March 27, 2022

Extra Card Review

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Is the Extra Debit Card legit? Find out about Extra Card fees and rewards. Plus, see how it stacks up against competitors.

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Overall Score

3.0

Checking

3.0

Customer Service

2.0

Mobile App

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Build credit with every purchase
  • No credit check to open
  • Relatively high monthly membership fee
  • Doesn't report to TransUnion
  • No ATM access

Bottom Line

Decent credit builder for those with no credit or bad credit

Bad credit or no credit can really hurt your financial journey.

It makes it difficult to get decent rates on car loans, mortgages, and credit cards.

But if you don't have a credit card, how can you build credit?

Enter: The Extra Debit Card.

Is the Extra Card right for you? Find out if it's worth the monthly membership fees, and see how it compares to competitors like Chime.

What is the Extra Debit Card?

Extra a debit card designed to help people build credit without needing to open a credit card. It offers a safer way to rebuild your credit score without dealing with high interest rates.

It also has a rewards program that lets you earn while you spend. Plus, there's no hard credit check to apply for the debit card.

Extra was founded in 2020, and it currently has more than 200,000 members.

How Does Extra Work?

The Extra Card offers a clever way to build a credit history. Here's how it works:

  1. First, your Extra card is connected to your bank account, and you receive a spending limit (which Extra calls "Spend Power") based on your linked bank balance and history, among other things. The bank account must be Plaid compatible.

    When you first set up an account, your spending limit will probably be on the lower side. Your spending power will increase as you make more purchases.

  2. Each time you make a purchase, Extra will spot you for that purchase.

  3. Then, Extra pays itself back with your money the next business day. That counts as an on-time payment, with zero effort on your end.

  4. Extra keeps track of every transaction and on-time payment you make. And at the end of the month, it reports all your payments to credit bureaus.

Which credit bureaus does Extra report to?
Extra currently reports to two out of three credit bureaus, Equifax and Experian, each month. It doesn't report to TransUnion.[1]

Pros and Cons

Check out the pros and cons of opening an Extra Debit Card:

Pros

  • No credit check
  • No minimum credit score needed
  • No hidden fees
  • Build credit with little effort
  • Earn up to 1% back on many purchases
  • Good for people who can't get a credit card

Cons

  • Monthly fee can be expensive
  • Doesn't report to TransUnion
  • No ATM access
  • Rewards program costs additional
  • Can't transfer custom amounts to Extra Card account
  • Slow customer service, only available through app or website
  • Rewards can only be spent in the Extra Store
  • Can't be used outside the United States while traveling

Extra Card Features

Here's a closer look at how Extra helps you build credit and earn rewards each time you make a purchase.

Extra Debit Card

The Extra Debit Card is issued by Mastercard, so it's accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted.[2]

Making purchases on your Extra Card is the key to increasing your credit score. Each time you make a purchase, the platform pays itself back using your connected bank account.

All you had to do was use your card to make a purchase like normal. But in the background, Extra records all these transactions as creditworthy payments. The result is that you steadily build up a history of making payments on time.

Extra Rewards

In addition to building credit, Extra also offers a rewards program to earn points while you shop. Each purchase you make is eligible for up to 1% back in rewards.

You can earn points from your everyday purchases and redeem them through the Extra store. Unfortunately, there is a catch: the rewards program is only available for their more expensive subscription plan. (More on fees and pricing later.)

Your points can only be redeemed through the Extra store for items like gift cards, AirPods, and other electronics. The rewards program might be a nice little boost. But the higher monthly fee could outweigh the benefits.

Mobile App

The mobile app helps you keep track of all things related to your Extra Debit Card. You can view your transactions, see your current balance, check your credit score, and more. It'll even give you pointers on best strategies to increase your credit score.

You'll be able to view and redeem your rewards points through the app. It'll also show you the shipment status of your items.

Extra has security features to keep your account safe. If you lose your debit card, you can easily freeze it to avoid unwanted payments. When you report your card as lost or stolen, you'll be able to replace the card right on the app.

The Extra app is available on the Apple App Store and is in beta on the Google Play store.

Extra Card Pricing and Fees

The Extra Debit Card is a paid subscription service. Its pricing structure is simple. It charges a single flat fee. You can pay a monthly fee, or opt for the yearly fee to save money.

Here's what you can expect to pay to sign up for the Extra Debit Card:

Credit Building OnlyCredit Building and Rewards
Monthly Fee$8/mo.$84/yr ($7/mo.)
Annual Fee$12/mo.$108/yr ($9/mo.)

Beyond that, there are no other fees to deal with when you use your account. The flat subscription fee covers the entire account. You won't pay any hidden fees or interest on the account.[3]

How to Get the Extra Debit Card

It's simple to sign up for an Extra Debit Card. First, you'll need to be at least 18 years old to open an account and a US address where you can receive your Extra card. Then, you'll want to make sure you have some basic information handy, like your name, phone number, and email.

Then, you can follow these steps to create an account:

  1. Navigate to the website and click Apply Now
  2. Confirm that you are 18 years or older.
  3. Enter your contact information, including phone and email.
  4. Verify your information through your phone.
  5. Complete your account with your personal data and bank account.
  6. Pay your first month's subscription.
  7. Receive your card in the mail within 7 - 14 business days.

Here is what you'll need to apply:[4]

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have an SSN or ITIN
  • Have a US mailing address where you can receive your Extra Card
  • Have a checking account at supported U.S. or Canadian banks
  • Have an iOS device or an Android device running version 10 or later

Extra Card Alternatives

The Extra Card can be a decent option if you're unable to open a credit card and want to build your credit score. But even then, it's not your only option.

Check out how Extra compares to other platforms like Chime and Experian Boost.

Extra vs. Chime

Chime is a finance app that can also help you build credit. It has more features, like a high-yield savings account, early direct deposit, and access to 60,000+ ATMs. Plus, it has no monthly fee.

You can use Chime's Credit Builder feature if you have Chime checking account and a direct deposit of at least $200. The feature is free, and it's more flexible than the Extra Card.

You get to transfer money from your checking to the Credit Builder yourself. That's the amount you can spend to build credit. The credit building part works similarly to Extra. Your purchases are recorded as on-time payments. Then, Chime reports to all three credit bureaus, not just two.

Chime doesn't do a credit check when you open an account. So, it's a great choice if you have bad credit or no credit.

Learn More: Read Chime Review

Extra vs. Experian Boost

Experian Boost is another free alternative to Extra. Experian Boost isn't a debit card or banking service. But it can be an effective way to raise your credit score if you have limited credit history.

It works by adding your payments for household bills to your credit report. You can get credit for your phone bills, utilities, and even streaming services. This boosts your FICO score instantly.

Experian Boost doesn't require you to make any purchases in order to raise your credit score. But it likely won't raise your score as much as Extra or Chime would. But it can be a great tool to use in addition to another platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Extra Card legit?
The Extra Card is a legitimate company created in 2020. It can help people with bad or no credit build a credit history. But if you already have a decent credit history, the Extra Card will probably not raise your score by much.

Is Extra FDIC insured?
Extra itself isn't FDIC insured because it's not a bank. The company offers banking services through Evolve Bank and Trust, which is FDIC insured. This means your money is protected up to $250,000.[5]

How does Extra make money?
Extra makes money by collecting a monthly or annual fee from its members. The fee can be quite steep, considering the platform doesn't offer very many features.

Bottom Line

The Extra Debit Card is designed for people who can't get access to a credit card. But for those who need to build their credit from the ground up, there are better free options out there.

For the monthly fee, you don't get much out of the account beyond the debit card and credit building feature. The rewards program can be a nice bonus, but it's not very flexible. You can only redeem the points for gift cards and products through Extra store.

Not ready to commit to the Extra Card? Take a look at other products that can help raise your credit score:

References

  1. ^ Extra. How does Extra build my credit history?, Retrieved 3/20/2022
  2. ^ Extra. Where can I use my Extra card?, Retrieved 3/20/2022
  3. ^ "How does Extra make money?": Extra, 2022.
  4. ^ Extra. Do I qualify for an Extra card?, Retrieved 3/20/2022
  5. ^ Extra. Is Extra FDIC insured?, Retrieved 3/20/2022

Donna Tang is the head of purpose and audience at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at donna.tang@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.

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