Typically, what bad credit consumers are finding online when they search for an instant approval or guaranteed platinum credit card, are “Shopping” cards. Unknowingly, many of these consumers apply thinking they are getting a true-to-life platinum credit card, because they are being marketed as a “Platinum Unsecured Credit Card”. In actuality, these cards offer an “Unsecured line of credit”.
What’s the difference?
An unsecured line of credit is the ability to make purchases on credit, and to re-pay over time. Sounds just like a typical credit card, right? Wrong. The difference is that the issuer allows purchases only from a select vendor(s), either from an online resource or through an offline catalog.
While this type of credit card offers the ability to make purchases on credit like a typical credit card, it can’t be used for making purchases at local retail stores, restaurants, nor to book airline or motel reservations. And it certainly doesn’t offer any type of balance transfer from existing credit cards, nor cash back or rewards as offered by major platinum credit card issuers.
So why are shopping cards being marketed as platinum credit cards? Mainly because they offer a high unsecured line of credit, like those major platinum credit card issuers offer to new members with a fair credit rating. For example, the USA Platinum Plus shopping card offers a $7,500 unsecured line of credit, whereas typical unsecured credit cards (the type that allows purchases anywhere the card is accepted), offer a limited credit line. When compared to the Rewards660 Card; an unsecured credit card for people with troubled credit, it offers only an initial $250 unsecured credit line.
The benefits of a platinum shopping credit card?
If you have bad credit, such as late payments, bankruptcy, or no credit score, it’s not likely you’ll get approved for a platinum credit card from major issuers such as Discover, American Express and Chase. But a shopping card accepts most anyone with no credit check. And although it doesn’t offer the perks such as frequent flyer miles or cash back, some guaranteed platinum credit card issuers offer other rewards, such as free merchandise when you accept the card. You can’t use the card for purchases beyond those allowed, nonetheless you do receive an unsecured line of credit to make purchases from the issuer’s vendor(s). This can be helpful, particularly during times when you need credit but can’t get it, like during Christmas or to buy birthday gifts. Also, many of these cards will report your timely payments to a major credit bureau to help you improve your credit score so one day you may qualify for a true-to-life platinum credit card.
As with any online application, applicants should read the full Terms and Disclosure before applying, so they will know exactly what is being offered, plus any fees that may be charged.