The Orchard Bank Mastercard

Credit cards from Orchard bank are issued by HSBC Nevada and have a better reputation than some other sub prime lenders due to HSBC being a major bank player. Although targeted at those with bad credit the MasterCard, if used sensibly, can be an asset in rebuilding your credit score as it reports to all 3 credit bureaus. As it is part of the HSBC family it reflects better on your credit score than sub prime credit obtained from less reputable sources.

Currently the Orchard bank MasterCard is a secured credit card with a minimum deposit of $200. Unless you actually make the application for the card you will not have access to the full terms and conditions of the card, but you will see these before committing yourself. The advertised terms are a low variable APR of under 10%, which will revert to a high penalty APR if the terms of use are breached. The low APR is an excellent offer for sub prime credit.

There is an annual fee of $35 which is waived for the first year, and a cash advance fee of 5%. There are no hidden processing fees or application fees, but penalty fees for late payments are not advertised unless you apply, nor are any fees for increasing your credit limit. However you can of course secure the credit limit you want by matching your initial deposit to it.

Card users who take the card with the intent of rebuilding poor credit scores, and use it sensibly, are pleased with the card as it has improved their credit scores. One user compared the card favourably to their “their money hungry competition First Premier.”

Payments can be made online, by mail or by telephone, and there is an option to choose email alerts to remind you of when your payment is due, or when your credit card statement is available to be viewed online. This is convenient for those who really are using the card as a way to improve their credit score rather than just a card to spend on. Regular small spending on the card, with the balance paid off in full every month, works well for those who take the card as a credit re-builder.

The card benefits advertised are not worth pursuing, as they are simply links to other online products or services such as HSBC life insurance, Auto Vantage services and retailers such as eBags.

If your credit score is abysmally low and you genuinely want to improve it, the Orchard Bank secured MasterCard is a good choice if you manage it sensibly, and will assist you to both improve your credit score and move onto unsecured credit. Fee wise it certainly has the edge over the competition, and your deposit will earn interest whilst held by the bank.