When it comes to building - or rebuilding - your credit, the right card can go a long way toward helping you. However, there are few credit cards available to those with poor credit. There are even fewer that don’t require a security deposit. If you have poor (or no) credit and want to get a credit card designed to help you begin moving forward, the Milestone® Mastercard® can help. However, it’s important to note that there might be other credit cards that are better for your situation.
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What is the Milestone® Mastercard®?
The Milestone® Mastercard® is an unsecured credit card issued by the Bank of Missouri. It’s designed for those with poor credit. Just about anyone can qualify for the card, with a minimum credit limit of $300. You might qualify for a higher limit, but for those with very poor credit, there’s a good chance you’ll have the lower limit.
You might be denied other unsecured credit cards if you have poor credit, and you may need to make a security deposit to get approved for a secured card. The Milestone card attempts to bridge that gap by providing an unsecured card for those with bad credit.
Milestone® Mastercard® Features
This credit card is fairly straightforward, without many bells and whistles. It’s designed for those with poor credit, so there aren’t a lot of opportunities for perks.
- Doesn’t require a security deposit: Many credit cards aimed at those with poor credit require a refundable security deposit. You don’t need a security deposit with the Milestone Mastercard.
- Qualify with bad credit: Even if you have bad credit, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get this card.
- Choose your card design: You can pick from a variety of designs, allowing you to customize your card.
- Mastercard benefits: Because this is a Mastercard, you do have access to protections like extended warranty, $0 fraud liability, and other benefits common to Mastercard.
As you can see, features like rewards programs and 0% APR balance transfers are not available with the Milestone® Mastercard®.
Related: Best Credit Cards for Poor Credit
Fees and Interest Rate
When you apply for the Milestone® Mastercard®, your information will be taken into consideration, and you’ll be assigned a credit card based on your situation. Make sure you understand which of the following four main options for the Milestone® Mastercard® you’re assigned:
- Annual fee of $75 for the first year, with a fee of $99 each following year
- Annual fee of $59
- Annual fee of $35
- Account set up fee of $25, with a fee of $50 for the first year and $99 annual fee each year following
You don’t have a choice regarding which card you end up with. Additionally, note that fees are assessed before you use your card and deducted from your balance. So, if you have a $300 credit limit, you could start out, practically speaking, with only $225.
The interest rate for all Milestone® Mastercard® accounts is 24.9% APR. The cash advance APR is 29.9%. This is also the penalty APR, which is applied after your first late payment.
Related: Best Interest-Free Credit Cards
How to Apply for the Milestone® Mastercard®
Before you fill out the final application, you can get pre-qualified for a card. As with other credit cards, you need to fill in a form sharing your:
- Social Security number
- Phone number
It only takes a few moments for Milestone to process your pre-qualification information. Once that’s done, you’ll see the terms associated with the credit card you’re pre-qualified for. Even though you’ve been pre-qualified, it’s important to note that you might not receive final approval. However, this step gives you an idea of what you might be able to get.
Once you review the terms, you fill out the final application, which includes your monthly income and expenses, and your card design selection. You can also choose over-the-limit coverage, which comes with a fee of $38.
After that’s done, you submit your application. If the bank needs more information, they might call you to verify your income or to ask you to submit other documentation.
Related: Prepaid Credit Card To Build Credit
As expected, you have access to bank-level security and encryption when you use the website.
Right now there isn’t a mobile app. However, you can create an online account and manage your Milestone® Mastercard® from there. You can schedule payments, check your balance, and request a credit limit.
It is possible to use your mobile device’s browser to navigate to the website and your account. However, you might not be able to see the webpage as well on the smaller screen.
Milestone offers a FAQ you can use to get answers to most common questions. Milestone® Mastercard® encourages cardholders to use their online accounts to manage most customer service related issues, including activating your card when it arrives.
There is a customer service number you can call from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Pacific, seven days a week: 1-800-453-2636.
Pros & Cons
Before applying for this card, make sure you understand the pros and cons available. With the Milestone® Mastercard®, there’s a good chance you’re better off using something else.
Qualify with poor credit: For those with poor credit, it’s possible to get an unsecured card.
Help you build your credit score: If you make on-time payments, there’s a good chance that you can see an improvement to your credit by using this card.
Relatively low interest rate: While 24.9% APR isn’t a great interest rate, it’s a better rate than you might see with other unsecured loan products aimed at those with poor credit.
Steep annual fees: You’ll pay a lot in annual fees for some versions of this card, especially if you use it for more than one year.
No rewards program: You can’t earn cash back or travel rewards with the Milestone® Mastercard®.
No balance transfer option: If you have debt, you can’t transfer it. However, with the high APR and the low limit, you might not want to, even if it was an option.
Limited spending power: For many cardholders, the spending limit is low, and it’s even lower after the fees have been subtracted.
Instead of using the Milestone® Mastercard®, there are other options that provide better results. Even if you get a secured card, you could be better off. You’ll get your security deposit back, and there are some great options with no annual fees.
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Capital One offers a secured card that allows you to get a $200 credit line with a $49 security deposit. If you want a higher credit limit, you make a higher security deposit. Plus, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card comes with no annual fee, and will raise your credit limit after making your first five monthly payments on time.
Discover it® Secured
With this card, you need to make a security deposit equal to your desired credit line. However, after the first months, Discover will review your credit and determine whether it makes sense to automatically switch you to an unsecured card. There is no annual fee, and you also get access to a cash back rewards program with the Discover it® Secured card.
Who Is It For?
This card is ideal for someone who doesn’t want a secured credit card, but is having trouble qualifying for an unsecured credit card.
One of the best things you can do is use the card responsibly, and after a few months see if your credit has improved enough to allow you to qualify for a different unsecured card--one without an annual fee.
The Milestone® Mastercard® really isn’t the best choice out there for those with poor credit. If you can’t afford a large security deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Card is a better choice because you can get close to the same spending power with a $49 deposit--which is cheaper than the fees you’re likely to pay with most options from Milestone.
A secured credit card is just as effective at helping you rebuild your credit, and you can usually find one without the expensive fees.