Categories
Credit Card Reviews

Milestone Gold Mastercard Review

The Milestone Gold Mastercard from The Bank of Missouri is an unsecured credit card designed to help you build or rebuild your credit history. Depending on your credit situation and how you use the card, however, it could get expensive.

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

OVERALL RATING2.6

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

REGULAR APR (%)24.9% fixed
ANNUAL FEE$35-$99

RATINGS BREAKDOWNfor Interest1.5for Fees2.4for Rewards2.3for Credit4.3To see how we calculate these scores, check out our full methodology.TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Pros Explained
  • Cons Explained
  • Other Features
  • Customer Experience
  • Security Features
  • Fees

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver PersonaPrioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and needSee more cardsSAVVY SAVER
  • Avatar for Debt Warrior PersonaAttacks existing balances while avoiding new debtSee more cardsDEBT WARRIOR
  • Avatar for Credit Builder PersonaTakes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsiblySee more cardsCREDIT BUILDER

Building or rebuilding credit can take time, and parting with a few hundred dollars for a deposit on a secured credit card without knowing when you’re going to get it back can be stressful. The Milestone credit card doesn’t require a security deposit to get approved, and you can get approved with bad, limited, or no credit. 

That said, your annual fee could be as high as $99 after the first year, based on your credit profile.1Pros

  • No security deposit required
  • May get approved with bad, limited, or no credit
  • Fixed APR

Cons

  • Potential for a high annual fee
  • No rewards program
  • Low credit limit

Pros Explained

  • No security deposit required: You don’t have to worry about putting up any money to get approved for the card. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, don’t have any savings you can part with, and need to build credit, the Milestone credit card can be extremely appealing.
  • May get approved with bad, limited, or no credit: Getting a credit card can be difficult when you’re new to credit or working to recover from past credit missteps. With the Milestone credit card, anyone can check to see if they’re pre-qualified without it affecting their credit score.2
  • Fixed APR: The card’s interest rate stays the same regardless of what the prime rate is. (Variable interest rates are based on the prime rate.) That doesn’t necessarily mean that the rate will never change, but your credit card issuer will have to tell you if it does.

Cons Explained

  • Potential for a high annual fee: This card has a variety of fee structures. Depending on your credit profile, you may end up with an ongoing annual fee of $35 or $59, or a first-year annual fee of $75 then $99 after that. There’s also a possibility Milestone will approve you and require a $25 account-opening fee, a $50 first-year annual fee, and a $99 annual fee afterward.
  • No rewards program:When your main goal is to improve your credit, rewards may not be a top priority. But if you want the option to have both, some other cards can provide it. 
  • Low credit limit: The credit limit for the Milestone Gold Mastercard is $300, and the set-up fee and annual fee come out of that. So when you open your card, you might only have $225 of available credit. That’s really low, especially when you’re trying to improve your credit score. If you have the money for a security deposit, you could get a higher credit limit with most secured credit cards.

Other than making your credit card payments on time, the best thing you can do for your credit score is to keep your credit utilization rate low. That means using as little of your available credit as possible, which is tough when you have a very low credit limit.

Milestone Gold Mastercard’s Other Features

  • Identity theft resolution services3

Customer Experience

The Bank of Missouri doesn’t offer a mobile app for the Milestone credit card, and it doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service—most competitors have both. You can reach customer service at 866-453-2636 every day from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, via regular mail, or via a contact form on the bank’s website.

While the card can help you build your credit history, it doesn’t provide access to your credit score to help you keep track of your progress.

Security Features

The Milestone credit card’s security features are standard for the industry.

Milestone Gold Mastercard’s Fees That Stand Out

For the most part, the fees associated with the Milestone credit card aren’t entirely out of line with the industry standards. There are, however, some exceptions.

The annual fee, for instance, can be much higher than what you can find with some of the better credit cards for bad credit on the market. On the flip side, the card’s 1% foreign transaction fee is lower than the typical 3% fee you see with other cards that charge one.1 

The card also waives its cash advance fee for the first year, which isn’t common among other cards. (The fee is 5% with a minimum of $5 after the first year.)1 Even with no fee the first year, avoid taking out a cash advance; they’re very expensive. The Milestone Gold Mastercard also charges an overlimit fee of up to $40. Many cards don’t have such a charge, which occurs when your balance rises above your credit limit.

Categories
Credit Card Reviews

Total Visa Credit Card Review

If you have bad credit and can’t afford a security deposit, the Total Visa Credit Card’s unsecured nature can be appealing, and it can help you build your credit history. But the card’s fee structure could end up threatening your budget. In this Total Visa review, we’ll cover what to consider before applying for the card.

Total Visa® Credit Card

OVERALL RATING2.6

Total Visa® Credit Card

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

REGULAR APR (%)34.99% fixed
ANNUAL FEE$75 for the first year, then $48

RATINGS BREAKDOWNfor Interest1.6for Fees2.5for Rewards2.3for Credit4.3To see how we calculate these scores, check out our full methodology.TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Pros Explained
  • Cons Explained
  • How to Get the Most Out of This Card
  • Customer Experience
  • Security Features 
  • Fees to Watch Out For

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver PersonaPrioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and needSee more cardsSAVVY SAVER
  • Avatar for Debt Warrior PersonaAttacks existing balances while avoiding new debtSee more cardsDEBT WARRIOR
  • Avatar for Credit Builder PersonaTakes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsiblySee more cardsCREDIT BUILDER

The card is designed for people who have struggled with credit in the past. It reports your activity to the three national credit bureaus, so if you use it regularly and make your payments on time, it could help improve your credit.1 But because the card charges a lot of fees, including ones that the vast majority of cards don’t charge, we don’t recommend it. There are a handful of other cards for people with bad credit with not nearly the same amount of fees that this card requires.Pros

  • Doesn’t require a security deposit
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus

Cons

  • More expensive than a secured card in the long run
  • Limited on how you can use it
  • Low credit limit

Pros Explained

  • Doesn’t require a security deposit:A lot of credit cards for bad credit require that you put up a deposit—typically at least $200 and it’s equal to your credit limit—to get approved. You can generally expect to get that money back when you close the account, and possibly sooner, but if you can’t part with that amount of money for an extended period, an unsecured card like the Total Visa Credit Card can be more appealing.
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus: Most major credit cards report your account activity to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. But that’s not a guarantee with all credit cards for bad credit. While the Total Visa Credit Card has some serious flaws, this isn’t one of them.

Cons Explained

  • More expensive than a secured card in the long run:A secured credit card can be difficult to get for some people because of the security deposit requirement. But as long as you pay back whatever debt you incur with the card, you get that money back. What’s more, many secured credit cards don’t charge an annual fee. With the Total Visa Credit Card, however, you’ll pay $164 in fees once you open your account (the program fee and the first annual fee), then you’ll pay $123 in annual and monthly fees starting in the second year. And if you want to add an authorized user, you’ll pay a $29 annual fee on that card as well.2 The card’s APR is also steep compared with other credit cards for bad credit, and it doesn’t provide any rewards or perks to help you recoup those costs.
  • Limited on how you can use it:The card has some limitations in its terms and conditions, the most glaring of which is that you can’t use the card outside of the U.S. So if you’re planning a trip abroad, you’ll need to rely on other payment methods. The card also doesn’t allow balance transfers—of course, you likely wouldn’t want to do that anyway with such a high interest rate, but not having the option may be frustrating for some credit card users.2
  • Low credit limit: The Total Visa Credit Card has a credit limit of $300. Just keep in mind your annual fee and any additional user fees will be charged to your first billing cycle. This leaves you with only $225 (or $196 if you choose to have an additional user on your card) in available credit.2 Your credit utilization rate—your card balance divided by its credit limit—is an important factor in your FICO credit score, and credit experts recommend keeping it as low as possible. You can request a credit limit increase after your first year with the card, but you’ll have to pay a fee of 20% of the increase amount.2 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

The Total Visa Credit Card doesn’t offer rewards or perks, so if you have it, the best way to use it is to make purchases and pay them off by the due date each month so you can establish a positive payment history. While you can’t do anything about the fees, you can avoid the card’s high interest rate by paying the full balance every month. 

In most cases, though, you may be better off with a different credit card.

A secured card requires a one-time, refundable deposit before applying for the card. An unsecured card does not. Make sure you know the difference before applying for a credit card.

Customer Experience

The card’s issuer, The Bank of Missouri, offers customer service by phone Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Standard Time. With most major card issuers, you can typically expect 24/7 access to customer service.

The bank also doesn’t provide a mobile app for cardholders, which is standard for the credit card industry.All account management must be done through your mobile or desktop browser.

Security Features 

Beyond basic fraud protection, the card doesn’t provide any other security features. While you will not be liable for the unauthorized use of your card, you are required to notify the card issuer—either orally or in writing—as soon as you realize that your card has been lost, stolen, or used without your consent. And you still may be liable for up to $50 in fraudulent charges.2

Total Visa Credit Card’s Fees to Watch Out For

The Total Visa Credit Card’s fees are higher than you’d get with most credit cards, especially with its one-time $89 program fee and $6.25 monthly servicing fee after the first year. The card’s credit limit increase fee isn’t unique, but most major card issuers don’t charge one. Finally, some premium credit cards charge an annual fee for authorized users, but that’s primarily because additional cardholders are also getting a lot of perks. Most other credit cards don’t charge one.

Categories
Credit Card Reviews

Best Delta Credit Card Offers of November 2020

If you’re a Delta Air Lines fan, you may be looking for the best Delta credit cards. American Express offers a suite of co-branded cards for Delta flyers, each with particular advantages. You’ll earn Skymiles rewards with all of them, but varying fees, welcome offers and travel perks give you very distinct options. 

To help you pick the one that best fits your flying and spending habits, we’ve compiled this list, which is separated by consumer and business cards and ranked accordingly.

Best Delta Credit Cards

  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Credit Card
    Best Overall, Best for Earning SkyMiles, Best Welcome Offer
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold Credit Card
    Best for Occasional Delta Flyers
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve Credit Card
    Best for Airport Lounge Access, Best Perks
  • Delta SkyMiles Blue Credit Card
    Best for Avoiding an Annual Fee
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Credit Card
    Best Business Card Perks for the Price, Best Business Card for Earning SkyMiles
  • Delta SkyMiles Business Gold Credit Card
    Best Low-Fee Business Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Business Reserve Credit Card
    Best for Luxury Business Travel

For more details on how we evaluate credit cards for this list, see our methodology.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card

Best Overall

Best for Earning SkyMiles

Best Welcome Offer

Our Rating Among Delta Air Lines Cards3.0

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card

CURRENT OFFER

Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card within your first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

REGULAR APR (%)15.74% – 24.74% variable
ANNUAL FEE$250
REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. With Status Boost(TM), earn 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights. Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck(R). Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThis card has the best miles-earning rates among Delta cards and valuable airline perks. You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent with Delta and on direct hotel bookings and 2 miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. There’s a high annual fee, but you can recoup the cost by using benefits including free checked bags and an annual companion ticket for a main cabin domestic flight (only taxes and fees aren’t covered). Plus, the welcome bonus is pretty good: You’ll get 40,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) by spending $2,000 in your first three months. Based on our research, the 40,000 standard miles are worth about $616.
  • PROS & CONSPros
    • Generous rewards rate on Delta flights
    • Ways to earn extra miles on everyday expenses, not just Delta flights
    • Perks such as free checked bags and a Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement
    Cons
    • Annual fee is higher than most other mid-level airline cards
    • Fee to enter Delta Sky Club lounges makes for a relatively stingy airport lounge perk
  • HIGHLIGHTS

    Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card

    Best for Occasional Delta Flyers

    Our Rating Among Delta Air Lines Cards3.4

    Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card

    CURRENT OFFER

    Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases on your new Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card within your first 3 months.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

    REGULAR APR (%)15.74% – 24.74% variable
    ANNUAL FEE$0 for the first year, then $99
    REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Travel when you’re ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel. Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights. Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
    FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
    • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDIf you prefer flying Delta, but aren’t a huge spender or constant traveler, this card is for you. You can recoup the cost of the annual fee by using the free-checked-bag benefit a few times each year or earning the $100 statement credit to put toward a future Delta flight. What’s more, if you spend $1,000 within three months of opening your account, you’ll get a welcome offer of 35,000 miles which are worth about $539, based on our calculations.
    • PROS & CONSPros
      • Welcome offer is quite easy to earn, even if it’s not huge
      • Annual flight discount of $100 for those who spend $10,000 in a year (so less than $1,000 per month, on average)
      • Free checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions, well above the limit on other airline cards
      Cons
      • No boost toward Delta’s elite status
      • No Delta Sky Club lounge access, even with a fee
    • HIGHLIGHTS

      Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card

      Best for Airport Lounge Access

      Best Perks

      Our Rating Among Delta Air Lines Cards2.5

      Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card

      CURRENT OFFER

      Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

      REGULAR APR (%)15.74% – 24.74% variable
      ANNUAL FEE$550
      REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 3 miles per $1 spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile per $1 on other eligible purchases.
      FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
      • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThis is for Delta flyers who want to relax in a quiet airport lounge while traveling. You get complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club (it’s the only Delta consumer card with that perk), and access to the American Express Centurion Lounge on the day of your Delta flight. The annual fee is extremely high, but this card offers several other VIP travel perks and a pathway to Delta’s coveted Medallion flying status. Plus, you’ll earn 40,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) by spending $3,000 within your first three months of opening an account. 
      • PROS & CONSPros
        • Complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs and American Express Centurion lounges
        • Big spenders can earn Delta’s elite status just by using the card
        • Loaded with frequent flyer perks, including an annual companion pass good for a round-trip ticket (taxes and fees aren’t covered
        Cons
        • Highest annual fee of any airline card tracked by The Balance
        • Underwhelming bonus for new cardholders, considering other Delta cards have similar offers with lower annual fees and smaller spending requirements
      • HIGHLIGHTS

        Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card

        Best for Avoiding an Annual Fee

        Our Rating Among Delta Air Lines Cards3.1

        Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card

        CURRENT OFFER

        Earn 10,000 Bonus Miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

        REGULAR APR (%)15.74% – 24.74% variable
        ANNUAL FEE$0
        REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and on eligible Delta purchases, and earn 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
        FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
        • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDMaybe you don’t travel much, or just want to try out a Delta rewards card without committing. If that’s you, this card—the only in the Delta suite without an annual fee—could be a fit. You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent not just with Delta, but at restaurants worldwide, too. You won’t get free checked bags or other travel perks the pricier Delta cards have, but there’s no foreign transaction fee (which is great for international travelers), and you can pay for a Delta flight with miles and dollars if you don’t have enough miles to fully cover one. 
        • PROS & CONSPros
          • No annual fee means less frequent travelers have a low-investment way to try rewards
          • Decent welcome offer for a no-annual-fee airline card
          • Option to pay for a portion of an eligible Delta flight with miles means you don’t have to wait until you can cover it entirely
          Cons
          • No free checked bags or priority boarding
        • HIGHLIGHTS

          Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Card

          Best Business Card Perks for the Price

          Best Business Card for Earning SkyMiles

          Our Rating Among Delta Air Lines Cards3.1

          Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Card

          CURRENT OFFER

          Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 Statement Credit after your first Delta purchase on your new Card in the first 3 months.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

          REGULAR APR (%)15.74% – 24.74% variable
          ANNUAL FEE$250
          REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 3 miles per dollar on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and hotels. Earn 1 mile per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.
          CASH ADVANCE APR (%)25.24%
          CASH ADVANCE FEEEither $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
          • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDYou can really boost your cache of Delta miles with this business credit card, which pays 3 miles per $1 spent with Delta and on stays booked directly with hotels. It offers many perks of the Delta Reserve Business Credit Card—such as a Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee credit—but for less than half the annual fee. (It doesn’t come with complimentary airport lounge access, however.) Plus, the welcome offer is competitive. If you spend $3,000 within three months, you’ll earn 45,000 miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). The standard 45,000 bonus miles are worth about $693, according to our analysis.
          • PROS & CONSPros
            • Good miles-earning rate on Delta and hotel purchases
            • Perks such as free checked bags and an annual companion pass for a domestic round-trip in the main cabin (fees and taxes not covered)
            • Best bonus for new cardholders among the Delta business credit cards.
            Cons
            • Annual fee is higher than other mid-tier airline cards for businesses
            • Must pay a fee to access Delta Sky Club lounges—a relatively stingy airport lounge benefit
          • HIGHLIGHTS

            Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business Card

            Best Low-Fee Business Card

            Our Rating Among Delta Air Lines Cards3.6

            Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business Card

            CURRENT OFFER

            Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

            REGULAR APR (%)15.74% – 24.74% variable
            ANNUAL FEE$0 for the first year, then $99
            REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, U.S. shipping and advertising purchases, and at restaurants. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
            CASH ADVANCE APR (%)25.24%
            CASH ADVANCE FEEEither $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
            • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD
            • This card has the lowest annual fee of any of the Delta business cards and offers extra miles on several non-Delta business expenses. You’ll also get priority boarding and free checked bags for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation. If you spend enough, you’ll even receive a $100 flight credit for a future Delta trip, which recoups the annual fee cost after the first year. What’s more, you only need to spend $2,000 in your first three months to earn a 40,000-mile bonus. That offer is worth about $616, based on our calculations. 
            • PROS & CONS
              • Free checked bags and priority boarding for you and as many as eight travel companions
              • Annual flight discount (which makes up for the annual fee) can be earn by spending less than $1,000 on this card each monthCons
              • No boost toward Delta’s elite status
              • No Delta Sky Club lounge access
              • Gas purchases don’t earn extra miles, unlike comparable business airline cards
            • HIGHLIGHTS

            Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Card

            Best for Luxury Business Travel

            Our Rating Among Delta Air Lines Cards2.6

            Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Card

            CURRENT OFFER

            Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 800850Excellent

            REGULAR APR (%)15.74% – 24.74% variable
            ANNUAL FEE$550
            REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 3 miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
            CASH ADVANCE APR (%)25.24%
            CASH ADVANCE FEEEither $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
            • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD
            • This card is all about making business trips more enjoyable, and if that’s what you seek, it may be worth the massive annual fee. It’s the only Delta business card that offers complimentary access to Delta Sky Club airport lounges, plus you can also visit American Express Centurion Lounges when you fly with Delta. Other travel benefits and ways to fast-track Delta’s elite status sweeten the deal. Plus, spend $4,000 within your first three months to earn 45,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). The 45,000-mile bonus is worth about $693 based on our average mile valuations.
            • PROS & CONS
              • Complimentary Delta Sky Club and American Express Centurion lounge access
              • Big spenders can earn elite status just by using this card
              • Loaded with frequent flyer perks, including an annual companion pass good for a round-trip ticket (taxes and fees aren’t covered)Cons
              • Very steep annual fee
              • Underwhelming bonus for a premium card, especially when other Delta cards have comparable offers
              • Mediocre rewards rates and limited categories compared to similar business cards
            • HIGHLIGHTS
              • Earn 45,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in eligible purchases on your new Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card in the first 3 months.
              • Complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club & 2 Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes.
              • Earn 1.5 miles per dollar after spending $150,000.
              • Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases.
              • Global Entry or TSA Pre✔ fee credit.
            Categories
            Credit Card Reviews

            Best First Credit Cards of November 2020

            The best first credit cards have minimal credit requirements (if any at all) and give cardholders regular access to a free credit score, in addition to exceptional offerings like rewards, few costs, or a low APR. They stand out from the majority of credit cards, which require a more established credit history to qualify. A small collection of products is designed just for people new to credit, and we’ve chosen the best ones.

            Best First Credit Cards

            • Discover it Chrome for Students
              Best Overall, Best for Students, Best Unsecured Card
            • Chase Freedom Student Credit Card
              Best With a Low APR
            • Discover it Miles
              Best for Earning Rewards
            • Discover it Secured
              Best Secured Card
            • Apple Card
              Best for Avoiding Fees, Best for Learning About Credit

            For more details on how we evaluate credit cards for this list, see our methodology.

            Discover it® Chrome for Students

            Best Overall

            Best for Students

            Best Unsecured Card

            Our Rating Among Cards For Beginners4.8

            Discover it® Chrome for Students

            CURRENT OFFER

            Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

            REGULAR APR (%)17.99% variable
            ANNUAL FEE$0
            INTRO PURCHASE APR0% for 6 Months
            REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
            FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
            • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThis student card offers good rewards, a great welcome bonus, and an additional cash-back bonus for cardholders who get good grades, making it a stellar first credit card. Like the other Discover cards on this list, Chrome also waives your first late fee. You should always make payments on time, but it’s nice to know you won’t have to pay a fee for a one-off mistake as you acclimate to using your first credit card. Since this is an unsecured card, you won’t have to pay a deposit upfront to secure a credit limit, either. 
            • PROS & CONSPros
              • Available to those with fair credit, which makes this a good starter card
              • First late payment fee is waived
              • First-year cash-back earnings will be doubled for a generous and unconventional bonus
              • Annual $20 reward for maintaining good grades
              Cons
              • Bonus rewards categories have quarterly earning limits
              • Discover card acceptance may vary compared to Visa and Mastercard
            • HIGHLIGHTS

              Chase Freedom® Student credit card

              Best With a Low APR

              Our Rating Among Cards For Beginners4.8

              Chase Freedom® Student credit card

              CURRENT OFFER

              $50 Bonus earned after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

              REGULAR APR (%)14.99% variable
              ANNUAL FEE$0
              REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 1% cash back on all purchases.
              FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)3%
              • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDIf you have good credit and there’s a chance you’ll carry a balance on your first card (or you just want a lower-cost option), this is your best option. It carries a 14.99% variable APR, which is below the average student card interest rate and far lower than what even other cards on this list may charge. There’s no promotional 0% APR deal for new cardholders, but that’s not unheard of among student cards. You’ll be eligible for those offers after you’ve become a more experienced credit card user. We also like that the Chase Freedom Student card doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers easy cash-back rewards, too.
              • PROS & CONSPros
                • Simple cash-back program makes earning and redeeming rewards easy while building credit
                • Lets you earn a credit limit increase by making five on-time monthly payments within 10 months of opening account
                • $20 bonus each year your account is in good standing (for up to 5 years)
                Cons
                • Card cannot be applied for online. You must visit a Chase branch
                • Low rewards-earning rate compared to other student cards
              • HIGHLIGHTS

                Discover it® Miles

                Best for Earning Rewards

                Our Rating Among Cards For Beginners4.7

                Discover it® Miles

                CURRENT OFFER

                Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                REGULAR APR (%)11.99% – 22.99% variable
                ANNUAL FEE$0
                REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn unlimited 1.5 miles for every dollar spent.
                INTRO PURCHASE APR0% for 14 Months
                FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThose new to using credit cards will appreciate how simple it is to earn and redeem rewards with this no-annual-fee card, especially if you like to travel. You’ll earn 1.25 miles on every $1 spent, and those miles can be redeemed for cash back or as reimbursement for travel purchases made with this card—even those made on third-party websites. Either way, your miles are worth a consistent 1 cent each. Discover will also match all the miles earned your first year, essentially doubling your earnings, which is a top-notch new-cardholder bonus for those who don’t mind the delayed gratification.
                • PROS & CONSPros
                  • No annual fee
                  • Miles can be redeemed as travel statement credits or cash back
                  • Generous, unconventional bonus doubles your first year earnings
                  • Competitive 0% purchase APR offer
                  Cons
                  • Miles can’t be transferred to airline loyalty programs
                  • No travel insurance benefits
                  • Card acceptance may vary compared to Visa or Mastercard
                • HIGHLIGHTS

                  Discover it® Secured

                  Best Secured Card

                  Our Rating Among Cards For Beginners4.6

                  Discover it® Secured

                  CURRENT OFFER

                  Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                  REGULAR APR (%)22.99% variable
                  ANNUAL FEE$0
                  MINIMUM DEPOSIT TO ACTIVATE$200
                  ALLOWS UPGRADE TO UNSECURED CARDYes
                  PAY DEPOSIT IN INSTALLMENTSNo
                  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDA secured credit card is often your best option when getting your first credit card, and this is a good one. It offers a generous cash-back rewards rate that is nearly unheard of in a secured card. You can get the Discover it Secured card with a relatively low deposit, and after eight months of on-time payments, Discover may consider your account for an upgrade to an unsecured card (meaning you’ll get your deposit back).
                  • PROS & CONSPros
                    • Ability to earn cash-back rewards while building credit
                    • Responsible use can lead to automatic unsecured card upgrade
                    • No foreign transaction fee
                    • Cash-back match as a first year bonus
                    Cons
                    • Low cap on highest rewards earning rate
                    • Mediocre maximum credit limit compared to other secured cards
                  • HIGHLIGHTS

                    Apple Card

                    Best for Avoiding Fees

                    Best for Learning About Credit

                    Our Rating Among Cards For Beginners4.5

                    Apple Card

                    RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                    REGULAR APR (%)10.99% – 21.99% variable
                    ANNUAL FEE$0
                    REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 3% cash back at Apple and select Apple pay partners, 2% on other Apple pay purchases, and 1% on everything else.
                    FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                    • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThis co-branded card doesn’t charge an annual fee, late payment fee, or any other of the tricky fees you might encounter with cards aimed at people new to credit cards. Although it’s recommended you have a credit score of at least 600 when you apply, you may still be considered for the card if you have a limited, or no, credit history. Whenever you use Apple Pay, you’ll get 2% cash back, or 3% back at Apple and eligible partner retailers such as Walgreens and Uber. Better yet, the card also offers tools that can teach you how your usage impacts your credit history. Keep in mind you have to have an iPhone to get the most value out of this card.
                    • PROS & CONSPros
                      • Good rewards on Apple and partner-retailer purchases
                      • Ability to earn more when using this card with Apple Pay
                      • Interactive account tools offer visual ways to learn about credit
                      • Lowest offered APR is good for a rewards card
                      • No annual fee
                      Cons
                      • Mediocre rewards rate on non-Apple and non-Apple-Pay purchases
                      • Non-iPhone users will miss out on highest rewards earning rate
                      • Few extra benefits (e.g. bonus or free credit score)
                    • HIGHLIGHTS
                      • Apply and start using in minutes. Just open the Wallet app and tapthe plus icon.
                      • Get 2% Daily Cash back every time you pay with your iPhone or Apple Watch.
                      • See each purchase go through right away. No waiting. No wondering.
                      • No fees. Period.
                    Categories
                    Credit Card Reviews

                    Best Credit Cards of November 2020

                    At The Balance, we name the best credit cards based on the features we think are the most valuable for different sets of needs. Whether you’re looking for travel rewards, cash back on everyday purchases, a way to build credit, or a better way to pay down costly debt, we’ve done the research and crunched numbers to find the very best option for you. These are the best credit cards you can get right now, and we highly recommend giving each offer a second look:

                    Best Credit Cards

                    • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
                      Best Overall, Best for Cash Back
                    • Discover it Miles
                      Second Best Overall
                    • Wells Fargo Cash Back College
                      Best for Students
                    • Discover it Secured
                      Best Secured Card
                    • CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard
                      Best for Small Business Owners
                    • United Explorer Card
                      Best for Airline Flights
                    • Chase Sapphire Reserve
                      Best for Travelers
                    • Citi Simplicity
                      Best for Balance Transfers

                    For more details on how we evaluate credit cards for this list, see our methodology.

                    Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

                    Best Overall

                    Best for Cash Back

                    Our Rating4.1

                    Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

                    Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                    REGULAR APR (%)15.49% – 25.49% variable
                    ANNUAL FEE$0
                    REWARDS EARNING RATE1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
                    INTRO PURCHASE APR0% for 15 Months
                    FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                    • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThis well-rounded card deserves our top honor and a place in your wallet. Earning cash back is super simple, since there are no categories or limitations to worry about. You’ll get a respectable 1.5% cash back on every dollar you spend, everyday, plus a $150 bonus if you charge $500 in your first three months with the card. If you have a big purchase to make, you’ll get 15 months interest-free on new purchases thanks to its introductory offer. All this makes for an excellent card without an annual fee.
                    • PROS & CONSPros
                      • Solid cash-back rate on every dollar you spend
                      • Simple, no-fuss cash back is easy to earn and redeem
                      • Competitive welcome bonus
                      Cons
                      • No interest-free promotion on balance transfers
                    • HIGHLIGHTS

                      Discover it® Miles

                      Second Best Overall

                      Our Rating4.1

                      Discover it® Miles

                      CURRENT OFFER

                      Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                      REGULAR APR (%)11.99% – 22.99% variable
                      ANNUAL FEE$0
                      REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn unlimited 1.5 miles for every dollar spent.
                      INTRO PURCHASE APR0% for 14 Months
                      FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                      • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDDespite its branding, Discover it Miles essentially functions as a cash-back card with superb flexibility. You’ll earn 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend and can redeem those miles for statement credits on prior travel purchases or as cash back directly deposited in your bank account. (Miles are always worth 1 cent each.) You can even use them right at checkout on Amazon.com. What’s more, this card offers 0% APR on purchases for 14 months, and Discover will match all rewards earned your first year as a cardholder. This bonus is worth about $365, based on average U.S. household spending.
                      • PROS & CONSPros
                        • No annual fee
                        • Miles can be redeemed as travel statement credits or cash back
                        • Generous, unconventional bonus doubles your first year earnings
                        • Competitive 0% purchase APR offer
                        Cons
                        • Miles can’t be transferred to airline loyalty programs
                        • No travel insurance benefits
                        • Card acceptance may vary compared to Visa or Mastercard
                      • HIGHLIGHTS

                        Chase Sapphire Reserve®

                        Best for Travelers

                        Our Rating4.5

                        Chase Sapphire Reserve®

                        CURRENT OFFER

                        50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 800850Excellent

                        REGULAR APR (%)16.99% – 23.99% variable
                        ANNUAL FEE$550
                        REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit, 3X points on dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
                        FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                        • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThis card has a sky-high annual fee, but its rich rewards-earning rates on travel and restaurant purchases, a $300 annual credit toward travel, and superior travel perks (who doesn’t want unlimited access to participating airport lounges?) make it more than worthwhile for the frequent traveler. Plus, you’ll get some terrific flexibility when it comes time to redeem your reward points. You can use them to book your choice of airline or hotel through the Chase online portal, or you can transfer them (usually at a 1-to-1 ratio!) to any eligible airline or hotel rewards programs.
                        • PROS & CONSPros
                          • Earn extra points for travel and dining purchases
                          • Many different purchases count as travel spending, which makes earning rewards easier
                          • Several valuable ways to use points, including transfers to partner loyalty programs
                          • Jam-packed with valuable travel credit and travel insurance benefits
                          Cons
                          • Massive annual fee
                          • High ongoing APR
                        • HIGHLIGHTS

                          Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠

                          Best for Students

                          Our Rating3.8

                          Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠

                          RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                          REGULAR APR (%)11.15% – 21.15% variable
                          ANNUAL FEE$0
                          INTRO PURCHASE APR0% for 6 Months
                          REWARDS EARNING RATE3% cash rewards earned for up to $2,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months. 1% cash rewards for each $1 spent on virtually all other purchases with your card.
                          FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)3%
                          • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDBusy students need a card that makes using credit worthwhile and educational, and that’s why this one shines. For your first six months with the card, you’ll earn 3% cash back on as much as $2,500 that you spend on gas, groceries and drugstore items. During that introductory period, you’ll also pay no interest on purchases. Access to resources like free FICO credit scores and Wells Fargo’s credit education hub make this a valuable learning tool as well. Just note that you need to be an existing Wells Fargo customer to apply.
                          • PROS & CONSPros
                            • No annual fee
                            • Offers rewards on everyday purchases, unlike many other student cards
                            • 0% APR promotional offers that are rare for a student cardCons
                            • Must have a Wells Fargo account to apply
                            • Rewards earning rate drops after six months
                            • Foreign transaction fee means using this card overseas costs extra

                          Discover it® Secured

                          Best Secured Card

                          Our Rating3.7

                          Discover it® Secured

                          CURRENT OFFER

                          Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                          REGULAR APR (%)22.99% variable
                          ANNUAL FEE$0
                          MINIMUM DEPOSIT TO ACTIVATE$200
                          ALLOWS UPGRADE TO UNSECURED CARDYes
                          PAY DEPOSIT IN INSTALLMENTSNo
                          • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDIf you’re a first-time borrower or rebuilding a bad credit profile, finding a top-notch secured card can be tough. Thankfully, this is it. You’ll earn some decent cash back on routine purchases, and at the end of your first year, your earnings will be doubled. You won’t pay an annual fee (many secured cards charge one), and Discover will even waive your first late fee. Plus, after eight months, Discover will begin reviewing your account for a possible upgrade to an unsecured card.
                          • PROS & CONSPros
                            • Ability to earn cash-back rewards while building credit
                            • Responsible use can lead to automatic unsecured card upgrade
                            • No foreign transaction fee
                            • Cash-back match as a first year bonus
                            Cons
                            • Low cap on highest rewards earning rate
                            • Mediocre maximum credit limit compared to other secured cards
                          • HIGHLIGHTS

                            United℠ Explorer Card

                            Best for Airline Flights

                            Our Rating3.7

                            United℠ Explorer Card

                            CURRENT OFFER

                            40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                            REGULAR APR (%)16.49% – 23.49% variable
                            ANNUAL FEE$0 for the first year, then $95
                            REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays, and on United purchases. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United ClubSM with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
                            FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                            • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDWe found United miles to be the most valuable of those offered by a major U.S. airline rewards program, which makes this card our top pick for frequent flyers. Not only are they worth an average 2.28 cents each, according to our research, but you’ll get 60,000 extra miles if you spend $3,000 within your first three months with the card. It’s a bonus that we value at $1,368. What’s more, restaurant, hotel, and United charges all earn 2 miles per $1 spent. It doesn’t hurt that the annual fee is waived for the first year, either.
                            • PROS & CONSPros
                              • Miles are worth more than most other major U.S. airline’s, according to our calculations
                              • Lots of great travel perks, such as lounge passes and free checked bags
                              • Extra miles can be earned on more than just flight purchases
                              Cons
                              • Annual fee is waived the first year, but it’s still a notable cost
                            • HIGHLIGHTS

                              Citi Simplicity®

                              Best for Balance Transfers

                              Our Rating3.4

                              Citi Simplicity®

                              RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                              REGULAR APR (%)14.74% – 24.74% variable
                              ANNUAL FEE$0
                              BALANCE TRANSFER FEEEither $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
                              INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR0% for 18 Months
                              • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD
                              • This card gives you 18 months to pay off balance transfers, which is one of the longest 0% balance transfer APR offers on the market right now. Long 0% APR periods spread out the financial burden of debt repayment while cutting interest costs. Plus, you’ll have four months after opening an account to take advantage of the balance transfer promotion, which is longer than some similar cards offer. That gives you time to strategize your debt repayment plan.
                              • PROS & CONS
                                • No annual fee
                                • Offers 18 months to pay off balance transfers at 0% APR
                                • No fees or penalty APR for late paymentsCons
                                • Ongoing APR may be quite high compared to the competition
                                • Foreign transaction fee makes using the card abroad more costly

                              CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

                              Best for Small Business Owners

                              Our Rating3.0

                              CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

                              CURRENT OFFER

                              Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                              REGULAR APR (%)15.99% – 24.99% variable
                              ANNUAL FEE$0 for the first year, then $99
                              REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2 miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines, telecommunication, cable and satellite providers, car rentals and gas station purchases. Earn 1 mile per $1 on other purchases.
                              CASH ADVANCE APR (%)25.24%
                              CASH ADVANCE FEEEither $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
                              • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDIf American Airlines can be your go-to airline when you travel for business, this card is for you. Frequent flyers will earn valuable miles (they are worth an average of 2.32 cents each, based on our data) on not just flights, but business expenses such as telephone and cable services, car rentals and gas bills. They’ll also get travel perks like preferred boarding and free checked bags. What’s more, the 65,000-mile bonus for new cardholders—earned after spending $4,000 within four months of opening an account—is worth about $1,500, according to our estimates.
                              • PROS & CONSPros
                                • American Airlines miles are worth more than most airline miles, according to The Balance’s valuations
                                • Great bonus for an airline-branded business card
                                • Free checked bag perk (for you and four travel companions) can easily make annual fee worth it
                                • Several travel and business expenses earn double miles
                                Cons
                                • No travel insurance benefits
                                • No airport lounge passes, travel credits or card perks like cellphone insurance
                              • HIGHLIGHTS
                                • First checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 4 travel companions.
                                • Preferred boarding on American Airlines flights so you can save time and be more productive.
                                • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi purchases when you use your card.
                                • 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights when you use your card.

                              Categories
                              Credit Card Reviews

                              Indigo Platinum Mastercard Review

                              The Indigo Platinum Mastercard, issued by Celtic Bank, is designed for those with no credit or poor credit as a tool to start building a positive credit history. The card does not require a security deposit, as you would need with a secured card. But unlike other starter cards for people with bad or no credit, the Indigo Platinum Mastercard is a temporary solution with no extra benefits or rewards, and no automatic pathway to graduate into a better product.

                              Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

                              OVERALL RATING2.9

                              Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

                              RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                              REGULAR APR (%)24.9% variable
                              ANNUAL FEE$0 – $99

                              RATINGS BREAKDOWNfor Interest1.5for Fees2.4for Rewards2.3for Credit5.0To see how we calculate these scores, check out our full methodology.TABLE OF CONTENTS

                              • Pros Explained
                              • Cons Explained
                              • How to Get the Most Out of the Card
                              • Customer Experience
                              • Security Features 
                              • Fees to Watch Out For

                              Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

                              • Avatar for Savvy Saver PersonaPrioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and needSee more cardsSAVVY SAVER
                              • Avatar for Debt Warrior PersonaAttacks existing balances while avoiding new debtSee more cardsDEBT WARRIOR
                              • Avatar for Credit Builder PersonaTakes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsiblySee more cardsCREDIT BUILDER

                              If you need to establish or rebuild your credit and don’t have the cash on hand to put down a security deposit, the Indigo Platinum Mastercard might be worth checking out. You’ll first need to fill out a prequalification application, which will help determine whether or not you may qualify without counting as a hard inquiry (which would ding your credit score). Once you have a fairly good sense that you’ll be approved (although approval isn’t 100% guaranteed), you can move forward with the actual application.

                              hard inquiry occurs when you apply for a line of credit, and the creditor pulls your credit file. This has a small negative impact on your credit score.

                              You will only have a $300 credit limit to work with over the life of the account, so the card isn’t good for those who need to spend more within one billing cycle. Pros

                              • No security deposit required
                              • Choose your card design

                              Cons

                              • No bells and whistles
                              • A tight credit leash

                              Pros Explained

                              • No security deposit required: Typically, if you have very poor or nonexistent credit, you have to opt for a secured credit card (for which you leave a security deposit that matches the credit limit), or you have to get someone to add you as an authorized user on their account. The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is a chance to get credit in your own name without having to put your own money down.
                              • Choose your card design: If this is your first card or the only card you can get, you can at least choose a fun design such as a beach scene or cityscape to match your personality. 

                              Cons Explained

                              • No bells and whistles: If you’re looking for any perks, you won’t find them on this card. Secured cards sometimes offer rewards like cash back, a lower introductory APR, and/or automatic credit increases or upgrades to an unsecured card as your credit improves.
                              • A tight credit leash: You’ll start with just a $300 credit limit, which will be reduced by the amount of your annual fee (if any), and that’s all you’ll have for as long as the card is open. That doesn’t give you much wiggle room as far as credit utilization goes, which you’ll need to keep on the lower side to see credit score progress. 1

                              Your credit utilization is an important factor in your credit score. It’s calculated as the amount of debt you have divided by your credit limits. You want to keep it as low as possible—definitely below 30%. With this card’s credit limit capped at $300, you should aim to keep your balance under $100 throughout the billing cycle—even if pay your balance in full every month.

                              How to Get the Most Out of This Card

                              If approved, once you begin using the card, your credit activity will be reported to the three credit bureaus. This reporting is critical, since consistent positive behavior will lay the foundation for building your credit score.

                              The best way to improve your credit with this card (or any card) is to make small, regular purchases so you keep the card active and build up a positive payment history. Try keeping your total balance below $100—less than $50 is even better—so you’re never using more than 30% of your available credit.

                              Most importantly, pay your entire balance on time each month, and in full if you can. The amount of credit you use and your payment history are the two most impactful components of your credit score. 

                              Customer Experience

                              The card provides alerts of new hard inquiries on your TransUnion credit report and some basic information about credit card terminology, too.

                              Also, you won’t have access to an app or a customer service chat feature, which some other credit cards offer. But you can call customer service toll free, and access your account anytime from your desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet. 

                              Security Features 

                              The Indigo Platinum Mastercard has standard security features, including chip technology.

                              Indigo Platinum Mastercard’s Fees to Watch Out For

                              The Indigo Platinum Mastercard has fees for just about everything, from the annual fee (unless you’re approved to not have one) and foreign transaction fees (1%), to ones for late payments (up to $40), returned payments (up to $40), and going over your credit limit (up to $40). If you happen to take a cash advance, however, you won’t have to pay a fee in your first year. After that, you’ll pay $5 or 5% of the transaction amount (whichever is greater).

                              Categories
                              Credit Card Reviews

                              Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit of November 2020

                              The best credit cards for bad credit help people with credit scores below 580 to build credit, save on fees, and maybe even earn rewards. Many of the cards on this list are secured cards, which means you have to put down a deposit to be able to use the card. Usually, you’ll get a credit limit equal to the amount of your deposit, but we’ve found one exception to that general rule. Read on for more about our favorite cards. 

                              Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

                              • Discover it Secured
                                Best Overall, Best for Earning Rewards, Best for Avoiding Fees, Best for Customer Service
                              • Capital One Secured Mastercard
                                Best Security Deposit Features
                              • The Secured Visa from Merrick Bank
                                Best With a Low APR
                              • Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa
                                Best Unsecured Card With Rewards

                              For more details on how we evaluate credit cards for this list, see our methodology.

                              Discover it® Secured

                              Best Overall

                              Best for Earning Rewards

                              Best for Avoiding Fees

                              Best for Customer Service

                              Our Rating Among Cards For Bad Credit4.8

                              Discover it® Secured

                              CURRENT OFFER

                              Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                              REGULAR APR (%)22.99% variable
                              ANNUAL FEE$0
                              MINIMUM DEPOSIT TO ACTIVATE$200
                              ALLOWS UPGRADE TO UNSECURED CARDYes
                              PAY DEPOSIT IN INSTALLMENTSNo
                              • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDFinding a well-rounded, quality card can be hard when you have bad credit, but this card is definitely a winner. For starters, you’ll earn cash back, and at the end of your first year, your earnings will be doubled. There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee, and Discover will even waive your first late fee. The customer service features are great, too. You’ll get free access to your FICO credit score and help monitoring your credit report. And after eight months, Discover will automatically begin considering you for a possible upgrade to an unsecured card.
                              • PROS & CONS
                                • Ability to earn cash-back rewards while building credit
                                • Responsible use can lead to automatic unsecured card upgrade
                                • No foreign transaction fee
                                • Cash-back match as a first year bonusCons
                                • Low cap on highest rewards earning rate
                                • Mediocre maximum credit limit compared to other secured cards

                              Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

                              Best Security Deposit Features

                              Our Rating Among Cards For Bad Credit4.7

                              Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

                              RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                              REGULAR APR (%)26.99% variable
                              ANNUAL FEE$0
                              MINIMUM DEPOSIT TO ACTIVATE$49
                              ALLOWS UPGRADE TO UNSECURED CARDYes
                              PAY DEPOSIT IN INSTALLMENTSYes
                              • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD
                              • If you don’t have much money saved for a deposit, this secured card is for you. It may only require a partial deposit of $49 to access a $200 credit line (depending on your credit), which is unheard of. You can deposit more money before your account opens, too, which offers some flexibility if you need more time to gather funds. Plus, demonstrate good credit use and make your first five monthly payments on time for an additional credit limit increase, possibly up to $1,000.
                              • PROS & CONS
                                • No annual fee
                                • Some cardholders only have to deposit $49 or $99 for a $200 credit line
                                • Access to a higher credit limit possible—without an additional deposit—once you make six on-time paymentsCons
                                • Maximum credit limit is just $1,000
                                • One of the highest ongoing APRs among secured cards

                              The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank

                              Best With a Low APR

                              Our Rating Among Cards For Bad Credit4.1

                              The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank

                              RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                              REGULAR APR (%)17.45% variable
                              ANNUAL FEE$36 first year, then $3 monthly.
                              MINIMUM DEPOSIT TO ACTIVATE$200
                              ALLOWS UPGRADE TO UNSECURED CARDNo
                              PAY DEPOSIT IN INSTALLMENTSNo
                              • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD
                              • If there’s a chance you’ll carry a balance, this card is your best option for keeping interest costs low. It charges a 17.45% variable APR on all purchases, which is below the average secured card APR. You don’t need a bank account to apply, either, and you can have a credit limit as high as $3,000, assuming you can make an equal deposit to back it up, both of which are great secured card features. There’s no rewards program, but if saving money on interest is your end goal, paying down your balance should be your focus anyway. 
                              • PROS & CONS
                                • High credit limit affords more spending power with maximum security deposit
                                • Bank account is not required to apply
                                • Free access to FICO scoreCons
                                • Relatively high annual fee
                                • No rewards program to incentivize card use or building credi

                              Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®

                              Best Unsecured Card With Rewards

                              Our Rating Among Cards For Bad Credit4.0

                              Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®

                              RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                              REGULAR APR (%)17.99% – 23.99% variable
                              ANNUAL FEE$0 – $99
                              REWARDS EARNING RATE1% cash back on eligible purchases including gas, groceries and phone services.
                              FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)3%
                              • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDIf you have poor credit and really don’t want a secured card, this is a decent option. You’ll get 1% cash back on all your grocery and gas purchases, and even on several monthly bills (cellphone, internet, cable, and satellite TV). Plus, when you use this card at retailers that participate in the More Cash Back Rewards program, such as Walmart and Costco, you’ll earn up to 10% cash back. Just watch out for some less favorable terms, depending on your credit. You may get hit with an annual fee of up to $99 or have no grace period on interest charges.
                              • PROS & CONSPros
                                • Low APR for an unsecured card targeting people with poor credit
                                • Modest rewards on some everyday expenses
                                • Minimum credit limit of $300—more than what some secured cards offer
                                Cons
                                • Annual fee and other terms won’t be revealed until you’re approved and offered the card
                                • Potentially high annual fee, even compared to secured cards
                                • Only some cardholders are given a grace period on finance charges
                              • HIGHLIGHTS
                                • Earning cash back rewards has never been easier. Get 1% cash back rewards on gas and groceries as well as your monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV services.
                                • Get rewarded for responsible credit use! Your account will be reviewed regularly for credit line increase opportunities to ensure you get all the credit you deserve.
                                • Flexibility to choose a payment due date.
                                • Enjoy extra ways to get cash back rewards. You’ll get up to 10% More Cash Back Rewards from participating merchants and new offers are added frequently!
                              Categories
                              Credit Card Reviews

                              Best Capital One Credit Cards of October 2020

                              The best Capital One credit cards offer valuable and easy-to-earn rewards, reasonable or no annual fees, solid bonuses for new cardholders, and competitive interest rates, among other things. 

                              Which one of the popular issuer’s cards is right for you? Some are geared to travelers, students, or small businesses, others are broadly appealing if you want a little something back on each purchase. We analyzed the latest offers to help you determine which might work best for you.

                              Best Capital One Credit Cards

                              • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
                                Best Overall, Best for Cash-Back Rewards
                              • Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
                                Best for Students
                              • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
                                Best for Dining
                              • Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
                                Best for Fair Credit
                              • Capital One Spark Cash for Business
                                Best for Businesses
                              • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
                                Best for Travelers

                              For more details on how we evaluate credit cards for this list, see our methodology.

                              Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

                              Best Overall

                              Best for Cash-Back Rewards

                              Our Rating Among Capital One Cards4.1

                              Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

                              CURRENT OFFER

                              Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                              REGULAR APR (%)15.49% – 25.49% variable
                              ANNUAL FEE$0
                              REWARDS EARNING RATE1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
                              INTRO PURCHASE APR0% for 15 Months
                              FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                              • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDWe ranked this card No. 1 because of its tried and true value: simple but solid cash-back rewards, no annual fee, and a decent, easy-to-earn welcome bonus: $200 when you make $500 in purchases within three months of account opening. You’ll earn the same reliable 1.5% cash back on every dollar you spend, with no limits, and you can redeem your cash back in any increments you want, whenever you want. Plus, there’s no interest on purchases for your first 15 months—which gives you a reasonable amount of breathing room if you need to spread out some bigger bills.
                              • PROS & CONSPros
                                • Solid cash-back rate on every dollar you spend
                                • Simple, no-fuss cash back is easy to earn and redeem
                                • Competitive welcome bonus
                                Cons
                                • No interest-free promotion on balance transfers
                              • HIGHLIGHTS

                                Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

                                Best for Students

                                Our Rating Among Capital One Cards3.7

                                Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

                                RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 350850Poor – Excellent

                                REGULAR APR (%)26.99% variable
                                ANNUAL FEE$0
                                REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
                                FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                                • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThis card is an excellent stepping stone for students looking to earn some cash back while they build their credit score, and it may even be more rewarding for parents eager to instill good credit management habits. Not only will Capital One give you a little rewards boost each month you pay your bill on time, but you’ll automatically be considered for a higher credit limit in as few as six months.
                                • PROS & CONSPros
                                  • Higher rewards rate and credit limit available if you make on-time payments
                                  • Few fees, which helps keep costs low
                                  • Rewards that are easy to earn and redeem
                                  Cons
                                  • No bonus or 0% introductory APR offer for new cardholders
                                  • High APR if you carry a balance
                                • HIGHLIGHTS

                                  Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

                                  Best for Dining

                                  Our Rating Among Capital One Cards3.7

                                  Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

                                  CURRENT OFFER

                                  Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                                  REGULAR APR (%)15.49% – 25.49% variable
                                  ANNUAL FEE$0
                                  REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 3% cash back on dining, 3% on entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.
                                  INTRO PURCHASE APR0% for 15 Months
                                  FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                                  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDWe like that you don’t need to pay an annual fee to earn a very respectable 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, plus 2% back on grocery spending. There are no limits on what you can earn on these common expenses, so your rewards can really rack up. Plus, there’s an easy-to-earn $150 cash bonus when you spend just $500 on your card within your first three months. Depending on your spending habits, the Capital One Savor Rewards may be a better bang for your buck, though. Dining and entertainment purchases get 4% cash back, but there is a $95 annual fee after the first year.
                                  • PROS & CONSPros
                                    • Good cash-back rate on both dining and entertainment, an unusual combination, especially for a card without an annual fee
                                    • No limit on how much cash back you can earn in bonus categories
                                    • Travel insurance benefits and lack of foreign transaction fee cater to travelers
                                    Cons
                                    • Exclusions on purchase categories may impact your reward-earning potential
                                    • Some benefits will depend on which type of Mastercard you’re approved for
                                  • HIGHLIGHTS

                                    Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

                                    Best for Fair Credit

                                    Our Rating Among Capital One Cards3.7

                                    Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
                                    REGULAR APR (%)26.99% variable
                                    ANNUAL FEE$39
                                    REWARDS EARNING RATE1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
                                    FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                                    • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDAs with the Quicksilver, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back for each dollar you spend. The difference? Qualified applicants probably only need a fair credit score. While you may start out with a credit limit as low as $300, Capital One will automatically consider you for a higher limit after you make your first six payments on-time. You’ll pay a $39 annual fee, and the variable APR is steeper than on the Quicksilver, but if you pay your balance in full each month, interest charges won’t eat into your rewards and you’ll build a track record that can improve your credit profile.
                                    • PROS & CONSPros
                                      • Available to qualified applicants with fair credit, unlike many rewards cards
                                      • No limit on how much cash back you can earn, and redemptions are simple
                                      • Capital One will automatically consider you for a higher credit line in as little as six months
                                      Cons
                                      • An annual fee, which is rare among cash-back cards
                                      • Very high interest rate on purchases and balance transfers
                                      • No bonus or interest-free period for new cardholders, unlike cards catering to borrowers with good credit scores
                                    • HIGHLIGHTS

                                      Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

                                      Best for Businesses

                                      Our Rating Among Capital One Cards3.7

                                      Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

                                      CURRENT OFFER

                                      Earn $500 when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                                      REGULAR APR (%)20.99% variable
                                      ANNUAL FEE$0 for the first year, then $95
                                      REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere.
                                      CASH ADVANCE APR (%)26.99%
                                      CASH ADVANCE FEEEither $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
                                      • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThis card is a good fit for business owners who want dependable, easy rewards on purchases without a high annual fee. Getting 2% cash back on all purchases, no matter your budget, is as good or better than competitors offer and these rewards can be redeemed in any amount at any time. Plus, you’ll get some valuable perks (like travel accident and lost baggage insurance), and unlike many cards, there’s no fee on balance transfers.
                                      • PROS & CONSPros
                                        • Stellar cash-back earning rate on all purchases, with no limits
                                        • Redeeming rewards is as easy as earning them
                                        Cons
                                        • Annual fee after the first year
                                        • No chance for more than 2% cash back on any spending category
                                      • HIGHLIGHTS

                                        Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

                                        Best for Travelers

                                        Our Rating Among Capital One Cards3.9

                                        Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

                                        FULL REVIEWNEXT STEPSCURRENT OFFER

                                        Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE 670850Good – Excellent

                                        REGULAR APR (%)17.24% – 24.49% variable
                                        ANNUAL FEE$95
                                        REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase. Redeem on travel-from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs.
                                        FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE (%)0%
                                        • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARDThe opportunity to earn 2 miles per $1 is just one of the standout features of this card. There’s a $95 annual fee, but if you travel enough, the rewards and travel benefits more than make up for it. (For one, you’ll be reimbursed on the application fee for either the Global Entry or TSA Precheck airport clearance program.) Plus, there are redemption options: You can use your miles as a credit against travel charges or toward travel booked through Capital One’s online portal. You can even transfer miles to more than a dozen airline and hotel rewards programs.
                                        • PROS & CONSPros
                                          • Very respectable rewards rate on every dollar spent
                                          • Statement credit reimbursing TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee
                                          • Option to transfer miles to other eligible rewards programs may offer a better value in some cases, according to The Balance calculations
                                          Cons
                                          • Very few airline travel partners are based in the U.S.
                                          • Miles are worth half as much when redeemed for cash back instead of travel
                                          • You won’t know exactly which travel insurance benefits the card will come with until you apply
                                        • HIGHLIGHTS

                                          What Is Capital One?

                                          Founded as part of Signet Bank, Capital One spun off in the 1990s and gained popularity through the mass marketing of its credit cards.1 It’s now the fifth-largest U.S. credit card issuer, with $89.94 billion in outstanding balances—13.8% of the market—as of Sept. 2020, according to the Nilson Report. In addition to its mainstay of credit cards, it’s grown to offer a range of popular banking products including checking accounts, savings accounts, and auto loans.

                                          Capital One’s flagship cards target everyday consumers, travelers, small business owners, students, and other audiences. It also issues co-branded store cards, including with Walmart, Kohl’s and Cabela’s Club.2 

                                          The company issues both Visa and Mastercard credit cards, and the cardholder benefits you receive will vary depending on the type of card you apply for and ultimately receive. For example, Capital One credit cards come in the form of World Mastercards and World Elite Mastercards, and Visa Platinum and Visa Signature, among other options.3

                                          While Capital One tends to target consumers with good to excellent credit for its rewards cards, there are cards for people with average credit as well as a secured card option for people who are rebuilding their credit profile. 

                                          How Does Capital One’s Rewards Program Work?

                                          If you’re considering a Capital One credit card that earns rewards, you’ll need to decide between one that lets you earn cash back and one best for travel rewards. 

                                          Cash-Back Cards

                                          The following cards are considered cash-back credit cards because you can redeem rewards for a statement credit or check in any amount:

                                          • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
                                          • Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
                                          • Capital One Spark Cash for Business
                                          • Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card
                                          • Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card
                                          • Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

                                          You can also use your cash to pay directly at the Amazon checkout or buy gift cards, but redemption values may vary.

                                          Travel Cards

                                          Capital One’s travel rewards cards give you various travel redemption options. Cards that fall into this category include: 

                                          • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
                                          • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
                                          • Capital One Spark Miles for Business
                                          • Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

                                          With each of these cards, you earn miles, rather than cash back, and each mile is worth 1 cent when redeemed for any travel purchase. You can either use the Capital One Purchase Eraser feature or book travel through Capital One’s Rewards center. With the Purchase Eraser feature, you simply log into your account or call into Capital One to redeem your miles for a credit that covers all or part of your travel purchase. Airfare, a rental car, a bus ticket or even cab fare count, and you can use any travel agent or website to book your trip.

                                          Purchase Eraser redemptions must be made within 90 days of the travel purchase posting to your account. You should see the credit posted within a few business days. 

                                          You can also redeem your points toward travel you book through Capital One’s Rewards center. Just use the card’s website or call into the card issuer to book your flight, car rental, or hotel room. 

                                          Travel rewards are the best bang for your buck with these cards. Yes, you can redeem your miles for statement credits, Amazon purchases, or gift cards, but you’re not likely to get the same value. Each mile is only worth 0.5 cent if you choose a statement credit, and could be worth just 0.8 cent if you choose a gift card. 

                                          One standout feature of Capital One’s travel program is that you can transfer your miles to various airline and hotel rewards programs that partner with Capital One. These include:

                                          • Aeromexico
                                          • Air France/KLM
                                          • Air Canada
                                          • Alitalia
                                          • Asia Miles
                                          • Avianca
                                          • Emirates
                                          • Etihad Airways
                                          • EVA Air
                                          • Finnair
                                          • JetBlue
                                          • Qantas
                                          • Singapore Airlines
                                          • Accor hotels
                                          • Wyndham hotels

                                          While having the option to transfer points to airlines and hotels gives cardholders lots of flexibility, keep in mind that the transfer ratios aren’t as good as those offered through Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards. Most, if not all, of the transfers through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards are one-for-one.

                                          All but three Capital One partners give you 1.5 airline miles or hotel points for every 2 Capital One miles. Accor, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines give you just 1 of their currency for every 2 Capital One miles.

                                          How Good Is Capital One Customer Service?

                                          Capital One got an “about average” rating in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which gauged satisfaction among more than 28,000 credit card customers nationwide.4

                                          Here are some of the most noteworthy features of its cards: 

                                          • Eno, a virtual assistant, will alert you to potential fraud, track spending, and answer your text questions5
                                          • To help prevent misuse, you can use a virtual card number when shopping online
                                          • If your card is lost or stolen, you can use the Capital One app to lock your account
                                          • Customer service agents are available 24 hours a day
                                          • Capital One’s app lets you track your spending and pay your bill using your mobile device

                                          Methodology

                                          We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it’s our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

                                          Our reviews are always impartial. No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

                                          Here’s another summary of the top Capital One credit cards, based on our research:

                                          Best Capital One Credit Cards
                                          Credit CardCategoryAnnual Fee
                                          Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardBest Overall$0
                                          Journey Student Rewards from Capital OneBest for Students$0
                                          Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit CardBest for Dining$0
                                          Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit CardBest for Fair Credit$39
                                          Capital One Spark Cash for BusinessBest for Businesses$0 for the first year, then $95
                                          Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardBest for Travelers$95
                                          Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardBest for Cash-Back Rewards$0

                                          About This List

                                          The Balance team created this best card list using the same evaluation process used to score our best overall card rankings, but focused solely on cards issued by Capital One, excluding co-branded cards. We re-evaluate this list on a monthly basis, or when there are major changes to Capital One’s credit card offerings.

                                          Categories
                                          Credit Card Reviews

                                          First PREMIER Bank Mastercard Review

                                          The First PREMIER Bank Mastercard is aimed at people looking to build or rebuild their credit score. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend this card as a first-choice credit repair option due to the number of fees it has. 

                                          If you want to use credit cards to help build your credit, there are better options. Learn how credit scores work, and then consider applying for a secured card. While secured cards usually require a refundable deposit, they’re still generally cheaper than this card from First PREMIER Bank. Remember, the more money left in your pocket at the end of the month, the more money you’ll have to get ahead financially and lift up your credit score.

                                          New York and Wisconsin residents are not eligible for this card.Pros

                                          • Accessible for applicants with poor credit
                                          • Free FICO credit score

                                          Cons

                                          • High set-up, annual, and monthly fees
                                          • High interest rate
                                          • High credit limit increase fee

                                          Pros Explained

                                          • Accessible for applicants with poor credit: First PREMIER Bank will approve even those with bad credit. Even so, you have many other options for rebuilding credit. 

                                          Cons Explained

                                          • High set-up, annual, and monthly fees: It’s not uncommon for credit cards to charge annual fees. What is uncommon is for a credit card to charge monthly fees as well. You’ll also have to pay a one-time “program fee” in addition to the usual suite of fees other credit cards charge. 
                                          • High interest rate: This card charges about double the average credit card APR. It’s on the high end, even for credit cards marketed towards people with bad credit. 
                                          • High credit limit increase fee: One of the ways to boost your credit score is by getting a higher credit limit. If you’ve demonstrated responsible payment behavior, most issuers will do this for free. In contrast, with First PREMIER Bank, you’ll pay a fee of 25% of the credit limit increase. For example, if your credit limit increases by $200, you’ll pay a $50 fee.1

                                          How to Get the Most Out of This Card

                                          We do not recommend using this card because of its numerous, expensive fees. However, if you still plan to get it or already have it, the best way to use it is to pay off your balance every week. Doing so keeps your restrictive credit limit open for purchases, ensures you don’t pay late, and keeps your balance low. These three factors can help increase your credit score over time.

                                          First PREMIER Bank Mastercard’s Other Features

                                          • Credit protection: If you lose your job involuntarily, are hospitalized, go on unpaid family leave, or become disabled, this program may cover your minimum payments for a certain period of time. It’s not free, however; you’ll have to opt into this service, and it’ll cost you $0.89 for every $100 of your outstanding balance covered per month. For example, if you have an outstanding balance of $200, it’ll cost you an additional $1.78 for that month.1

                                          Customer Experience

                                          First PREMIER Bank provides cardholders with phone support from Monday to Saturday, as well as 24/7 automated phone support and online access.

                                          Security Features

                                          You can expect standard security features with the First PREMIER Bank Mastercard. It does offer two notable security and credit monitoring features:

                                          • Mastercard ID Theft Protection: You can register for free credit monitoring services through this program. If you ever are the victim of identity theft or if you even lose your wallet, you can get help in setting things right again with assistance from resolution specialists.
                                          • Single bureau credit monitoring: Mastercard will monitor your TransUnion credit file for unusual activity or changes that may indicate fraud. 

                                          First PREMIER Bank Mastercard’s Fees to Watch Out For

                                          The First PREMIER Bank Mastercard hits cardholders with a lot of fees from sign up to statement copy. These fees are especially outsized considering the low value that this card delivers. 

                                          • Program fee: $55-$95, depending on creditworthiness and charged once to open the card
                                          • Ongoing annual fee: $75-$125 during the first year, and $45-$49 thereafter
                                          • Monthly fee: $0-$8 per month for the first year; up to $10.40 per month thereafter
                                          • Authorized user fee: $29 per year
                                          • Credit limit increase fee: 25% of the amount of the increase