Having zero or poor credit history can be a huge stumbling block for getting a Credit Card with favorable rates and APRs.
Without a doubt, there’s no worse feeling than walking into a shop and being denied a card based on poor credit history.
If you’ve been scouring the market for good Credit Cards and all your applications seem to hit a brick wall, the Reflex MasterCard might be a viable option.
Unlike other cards, the Reflex card can either be secured or unsecured, depending on your credit score.
The major drawback is that it comes with relatively higher interest rates and many fees, especially if you have low credit.
That said, it’s worth looking at a holistic view of the card before making a decision.
Let’s take a look.
Reflect MasterCard stats
At a glance, this Credit Card comes with the following features.
- Low approval requirements – you can get the card even with bad credit
- Initial credit limit – $500 with potential for a raise after six months
- Acceptance – any outlet where MasterCard is accepted
- Fraud liability – $0 for unauthorized charges
- Credit reporting – all the three credit bureaus
- Credit check – free monthly credit score check where included
- Interest rate – 29.9%
- APR – variable
- Cash advance fee – 5% or $5, whichever is higher
- Additional card fee – 30
- 3% foreign transaction charge
- Returned payment charge – $40
- Monthly fee – it is free in the initial year; after which you start paying $10 per month.
- Annual fee – $99
- Variable APR for cash advance
One notable element of this card is that you can use it anywhere where MasterCard is accepted.
A comprehensive review of the fees is as outlined below.
Monthly and annual maintenance charges
The Reflex MasterCard comes with a $0 monthly fee in the first year of usage, after which you start paying $10 per month.
Before you start using the card, the annual fee is set to $99, which you start paying right away.
The exciting bit about the annual fee is that it reduces your credit limit by $99, so if you start with a limit of $500, it will be reduced to $401. At the same time, if you opt for a second card, the credit limit would be reduced to $371.
Cash advance charge
Cash advance fees have the same interest rates as purchases, with the only difference being on the day the interest builds.
Besides this interest, you’ll be charged a cash advance fee of $5 or 5%, whichever turns out to be higher.
Remember that a cash advance is a costly way of obtaining liquid money, so it is wise to avoid it at all costs. Although it does not eat out a few of your credit score points, it impacts your credit utilization ratio – which in turn tanks your credit score.
The interest rate is 29.9% adjustable APR.
Since this is a variable rate, it is subject to variation depending on the prevailing market rate.
Nonetheless, you’ll not incur any interest rate as long as you pay your full monthly balance and avoid all cash advances.
Late and returned payment fees
If you’re late with your monthly payment fee or payment is unsuccessful, you might be charged a late or returned penalty payment.
The fee is the lesser of your minimum payment or $29, and if you fail to make a payment within six months after the first penalty or your subsequent payments fail to be processed, the fee becomes $40 or your minimum amount.
Credit limit – Reflex MasterCard Review
Reflex MasterCard has the edge over other cards that offer an initial credit limit of $300 since it offers a threshold of $500.
Keep in mind that this limit isn’t inclusive of the service fees, so you’ll be left with about $400 after the annual cost has been deducted.
If you don’t meet all the application requirements, you may be required to secure a deposit to get the Credit Card.
Depending on your score, you might be given a credit limit ranging from $50 to $500 at the discretion of Continental Finance.
The great news is that you’ll be eligible for a credit increase if you maintain six months of positive usage, such as clearing minimum balances and avoiding delinquencies. Some consumers have had a 100% increase while others have garnered up to 200% ($2000)
Credit score check
When registering for an eBill, you’ll receive a monthly credit score to help you monitor your progress.
This provision is a notable perk of this Credit Card since most card issuers don’t offer this element.
You’ll earn a 1.5% cash back for every dollar you spend, and the rewards will show up on your billing statement.
However, foreign transactions, cash advances and balance transfers are not eligible for this program.
Who should apply for this card?
Typically, the Reflex MasterCard is for people who can’t qualify for a conventional Credit Card.
If your credit score is significantly low and you’ve had unsuccessful attempts in having a credit, the Reflex MasterCard might be an ideal option for you.
While the annual fees may seem high, it might be a good option if your most enormous stumbling block is a poor credit score.
Conventionally, five factors count a lot on your credit score, with your previous payment history accounting for over a third of it.
Anything ranging between 300 and 650 is termed “poor score,” which means that a score going above this mark would work to your leverage.
Although bad credit is hugely responsible for a low success rate in getting a suitable Credit Card, it might be a golden chance to rebuild your credit.
Overall, this card would be perfect if you:
- Want to know their interest rates before applying
- Would like to have the opportunity to join a credit protection program.
- Have poor credit and want a chance to build your history from scratch
Quick tips on getting a Credit Card on bad credit
If you have an incredibly poor history, you may take lots of time scouring the market for a good Credit Card, but you’ll eventually get it.
The Reflex MasterCard falls in this category, and it would be wise to look at some tips on getting a Credit Card with poor credit.
1. Be careful of prepaid cards
It’s normal to have several prepaid Credit Card offers when scouring the market for a Credit Card with poor credit.
However, prepaid cards aren’t Credit Cards – you’ll have to load money onto the card, which gets deducted in every purchase you make.
Instead of improving your credit, you’ll stagnate where you are, so it would be wise to avoid prepaid cards at all costs.
2. Check your score
According to some survey, about 13% of Americans are oblivious of their credit score.
If you’ve been turned down for credit score before, a low score could probably be the reason.
Thankfully, you can check your score for free by pulling your report from each of the three bureaus once every year.
From there, you can scrutinize your report and check if there are mistakes that might be responsible for your low credit score.
3 .Learn good credit habits
Rebuilding your credit isn’t something that happens rapidly – it is a gradual process that takes time and needs patience.
If you’re diligent with working on your score, you can hasten the process by learning good credit habits and avoiding bad decisions.
Learn about the items constituting your score and start working on them. The more you see your score rising, the more you’ll get motivated to do better with your finances.
4. Start with cards for poor credit
You might be tempted to apply for Credit Cards designed for people with excellent scores.
However, this isn’t a good strategy as it will add several hard inquiries – depending on the number of times you apply – and generally tank your credit score.
If your score is considerably low, consider applying for a low-tier card before going for the premium ones.
5. Consider retail stores
A store card could be an ideal option if you’ve applied for a card before, and every attempt seems to hit a brick wall.
Some retail stores have flexible and friendly requirements when compared to larger financial institutions.
However, they tend to have significantly high interest rates, so it’s wise to clear your balances every month and restrict usage to the store.
6. Move on to better cards
Starting with a Credit Card designed for people with bad credit doesn’t mean you have to stay there or good.
Instead, think of it as a foundation and an eye-opener in helping you go for better cards in the future.
For instance, learning how to keep your utilization below 30% and establishing a positive payment history will work to your leverage in future applications. Besides, some cards give you the chance to upgrade to an unsecured type after a considerable period of positive usage.
Reflex MasterCard pros
1. Two versions
This card comes in two versions – the secured and unsecured versions.
The secured version requires some security deposit and the unsecured version, on the other hand, requires no security deposit.
2. Higher credit limit
Your initial credit limit will start at $500, but you can have it raised to as high as $2000 within the first year of good card usage.
All you have to do is make payments on time, keep your credit utilization under 30% and watch as your points grow.
With time, the card issuer will upgrade your card to a higher credit limit, which would certainly work to your leverage.
3. Fast approval
Unlike most credit cards, the application process of the Reflex MasterCard is pretty straightforward and with minimum complications.
Most card applicants end up with an unsecured card, but if this doesn’t happen, the card issuer will give you a written explanation.
4. Improves your creditworthiness
Having a credit card that sends your account activity to all the three credit information centers is imperative.
The Reflex MasterCard reports your activity once a month, which means that making timely payments would work to your leverage.
This will show loan issuers that you have a hold of your financial life, and that you can be trusted with credit
Besides, staying below 33% of your credit utilization ratio would also be impressive. Beyond helping you avoid higher interest rates, your success rate in every loan application would be significantly high.
5. Free account access
You can check your balances, track payments, and access your FICO score in the user-friendly mobile application.
Besides, it has several security features aimed at optimizing your security and preventing fraud.
Mastercard is one of the most renown cards across the globe.
Hundreds of merchants use this card, which means that you won’t have to fret about applying for several cards for different usages.
Most outlets accept MasterCard, and this is undoubtedly great news for someone who does frequent shopping or traveling.
Reflex MasterCard Review – Cons
1. Credit line cap
While you have the room to increase your credit limit up to $2000, this is where you’ll stop.
If you stay within the recommended 30% threshold, you’ll have to use only $600.
Going beyond this mark can eat out some of your points, which can be detrimental, especially when you’re trying to build credit.
2. No rewards
The Reflex MasterCard is an elementary card with less accompanying items.
There are no rewards nor cash backs when you use this card.
Besides building credit, there is no other substantial perk of using this card.
Even if you use the card for years and pay hundreds of annual and monthly fees, you won’t have any reward nor cashback.
3. Annual fees
The annual fee might not be a huge setback for this credit card, but for a card without rewards, the monthly cost of $99 is incredibly steep.
Without a doubt, it will be hard to understand why this fee is incredibly high yet there are no rewards or cash backs.
4. High APR
A higher APR is expected in this credit card because it’s designed for consumers with bad credit.
Every month you carry a balance, you’ll pay between 25% and 30%, depending on your creditworthiness when you first opened the account.
Since this APR varies with the market rate, it can add up quickly and push you into deeper debt.
5. Monthly fees
You’ll not have monthly charges of your first month of account usage.
Once you complete the first year, however, you’ll start paying a $10 monthly fee, which adds up to more than $200 when you combine it with the annual fee.
While these fees are on-par with excellent cards with rewards programs, the Reflex MasterCard certainly has no justification for these fees.
6. Foreign transaction fees
The Reflex MasterCard isn’t one which you’d use every time you travel.
Every time you make a transaction, ATM withdrawal and online purchases outside the US, you’ll pay a 3% fee for each payment.
Swiping the card continuously can quickly pile your cumulative fees to hundreds of dollars in the long term.
7. Additional fees
This card comes with an inclusion of a mammoth of fees.
For instance, you’ll be charged $30 for getting an alternate card, and late payment fees can go up to $40.
If your account shows delinquencies in any of the six billing cycles that come once you make the initial late payment, you’ll incur $39 or the minimum amount.
Overall, all these fees keep piling and may push you to deeper debt if you’re not careful.
How to apply for the Reflex MasterCard
Applying for the Reflex MasterCard is a pretty straightforward process.
If you’re concerned with adding some inquiries on your credit report, you can check your report without the loan issuer performing a hard credit check.
You can either apply through the phone or go through the process online.
To apply online, follow the steps below:
- Go the Reflex MasterCard website to access their online application
- Submit your information to the application form – which includes your legal name, SSN, date of birth, contact information, address, and financial information.
- Confirm the security code that is sent to your phone. Since this is an added security measure, having your phone at hand would come in handy.
- Wait to hear from the credit card issuer. In some cases, the company makes an instant decision, but it could take up to 30 days to hear from them.
- Once you receive an approval mail, activate it so you can start using the card.
Alternatives to the Reflex credit card
If you feel that the reflex credit card might not be a good option or you, there are hundreds of other cards designed for people with bad credit.
Below are some viable options to consider.
1. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
It is rare to find a credit card for people with poor credit that offers cashback rewards.
With this credit card, you’ll earn a 1% cashback for all qualified purchases.
Besides, this card is an unsecured type, so you won’t have to worry about paying some deposit. Additionally, if you have a sufficiently high credit score, you can avoid the annual fees.
2. Discover It Secured Credit Card
While the Discover It card requires you to make an upfront security payment, it has no upfront fees, and you’ll have free access to your FICO score.
One of the notable advantages of this card is the rewards programs coupled with a 2% cashback on a maximum of $1000 in fuel and dining purchases every three months and 1% cashback on additional purchases through the year-round.
3. Capital One
The capital one MasterCard is a secured card, but the benefit is that it doesn’t come with an annual fee.
You’ll have the option to put a security deposit of between $40 and $200, and you’ll be eligible for an increment in your credit limit as long as you make timely payments.
Besides adding a good history of card usage to your report, making timely payments would boost your credit utilization ratio, which overall helps to build your credit score.
Reflex MasterCard FAQs
How do I apply for the card?
You can call the customer service team or send an application through the Reflex MasterCard website.
How long should I wait for approval?
Some consumers have reported receiving an instant response, while others have had to wait for up to 30 days.
When will I get the credit card?
Usually, you’ll receive the card within three business days after approval.
How do I activate the card?
You can only activate the card by calling the toll-free activation number that is on a sticker on the back of the card
How do I manage my account?
Once you sign up for the online account management option, you can make payments, check balances, and access your FICO score online or with the card’s app.
What is my initial credit limit?
For a start, you’ll have an initial limit of $500, which is subject to increment based on how you use your card.
Does my account activity get reported to the three bureaus?
Yes, the card issuer reports your activity to the bureaus, so good history of usage would work to your leverage.
Typically, the Reflex MasterCard is designed for people with bad credit and who want to build their credit.
While the card has high associated fees and no rewards nor cash backs, it can offer you an incredible chance to raise your credit score significantly.
Besides, if you pay your full balances every month, you won’t have to worry about the APR any more.