Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® review

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Pros Cons
Reports to the three major credit bureaus Must be invited to apply
Automatically doubles your credit line in your first year when you make on-time payments Low starting credit line
No security deposit required Annual fee and one-time set-up fee
  High APR
From our partner

Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa®

3.7 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

5 things you need to know about the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa®

1. Good opportunity to build credit

If you’re looking to build credit, the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® (also referred to as the Merrick Bank Platinum Visa® on the Merrick Bank website) could help.

The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® reports to all three major credit bureaus. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate a positive credit history by making on-time payments.

When possible, you might be able to further boost your credit by paying off your balance in full each month before your statement balance closes. This could help lower your credit card utilization, which is another key component that goes into determining your credit scores.

2. Not much spending power

When it comes to spending, the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® doesn’t give you much room.

Your initial credit limit will be somewhere between $550 and $1,200, though you may see different terms if you apply through Credit Karma.

But after you make your first seven payments on time (paying at least the minimum amount due each month), the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® will automatically double your credit line with a credit limit increase, which is another way to lower your credit utilization ratio and potentially boost your scores.

Because your credit usage is another key factor in building credit, it’s important to use no more than 30% of your available credit each month.

That means until Merrick raises your credit line, you should aim to carry a balance of no more than $165 to $360, depending on your initial credit line.

3. Watch for interest charges

If you can, pay off your balance in full each month. Not only will this help your credit, but it could also save you money on interest charges.

The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® charges a variable purchase APR of 23.45% - 28.45% (you might see a different rate if you accept an offer directly through Merrick). With an APR this high, interest charges could add up pretty quickly if you carry a balance from month to month.

4. No collateral required

The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® is an unsecured credit card. By definition, you won’t be required to pay a security deposit like you would with a secured credit card.

Some secured credit card security deposits are refundable. But this card’s lack of deposit could make it more attainable for people who don’t have the cash on hand.

5. Charges fees upfront

For a card that has no security deposit, the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® has a lot of upfront costs. First, there’s a one-time account set-up fee of up to $75. That’s in addition to the card’s $0 - $72 first-year annual fee. (After the first year, you’ll be billed up to $6 per month for the annual fee.)

You’ll have to pay close attention to the confusing fee structure. Merrick lists both of these fees as part of a range, so it’s unclear exactly how much you’ll be charged. And unlike a security deposit, these fees aren’t refundable.

It’s important to note that Merrick may subtract the cost of the annual and set-up fees from your total credit line before you even begin using the card. For example, let’s say you’re approved for a credit limit of $550. If Merrick charges you a set-up fee of $75 and a first-year annual fee of $50, your total available credit limit will only be $425.

What else you need to know

There are a few more things you should keep in mind before you apply for the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa®.

  • By invitation only — The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® isn’t open to everyone — you must be invited to apply. This could either come in the form of an offer through your Credit Karma account or an invitation you receive by mail directly from Merrick Bank.
  • Make sure you pay on time — The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® charges a hefty late fee of up to $40. You could also get hit with a returned payment fee of up to $40 if your initial form of payment isn’t accepted.
  • No rewards — Some cards give you a little something back while you build credit, which can be a good motivator to continue making progress. But the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® isn’t one of them.

Who this card is good for

The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® is geared toward people who are looking to build credit for the first time, as well as those with poor credit who want to rebuild their credit.

This card could be a good fit if you can’t afford a security deposit upfront. The problem is, between the one-time set-up fee and recurring annual fee, you’ll still have to fork over a lot of cash that you won’t get back down the road.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.

The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Platinum Visa® isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking to build credit but this card isn’t a good fit for you, you might be interested in one of these other cards.

  • Ollo Platinum Mastercard®: This card is good for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee.
  • Petal® 1 Visa® Credit Card: If you want more spending power, this card could be a good option.
  • Deserve® EDU Mastercard: Consider this card if you’re a student who wants to earn cash back while building credit.

About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.