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What Are Catalog Credit Cards?

Last updated on March 23rd, 2021

Building credit is challenging. Repairing credit is just as tough, if not more so. Many lenders are wary of applicants with bad credit or no credit at all. Catalog cards are a great way to establish a strong credit history or repair credit without a security deposit. What is a catalog card, and why should you apply for one? Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Catalog Cards?

When you have bad credit, finding a credit card can be tricky. You might find offers that feature the following branding: “guaranteed approval credit cards,” guaranteed approval store credit cards,” “guaranteed approval unsecured credit cards,” or “instant approval store credit cards for bad credit.” These terms likely refer to catalog cards.

Catalog cards are a unique type of retail payment card. These cards provide a line of unsecured credit at an individual online store – or online catalog. They are not like traditional credit cards because they are not issued by a bank like Chase or Capital One.

There are a variety of catalog cards, including the Fingerhut Card, the Group One Platinum Card, and Unique Platinum Card. The Group One Card (like other Horizon Financial Services cards) offers a $750 initial credit line at the Horizon Outlet.

Thehorizonoutlet com is an online shopping site that offers a wide selection of goods, including:

  • Women’s clothing
  • Men’s clothing
  • Children’s clothing
  • Home goods
  • Toys
  • And more

Cardholders with catalog cards simply use their card to make purchases and then pay their monthly bill like they would with any other payment card.

Cards like the Group One Card Card offer quick approval, a fast and easy application process, and no credit check.

Using a card, like Horizon or the Group One Platinum, lets consumers build a positive credit history, thanks to regular reporting one of the major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Even better, there’s no security deposit requirement, as is the case with secured credit cards.

Current Horizon Services Cards

Other Popular Catalog  and Merchandise Cards

Unique Platinum Card

The Unique Platinum Card is another example of a good catalog card. From Unique Card Services, the card is like the Horizon card offerings but with a larger initial credit limit. The Unique Platinum Card comes with an initial credit line of $1,000. This is $250 more than what Horizon offers. Additionally, the card’s store – My Unique Outlet – has a massive selection of name-brand electronics, fragrances, and supplies for the home and kitchen. And like other catalog cards, applicants for the Unique Card won’t be turned away for bad credit or no credit.

Why Choose a Catalog Card?

Catalog cards are a great choice for those with bad credit, limited credit history – or no credit history at all. Why choose a catalog store card? Here are three of the top reasons to consider a catalog card:

Avoid Multiple Rejections

There is no such thing as credit cards that offer guaranteed approval. Applicants might even struggle to get a secured card with a bad credit score.

Catalog cards, like the Freedom  Gold Card and Group One Platinum Card, are among the easiest cards to get approved for – no matter what your credit score is. Choosing to get one of these cards takes out the frustration and potential side effects repeated rejections can cause.

While the number of new credit inquiries on your credit report isn’t a significant factor in what makes up a FICO Score, it still has an impact. Too many applications in a short period can lower your credit score. Take the hassle out of building credit by applying for a card with excellent approval odds, like the Merit Platinum, Freedom Gold, or Group One Card.

Prove Financial Responsibility

Building credit requires good financial habits. People with excellent credit have a track record of consistent, on-time payments and responsible spending. Gaining this reputation takes time and effort. Catalog store cards, like the Freedom Gold Card or Unique Platinum Card, allow those with bad credit to prove their financial responsibility with every monthly payment.

Payment history makes up a whopping 35% of a FICO Score – making it the most critical factor in determining your credit score. Use your Group One or Horizon Card to make on-time payments each month, and your credit score can rise significantly in the long run. This, in turn, can show other lenders that you should be considered for additional credit cards, loans, or mortgages in the future.

Flexible Payment Options

Catalog cards, like the Unique Platinum Card, offer different payment options from traditional credit cards. The Unique Platinum  and Group One Platinum Cards both provide customers with 0% APR on purchases. This lack of an interest rate on purchases helps those repairing their credit by reducing their monthly payments.

In contrast, the average purchase APR on a retail credit card is around 25.44%. While these cards lack maintenance fees, the amount cardholders may pay in interest charges might exceed the monthly maintenance charges with cards like the Unique Card or any of the Horizon merchandise cards

Conclusion

Catalog cards aren’t the most well-known type of payment card, but they offer an excellent opportunity for those looking to repair their credit. For this reason, catalog cards are often referred to as “second chance credit cards.” Making on-time payments can steadily raise your credit score and help you practice the techniques needed to succeed. As with all credit cards, however, be sure to read the terms and conditions before applying.

Related Article: What Credit Cards Don’t Have a Credit Check?

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.