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Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Mastercard® - Up to $2,700 limit after 7 Months
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card
  • Annual Fee = $0 - $72
  • Regular APR = 21.7 - 30.7%
  • Starting Credit Limit = $500 - $1,250
  • Credit Limit After 7 months of on time payment = $1,000 - $2,500
  • Free Credit Score


Pros Cons
Reasonable annual fee (no annual fee possible) High APR - common in such cards
Decent starting credit limit  
Credit limit will double after 7 months of timely payments  
Free Credit Score  
No penalty rates or over-the-limit fee  
Prequalify first with no impact on credit score  
Can pay bills with Western Union and Moneygram  


Merrick Bank Doubles Your Credit Line After 7 Months

The Merrick Bank Double Your Line Mastercard Credit Card is a unique credit card that will double your credit limit if you pay on time for 7 months. The starting credit limit ranges from $550 to $1,350. After 7 months of on-time payments, your credit limit will double to between $1,100 to $2,700. No other card offers such a guarantee in terms of increasing credit limit. As we shall soon find out, it is also very competitive in terms of fees and features. Your approval odds for the Merrick Bank Double Your Line Visa is best if your credit score is in the upper end of the bad credit range (ie from 580 to 690) and if you have been paying on-time on your other credit obligations for the last year. It is also one of the rare credit cards that allows you to pay via electronic payment systems like Western Union or Moneygram.
 

Requirements

Below are some suggested guidelines to improve your chances of approval. Many folks who got approved have credit profiles fitting the following criteria.
  • Credit score needed - more than 620
  • Not more than $20,000 in total credit card balance
  • Not more than $70,000 in total balance excluding mortgage and credit card, ie things like student loans and auto loans
  • Not more than 2 hard inquiries during the last 6 months
  • No more than 10 new tradelines during last 24 months
  • On-time payments for at least a year
  • CANNOT have delinquent revolving trade line - ie all charge off, collections should be settled
  • No tax liens

 


Card Details

Annual Fee $0-$72
One-time Application Fee N.A.
Monthly Fee N.A.
Regular APR 21.7% - 30.7%*Variabel
Cash Advance APR 26.7% - 35.7%*Variable
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Starting Credit Limit $550 - $1250
Credit Line Increase After 7 consecutive time payments, credit line doubles to $1,100-$2,700
Free Credit Score FICO score by either TransUnion or Experian from goscore


The table above shows the main features of this card. The annual fee will range between $0 and $72 and there is also no monthly maintenance fees that are common with other cards. That means you could possibly be approved for a no annual fee card.

Another interesting aspect of this card is that you can get a Free FICO score from TransUnion or Experian from goscore.

Most importantly, if you pay 7 consecutive timely payments on just your minimum payment, your credit line will double from your initial credit limit. Furthermore, after the initial doubling of credit line, Merrick Bank also has a track record of further increasing your credit limits.
 


Card Details
Merrick Bank Annual Fee = $0-$72
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee=N.A.
APR=21.7% - 30.7%*Variable
Free Credit Score = Yes - FICO 8 Score
Credit Line Increase = Double after 7 consecutive timely payments
Mission Lane Visa Annual Fee = $0-$59
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee=N.A.
APR=26.99% - 29.99%
Free Credit Score = Yes
Credit Line Increase = Yes, after 6 consecutive timely payments
Reflex Mastercard Annual Fee = $75 - $99 1st Year, then $99
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee=$0 - $10/month
APR=24.99% - 29.99%
Free Credit Score = Yes
Credit Line Increase = Double after 6 consecutive timely payments
First Digital Annual Fee = $75 1st Year, Then $48
Upfront Fee=$95
Monthly Fee=$0 1st Year, then $6.25/month

APR=35.99%
Free Credit Score = N.A.
Credit Line Increase - Yes - but no guarantee
Total Visa Annual Fee = $75 1st Year, Then $48
Upfront Fee = $89
Monthly Fee = $0 1st Year, Then $6.25/month
APR = 34.99%
Free Credit Score = N.A.
Credit Line Increase = Yes - but no guarantee
Surge Mastercard Annual Fee = $135 1st Year, then $96
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee = $10/month
APR = 29.90%
Free Credit Score = Yes
Credit Line Increase = Yes but no guarantee
Credit One Bank Annual Fee=$0 to $99
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee = N.A.
APR = 19.49% to 25.49%
Free Credit Score = Yes
Credit Line Increase = Yes - but no guarantee
Indigo Annual Fee=$0 to $75
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee = N.A.
APR = 24.9%
Free Credit Score = N.A.
Credit Line Increase = N.A.


As you can see from the table above, the Merrick Bank card compares very well with the better cards in the bad credit space in terms of features and features. It's annual fee of between $0 and $72 is very competitive with cards like Credit One, Indigo (whose annual fee ranges from $0 to $99). Like these cards, Merrick Bank also does not charge any monthly maintenance fees and one-time application fees. So from a fee perspective, Merrick bank is very competitive.

Another nice feature they offer card members is that everyone will get access to their FICO score for free. This is better than some cards like Credit One, which offers a free credit score but is not a FICO score (rather it is the Experian Vantage Score). The FICO score is provided by goscore and uses the FICO 8 score by either TransUnion or Experian.

However, the best feature of this card is that after 7 months of paying your minimum on time, your credit limit will automatically double. This is a great feature because when you have bad credit, your starting credit limit on a credit card tends to be very low ($300 to $500). Increasing your credit line could potentially help your credit utilization ratio. Some cards like Indigo and Milestone do not increase your credit line at all. However, Merrick Bank also faces some competition from issuers who have recently began offering guaranteed credit limit increases after timely payments for a few months. Let us now take a look at such cards and how Merrick Bank fares against it.

Compared to cards that guarantee credit limit increases

The first card to compare Merrick Bank with is the Mission Lane Visa. The Mission Lane Visa has an annual fee ranging from $0 to $59 (lower maximum than Merrick Banks' $72). After 6 months of paying on time, your credit limit will be increased and many have had their initial credit lines doubled. Another card to mention is the Reflex Mastercard from Continental Finance. It has a starting credit limit of between $300 and $1,000. After paying on time for the first 6 months, your credit limit will double. However, Merrick Banks has lower fees compared to Reflex credit card.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Reasonable Annual Fee - Your annual fee for this card will range between $0 and $72. This is very reasonable compared to other cards who are targeting those of you with bad credit.

  • No Monthly Fee or One-time Application Fee - Unlike many other credit cards targeting those with poor credit, this card does not charge any monthly fee (on top of an annual fee). Nor does it charge any one-time application fee.

  • Good Initial Credit Limit - New card members will get an initial starting credit limit of between $550 and $1,350. That is higher than a typical unsecured credit card targeting those with bad credit, which normally gives you a starting limit of between $300 and $500.

  • Double Your Limit After 7 Months of On-Time Payment - One of the truly unique feature of this card is that if you pay your minimum payment on time for 7 months, your credit line will automatically double. For example, if your starting credit limit is $1,000, then it will double to $2,000.

  • Free FICO Score - As a card member, you can get your FICO score for free every month. This is a great feature that more subprime credit cards are offering these days and Merrick Bank is one of them. The score is provided by a service called goscore and uses FICO 8 scores from either TransUnion or Experian.

  • No Penalty Rates or Over the Limit Fees - This card does not have penalty rates or over-the-limit fees

  • Pre-qualify First - No Hard Pull - Before you can apply for the card, Merrick Bank requires that you go through a pre-qualification process. It will not result in a hard pull. If you pre-qualify, only then will you be able to apply for the card.

  • Can use Moneygram or Western Union to pay bills - Merrick Bank is one of the rare firms that allows cardholders to pay via electronic payment systems like Moneygram and Western Union. That means that those off you without a checking account or debit card can still apply and pay for this card.

Cons

  • High Interest Rates - The APR on this card is not the lowest. We always recommend that everyone pays their bills in full so that the interest on the card does not matter.


 


Our Take

The Merrick Bank Double Your Line Mastercard Credit Card is one of the best credit cards for those of you with bad to fair credit. It charges a very reasonable annual fee that ranges between $0 and $72. There is also no monthly maintenance fee or one-time application fee. That means in theory, you could get this credit card for no annual fee. From a fee perspective, they are competitive as they only charge an annual fee.

Another nice feature they have is that you can get your FICO score every month for free. Some cards like Credit One and cards from Continental Finance like Reflex Mastercard also offer free credit score. But this one offers an actual FICO score and not just a Vantage score.

But the best feature of this card is that if you pay your bills (at least minimum payment) on time for 7 months, your credit limit will be doubled. As a recap, the initial starting credit limit ranges between $550 and $1,350. That means after 7 months of timely payments, your credit limit will increase to between $1,100 and $2,700. Furthermore, Merrick Bank has a track record of further increasing your credit limit after the initial doubling of your credit line after 7 months. While there are other cards like Mission Lane Visa and Reflex Mastercard that also increase your credit limit after 6-7 months of timely payments, Merrick Bank still offers that best combination of low fees and credit limit increases.

Merrick Bank is also one of the rare cards that allow you to pay via electronic payment systems like Western Union and Moneygram. That means that those of you without a checking account or debit card can still apply and use this card.

Merrick Bank is for those of you with a FICO score of at least 620 and above (ie, you fall on the "upper end" of the bad credit spectrum). They also require that you have at least one year of on-time payments on your other credit obligations and not have too many hard inquiries recently. To increases your chances of of getting approved, you also should not have more than $20,000 in total credit balance and not more than $70,000 in non-credit card and non-mortgage balance (ie student loans or auto loans). If your credit score is at least 620 and you meet the other criteria, then this is the credit card that I would recommend.



How to apply?

Before you apply for the Merrick Bank Double Your Line Mastercard, you first have to get pre-approved. The pre-approval process involves a soft inquiry and has no impact on your credit score. Below is a screenshot of the pre=approval application page. You only need to fill in basic information and your social security number (for the soft inquiry on your credit report). If you are pre-approved, then you can proceed to fill in the full application form where you will be asked to fill in more information.
 

merrick bank 2x application merrick bank 2x application


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Contact Information

Customer Service Inquiry

Merrick Bank
Customer Service
P.O. Box 9201
Old Bethpage, NY 11804-9001
Phone: 1-800-204-5936
TTY/TDD: 1-800-253-4563

For Making Payments

Phone: 1-800-204-5936
TTY/TDD: 1-800-253-4563

Check or Money Order Address

Merrick Bank
P.O. Box 660702
Dallas, TX 75266-0702

For overnight mailings, send directly to:

Merrick Bank
Attn: Lockbox Operations #660702
2701 East Grauwyler Road, BLDG 1
Irving, TX 75061