Milestone Mastercard: Helping You Build Credit Even with a Bad Credit Score
If you have a bad credit score (400 - 599) or a fair credit score (600 - 679) and want to rebuild your credit or add another line of credit, the Milestone Mastercard is one option to consider.
In this review, we'll cover the basics of the Milestone Mastercard, including fees, APR, and credit score requirements, as well as the pros and cons of using this card.
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Accepted Credit Scores
The Milestone Mastercard is designed for people with fair or bad credit scores. The card is available even if you have a bankruptcy on your record, making it a good option for people who are trying to rebuild their credit after filing for chapter 7 or 11.
One of the best things about this card is that there is no minimum credit score requirement for Milestone approval. Which means that you can apply at any credit score range and get approved if you meet the other criteria.
So, let's talk about that.
All applicants must pre-qualify for the card first, and this process takes credit history, income, and debt into account when determining whether or not you get approved, as is always the case with unsecured credit cards.
Secured cards are a different story. Take the Chime Credit Builder card as an example.
There are zero fees, no APR, no minimum credit score needed - nothing. Except there's one catch. It's basically a debit card in the sense that you need to add funds to a Chime bank account.
When you have to add funds to an account to get a card, that credit card is what is called "secured", as it is secured by existing funds.
Now, I'm not knocking on the Chime card in any way. Secured cards have their place, and while I may have said "it's basically a debt card", the reality is that Chime's Credit Builder card does report to all 3 bureaus, and ultimately that's the most important thing when building credit.
An unsecured card, such as the Milestone Mastercard is NOT secured by funds, so your creditworthiness will always be the final factor in whether you qualify or not.
But, again, the great part about the Milestone card is that you don't need a specific credit score so the typical approval process that other unsecured cards have (good credit, great credit, excellent credit, .etc) doesn't apply here.
Here's a screenshot of their pre-qualification page.
Milestone Rates & Fees
The Milestone Gold Mastercard is a credit card that aims to help individuals with bad credit rebuild their credit score. The card provides an opportunity to build credit without a security deposit, and reports to the three major credit bureaus.
The line we bolded is super important. Any credit card that doesn't report to the 3 credit bureaus is simply not going to help you rebuild credit.
While the Milestone Mastercard may have some benefits, it also comes with fees and drawbacks that users should consider before applying.
Here are some important details about the Milestone Gold Mastercard's rates and fees:
- Annual percentage rate (APR) for purchases: 24.9%
- APR for cash advances: 29.9%
- Annual fee: $35 to $99* (depending on creditworthiness)
- Cash advance fee: $5 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater (not to exceed $100)
- Foreign transaction fee: 1% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
- Late payment fee: up to $40
- Over-limit fee: up to $40
- Returned payment fee: up to $40
Screenshot of Milestone's rates & fees
Who The Milestone Credit Card Is Good For
The Milestone Mastercard is a good option for people with credit scores below 640 who don't want to put down a deposit.
With a $0 security deposit requirement, this card offers a $300 credit limit, making it easier to handle emergency expenses, and of course, if you're rebuilding credit, gives you the opportunity to watch it grow.
Remember, when it comes to building credit your credit limit is not as important as your credit utilization. What you want to do is make sure that you never leave a balance of over 20% on a rolling basis (when the month locks); this way your utilization is reported to the credit bureaus at a reasonable rate.
Now, the best course of action is to always pay off your bill before the date locks for reporting, but if you can't do that for whatever reason, do your best to make sure that the amount that gets reported is UNDER 20% (ex. $60 is 20% of $300)
This Mastercard's regular APR of 24.9% is higher than the average secured credit card's APR of 19.74%, so you should avoid carrying a balance for too long, as this will accrue interest quickly, but if you take the above advice on proper usage and utilization you should have no issues.
Pros and Cons
- No processing or monthly fees
- Available to people with bad credit, even after bankruptcy
- Relatively low APR for the segment
- Membership fees ($35/yr)
- High regular APR (24%+)
- Foreign fee (1%)
What Other Credit Card Reviewers Say
The Milestone credit card has received mixed reviews from customers and experts. You might note that basically every company says the same thing. It's a low-rated credit card because of the fees and APR, but if you really need to rebuild credit it's an option to consider as pre-approval is fairly easy and it's not a secured card so there's no money down.
The Milestone Mastercard has a user rating of 3.0 out of 5 stars based on over 4,500 reviews. Some users have reported that the card helped them improve their credit score, while others have complained about the high fees and low credit limit.
The Milestone Mastercard has a score of 2.7 out of 5 stars. Some customers have praised the card for helping them rebuild their credit, while others have criticized the high fees and lack of rewards (and rewards are extremely important!)
According to Experian, the Milestone card can be a good option for people with bad credit who want to rebuild their credit score. Milestone reports to the three major credit bureaus, so with responsible use you can help improve your credit over time, as is the case with literally any credit card that reports to the 3 bureaus.
Upgraded Points rates the Milestone Mastercard a 2.2 out of 5 stars, citing its high fees and limited benefits as drawbacks. The annual fee, high APR, and low credit limit are noted as significant negatives.
SuperMoney rates the Milestone credit card a 3.5 out of 5 stars, citing the lack of a security deposit requirement and the potential for credit building as positives. Listed negatives are the high APR and annual fee.
According to Credit Karma, they rate the Milestone card a 2.9 out of 5 stars, with 57% of customers giving it 4 or 5 stars, and 28% giving it 1 or 2 stars.
Forbes rates the Milestone Mastercard a 3.5 out of 5 stars, citing its low annual fee and credit-building opportunities as positives, but mentioning the high APR and limited spending power as big drawbacks.
CreditCards.com rates the Milestone card a 2.5 out of 5 stars, citing its potential to help rebuild credit and its $0 deposit as positive attributes. Drawbacks were the same as everyone else, limited credit line, high APR & Fees.
Money Under 30:
Money Under 30 rates the card a 3.3 out of 5 stars, citing its potential for credit building without a security deposit as a positive. As expected, the high APR and limited credit line are also noted as negatives.
The reviews for the Milestone card are very low, with an overall rating of 1.4 out of 5 stars based on 119 reviews.
These reviews were scathing to say the least, but we like to remind people that when you see reviews online whether it's for a financial instrument like a credit card or an auto mechanic or even a restaurant - the good majority of reviews are typically from people experiencing problems.
This happens with absolutely every company, and it seems that in Milestone's case, some companies more than others.
Our advice would be to read the reviews and make a decision for yourself. Sometimes those reviews can really save you from making a mistake, other times they're just a bunch of angry people venting about a problem they created.
You have to figure out which applies and then make a decision based on that.
Need To Contact Milestone?
Milestone Address, Fax & Customer Service Phone Number
The Milestone customer service phone number is 866-453-2636.
Other ways to contact the customer service department include by fax at 503-268-4711.
Or by mail at...
Genesis FS Card Services
PO Box 4477,
Beaverton, OR 97076-4477
Get Your Milestone Credit Card PIN
Milestone users can request a personal identification number (PIN) by calling customer service.