By Marcy Bialeschki


5 Min. To Read

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The Horizon Gold card is a membership card to an online shopping outlet; it is not a credit card. Horizon Gold's spending power is limited compared to a traditional credit card. Cardholders can only use it at the Horizon Outlet for items such as home goods, shoes, clothing, accessories, and other products in the online outlet store.

The limited purchase-power of this card automatically eliminates many people who need a card for other necessities, such as gas, food, and paying bills. Still, let’s take a look at how the card works and its basic features to see if it might be right for you.

The Horizon Gold card provides a $500 line of credit on an unsecured card at the Horizon Outlet. The unsecured nature of the card is appealing to some people because there is no deposit required. The Horizon Gold card is linked to a payment method such as a checking account, savings account, or credit card. In addition to making purchases with the card, a $24.95 membership fee and other fees are automatically deducted from this payment source.

The Horizon Gold card has limited scope compared to a traditional credit card; however, this does not mean it can't be helpful. Because there is no credit check and acceptance is relatively easy, the Horizon Gold card is a credit building option for people who cannot get approved for a traditional credit card.

Potential card owners must be 21 years of age and have a valid payment method linked to the Horizon Gold card. The Horizon Gold card has one feature no traditional credit card can claim -- 0% purchase APR. Knowing that your purchases will not accrue interest even if only the minimum payment is made is a reassuring benefit for some people.

Card Features:

Horizon Gold does not require a credit check.

Nearly everyone who can link a legitimate source of payment to the Horizon Gold card is accepted.

Horizon Gold reports to a credit bureau to help cardholders build credit.

Cardholders could be eligible for a credit line increase after three months of responsible use.

Horizon Gold does not have a rewards program; however, it does have a benefit plan. Horizon Gold members are automatically charged a $24.95 monthly plan fee for the following services:

My Privacy Protection provides unlimited access to your online account to see purchases, check your balance, make payments, and check your credit score. This "benefit," however, should be a free service for any member. Plus, Horizon Gold advertises "free credit checks," but these checks are linked to an automatic fee. It seems every aspect of the My Privacy Protection benefit is reaching for a way to assess an additional fee.

My Universal RX provides up to 40% discounts on prescriptions from participating pharmacies. This is a nice perk if a pharmacy convenient for you accepts this program. The reality is apps such as Good RX offer similar discounts for free.

My Roadside Protection provides three service calls per 12-month period for the following services:

Towing up to 15 miles and $50 (one towing service per 30-day period). Any extra charges are the cardholder’s responsibility.

Locksmith services up to $50.

Flat-tire changes up to $50.

Note: If you are delinquent on 3 card payments, your benefits plan decreases toa $6.65 charge per month, and you lose the Roadside Protection option.

My Legal Assistant offers internet access for one 30-minute legal consultation, excluding criminal defense cases.

Basic Fees

$24.95 Monthly Membership

Card Issuance/Validation Fee = $5

Non-sufficient Funds Fee = $25

Late Payment Fee = $20

Processing fees for each transaction (amounts vary)

Signature Verification Fee = $3.50 on each shipment

Residential delivery fee = $2.00

Some Realities to Consider

The Horizon Gold card is not a credit card. It has limited buying power and has an outlet shopping line of credit only.

While there is no purchase APR racking up, the Horizon Gold has an automatic withdraw of $24.95 coming out of your dedicated payment source each month. That’s an annual fee of nearly $300.

The items at the outlet are not name brands and are mostly overpriced. Then tack on a processing fee, a $3.50 signature verification fee, and a $2.00 delivery fee. It might be a lot easier to go shopping at a superstore down the road.

While the Horizon Gold card markets itself as a credit building card, improved credit is not guaranteed. Responsible use is required from all cardholders, or credit will be damaged instead of improved. It may take 60 days or longer for any improvement to show up on your credit report.

The Terms and Agreements section for this card also has an Editing, Deleting, and Modification Policy. This policy states that Horizon Gold can edit or delete any document, information, or other content appearing on their website or your account at any time without notifying you. This practice seems more than a bit shady.

Alternatives to Getting the Horizon Gold Card

The limited scope of this card, coupled with its outrageous fees, make the Horizon Gold a poor choice for credit building. Most people would be better off exploring a secured credit card. A secured card has a limited line of credit, a greater scope for purchases, fewer fees, and better credit-building power.

A secured card such as Discover It also has a rewards program. You can earn real cash back, instead of paying a monthly fee for mediocre benefits. Discover It has no annual fee, which makes a $300 per year membership fee for the Horizon Gold look extremely excessive. True, the Discover It card has a high purchase APR; however, carrying a balance on a credit building card is not advised. As long as you pay the balance in full every month, that high APR is a non-issue.

There are very few reasons why a person would want the Horizon Gold card versus a traditional credit building credit card. The 0% purchase APR and its accessibility are two popular features that seem to attract customers. Still, the excessive fees, crippling limitations, and the slow credit-build severely diminish this card’s credibility. Please read all the fine print on this one before accepting their terms. There's a lot not to love about the Horizon Gold card.

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