What happens when you make a significant purchase, max out your credit card, and fail to repay the loan on time? Well, as a Canadian, you may get higher interest rates for subsequent loans, higher insurance premiums, and there's a good chance your loan applications might be rejected.
If you're denied a loan because of a poor credit score, Refresh Financial Secured Credit Card can help correct that. The card's primary purpose is to build your credit rating, but it also has excellent overall features.
This brutal review of the Refresh Financial Card will give you in-depth information so you can make an informed choice.
- Annual Fee: $12.95
- Eligibility: Age of majority, reside in a province or territory where Refresh is offered, provide security funds of at least $200
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Features and Benefits
It's notable that few credit cards in the market match up to the Refresh Financial Secured Credit Card in terms of features. But, best of all, the benefits trickle down to all generations, both youth, and adults. They include:
Low Entry Barrier
It's almost impossible to find a reputable credit card company issuing credit cards to clients with a bad credit score. And if they do, the terms are always strict, and the interest rate sky high, which you can't afford to repay.
Not with the Refresh card, though. This secured credit card doesn't check your past credit history to determine your creditworthiness. Thus, your application can be approved if you have an excellent credit score of 650 and above or as low as 300.
The only credit card applicants rejected by Refresh Financial are those who don't meet the eligibility requirements.
Minimum Annual Fees and Monthly Option
Compared to other credit cards with similar features, the Refresh card has one of the competitive prices in the market. Besides, once your credit card application goes through, you only pay the $12.95 charged annually for all members.
From then, all you'll pay for is the monthly renewal service fee of $3 the entire year, so the total cost comes to $48.95 for the period. Paying monthly fees instead of the annual amount is a blessing because you may opt out of the credit card service before the end year.
If the one factor you consider above all in a credit card is a low-interest rate, you won't find many reduced figures than the Refresh Financial Card. Typically, the card has a 17.99% interest rate lower than the standard market interest rate charged by other credit card companies.
On top of that, same as the other secured credit cards, the card offers a 21-day interest-free grace period to all new cardholders. This is different from other credit card companies, which cut the interest almost immediately after the transaction.
Reduced Security Deposit
The worst feature most credit cards have is the security deposit. Many cards demand a $500 security deposit before they can sign you up as a card member. But the case is different for the Refresh Secured Card.
Here, you pay a one-time minimum deposit fee of $200 for your card. Plus, the size of the security deposit doesn't affect the interest rate charged. If at all, the more significant your deposit, the larger the credit limit availed because the maximum deposit is set at $10,000.
Lastly, you can always receive your deposit back if you decide to part ways with Refresh Financial.
Chance to Build Credit
The one reason you want the Refresh Credit Card is the chance to restore your creditworthiness. This is because having a low credit score can prevent you from accessing specific services countrywide.
For starters, lenders see you as too big of a risk to loan you money or credit cards. Two, you may pay more to access credit and insurance. Finally, not forgetting that you may miss specific job opportunities and can't live in some parts of the country.
Refresh Financial Secured Credit Card gives you the chance to turn your financial situation around. Each time you make timely payments for your loan, Refresh relays this information to TransUnion and Equifax – the two significant credit bureaus in the country.
With each passing payment, the report shows you can manage debt, and your credit score goes back up.
To up your financial knowledge and give you the skills to be more financial literate, Refresh offers a financial crash course. In this program, you learn the basics of credit cards, money, how to become debt-free, saving, setting financial goals, and building wealth.
Besides, the Financial Intelligence Training (F.I.T) occurs online through 7 simple series containing eight episodes. They are short, carefully edited videos you can watch at home or while on the go. Plus, there are prizes to be won in some of the lessons covered, so you stick to the end.
Rates and Fees
In contrast to other alternative credit cards, the Refresher Card has one of the best interest rates and fee structures for cardholders. Currently, the interest rate stands at 17.99%, which puts it among the lowest rates in the industry.
But, of course, you can avoid paying costly interest rates by clearing your balances in full every month within the 21-day grace period.
On the downside, there are some Refresher fees you can't avoid. One is the annual registration fee of $12.95 and the other a $3 monthly fee for the whole year.
These two bring the total mandatory cost for the Refresher Secured Card to $48.95 – a small price to pay considering your credit score.
Other possible fees include:
- Declined transaction fee ($0.10)
- A.T.M. fee ($5 Within Canada or Worldwide)
- Monthly inactivity fee ($2)
- Over limit fee ($5)
- Cash advance fee ($5)
- International transaction fee ($3.5)
- Paper statement fee ($2.5)
- Point of sale transaction ($3.5)
Considering these costs beforehand will save you a lot of trouble. Besides, you'll have everything you need to know, saving you time and resources.
How to Get the Refresh Financial Secured Credit Card
While there are no credit history checks done and the possibility of rejection is low, the parent company sets minimum requirements. These include:
All applicants must meet these minimum requirements or risk their application being rejected. The first requirement is that you should be a Canadian citizen and have attained the legal age in your province, 18 or 19, depending on where you live in Canada.
Two, you must provide a cash deposit of $200 upfront in case you default on payments. And three is that you shouldn't have applied for a Refresh card within the same month or already an existing Refresh account.
Lastly, if you had a previous Refresher account, it must have a clean bill of health with no debt or defaulted payments. From here, the application process to getting your secured card is pretty straightforward.
Just log in to the company website and go to the Refresher Card application page. Then, fill out the entire form and share your personal information, including the contact address and state a compelling reason for applying.
Make sure to verify your email address via the link they send and pick a secured pack that suits you among the options. Finally, after you've even deposited the $200, expect an email with your credit card sent to your address within a week or two.
How Does It Compare to Other Top Competitors
If you compare the Refresher Credit Card with its peers in the industry, it's better than most in terms of features. For starters, the Refresher's minimum deposit of $200 is among the lowest since many credit cards charge $500 going upwards. This way, you get to keep most of your money as you build up your credit score.
On the other hand, the $48.95 fee, which is a sum of the $12.95 annual fee you pay plus the $3 monthly installments for a year, is slightly higher than most. But, overall, the card ranks among the top in its line.
Pros and Cons
The Refresher Secured Card has numerous benefits for cardholders, while it also comes with its fair share of problems. Each summarized below:
- Low-security deposit
- Low-interest rate
- Credit building
- Better creditworthiness
- No credit check
- Education tools available
- High approval rate
- Fees (the monthly and annual fee combined come out slightly higher than others)
- No credit card rewards or insurance cover
- Too long approval process (takes between two weeks to a month)
An individual needs to consider these factors before deciding to settle on Refresh Financial Card. This can save you from having unforeseen challenges in the future.
The Final Review of Refresh Financial Secured Credit Card
In general, the Refresh Financial Secured Credit Card is suited to specific people. The first group is people with a bad credit score who want to improve it.
The second bunch is those who've undergone recent bankruptcy and would like to access some quick cash. And the last are the ones looking for a credit card with slightly lower interest rates.
If you're looking to improve your credit, then you are more then likely improving your financial life overall. Have you considered investing in insurance yet? Insurdinary will shop the entire Canadian market for you in order to provide you with the lowest possible rates for you and your family. Reach out to us today. One of our experienced agents is looking forward to speaking with you.