Grow Credit offers members an interest-free virtual credit card they can use to pay their monthly subscriptions to streaming services. These payments are reported to all three major credit bureaus, allowing members to place a tradeline on their credit reports for routine payments that they’re already making. The basic service is free.
Our Grow Credit review shows you how it works so you can decide if a membership may be for you.
Grow Credit can place a new tradeline on your credit record with no risk or cost. Even though the premium plans offer convenience and additional discounts, they will probably not have a greater impact on your credit score. This service is a good option for people who have a thin credit file.
Simple to use
Easy to qualify
Some reviews indicate slow customer service
Confusing plan descriptions
Support answers inadequate
How Grow Credit Works
Normally, when you pay for services such as Netflix, Showtime, and Disney, your payments don’t show up on your credit report. Grow Credit offers you a virtual Mastercard to pay these companies and reports your payments to all three credit bureaus.
The card is structured as a credit line. Grow Credit “lends” you the money to pay your bill, and deducts the payment from your bank account. All you have to do is make sure you have adequate funds in your account. Because the account is reported as an annual line of credit but only allows you to use 1/12th of the loan each month, your credit utilization never goes over 8.3%.
If your bank balance is below the required amount and Grow Credit is unable to withdraw payment for 30 days, they will report a late payment. This will harm your credit.
☝️ Be sure you have enough in your account to cover the payment. If you don’t, contact Grow Credit to work out a solution.
Grow Credit lists hundreds of subscription services you can use. You choose from their qualifying companies, and the money you spend on entertainment and food delivery, wireless access, and premium memberships will count toward your credit score. You also get a discount on many of those services.
Grow Credit offers a free basic plan and paid premium plans that offer additional features. The premium plans offer discounts and a wider range of available services.
Grow Credit Plans
Grow Credit offers several plans. Look over all of your options before deciding which plan might work for you. All plans offer free FICO scores and financial literacy education materials.
This plan allows you to pay up to $17 worth of subscription fees per month, with an annual limit of $204. You have access to a limited number of subscription services you can pay for with your Grow Credit card.
Available subscriptions include Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Pandora.
There are two versions of the Build plan.
If you qualify for this plan, you pay no interest or fees.
If you do not qualify for the Build Free program, you can opt for Build Secured. You get the same features, but you provide a $17 deposit. You can get your deposit back after 12 months of payment. You also pay a monthly fee, currently $1.99. After six months of on-time payments, you can upgrade to another plan.
All you need to qualify for Build Secured is $1 in an active bank account that has been open for 30 days.
The Grow Membership plan lets you spend as much as $50 per month on subscriptions, up to a $600 per year limit with periodic limit increases. You get access to discounts on many subscriptions.
This top-tier plan allows you to spend up to $150 per month on subscriptions or $1,800 per year. You’ll get periodic limit increases. You can access all subscriptions services and include your cell phone payments.
👍 All plans offer free FICO scores and financial education.
Grow Credit Pricing
The premium plans offer convenience and additional discounts, but there is some question over whether they will have a greater impact on your credit score.
The impact of an account on your credit score is typically defined by your payment habits, not the size of the account. If this is the case you can get the full impact by signing up for the free service and using it to pay Netflix or Spotify.
It is possible – but difficult to verify – that the larger spend limits of the Grow and Accelerate plans could have a greater impact on your credit, but that may not offset their cost.
|Plan||Price||Deposit||Monthly Spend Limit||Annual Spend Limit||Access to Subscriptions|
|Build Free||$0||None||$17||$204||Non-premium services|
|Build Secured||$1.99/month for the 1st year|
$2.99/month after that
|Grow||$3.99/month for the 1st year|
$4.99/month after that
|None||$50||$600||Non-premium and Premium services|
|Accelerate||$7.99/month for the 1st year|
$9.99/month after that
|None||$150||$1800||Non-premium and Premium services|
⚠️ If you’re considering a premium plan, be sure the discounts you’re getting cover the fee that you’re paying!
How to Qualify for a Grow Credit Account
You will need the following to apply to Grow Credit:
- A bank account where you deposit your income
- A valid email address
- A valid phone number
- A social security number (SSN)
- You must be a permanent resident of the United States.
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
👉 Note: Your credit score is not considered when reviewing your application.
When you register for Grow Credit you will be asked to link your bank account. They will then analyze your accounts to determine which memberships you are eligible for.
Grow Credit uses Plaid to verify bank accounts, and will only work with banks that work with Plaid. Most banks will but several reviews complained of account linking problems.
Grow Credit Alternatives and Competitors
How does Grow Credit stack up against competitors? There’s no other service offering exactly what Grow Credit offers, so we’ll compare the service to a range of other credit-building products.
|Product||Method Used||Credit Bureaus reported to||Interest Charged||Hard Credit Check|
|Grow Credit||You pay for streaming subscriptions.||Experian, Equifax, TransUnion||None||❌|
|Kikoff||You use a $750 line of credit to buy from the Kikoff store.||Experian, Equifax||None||❌|
|LOQBOX||You set up a savings plan and get credit for deposits.||Experian, Equifax, TransUnion||None, but $40 withdrawal fee at end of one year.||✔️|
|Self||Credit-Builder Loan||Experian, Equifax, TransUnion||14.7% plus $9 administrative fee and $125 finance charge.||❌|
|Extra||You use a debit card and each purchase is reported to credit bureaus.||Experian, Equifax||None||❌|
Grow Credit Customer Reviews
Customer reviews of Grow Credit are generally positive. The app has an average of 4.7 of 5 stars from 4,600 ratings on the Apple App Store and 4.5 of 5 stars from 1,510 ratings on Google Play Store.
Positive reviews typically state that the app functions as promised. For example:
Most complaints online focus on app operations and a lack of customer service. Some people say the app does not work and they cannot contact the company or get a response when they have a problem.
This is a relatively new service, and it’s common for new apps to experience glitches and growing pains. The generally positive reviews suggest that this occurs in a minority of cases, but you should be aware that these issues have occurred.
The free version of Grow Credit places a new tradeline on your credit record with effectively no risk or cost. You have nothing to lose by trying it out, and if you find the service convenient you can consider upgrading to a premium plan.
☝️ Note that upgrading may not increase the impact on your credit!
This service will appeal to people who have a thin credit file. Your Grow Credit account won’t generate a score by itself, but it’s one more item in your credit record and a way to add to your history without taking on new debt or adding to your monthly costs.
The impact of a Grow Credit account on your credit will be less noticeable if you have an extensive credit file and you’re looking to repair, rather than build, your credit. It still can’t hurt, as long as you make the payments on time!
Grow Credit is not a credit-building strategy on its own, but it’s a useful, low-risk addition to your credit-building strategy.
How We Rated Grow Credit
We rate credit-building products by comparing their key features with those of similar products. These products are rarely identical, so you’ll need to compare closely to determine what best fits your needs.
These are the criteria we used here.
It’s never possible to accurately predict the impact of a new account on your credit score. A person with a thin credit file will see a greater impact than a person with an extensive credit record.
We ranked Grow Credit as relatively effective because it reports to all three credit bureaus and it’s relatively easy to make on-time payments.
Ease of Use
Different users often have different experiences with a product. New products may have glitches that mar some users’ experiences. Some other users may have difficulty with products they don’t fully understand. We rank ease of use with an assessment of procedures and a cross-section of reported user reviews.
We dropped points for Grow Credit because of customer-reported issues with the app’s functioning.
Grow Credit’s basic tier is free, and you can’t get cheaper than that! The upper tiers may offer more convenience and discounts, but they may not have more impact on your credit, so consider that if you’re thinking of upgrading.
Nothing works perfectly all the time, and when things go wrong you want to know you can get them made right. Support scores are based on reported user experiences.