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®
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?
- Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and needSee more cardsSAVVY SAVER
- Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debtSee more cardsDEBT WARRIOR
- Takes 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.
A 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
- No bells and whistles
- A tight credit leash
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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).