Milestone® Gold Mastercard® Review - Build or Re-Establish Your Credit
Despite its small credit limit, the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® has a few of the benefits of traditional credit cards and provides an opportunity to build a good credit reference. We’ll tell you who it’s for in our review.
- Helps build your credit
- Easy to get
- Reasonable interest rate
Please be aware that the scoring metrics used for this card are different than those used in our reviews of more traditional credit cards. Milestone® Gold Mastercard® is designed specifically for consumers who either need to build or re-establish credit, so the criteria is completely different. Our scoring methodology is based on similar cards in the credit cards for bad credit space.
Related: Best Credit Cards for Poor Credit
Milestone® Gold Mastercard® is issued by The Bank of Missouri, a bank with 35 branches and more than $1.7 billion in assets that was founded in 1891. They’re issuing the card through a partnership with Genesis FS Card Services, a financial services company dedicated to providing financial products for non-prime consumers.
The primary benefit of the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® is to help you build or re-establish credit. And if you don’t have a traditional credit card, the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® can be available for those times when you absolutely need to make a purchase using a credit card.
For that reason, the card doesn’t come with the benefits you typically find with traditional credit cards, such as cash back rewards, sign-up bonuses, or 0% APR balance transfers.
But Milestone® Gold Mastercard® does offer the following benefits:
- Credit limit: $300
- Choose your own custom card design: You can choose from one of four different card designs.
- Mastercard benefits: Theft Resolution Services, Extended Warranty Coverage, and Price Protection.
- Cash advances: The card can be used for cash advances at various financial institutions. However, you must be specifically approved for cash advances.
- Foreign transactions: The card can be used outside the U.S. only if you contact the issuer, and set a travel alert before using the card. Otherwise it will be ineligible for international use.
- Balance transfer option: Not offered.
- Customer Service: Available online, 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Phone support is available seven days per week, from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, Pacific time.
- Credit required: Fair/poor
If you have a low credit score, and have been unable to get a traditional credit card, you should apply for a Milestone Gold Mastercard. The card accepts most credit profiles, and will report your payment history to all three major credit bureaus–Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
That will give you an opportunity to build credit if you’ve never had any before. And if you already have poor credit, a positive credit rating from Milestone® Gold Mastercard® will help you add new good credit, to offset a poor rating from other creditors.
The credit limit on the card is admittedly low, a mere $300. But this is also an unsecured card, so you won’t need to pledge collateral to gain the credit limit.
Since the card has the Mastercard® logo, it can be used for both purchases and cash advances anywhere Mastercard® is accepted. That includes over 33 million locations in 210 countries worldwide.
You must sign up for the card using the online application. There is no capability to apply by phone. You must be at least 18 years old (19 years old in Alabama) to be eligible to apply for the card. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have a U.S. email address
- Meet credit worthiness requirements, including a review of your income and debt
- Meet identity verification requirements
- Not have been delinquent with any creditor within the past 60 days
- Not have an existing Milestone® Gold Mastercard® account
- You must not have applied for a Milestone® Gold Mastercard® within the past 60 days
You can complete the prequalification application online. Prequalifying will not affect your credit score. If your prequalification is unsuccessful, you may be offered an opportunity to apply for a credit card from another bank.
Prequalification will require providing your full name, email address, physical address, Social Security number, date of birth, and primary phone number. Once you complete prequalification, approval is not guaranteed. You must still submit a full application that will be subject to review and approval. Prequalification just enables you to go on to the full application process.
The annual fee will be determined by your approval. There are currently three annual fee structures, and each will be determined based on your credit profile:
- $35, both in the first year and in subsequent years
- $59, both in the first year and in subsequent years
- $75 in the first year, then $99 per year thereafter
The annual fee is deducted from your credit limit when your card is opened. For example, if you qualify for a $35 annual fee, your remaining credit line will be $265. If you qualify for a $59 annual fee, your credit line will be $241. At $75, your credit limit will be $225 in the first year, and $201 each year thereafter.
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 24.9% variable APR
- Penalty APR: 29.9% APR applies when you make a late payment, and may apply indefinitely
- Cash advance APR: 29.49% APR
- Cash advance fee: The greater of $5 or 5% of the amount transferred
- 0% Introductory APR: Not offered
- Penalty fees: $39 for late payments, over limit charges, or return payments
- Foreign transaction fees: 1% of the amount of each transaction
- Minimum monthly payment: You must pay the greater of 7% of your balance or $35
- Helps build your credit: The card offers those with poor credit, or no credit at all, an opportunity to build or improve your credit score.
- Easy to get: It’s available for just about anyone with poor credit.
- Good for small emergencies: The card will give you the ability to have a credit card available for those situations where one is absolutely necessary.
- Reasonable interest rate: At 24.9% it's reasonable but at the high end of the rate charged even by credit cards issued for consumers with good or excellent credit.
- 1% foreign transaction fee: This is well below the 3% charged by many traditional credit cards.
- $300 initial credit limit: This will put a serious limit on your ability to use the card for all but the smallest purchases.
- Late fees: A single late payment can place you in penalty fee status indefinitely.
- High annual fees: Ranging from $35 to $99, the annual fees are extremely high on a low credit limit credit card.
- The annual fees are immediately deducted when you open your credit line: Further reducing an already low credit limit.
- No extras: Milestone® Gold Mastercard® offers few of the benefits that come with traditional credit cards, like cash back rewards, sign-up bonus, or a 0% introductory APR. It’s strictly a card used to build or rebuild your credit.
- No balance transfer option: However, the $300 credit limit would make that impractical anyway.
The credit cards for bad credit space has gotten more crowded in recent years, so you’ll have some options if you decide that Milestone® Gold Mastercard® isn’t the right card for you.
Like Milestone® Gold Mastercard®, Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® is an unsecured credit card. The annual fees are comparable to Milestone® Gold Mastercard®, but they do offer cash back rewards.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard® gives you an initial credit line of $200, but that can be secured by as little as $49 if you qualify. The card can qualify you for a credit limit increase after just five on-time payments.
You can also go the fully secured credit card route. For example, OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card will provide a credit limit of up to $3,000 with a matching security deposit. And as a secured card, the interest rate and fees on the card are lower than what they are for the cards listed above.
You won’t be signing up for the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® to get the benefits of traditional credit cards, like a 0% introductory APR, cash rewards, or a generous sign on bonus. It must be kept in mind that the whole purpose of the card is to enable you to either build or re-establish credit.
And that’s something the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® can accomplish for you. Since they report to all three major credit bureaus, the card will offer you an opportunity to add a good credit reference to your credit report. That, along with other good credit references, will eventually help you to either build good credit from the ground up, or sufficiently offset bad credit history to improve your credit score.
That’s the main purpose for taking this card. You should think of it as a temporary step toward building a higher credit score. But apart from the credit score benefits, the card also offers the ability to have a credit card available in situations where it’s required. For example, a credit card may be necessary to make certain online purchases or to use a rental car service.
For both building credit and having a credit card available, the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® will be worth having.
If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to sign up for the card, visit the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® website.