The Blaze Mastercard allows people with less-than-perfect credit to improve their credit without paying exorbitant fees. The low-cost card does not require a security deposit and does not charge activation fees, monthly maintenance fees, or other costly fees. In South Dakota, it’s issued by First Savings Bank and serviced by Capital Services.
The Blaze Mastercard is a better option than fee-heavy unsecured credit card options When you can’t afford a security deposit for a credit card. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
1. There is a yearly fee.
The Blaze Mastercard comes with a $75 annual fee, but you may not have to keep it indefinitely. Alfred Furth, portfolio chief and senior vice president at Capital Services, believes that after establishing a track record of on-time payments and responsible account management, you can contact customer service to inquire about qualifying for a lower fee.
Although the fee is low when compared to other unsecured credit cards, it’s important to remember that it’s money you won’t get back. The security deposit on a secured credit card may be more expensive up front — several hundred dollars in some cases — but with a good payment history and responsible credit usage, you’ll at least get that money back.
If you qualify, Capital One’s $0-annual-fee Secured Mastercard® may offer a little more flexibility with a lower deposit requirement of $49 or $99, for example. Otherwise, a $200 minimum security deposit is required, and you’ll have 35 days from the time you’re approved for the card to pay it. During that time, the issuer will accept partial payments in whole dollar increments of at least $20.
2. The credit limit has the potential to be very high.
The Blaze Mastercard has a maximum credit limit of $1,500 and a minimum credit limit of $350 for those who qualify. It’s more generous than the one you’d get with a secured credit card on the higher end. After all, your credit limit is usually limited to the amount of money you deposit.
The lower the limit, the less room there is to spend. Your available credit will be reduced by the annual fee, leaving you with only $275 to use.
However, a low credit limit isn’t always a deal breaker, especially with this card. If your credit score is good and you satisfy debt-to-income requirements, you can increase your credit limit within six months.
Use no more than 30% of your available credit, according to nerdy advice, to maintain a low credit utilization rate and a good credit score. If your credit limit is $350 and the annual fee takes up a portion of it, to keep your credit score from suffering, put no more than $82.50 on the card at once.
3. Your APR will not increase if you make late payments.
If you miss a payment with the Blaze Mastercard, your credit scores may suffer, but you won’t be hit with a penalty APR, which is a higher interest rate than your card’s purchase APR that is applied to your account balance over several months, increasing your bill. If you miss a payment, you’ll be charged a late fee of up to $25, which is still a bargain considering that late fees can be as high as $40 in some cases.
To keep your credit goals on track, avoid paying late. Payments on the Blaze Mastercard are reported to all three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). Paying on time can help you build a solid payment history, which accounts for a significant portion of your credit score.
4. The fees are reasonable.
In addition to late fees, the Blaze Mastercard may charge a $25 returned payment fee and a 2% cash advance fee per transaction. Aside from those potential fees, the Blaze Mastercard is a reasonable and affordable option because there are no monthly fees, activation fees, or other costly fees to worry about.
It’s also well-equipped to travel internationally as a Mastercard with broad merchant acceptance and no foreign transaction fees.
5. You can join the PREMIUM Club to receive discounts.
Prescriptions, hotels, dining, car rentals, and entertainment are all discounted for cardholders who choose the PREMIUM Club membership. The membership costs $4.95 per month (approximately $60 per year) and is deducted from your monthly bill.
Only if you can use the discounts to cover the cost of the membership fee is the program worthwhile. Given that this card already has a $75 annual fee, it would cost around $135 per year to keep this card. That’s close to the cost of a security deposit on a secured card, so if this amount fits into your budget, it’s worth considering.
If rewards are important to you, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, which has no annual fee, gives you 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. All other purchases will earn you 1%. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires a minimum security deposit of $200, but its sign-up offer can help defray some of the cost. It’s also worth the money because the card has the option of upgrading to an unsecured Discover card. The issuer will review your account on a monthly basis to see if you’re ready to switch to an unsecured card. You can get your security deposit back if you are.