Horizon Gold Card
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

What is the Horizon Gold Card And Who Is It For?

The Horizon Gold Card is a merchandie credit card that allows you to buy products from The Horizon Outlet, their online store. You will be extended a $500 unsecured credit limit to start and it is a merchandise credit line. Horizon Gold has no credit checks and no employment checks so you will definitely be approved. They also report to a major bureau (which is Equifax) so this card will definitely help you rebuild your credit. You will also get benefits like My Roadside Assistance, My Universal RX, My Legal Assistance and Credit Hawk (which is a credit report and ID theft solution service).

The Horizon Gold Card is useful for the following type of rebuilders:
  • Those who cannot afford another hard inquiry
  • Those who want to increase their overall credit limits and decrease their credit utilization ratio - Though Horizon Gold Card starts you off with a $500 unsecured credit limit, they have a track record of credit line increases up to $3,000. This is very helpful for rebuilders because many subprime cards have very small credit lines that do not increase over time.


Note: Horizon Gold Card is now Principal Platinum

Horizon Gold Card has now been discontinued by Horizon Card Services and is replaced by Principal Platinum Card. They have exactly identical features except in the two following areas. The first is that they have a $750 unsecured credit limit versus $500 for Horizon Gold. Secondly, they have a lower monthly fee (more on that later). The new Principal Platinum also offers a 7-day risk-free trial for applicants. For the rest of the review, I will be highlighting the difference between Horizon Gold and Principal Platinum. The reasons to get Horizon Gold Card still applies to Principal Platinum.


The Horizon Outlet (TheHorizonOutlet.com)

The Horizon Gold Card only can be used at thehorizonoutlet.com. The online store sells products like electronics, household goods etc. Below is a screenshots of their store.

horizon outlet


Card Details

Here the key details and fees of this card.

Annual Fee $0
Regular Membership Plan $24.95/month - New Principal Platinum is now $14.77/month
Starter Membership Plan $6/month
Regular APR 0%
Minimum Payment $25 or 10% of Balance
late Fee $20
Outlet Store Delivery Signature Verification $3.50
Outlet Store Residential Delivery $2.00
Credit Bureau Reporting Reports to Equifax


APR: 0% - You do not pay an interest if you carry a balance after you buy a product.

Annual Fee: $0.

Initial Credit Limits $500 (new Principal Platinum initial credit limit is increased to $750)

Credit Bureau Reporting: Reports to One Credit Bureau - At this moment, it is Equifax

Membership Fees: $24.95 a month (the new Principal Platinum fee is now lower at $14.77). You will get benefits like My Road Assistance, My Legal Assistance, My Universal RX and Credit Hawk - a credit monitoring and ID theft service (more on these later).

NSF Check Fee: $25

Outlet Store Delivery Signature Verification: $3.50

Outlet Store Residential Delivery: $2.00


Regular Membership Plan and Benefits

When you get approved for the Horizon Gold Card, you are automatically enrolled as a member of the Horizon Card Services. You will get the following benefits:

My Roadside Assistance

Under this program, you are allowed up to 1 service per month. The tow distance has to be within 15 miles and the cost must not exceed $50 (you have to pay any amount above that). You are allowed up to 3 service calls within a 12 month period.

My Universal RX

You can get unlimited local participating pharmacy access and receive up to 40% off of covered prescription medications.

Credit Hawk Free Credit Report and ID Theft Protection

Card members of Horizon Gold Card get access to credit hawk which gives you access to your credit report and also offers ID Theft Protection.

My Legal Assistance

You get Toll free and Internet access to Legal resources. Your plan entitles you to one free 30-minute consultation with a legal professional in your area specializing in your area of law interest. Criminal cases are not covered.


Starter Membership Plan

This part is a little bit confusing so bear with me. When you apply for the Horizon Gold Card, you will automatically be enrolled in their Membership Program ($24.95/month), which gets you the benefits above that we just mentioned (Roadside Assistance, Universal RX, My Privacy Protection, My Legal Assistance).

In their terms and conditions, it states that there is a monthly fee of $6/month that is "waived" as long as you are "a member of the Horizon Card Services". What this means is that as long as you pay your $24.95 a month membership fee, the $6/month fee is waived.

What is actually interesting is that you can "downgrade" from the "membership level" to a "basic starter membership plan" and just pay $6/month monthly fee. You will get all the benefits of the regular Membership Plan except for the Roadside Assistance.

Their terms and conditions also states that if you fail to make three consecutive payments on your regular membership fees, you will be automatically downgraded to the "basic starter plan". I would suggest that if you are not concerned about having Roadside Assistance as a benefit, you should call Horizon to downgrade to the start plan as it cost much less. Rebuilders should definitely that this route.


Purchase Payments Explanations

When you make use of the Horizon Gold Card to buy products from www.thehorizonoutlet.com, you can choose to pay in full or over time. However, you have to pay the shipping and processing fee in full. A $3.50 charge will be added for shipment signature verification.

The minimum payment you have to make is the greater of either 10% of the balance when you first made the purchase or $25. The minimum payment does not decrease over time. If your purchase is $25 or less, then you have to pay in full.

You can set up auto-payments with Horizon Gold.


Cards Like Horizon Gold

Card Monthly Fees Annual Fee Fee Credit Reporting Credit Lines
Horizon Gold Card$24.95 or $6$0Equifax$500
Freedom Gold Card$14.77 or $6$0Equifax$750
Net First Platinum$14.77 or $6$0Equifax$750
Principal Platinum$14.77 or $6$0Equifax$750
Merit Platinum$14.77 or $6$0Equifax$750
Pulse Platinum$19.95$0TransUnion$1,000
Unique Platinum$19.95$0TransUnion$1,000


Horizon Gold Card vs New Terms of Horizon Card Services Cards

Horizon Gold is issued by Horizon Card Services and they also issue a few other cards that are very similar to Horizon Gold. Examples include the Freedom Gold Card and Net First Platinum. Just when Horizon Gold Card was discontinued, they introduced the Principal Platinum Card and lowered the monthly fee of not just Principal Platinum, but all other Horizon Card Services cards from $24.95 to $14.77. Furthermore, instead of starting you off with a $500 credit line, they now offer $750 unsecured credit limits for all their cards. That is a $250 increase in starting credit limits. So if you are thinking of getting the Horizon Gold Card with the old fees and starting limit, you would want to get the other Horizon Card Services cards right now.

Horizon Gold Card vs Unique Card Services Cards

Horizon Gold's main competitor is Unique Card Services, who have their own online store and issues cards that are similar to Horizon Card Services. An example is Unique Platinum. Cards from Unique Card Services have a monthly membership fee of $19.95. This used to be lower than the $24.95 that cards like Horizon Gold used to charge. But now, all Horizon Card Services cards fee have been lowered to $14.77. Furthermore, you can downgrade your membership to a starter level for only $6 a month. So from a monthly fee perspective, cards like Principal Platinum and Merit Platinum now have a leg up. Like Horizon Gold Card, cards from Unique Card Services also have the equivalent of My Roadside Assist, My Universal RX, My Legal Assistance and Credit Hawk Credit Report Service.

As far as starting credit lines go, cards from Unique Card Services like Unique Platinum have starting credit limits of $1,000. The Horizon Gold Card (along with other cards from Horizon Card Services) used to having a starting credit limit of $500. They now offer a $750 unsecured credit limit to start so they have caught up.

As far as credit bureau reporting goes, the Horizon Gold Card and all other cards from Horizon Card Services claim to report to one major bureau. We know that at this moment it is Equifax. Though cards from Unique Card Services does not explicitly guarantee that they will report to any credit bureau, we know that they report to TransUnion.


What We Like About Horizon Gold Card - No Credit Checks, 0% APR

Pros

0% APR On Purchases

You will not be charged any interest rate on your purchases. However, as mentioned earlier, you will have to pay a minimum payment that is the greater of either 10% of the purchase price or $25. But you will not accrue interest over time so that is a good thing compared to making a purchase on a credit card and carrying a balance.

Unsecured $500 Credit Limit

When you are approved for the card, you will be given at least $500 credit line that is unsecured. However, from consumer feedback, it appears you can get up to $1,500 in starting credit lines. $500 to $1,500 is a much higher starting credit line than most subprime credit cards.

No Credit Checks - Guaranteed Approval

Horizon Gold does not check your credit report or your income so you will not experience a hard pull. You do need a debit card or a checking account to pay your membership fees. As long as you have a debit card, you will be approved.

Reports to Equifax

On their terms and conditions page, Horizon Gold says they report to at least one credit bureau. In the past, cardholders have reported that they report to TransUnion. Recently, it appears that they are now reporting to Equifax.

Can Downgrade $24.95/month Membership to $6/month Standard Membership

This is a little known secret for Horizon card. The terms and conditions states that if you fail to pay the $24.95 per month membership fee for three months, you will be "downgraded" automatically to the $6/month basic membership plan. The plan is essentially the same as the Regular Membership Plan except that it has no Roadside Assistance Plan. It turns out you can also call them to switch to the starter plan. This makes carrying the card much cheaper.




What We Dislike About Horizon Gold Card - Can Only Be Used at The Horizon Outlet

Can Only Be Used At thehorizonoutlet.com

You can only use this card at Horizon's online store www.thehorizonoutlet.com. Unlike a regular Visa or Mastercard, you cannot use it anywhere else.


Horizon Gold Card Is Now Principal Platinum

As you know by now, the Horizon Gold Card has been replace by the Principal Platinum. But the reason for getting the Horizon Gold Card applies to Principal Platinum as well.

Most of you rebuilders then to started looking either for a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card to start your rebuilding efforts. Many of you will be successful in getting approved for a couple of cards. However, there are some of you will really bad scores and have been rejected even by secured credit cards. This is where an online store card like Horizon Gold Card comes in.

While it may not be the most ideal card to get, it does not perform any credit or income checks so approval is guaranteed as long as you have a debit card or checking account. You have to be aware that you can only use it at The Horizon Outlet and that you have to pay a monthly membership fee. However, they do report to at least one credit bureau and as far as we understand, it is presently Equifax. Though they starting credit limit is officially $500 (it is now $750 with Principal Platinum), there are folks who have gotten approved for $1,500 in credit lines.

If you have experienced many denials and do not want another hard pull on your credit report, then the Horizon Gold Card is something worth considering to jump start your rebuilding efforts.

Pro Tip

Like we mentioned before, when you get approved for the card, you will automatically be enrolled in their $24.95 a month membership plan (with the Principal Platinum it is now $14.77). After a couple of months, you can actually call Horizon to downgrade to the basic starter plan and just pay $6 a month in fees. This is much cheaper and most of you should consider this.





Fast Online Applicaton

Here is a screenshot of the horizon Gold Card application page. You have to fill in your email address and your zip code. It will then take you to the next application page. But before that, you MAY be taken to a page offering you other credit products from their affiliate partners. You should just click the "No Thanks - I will continue my Horizon Gold Card Activation" button.
horizon gold application horizon gold application


On the next page, you will have to fill in your name, address, phone number, monthly pay, how often you are paid, your next pay date, your credit score range and whether you receive direct deposit. Once you submit this information, you will get the offer and confirmation. You will be instantly approved (within 60 seconds) once you submit your online application.

horizon gold application horizon gold application horizon gold application


FAQ

FAQS


Customer Service Information

Mail

Horizon Card Services
P.O. Box 1275
Indiana, PA 15701

Customer Advocacy

1-800-837-4997
5 days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m

Cancel Membership

1-800-251-6144
Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST (excluding holidays)
Or online at www.memberbenefitaccess.com.