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Grow Credit
4.5
★★★★★
Finder score
On Grow Credit's secure site
Fee
From $0 per month
Minimum deposit to open
$0

Our verdict

This fintech helps you build your credit with subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and more.

Grow Credit is a fintech with banking services backed by Sutton Bank. It offers a credit-building account that can help you build your credit history when you pay for subscription services like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and more. It starts with the virtual Grow Debit Mastercard that you set as your primary payment method for the subscription services of your choice. The virtual card covers the cost of your subscriptions, and each month, Grow Credit withdraws the amount owed automatically from your linked bank account. The payments to Grow Credit are reported to the three major credit bureaus. You’ll choose between four plan options, with the Build plan offering a 12-month free trial before its $2.99 monthly fee kicks in. Grow Credit doesn’t do a hard inquiry when you apply, charges no interest and offers a secured credit card with a low opening deposit. But if you’re looking for a physical card for everyday spending, Grow Credit isn’t for you.

Best for: People with subscriptions who want to build credit history.

Pros

  • Build plan is free for one year
  • No hard credit check or APR
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus
  • Works with over 100 subscription services

Cons

  • No physical cards
  • Requires higher monthly fee for higher spending limits

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Who is Grow Credit best for?

Grow Credit is best for someone with a lacking credit history and has monthly subscription services. Grow Credit’s credit-building service offers to build your credit history with subscriptions you already pay for, and it has a long list of approved subscriptions you can add to your Experian, TransUnion and Equifax credit files.

But if you’re looking for a secured credit card designed for everyday spending, Grow Credit isn’t the answer. Its virtual card’s only use is to pay for monthly bills or subscription services, and Grow Credit doesn’t issue physical cards.

How Grow Credit’s credit building works

There are three credit-building plans and two secured card options. Each option requires linking an external bank account. There’s no hard credit check, but there are some income and bank account qualifications to use Grow Credit. If you qualify, you’ll get a Grow Credit account, the virtual Grow Debit Mastercard, and the fintech will tell you which plans you qualify for.

Next, you’ll choose which subscription services you want to add to your credit reports, such as Netflix, Spotify or DoorDash, and make your Grow Credit card the payment method for those subscriptions. The Grow Credit Mastercard will pay for the subscription service automatically up to the spending limit of your chosen plan. Then Grow Credit automatically debits the amount from your linked bank account each month. Payments to Grow Credit are reported to the major credit bureaus to add your credit history and can help improve your credit score.

Grow Credit plans and cost

There are multiple Grow Credit plans to choose from, and each has a different spending limit on its Grow Debit Mastercard and the credit limit that gets reported.

Credit-building plans

These plans come with the Grow Credit Mastercard, which can only be used to pay for eligible bills or subscription services. Each plan has a different spending limit, which determines how many subscriptions you can use the account to pay for, and the credit limit’s purpose is to improve your credit utilization ratio. You can’t access the full credit limit with these plans, as they’re meant to keep your utilization low to improve your credit rating.

All three plans also offer access to your FICO credit score and free financial literacy education.

Credit-building planCostMonthly spending limit for subscriptions Credit line reported
Build$0 for 12 months, $2.99/month afterwardUp to $17 per month$204
Grow$4.99/month, or $49.99/yearUp to $50 per month$600
Accelerate $9.99/month, or $99.99/yearUp to $150 per month$1,800

Secured card options

If you don’t qualify for the credit building plans, Grow Credit also offers secured cards, which have the same credit limit as the Build plan. There’s no credit check or interest charges with these, either. The only real differences are the monthly fees and the secured cards requiring a $17 opening deposit.

And just like the Build, Grow and Accelerate plans, the virtual card can only be used for monthly subscriptions or bill payments.

Type of secured cardMembership feeOpening depositCredit limit
Student secured card$1/month$17$204
Secured card$2.99/month, or $29.99/year$17$204

What we like about Grow Credit

One of the first things we look at with credit building services is which bureaus it reports to. Grow Credit meets those expectations, reporting to all three major credit bureaus. Not all credit-reporting services report to the big three, so that’s a major plus.

There are no interest charges, and your credit history isn’t taken into account when you apply. It only performs a soft credit check for identity verification purposes.

Also, not all credit repair or building services are up front about their total costs or even how the process works. Grow Credit was very clear about how its services work, providing clear distinctions between its plan options.

No sneaky fees

The only fee you’ll have to worry about is the membership fee for all the plans, except the Build plan, which is free for one year. There are no interest charges, late fees or closure fees.

But keep in mind that while you won’t pay anything to close your Grow Credit account, closing it may negatively impact your credit score.

Build is free for a full year

Most credit building services charge monthly fees, and Grow Credit isn’t an exception. However, the Build plan is free for 12 months and allows you to report up to $17 each month in subscription services, possibly letting you add one or two subscription services to your reports at no cost for a full year.

Increase your spending limit in three ways

The three credit-building subscription plans have monthly spending limits: Build’s $17, Grow’s $50 and Accelerate’s $150. But there are actually three ways to increase your spending limit for subscription payments:

  1. Upgrade to a higher-tier plan, such as Build to Grow, for an increase of $17 to $50 per month.
  2. Refer someone to gain a $5 monthly increase for each successful referral, up to $25 maximum.
  3. Become a featured member in the Grow Credit newsletter, which involves sending an email of your Grow Credit experience to be featured in the newsletter for a $10 monthly spending limit increase.

A long list of eligible subscriptions and bills

Grow Credit can report over 100 different bills and subscription services. The more expensive subscription services are likely to require a higher-tiered plan, as the Build plan can only report up to $17 per month.

Here are just some of the subscriptions and bills you could get reported:

  • Bet+
  • Canva
  • Disney+
  • DoorDash
  • Funimation
  • GrubHub
  • Hulu
  • Max
  • Netflix
  • Peacock
  • Peloton
  • PlayStation
  • Ring
  • Spotify
  • Starz
  • The New York Times
  • Uber Eats
  • YouTube Premium

Low deposit secured cards

If you don’t want to go with the subscription service membership, or you can’t qualify for them, you can apply for the secured card option. The virtual card can’t be used for spending — it’s just there to add credit history and boost your credit utilization ratio and can only be used to pay for eligible monthly bills.

The secured card requires a low deposit of $17 to get a credit limit up to $204 and a monthly fee from $1 to $2.99 per month. You can also earn your deposit back with 12 months of consecutive on-time payments. That opening deposit is significantly lower than most typical secured credit cards.

If you applied for the secured card plan because you didn’t qualify for Build, Grow or Accelerate, after six months of consecutive, timely payments, you may be eligible for the Grow plan.

Where it falls short

If you already have good credit or can qualify for traditional credit cards, Grow Credit isn’t for you. The secured card options can’t be used for everyday spending, and Grow Credit doesn’t issue any physical cards. This service is only useful if you’re looking to build credit history and have eligible subscription services.

Also, depending on how many subscriptions you have, the monthly cost may not work for you. While the Build plan is free for one year, you’ll end up paying $2.99 per month if you want to keep it. Its spending limit is only $17, and with the majority of subscription services easily costing over $10 these days, you’re only likely to get one subscription with it. If you want more spending power, you’ll likely have to upgrade to a pricier plan.

While you won’t be charged for late payments, they can be reported to the credit bureaus, which can harm your credit score. Grow Credit does offer a one-time Late Payment Forgiveness program for accounts in good standing, in which it won’t report a late payment as a one-time courtesy for customers with no past due balance and a valid payment method for autopay.

Compare Grow Credit to other credit-building services

Narrow down top credit-building options by fees, features and more. For a better comparison, you can also click the Compare box to see options side by side.

1 - 5 of 15
Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Requirements Credit Bureaus Offer
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
Finder Score: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
$0 per month
$0
Must have a Chime Checking Account with eligible direct deposits to qualify.
Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
A secured credit card that helps build credit and is designed to work with Chime’s Checking account.
Step Black Card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Step Black Card
From $0 per month
$0
Step users who are 13 years or older
Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
Safely build credit without a credit check or credit history while earning savings rewards and cashback.
Extra debit card
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Extra debit card
From $20 per month
$0
Requires an existing bank account.
Equifax, Experian
The Extra Debit Card can help build your credit and even offer rewards on every purchase.
Cleo Credit Builder Card
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cleo Credit Builder Card
$14.99 per month
$1
Requires bank account
Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
A secured credit card designed to help build credit with up to a $500 cash advance
Ava Card ‍Build Credit
Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Ava Card ‍Build Credit
From $9 per month
$0
Requires bank account
Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
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How to sign up for Grow Credit

Grow Credit doesn’t perform a hard credit check when you apply. To be eligible, you must meet these requirements:

  • Have a bank account in good standing, based on 60 to 90 days of history
  • Valid email address and phone number
  • A valid Social Security number
  • A permanent resident of the US with a physical address in one of the 50 states or District of Columbia
  • At least 18 years old

Grow Credit also states that there are some income and bank account history requirements. If you don’t qualify for a “credit-building” plan, Grow Credit offers the alternative Secured card plan which can be opened with a deposit. And its student secured card requires a student email upon signup.

Customer experience

Most of Grow Credit’s feedback is positive, holding a great 4.2-star rating on Trustpilot and only a few dozen complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with a B rating.

Getting the negatives out of the way, the majority of BBB complaints are customers stating that the service didn’t work for them. Some report that Grow Credit didn’t report their on-time payments or reported inaccurate information to the credit bureaus. Grow Credit responds to these complaints in an attempt to resolve issues. Other negative complaints are often customers wishing it could report other various subscriptions, such as YouTube TV or Apple TV.

On the larger, positive side, most customers seem to be very satisfied with the service. Many report they saw a credit score increase almost immediately, signup was fast and easy, payments are seamless thanks to autopay and are happy they don’t have to pay anything to build credit history with the Build plan for a year.

Frequently asked questions

When do I get my Grow Credit card?

Grow Credit doesn’t issue physical cards. The Grow Credit Mastercard is a virtual card that can only be used to pay for subscription services or other monthly bills.

What bank is Grow Credit with?

Grow Credit is a fintech with banking services provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC.

Credit building card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top credit-building cards and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. The five factors include: Fees, credit score requirements, credit reporting practices, annual percentage rate (APR) and customer support options.

Read the full methodology of how we rate credit building cards.

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Bethany Finder

Editor, Banking

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