Update – September 9, 2013: On the application page for The Matrix credit card, I get this message: “We are not currently accepting credit card applications. Please check back periodically” when I click on the “Apply Now” link. At this time, I don’t know if this is temporary or permanent.
Update (again!) – June 28, 2015: There’s still a photo of the Matrix card on the website, but when I clicked on “Apply Now,” I landed on the page for Surge, their latest credit card offering. But this issuer tends to be vague about things like this, so if you’ve recently applied for Matrix, please let me know in the comments section below. I try to stay on top of cards like this so I can help you protect yourself from expensive cards. Oh, and let me know if you applied online or received a mailed offer. Thanks in advance!
Even if you aren’t a fan of the movie, the name of this card conjures up an image of something cool. I admit it took me about three tries to get through The Matrix (the movie, not the card), but I still came away from it intrigued by the concept and special effects.
I wish I could say that The Matrix Credit Card is as intriguing as the movie, but after looking at the details, I have to say that the only thing cool about this card is the name. And believe me, I wanted to like this card because consumers with bad credit need decent options.
I’ve actually gotten a lot of questions about this card because people think it’s issued by Discover. The Matrix Credit Card uses the Discover payment network, but it’s issued by Continental Finance. So that means this card can be used wherever Discover is accepted.
Anyway, I’ll start with the good news: There are no application fees. Okay, that’s where the good news ends. When you click on “Terms and Conditions,” you’ll go to a page where you have to input your state. I tried both California and Florida and got the same terms. But rates and fees could possibly vary, depending upon your state.
The APR is a variable 29.9 percent, which is high even for a secured card. You must deposit $300 into an account to secure the card, but after your $75 annual fee is taken out, you only start with a balance of $225. If that isn’t bad enough, you have to pay a $12 a month ($144 a year!) maintenance fee. (Note: Since I wrote this review, the maintenance fee has been waived for the first year; this card has also become a “hybrid” card, which means there’s now an unsecured version. See my post about the hybrid version here).
I tried to get the terms and conditions for my state, Georgia, and was told that the card isn’t offered in my state yet. I got redirected to a page that offered me cards from First Premier. Hmmm…I thought the terms of The Matrix (the card, not the movie) looked eerily similar to some of First Premier’s credit cards, which are known for outrageous fees and interest rates.
Even if you think this is the only card you can get approved for, take a look at my list of secured cards, The Best (and Worst) Secured Credit Cards. Focus on the lower part of the middle-tier cards and see if you can find a better option than the The Matrix Credit Card.