2019 Milestone Credit Card Review – WalletHub Editors
This content is not provided or commissioned by any issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of an issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by an issuer.
The Verdict: The problems that destroyed your credit standing and are now fueling your search for an unsecured credit card likely don’t represent milestones that you’d care to remember for too long. But the Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered (issued by a WalletHub partner) is a bit different, as opening it could prove to be an important turning point in your credit comeback.
Bear in mind that this card is far from perfect. It charges an annual fee, and its regular APR certainly isn’t cheap. But when you compare those terms to other unsecured cards targeted to people with bad credit, that’s where things get interesting. Such cards often charge expensive “application processing” and monthly fees in addition to annual fees and boast APRs north of 30% to boot.
Milestone® cardholders begin with a $300 credit limit that is effectively diminished to as little as $225 by a first-year annual fee of $35 to $75, the latter of which will rise to $99 beginning in the second year. In other words, your decision regarding this card ultimately comes down to how badly you need $225 to $265 in spending power and how quickly you’ll be able to repay your resulting balance.
For more information about this offer, including how it stacks up against its stiffest competition, continue reading below.
- Available To People With Very Bad Credit: Numerous credit cards offer approval to people with bad credit, but few will do business with the worst of the bunch. Someone with a bankruptcy on his or her credit report may even have trouble getting a secured credit card. But such a blemish is fine as far as Milestone® is concerned, which is quite important when you consider that credit cards are by far the best credit-rebuilding tools available to consumers.
- Up To $265 In Initial Spending Power: The Milestone® Mastercard®’s standard starting credit line is $300. You won’t initially have access to that full amount, however, as a $35 to $75 annual fee will consume a chunk of that immediately upon opening your account. But if you need $225 to $265 for an emergency expense and can’t come up with the cash, this unsecured credit line could be quite valuable, especially if it proves to be your cheapest option.
- Relatively Low APR: Make no mistake, the regular APR is by no means inexpensive. And neither the 19.21% average APR for all new credit-card offers nor the 18.48% average for secured cards, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report, provides a positive basis for comparison. But you have to remember what the Milestone® is competing with: the absolute highest APRs on the market. The average for this niche segment actually is 25.70%, according to WalletHub data, which puts this Milestone® Mastercard® in a more golden light.
- $35-$99 Annual Fee: The first year you have this card, you will have to pay an annual fee that could range anywhere from $35 to $75, depending on the particulars of your credit history. If this card doesn’t help your credit score improve in order to graduate to a less expensive offer after those first 12 months, the ceiling on your annual fee will rise to $99 if you paid $75 the first year. At the end of the day, such a potentially hefty cost has to be considered a negative. But, again, this card is relatively cheap compared to some of its unsecured competition, especially if you’re assigned fees at the low end of the scale.
Other Things To Consider
- “Pre-Qualification” Is A Prerequisite: It’s important to note that you can’t simply apply for the Milestone® Mastercard®. You have to pre-qualify first. The good thing about this initial screening process, intended to weed out applicants with certain red flags on their credit records, is that it requires only a “soft” credit inquiry. That means people who don’t stand a chance of approval, for one reason or another, won’t need to worsen their situation with a hard inquiry followed by rejection.
- No “Processing” Or Monthly Fees: Some unsecured cards for people with bad credit skirt first-year-fee regulations by charging so-called “processing” fees, payment of which is a precondition of account opening. Many cards in this segment also feint consumers by reducing their annual fees after the first year, while actually increasing overall costs with the institution of a new monthly fee. Milestone® stoops to neither practice, which should make your wallet very happy.
- Security-Deposit Savings: You ultimately need to determine whether you really need an unsecured credit line or simply want to avoid placing a security deposit on a secured card. On the one hand, you won’t have to give up precious liquidity with an unsecured card. But on the other hand, such a card will wind up costing you much more in the long run, considering fees are not refundable like security deposits. So just make sure to weigh these pros and cons within the context of your personal situation before submitting an application.
- Relatively Low Foreign-Transaction Fee: This particular aspect of the offer is likely immaterial to you, considering the modest credit limit you’ll get and the high costs associated with it. But it still bears mentioning that Milestone®’s foreign fee, a mere 1%, is not only lower than what its competitors charge (3% for the most part) but also below the market average of 1.47%.
Compared To The Competition
Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered
First PREMIER® Bank Mastercard Credit Card
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
|Annual Fee||$35 - $99*||$50 - $125 1st yr, $45 - $49 after||$0 - $99||$0|
|Rewards Rate||0 - 1% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Transfer Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Regular APR||24.9%||36%||19.74% - 25.74% (V)||26.99% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||3.0 / 5||1.0 / 5||3.0 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
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