Plastk Secured Credit Card Review 2023
Secured credit cards can help you build or rebuild credit when you’re unable to qualify for a regular credit card or loan. The concept is simple. You provide an upfront security deposit, and the credit card issuer secures it in a separate account.
Your credit limit is equal to the amount of security you’ve provided. Each month, your payments are reported to the major credit bureaus. Your credit rating will improve as long as you make payments on time.
However, the problem with many secured cards is that they don’t offer additional features or perks, like welcome bonuses or rewards points.
That’s not the case with the Plastk Secured credit card. With Plastk, you get a welcome offer, rewards points, and several other unique features not offered by most credit cards.
But with an annual fee of up to $120, is Plastk worth it? I answer this question and more in this Plastk review.
Plastk’s mission is to “help Canadians achieve financial freedom one step at a time.” The Calgary-based company was founded in 2018 by Motola Omobamiduro after the former used-car dealer noticed how difficult it was for many customers to obtain vehicle financing.
He wanted to find a way for new Canadians, students, and others struggling with credit to obtain a credit card while they worked to build or rebuild their credit.
Plastk Secured Credit Card
Plastk’s flagship product is a secured Visa credit card with a sign-up bonus, a ‘lower than standard’ interest rate, and other unique features highlighted in bold on the list below:
- Standard 17.99% cash purchase interest rate
- Signup Bonus of 0% APR for three months and 5,000 bonus reward points
- $48 annual fee
- 25-day interest-free grace period
- 3-day grace period on cash advances
- Referral program allows you to earn more rewards
- Zero fraud liability
- Instant Balance Payments via Interac e-Transfer
- $6 monthly maintenance fee
- Credit limits from $300 to $10,000
- Use wherever Visa International is accepted
17.99% Interest Rate
To be clear, your goal should always be to avoid paying credit card interest by paying off the balance in full each month. And while Plastk’s standard purchase interest rate of 17.99% is very high, it’s slightly lower than the 20% or more that most credit cards charge. To me, it indicates that Plastk’s products align with its mission of helping Canadians build or rebuild their credit.
Plastk Signup Bonus
How many secured credit cards do you know of that have a welcome bonus? With Plastk, new cardholders can enjoy 3 months at 0% APR and receive 5,000 bonus points. (I’ll cover the rewards program in more detail later.)
25-Day Grace Period
When you make a purchase with your credit card, there is a grace period before interest begins to accrue. Many credit card companies only guarantee a 21-day grace period (although it might turn out to be longer.) Plastk, however, offers a standard 25-day grace period, which is a nice perk.
3-Day Cash Advance Grace Period
Credit cards that offer grace periods on cash advances may exist, but I’ve never heard of one. (If you have, please let me know in the comments). When you withdraw funds from your credit card (via an ATM or online transfer), it’s called a cash advance. Because most credit cards don’t have a grace period on cash advances, as soon as you withdraw the funds, interest begins to accumulate until you repay the balance in full.
Plastk offers its cardholders a 3-day grace period on cash advances. Again, this is very uncommon in the credit card industry. While I don’t recommend taking cash advances because they can get you into trouble if you don’t pay them back, it can come in handy if you need cash to cover a financial emergency and have no other option.
Plastk Sentinel is Plastk’s subscription-based credit monitoring service. It offers three services:
- Credit View: Access to your full Equifax Canada Credit Report
- Credit Watch: Regular credit report monitoring with daily alerts
- Credit Education: Receive relevant credit tips and insights
Sentinel offers two pricing plans: Annual and Monthly. You’ll save 80% during the first three months with the Monthly pricing, but the Annual plan is the better value in the long run.
Annual Plan: $149.00 paid annually (22% discount off of the regular monthly pricing)
Monthly Plan: $9.99 for the first 3 months, $15.99/month after the first 3 months.
While I think credit monitoring services are very important (I receive a free monthly credit score), you can get the same service that Plastk Sentinel offers free of charge from companies like Borrowell and Credit Karma. In other words, I don’t see the value of paying up to $15.99 monthly for credit monitoring.
As mentioned, the Plastk Secured Visa is a rewards card. Here’s how their premium rewards program works.
When you spend with your Plastk card, you’ll receive points that can be redeemed as a statement credit or for gift cards (Amazon, Tim Horton’s, Nike, etc.), merchandise, charitable donations, and travel rewards. You’ll earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on the card. So, spend $100, and get 100 points.
Upon redemption, 250 points are worth $1, and the redemption minimum is 2500 points ($10). This equates to a 0.40% reward. For a limited time, you’ll earn 5000 points just for signing up, a $20 value. The welcome bonus is paid after the first three months.
You can earn points for referring friends to Plastk. You’ll receive 2500 points for your first referral, but if you can refer ten friends, you’ll receive 50,000 points!
The Plastk App is available for download on your iOS or Android device. You can use it to check your credit card limit and balance owing, the number of rewards points you’ve earned, your spending habits, view your credit card statements, and make payments.
Plastk Pros and Cons
My favourite thing about Plastk is the flexibility of its secured credit card. I love that you can set up a credit limit for as little as $300, benefit from a 3-day grace period on cash advances, and earn points on everyday purchases. Drawbacks include the $48 annual fee and $6 monthly maintenance fee. Here’s my list of Plastk’s pros and cons.
- Wide credit limit range of $300 to $10,000
- Secured credit card that can help you build your credit score
- Limited time welcome offer of 0% APR for three months and $20
- Fast approval
- $48 annual fee
- $6 monthly maintenance fee
- You’ll find free credit monitoring services elsewhere (Borrowell, Credit Karma)
There’s a lot to like about the Plastk, but they aren’t the only secured credit card in Canada, far from it, actually. Here are two Plastk alternatives to consider.
Neo Secured Mastercard
The Neo Secured Mastercard has one key advantage over the Plastk Visa secured card: it doesn’t charge an annual or monthly fee. And like the Plastk credit card, there is a rewards program. Neo says you can earn an average of 5% cash back, although rewards are only available when you spend at Neo’s retail partners.
You’ll need to provide your own cash as security, but Neo guarantees approval without a hard credit check. You can learn more in our Neo Financial review.
Koho is a prepaid Visa card that offers users the convenience of a credit card. You can use the card anywhere that Visa is accepted. Koho also offers a roundup savings feature that helps you reach your financial goals.
Unfortunately, the Koho card is not an actual credit card, so it can’t help you build or rebuild credit as there are no payments to report to the credit bureau. If you don’t need to build credit, Koho is worth considering; otherwise, I recommend sticking with Neo or Plastk. For more information, check out my Koho review.
Final Thoughts on Plastk
My overall opinion of Plastk Financial is positive. The unique features of the Plastk Secured Visa card, like the extended grace periods and slightly lower interest rate, align with the company’s mission of helping Canadians achieve financial freedom.
If you’re opposed to the $120 annual fee ($48 annual + $6 monthly maintenance fee), consider signing up for the Neo Secured Mastercard. Otherwise, Plastk is a solid choice until your credit history is strong enough that you can qualify for a regular unsecured credit card elsewhere.