Be Wary of Gold and Platinum Credit Cards

While gold and platinum credit cards sound as if they are regular credit cards, some of them actually only allow you to purchase products or services from the vendor or a specific catalog. You will often see promises that by participating in their program you will be able to get offers of credit from major credit cards or department stores and that you will be able to repair your credit.

This is, sadly, often not the case. Typically what happens is that the only credit card you will be able to get is a secured credit card that requires a large bank deposit and may entail additional fees. Furthermore, the majority of the gold and platinum credit card issuers do not report to the credit bureaus as they promise and their cards rarely help secure other lines of credit.

You will often see these gold and platinum cards being advertised on television, websites and direct mail to those that live in low income residential areas. These companies target people who are likely to be living without credit or fit the demographic of potentially have bad credit.

Watch out for some of the following when it comes to gold and platinum credit card offers:
- The promise to get you better credit offers if you use their card for only a few months. As some of these companies do not report to the credit bureaus the only credit cards you may be able to get are secured credit cards.
- They charge you an upfront fee but say nothing about additional costs. Some companies that market gold and platinum credit cards will charge an upfront processing fee but never tell you that in order to receive the catalog of their products you have to pay an additional fee even though this catalog is the only place you can use the cards.
- Some of these companies will urge you to call 900 or 976 phone numbers in order to learn more information or to contact customer service. Telephone numbers with those prefixes are phone calls that you pay for and can be quite costly.
- Also be wary that many of the gold and platinum credit card catalogs only allow you to charge a small portion of the amount you purchase. Instead, you often must pay a cash deposit on each item you charge (this is typically the amount the company paid for the items you are buying) and only after you pay the deposit are you allowed to the balance.
- The prices in some of the gold and platinum credit card catalogs are often much higher than what you would expect to pay at almost any discount store.

You can protect yourself by always being aware that offers of easy credit are almost unfounded as authentic credit issuers always check your credit history. Always do a proper investigation of any company that is promising things that are too good to be true when it comes to your credit.