Horizon Gold Card review

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Snapshot

2.2

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Horizon Gold Image
Apply now

on Horizon Gold's secure site

Horizon Gold Card

Rewards rate

N/A

Annual fee

$24.95 benefits plan membership will be auto-debited monthly

Intro bonus

N/A

Regular APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History 

Best for easy credit line approval

  • Rewards rate: N/A
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Annual fee: $24.95 benefits plan membership will be auto-debited monthly
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: N/A

The Horizon Gold Card is a store card offered by the Horizon Outlet. It comes with an easy application process for a $500 credit line, but it can only be used to make purchases at the Horizon Outlet. In many respects, this isn’t a typical credit card—there’s no APR on purchases, no bonus or welcome offers and no rewards program.

That said, the Horizon Gold Card can be used for purchases, may help build your credit and offers benefits such as roadside assistance and prescription medicine discounts. The catch? Every new Horizon credit card comes with mandatory enrollment in the company’s “membership benefits” plan, which costs $24.95 per month and is required for the card to remain active.

Current welcome offer

The Horizon Gold card doesn’t have a welcome offer, but it may take some of the pain out of the typical credit card application process. Horizon doesn’t require any credit check—hard or soft—before approving your application. However, the card does report to “at least one major credit bureau” so that you can build your credit over time with responsible card use, although it doesn’t specify which one.

Benefits

Despite its status as a store-only card, the Horizon Gold card does offer several benefits, especially when it comes to APR. Because this is a store-approved credit line rather than a true revolving credit card, there is no APR for purchases, meaning cardholders won’t accrue interest on outstanding balances.

In addition, cardholders are automatically enrolled in the store’s membership benefits plan, which includes My Privacy Protection, My Universal RX, My Roadside Protect and My Legal Assistance services.

No APR

This card has no interest or penalty APR because it’s an in-store line of credit rather than a credit card, meaning you’re only required to pay back the amount you’ve borrowed unless you send an NSF check or miss a payment.

My Privacy Protection

Cardholders get unlimited access to their credit report via Horizon’s membership services site at www.memberbenefitsacces.com.

My Universal RX

Horizon Gold Cards also come with 40 percent prescription medication discounts for covered prescriptions at participating local pharmacies. However, you’ll need to be a member to see which prescriptions are covered.

My Roadside Protect

Cardholders receive coverage for three service calls or towing requests up to 15 miles and less than $50 in operator fees. Any additional charges must be paid at the time of service, and cardholders cannot make more than one call for service within a 30-day period.

My Legal Assistance

Horizon Gold cards also offer a one-time, 30-minute consultation with a legal professional “specializing in your area of law interest,” excluding criminal defense cases.

Rates and fees

While the Horizon Gold card doesn’t have any interest APR, it does come with multiple fees. First is the mandatory membership fee of $24.95—all cardholders are auto-enrolled in this membership plan and must provide banking details for auto-debiting each month. In addition, this card has a one-time activation fee of $5, late payment fees of $20 and NSF check fees of $25. Shipping on all products costs $2, plus $3.50 if customers want delivery signature verification.

Your Horizon credit card payment each month must be 10 percent of the account balance owing or $25, whichever is greater. There are no penalties for prepayment, and there is no fee for card cancellation.

How the Horizon Gold Card compares to other store cards

When compared to other store credit cards, the Horizon Gold card doesn’t offer a significant advantage. Indeed, it’s sure to be much more expensive due to its monthly membership fee.

Horizon Gold card reviews indicate that canceling a Horizon Gold is often a laborious and time-intensive process, and the Better Business Bureau notes that refunds are often issued only after BBB investigation.

There’s also confusion over the card itself. As a result, this leaves many consumers wondering, “can I use my Horizon gold card at an ATM or get a Horizon gold card cash advance?” The answer in both cases is no, since the card is only good as credit for Horizon Outlet purchases.

Consider cards such as the Target RedCard and Lowe’s Store card. While both are only good for purchases at their respective issuers, neither charges a monthly or annual fee and both come with a 5 percent discount on every purchase. The Lowe’s card also offers new cardholders 20 percent off their first purchase. However, both cards come with high APRs.

Card Rewards rate Annual fee Welcome bonus Purchase APR
Card Rewards rate Annual fee Welcome bonus Purchase APR
Horizon Gold Card N/A $24.95 benefits plan membership will be auto-debited monthly N/A N/A
Target RedCard 5% discount N/A N/A 22.90%
Lowe’s Store Card 5% discount $N/A 20% off first purchase 26.99%

Best cards to pair the Horizon Gold Card with

If you’re looking for a card to pair with the Horizon Gold card, consider a secured credit card from a traditional lender. While the Horizon Gold card doesn’t require a credit check, it only reports to one credit bureau, which limits your credit-building prospects. Secured card offerings, meanwhile, typically report to all three bureaus and over time you can increase your available credit or even graduate to an unsecured card.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Horizon Gold Card worth it?

In a word? No.

While this card offers the benefit of easy approval even if you have bad credit, it’s not a true credit card, and the mandatory monthly fee means you’re paying almost $300 each year—far more than you’d pay for an actual secured or unsecured credit card, even with bad credit. What’s more, canceling this card is often a challenge, and there are a host of other fees—including late payment, NSF and shipping costs—that make the Horizon Gold card a poor choice.

Pros

  • No purchase or penalty APR
  • Easy approval process, even if you have poor credit
  • Membership benefits including prescription medicine discounts and roadside assistance

Cons

  • Extremely high cost for all cardholders
  • Card can only be used for purchases at the Horizon Outlet
  • Poor customer service reputation

The information about the Target RedCard and Lowe’s Store Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.