Gold card

Berkshire Bank customer service

The Primor secured card is owned by Berkshire Bank. According to Better Business Bureau (BBB), the bank is doing quite well and has been given an “A+” score.

This score means Berkshire Bank has gotten more than three out of five stars based on specific factors. This includes complaint volume, unanswered complaints, transparent business practices, and more.

As for the Primor Secured Visa Gold Card secured card, the only negative review was from a customer who tried to increase his credit line. Though he sent the money for the increase, he wasn’t told until a few days later that an additional form had to be sent. Berkshire Bank commented on the complaint and sent a letter to the customer to apologize for the incident.

Credit Karma has a review of this Primor secured card and has also given it more than three out of five stars. Right now, 48 percent of the reviews are positive.

But there are some negative reviews. They mostly address issues such as the high annual fee, unhelpful or unfriendly customer service representatives, confusion in managing the card online, and unsophisticated online tools.

More about Berkshire Bank

Anyone who had this Visa secured credit card years ago knew it as the card developed by First Choice Bank. But when Berkshire Bank bought First Choice Bank at the end of 2016, it acquired this secured Visa credit card as well.

Berkshire Bank is headquartered at 24 North Street, P.O. Box 1308, Pittsfield, MA 01202-1308.

It also happens to be the largest banking institution based in Western Massachusetts. Established in 1846, it doesn’t seem like Berkshire Bank will be going anywhere soon.

Berkshire Bank and Primor Secured Visa Gold Card contact info

Berkshire Bank has a variety of branches concentrated in the Northeast.

If you have a Primor Secured Visa Gold Card, the number to call for customer service is 609-454-0337 or 800-768-9897. Customer service hours on this line are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

You can also call Berkshire Bank’s customer call center at 800-773-5601. Just make sure to ask to be transferred to the support line for the Primor Secured Visa Gold Card.

You can reach them on Twitter at @BerkshireBank and on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Get the Primor Secured Visa Gold today

Final word on using a secured credit card to establish credit

In case you’re interested in learning how to use a secured credit card to establish credit, here’s advice from the Director of Public Education for Experian, Rod Griffin.

  • Make sure the secured card you want will be reported to at least one of the national credit reporting companies or else the card won’t help you build a credit history.
  • Your account will need to be open and active for at least three to six months before it will be included in credit score calculations.
  • Make a small purchase each month on the card and then pay it in full to build credit while avoiding debt.
  • If you can’t pay off your card each month, don’t let your balances exceed 30 percent of your credit limit.
  • Remember that failing to pay on your secured account will be reported as a delinquency on your credit report.
  • The amount of time it takes for the secured account to help your credit score will depend on your unique credit history.

“Opening an account, whether secured or unsecured, may not be the best strategy if you’re trying to rehabilitate your credit history,” Griffin said. “Get a credit score and the risk factors that go with it. Those factors will tell you what you need to work on to improve your credit most quickly.”

And if you’re working to pay down high debt? Then you might want to think twice before getting a secured credit card, according to Griffin. Your score will improve more by paying your debt down.

No matter what you end up doing, just make sure it’s the right thing for your current needs and your future goals.

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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.29% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 1, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.29% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 4.20% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2017, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.23%. Variable interest rates range from 6.02% – 15.97% (6.02% – 15.97% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with Citizens Bank at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, Citizens Bank checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.29% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
5.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
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