- NerdWallet is launching its first consumer-facing credit card called NerdUp.
- Launched in partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust and Bond, NerdUp aims to help consumers build credit responsibly.
- The NerdUp card comes with benefits consumers expect from traditional credit scores, such as 1% cashback and free credit scores.
NerdWallet is expanding from financial content production into consumer products this week. The California-based company announced today it is launching a credit card called NerdUp, its first consumer-facing financial product.
Banking-as-a-service offers the opportunity for any company to become a fintech company, and NerdWallet is a prime example of this. Through partnerships with Evolve Bank & Trust and FIS‘ Bond, NerdWallet’s NerdUp aims to help users build and improve their credit responsibly.
NerdWallet is focused on helping consumers and small businesses make smarter financial decisions, and the company’s new card has a handful of features that help cardholders build credit responsibly. First, the card does not charge a monthly fee; it is free to use. Second, NerdUp does not conduct a hard credit check, which means that nearly all U.S. adults can qualify. Third, the card only requires a minimum deposit of $100.
But just because it is meant for credit novices doesn’t mean that the NerdUp card is void of typical credit card benefits. NerdUp cardholders earn 1% cashback on purchases. Each month, the cashback earned is automatically added to user’s deposit account to boost their credit limit. NerdUp also offers users a free credit score, along with insights and tips to improve their financial situation. Additionally, since NerdUp requires users to pay off their balance every month, the NerdWallet’s credit card offers a 0% interest rate. This may seem like semantics, but it is a key feature for users trying to build their credit.
However, according to NerdWallet CEO and Co-Founder Tim Chen, the company may not add more financial products to its lineup. “We don’t strive to offer our own financial products, but in this case we saw an opportunity to address a gap in the market,” said Chen. A recent survey NerdWallet conducted with The Harris Poll found that 23% of Americans indicate that a lack of credit or bad credit prevents them from reaching their financial goals. In another study, 43% said their credit score has negatively impacted them in the past.
“With NerdUp, we believe we can create a win-win-win for consumers, traditional card issuers, and NerdWallet,” Chen added. “By leveraging our existing distribution channels to reduce costs, we are uniquely positioned to design and offer a product that passes lower costs on to consumers, with a secured card that requires a low minimum deposit, no annual fees, and no credit check while also offering cash back rewards, helping consumers build good credit behavior and unlock new credit opportunities.”
With its launch of NerdUp, NerdWallet is in good company with other credit-building credit cards. Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, Chime, Petal, and Experian all offer credit building programs that require the user to pre-fund their account. And another fintech, Neu, launched today with its credit card aimed to help college students build their credit.
With its seasoned brand and well-earned consumer trust, NerdWallet should do well with its new credit card. Founded in 2009, NerdWallet is a public company listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker NRDS. The company has a current market capitalization of $511 million.