Contributor, Benzinga
August 13, 2021
Extra
Overall Rating:
securely through Extra's website

If you want a credit card but can’t get one, you are part of a group of over 100 million other Americans. Perhaps you’d given up on getting the credit you need, but thanks to Extra, things have changed. Extra aims to make credit building safer, smarter and more accessible for everyone. It’s the first debit card that builds your credit history and earns rewards points just like a credit card. Read on to learn how to increase credit score and earn points everywhere while keeping your same bank.

Best For
  • Consumers with no or poor credit history
  • Young people newly navigating financial independence
  • Anyone who wants to build credit and earn reward points
Pros
  • No credit check
  • Easy to sign up
  • Build credit history safely
  • Earn rewards
Cons
  • Requires a bank account
  • Subscription fee

Extra Ratings at a Glance

Credit Building Options
Customer Service
Pricing
Mobile App
User Benefits
User Experience
Overall

Extra Credit Building Options

Getting some of the nice things in life depends heavily on your credit score. Most of us have to borrow to buy a home, a car, a boat, a college education or anything else of high value. Lenders use your credit score to determine whether to approve you for a line of credit as well as what interest rate and terms they will offer you. 

Having a higher credit score means that you’ll pay lower interest rates on things like a car lease or a home mortgage. Good credit makes it easier to get approval on an apartment you want to rent. Sometimes, potential employers evaluate your credit as a metric for hiring.

The Extra Card gives you the opportunity to show lenders that you are a creditworthy consumer who they can safely lend to at the best terms offered. When you use your Extra Card, the company sends monthly reports to Experian and Equifax that consistently improve your credit history and raise your credit score. 

Follow these steps to open an account at Extra and start reclaiming your credit reputation:

  1. Sign up by connecting your bank account; receive a spending limit based on your real-time balance with no credit check.
  2. Use your Extra Card, and Extra spots you for that purchase and automatically pays itself back the next business day from your connected bank account.
  3. At the end of the month, Extra adds up all your purchases and reports them to the credit bureaus as credit-worthy payments.

One common way people with credit issues work toward getting a credit card is through a secured credit card. The Extra Card functions somewhat like a secured credit card but better. A secured credit card requires you to deposit your entire credit amount upfront, undergo a credit check and submit to up to 17% interest. And, after all that, you end up with no reward points and a limited credit score impact because you are fronting your own line.

Alternatively, you can get an Extra Card, if you are 18 years of age or older, with just a Social Security number or ITIN number, a U.S. address and a U.S. or Canadian-based bank account. When you apply, you don’t need to deposit money, nor does Extra run a credit check.

Use the online tool to see if your bank or credit union is compatible with the Extra Card.

Extra Customer Service

Extra customer service leads the pack with speedy, completed answers. For example, Ted from the Extra customer service department responded at 4:03 p.m. to an email sent at 4 p.m., rocketing Extra to 5 sky-high stars. Text chat, app chat, Instagram and an email option (memberconcierge@extra.app) — Extra team members actually respond — means you get the answers you need fast.

On the app, all you need to do is tap the “Member Concierge” button on the Card Tab of the Extra App or visit extra.app/help.

Evidently, Extra customer service agents are so appealing that the company needed to put this disclaimer in its FAQs: “Please do not try to ‘pick up’ our agents. Yes, they are awesome; however, this is not the app for that.”

Extra Pricing

Extra is extra but not free. It’s reasonable and transparent, but the monthly or annual cost could be tough on potential account holders. One of the fairest and most exciting aspects of being an Extra account holder is its flat monthly fee, which is in sharp contrast to the predatory interest rates many other lenders charge. 

Extra offers 2 plans:

Rewards + Credit Building Plan

$199 per year

  • Build your credit history.
  • Earn points for every purchase.
  • Get exclusive access to Extra Shops

Extra Credit Building Plan

$149 per year

  • Build your credit history.
  • Monitor your credit score.

If you pay for an annual plan and decide it’s not for you, you can cancel and get the prorated amount back. 

Extra Mobile App

The Extra mobile app offers as much as the desktop interface and is easy to use. Many of us don’t even use a computer and depend instead on being able to use a cell phone for all computer and internet needs. You can sign up and use Extra on your phone just as easily as using a computer. Additionally, you’ll find:

  • Same experience on mobile app and desktop
  • Integration between mobile and desktop
  • Available on iOS and Android

The Extra App is also smart enough to display all the transactions from your connected bank account, not just the ones purchased through Extra. 

Extra User Benefits

The Extra Card offers many benefits and lots of conveniences. When you connect your bank with Extra, you use your money to fund your Extra Card. 

On the app or the desktop, you can access a full repository of well-organized educational content including explanations about the importance of gaining and maintaining good credit as well as retirement guidance.

One of the best things about signing up for Extra is that it doesn’t require a credit check. Try doing anything remotely financial today without taking a hit to a credit score that might already be struggling — even applying for a new job sometimes requires a hard pull.

Extra User Experience

Extra cardholders benefit from text alerts that track scheduled payments and let you know if your balance is too low to cover the upcoming charge. Extra fulfills its mission to help you avoid missing a payment by communicating to you essential information to keep your finances on track.

Your Extra Card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, even when you travel outside the U.S. Get points for rideshares, coffee, your phone bill or any other bill or purchase. 

Extra vs. Competitors 

  • securely through Extra's website
    securely through Extra's website
    Best For:
    No Credit History
    Rating:

Most credit card companies and many banks offer secured credit cards, but Extra’s unique debit card offers special benefits you can’t find elsewhere. Competitors like Chime or Kikoff don’t charge a monthly subscription fee, but they operate more like secured credit cards, which have a limited impact on your credit score due to pre-funding your own line of credit. Other financial entities like Self have you take out a loan that you pay back over time to build your credit but also have a limited impact due to the capped spending limit for a set amount of time. Extra is the only debit card backed by a revolving line of credit, making it most similar to a credit card than the rest.

Extra’s customer testimonials glow in comparison with competitors. Users rate the app highly for its customer service and ease of use but primarily love it for its ability to lift their credit scores. Account-holders saw credit score increases of as much as 200 points after 1 year of use, as evidenced by 1 person who raised a credit score that had been languishing in the low 400s. Other users with higher starting scores saw less dramatic increases of 25 to 100 points, but in harnessing the tyranny of the credit bureau triumvirate, any increase is welcomed.

Extra Overall

If you’ve struggled with your credit score and can’t get approved for a credit card or maybe you just like the way your debit card works best, sign up for Extra today. Most debit cards don’t offer rewards everywhere you swipe and offer no ability to build or establish credit. Extra is the first debit card that lets you achieve both in real time. Extra gives you the best parts of a credit card while spending money that you actually have. With over 50,000 members and counting, you can’t go wrong with Extra.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Do Extra Cards work?

A

The Extra Card works similarly to a regular Mastercard rewards credit card. The credit limit on the Extra Card is based on the available balance in your connected bank account. You use your Extra Card anywhere Mastercard is accepted in the U.S. or abroad. 

 

Just like with a regular credit card, if you have an issue with a merchant that provides defective goods or charges you fraudulently, Extra goes to bat for you the way Capital One (NYSE: COF) or Chase (NYSE: JPM) or any other credit card company would. While you use the card, you build credit, inching closer each month to being able to apply for and get a credit card.

Q

Why do you need a credit history?

A

A strong credit history helps you build a solid credit score, which in turns qualifies you to borrow money at lower interest rates. The interest rate is the amount a lender charges you to get a mortgage loan for a house or a car loan. Good credit also helps you be eligible to rent an apartment you’re interested in or even qualify for a job you’ve applied to. Even if you don’t think you need to borrow money anytime soon, you want to have a good credit history so that you can borrow at the lowest rates offered once you do need a loan.

 

User Reviews

Jay

How do you use this product to boost your finances?

No, poor service that hurts credit

Reviewer

How do you use this product to boost your finances?

I've read more negative reviews than positive reviews. I'm staying away.

Jason

How do you use this product to boost your finances?

Terrible experience. The app never works. My card always gets declined, the spend power is never right and takes forever to update. Customer service is shitty and when talking to a live representative and asking to close my account I was told I had to wai

Submit Your One Minute Opinion

How do you like Extra?