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Grow Credit Mastercard

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By : Mr Credit Card


  • Build Your Credit with recurring expenses like Netflix, Hulu.
  • No credit checks
  • Only requires a linked bank account
  • Pay in full every month so you will not incur credit card debt

How does Grow Credit Work?

Grow Credit Mastercard is a great credit card for those who are cash-strapped, on a tight budget and cannot afford to put down a security deposit for secured credit card to build or rebuild their credit. It give you a small credit limit and only allows you to autopay for qualify subscription services like Netflix, Hulu etc. You also have to pay in full every month. Grow Credit has 3 tier memberships levels and each level has different monthly fees, monthly credit limits and the type of eligible subscriptions which you can charge to your card. For example, only the highest tier "Accelerate Membership" allows you to autobill and autopay your cell phone services. Grow Credit also reports to all three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. However, unlike regular credit cards that report credit card as a trade line, Grow Credit reports as an installment loan.

Here is a summary of it's key features and how it is different from regular credit cards.

No credit checks - Firstly, Grow Credit does not check your credit and there will be no hard inquiries on your credit report. This is quite unusual for unsecured credit cards although there are more FinTech startups offering cards that do not check your credit but looks instead at your bank account and cash flow.

Limited to spending on eligible subscriptions - Unlike regular credit cards where you can charge anything to your card, with Grow Credit, you can only charge eligible and approved subscriptions.

Have to pay in full every month - Grow Credit says that their regular APR is 0%. That is because you do have to pay in full every month. This resembles a charge card.

Reports as installment loan - While Grow Credit reports to all three major credit bureaus, they report as installment loans rather than regular trade line. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, having a diverse set of credit lines is actually a positive thing for credit score purposes.

Membership Tiers

Build Membership Grow Membership Accelerate Membership
Free $4.99/month $9.99/month
$17 monthly spending limit $50 monthly spending limit $150 monthly spending limit
Free FICO score Free FICO score Free FICO score
Plan duration: 12 mo - renewable Plan duration: 12 mo - renewable Plan duration: 12 mo - renewable
Access to premium subscriptions Access to premium subscription
Periodic Balance Increase (coming soon) periodic Balance Increase (coming soon)
Build Credit with cellphone bills

As you can see above, Grow Credit has 3 membership levels. Let's go through each of them in detail.

Build Membership Level - the lowest tier is the build membership level and it has no annual fee. At this level, your monthly credit limit is only $17 and as mentioned earlier, you can use that to autopay eligible subscription services. This includes hulu, netflix, spotify, disney+, pandora, HBO. As with all membership levels, you can a free FICO score as well.

While Grow does not do any hard inquiry (no credit checks), you have to link your bank account to them. Also, to subscribe to the "Build Membership" level, you need to have a direct deposit to your bank account of at least $1,000 a month.

Grow Membership Level - The Grow Membership level is their mid-tier level and it comes with a $4.99 monthly fee. The monthly spending limit is higher at $50. That means that you have room to pay for more subscriptions. On Grow's website, it states that they are working on a "periodic balance increase" feature (which they say is coming soon).

Accelerate Membership Level - This is the highest tier level and it comes with a $9.99 monthly fee. The credit limit is increased to $150 monthly and you can pay for cell phone bills (these providers are added to the eligible subscription for this level). Like the "Grow Membership" level, they are working on a "periodic balance increase" for those in this tier.

Eligible Subscriptions Available

Below is a list of eligible subscription available for Grow Credit Mastercard holders. There are two level of subsriptions, regular one and "premium subsriptions". Only "Grow" and "Accelerate" level members can charge premium subscriptions to their card. Below are screen shots of the subscriptions that are currently available.

grow subscriptions grow subscriptions grow subscriptions grow subscriptions grow subscriptions grow subscriptions grow subscriptions grow subscriptions grow subscriptions

Grow Credit Compared to other Credit Building Cards

Comparing Grow Credit Mastercard to other credit building credit card is a little like comparing apples to oranges and to pears. This is especially so because there have been new innovations lately in the credit building no credit check credit card space. But let's look at Grow Credit versus others here.

Grow Credit vs Traditional No Credit Check Secured Credit Cards

Traditional no credit check secured credit cards require that you put down a security deposit (minimum is normally $200) and your credit limit is based off the amount that you put down. Unlike Grow Credit, traditional secured credit cards allow you to spend on anything as long as the merchant accepts a credit card. Furthermore, you can carry a balance if you choose.

Grow Credit compared to no credit check unsecured credit cards

There are couple of new unsecured credit cards that do not check your credit but base their decision on your bank account and income instead. These cards are issued by new Fintech startups. They include cards like Tomo Mastercard and Petal credit card. These cards also have no annual fee and will give you much higher limits than Grow Credit. For example, Tomo Mastercard will give you a credit limit of between $100 and $10,000, let you earn 1% cash back but like Grow Credit, also require that you pay in full (but you have to pay in fill every 7 days).

Petal cards are similar to Tomo but they allow you to carry a balance. As you can see, Grow Credit is really different from regular credit cards because you are restricted to spending on subscriptions whereas regular credit cards lets you spend on anything.

Grow Credit vs Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa

There is a new secured credit card on the block by Chime. To get the Chime secured credit card, you need to enroll in their savings account. Like Grow Credit, they do not check your credit for both the savings account and the secured card. There is no annual fee as well. In fact, Chime even allows you to use your security deposit to pay off your balance (which you have to pay in full every month). The Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa is very similar to Grow Credit in that there is no credit check and you have to pay in full. But once again, unlike Grow Credit, Chime allows you to charge your credit card to any type of expenses, but just approved subscriptions.

Pros: What we like

  • Allows you to start building or rebuilding credit with very little money - Grow Credit actually makes it easy to start building your credit even if you have very little cash. For the free membership level, you can simply get the card and pay for a couple of monthly subscriptions to get started with only a $17 monthly credit limit.

  • Having to pay in full avoids credit card debt - Because you have to pay in full, there is no way you will rack up any credit card debt. This is a good practice regardless but espcially when you are building your credit.

Cons: What we do not like

  • High Fees for relative low credit limits - The credit limit is very low for all three plans. For the highest level "Accelerate Plan",the $9.99 monthly fee adds up to $119.88 (close to $120) and you only get $150 in credit limit. For the middle tier "grow" membership plan,, the $4.99 monthly fee adds up to $59.88 in return for a $50 limit. Even the free "Build" membership only gives you a $17 credit limit. To put this into context, there are secured credit cards like Chime, Go2Bank that have no annual fee and have no minimum security deposit. There are also many no annual fee secured credit cards from mainstream issuers like Citi Secured Mastercard that has no annual fee and requires just a $200 security deposit.

  • Can only be used for approved subscription services - You are limited on what you can charge to the card.

  • Have to pay in full every month - This is not necessarily a bad thing but some of you may want the flexibility to be able to carry a balance occasionally.

Our Take

I have to be honest here, the Grow Mastercard credit card is a most unique credit for rebuilders. You can only charge monthly subscription services that are on their "approved list" to your credit card. The credit limit that you get is also not very high compared to the fees that you have to pay. There is a no fee version but your monthly limit is only $17! And furthermore, to get the free level membership, you have to set up a direct deposit of at least $1,200 with your linked bank account. Most of you who have regular jobs and are paid with direct deposit will find this requirement not a big deal. But for those of you who are paid via check, this might be a deal breaker unless you get HR to switch you to direct deposit.

Because you can only charge monthly subscription services to the card, it is very restrictive. And because the credit limits are rather low, you cannot simply subscribe to as many services as you want. That being said, such restrictions might be what is needed for those of you who have trouble keeping your credit spending under control. Furthermore, there are no credit checks so your chances of approval are very high.

If you are a rebuilder who has been denied for rebuilder cards that you have applied for and do not want another hard inquiry on your credit report, then the Grow Credit Mastercard may just be the right rebuilder credit card for you. There are lots of restrictions in terms of credit limit and what you can charge on the card. But this may be just what you need to starting rebuilding your credit.

To sum up, the Grow Credit Mastercard is an interesting credit builder card that I think will appeal to those of you who simply want a card to rebuild or build their credit score and cannot be bothered to put down a large security deposit for a no annual fee secured credit card. You do have to understand the limitations of this card though as a rebuilder or credit building tool. You can only use it to pay certain recurring bills and you cannot use it elsewhere like at the supermarkets, gas stations or at diners. If you are aware of these limitations and are ok with it, then by all means go for it. I would suggest that you choose the Free membership tier because the fees and credit limits that you get for the membership levels with monthly fee are simply not worth it and you be better off getting a regular secured credit card instead.

How to Apply for Grow Credit Mastercard

To apply for the Grow Credit Mastercard, you would first have to make sure you are already a subscriber of one of their approved subscription services. You then create an account and proceed from there. Below are screenshots of the first couple of the online application page.

grow credit application grow credit application grow credit application grow credit application

expand text FAQS

Contact Information

Address: Grow Credit, Inc. 1447 2nd Street #200 Santa Monica 90401

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