Milestone Mastercard Review
The Milestone Mastercard is an unsecured credit card designed for people coming back from a bad credit spell, such as a bankruptcy or money mismanagement. With an easy approval process, it can be a good fit for those who need to rebuild their credit.
However, the Milestone card also comes with high fees and a low credit limit. While it might be a good starter card for rebuilding, it's probably too expensive to rely on as an everyday card over the long term.
Who Issues the Milestone Mastercard?
The Milestone Mastercard, which is also known as the Milestone Gold Mastercard, is issued by the Bank of Missouri. The Bank of Missouri is a lender known for catering to people with bad credit.
The names "Milestone Mastercard" and "Milestone Gold Mastercard" are interchangeable and refer to the same card.
Milestone Mastercard Overview
Rebuilding credit can be a long process, and one that's made even harder when a low credit score stops you from getting approved for a credit card.
This is where subprime credit cards like the Milestone Mastercard can help. Because the Bank of Missouri reports to all three major credit bureaus, you can use the Milestone card to make small purchases and then pay them off.
Some people like the Milestone card because it doesn't require a security deposit. If you're short on cash, the ability to get approved for a credit-rebuilding card without worrying about a security deposit can be appealing.
However, it's important to be wary about the Milestone Mastercard's high fees and relatively low credit limit. Depending on your creditworthiness, your annual fee could run as high as $99.
Is Milestone a Good Credit Card?
The Milestone Mastercard isn't the most economical credit card on the market. If you're committed to rebuilding your credit score, however, it can be a good first step on the path toward getting a card with better rates and terms.
One of the advantages of the Milestone card is that it gives applicants an option to see if they prequalify. This is a nice perk, as it means you don't have to worry about a hard inquiry on your credit report.
Too many hard inquiries on your report can lower your credit score. If you already have bad credit, you want to avoid applying for several credit cards at once.
While prequalification won't let you know if you're definitely approved for a Milestone Mastercard, it can help you decide if moving ahead with the full application is worth it.
In short, the Milestone Mastercard is a decent card for the purpose it's designed to serve, which is helping people rebuild their credit or establish a credit profile.
Pros vs. Cons of the Milestone Mastercard
The Milestone Mastercard has a number of positives, but it also has some drawbacks. Here's a list of what to watch out for.
The Milestone Mastercard has its share of benefits. Here are five that could make this card worth a second look.
- No security deposit - The Milestone Mastercard is an unsecured card, so you aren't required to deposit any money up front.
- Easy approval - The card is marketed toward people with bad credit or no credit. If you've been turned down for other cards, you might have better luck with the Milestone Mastercard.
- Reports to all three credit bureaus - The card issuer reports your payment history to all three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. By contrast, some cards aimed at those with bad credit only report to one credit bureau.
- Prequalification available - The Milestone Mastercard offers prequalification, which can help you avoid a hard inquiry on your credit report. If you decide to submit a full application, however, the card issuer will pull your credit, which will result in a hard inquiry.
- Widely accepted - The Milestone credit card is a Mastercard, which is widely accepted around the world.
While the Milestone Mastercard has some pros, it also comes with several red flags. Here are five drawbacks to know about.
- High annual fee - the Milestone Mastercard has three different fee structures. Depending on your creditworthiness, your annual fee for the first year can range between $35 and $75. After the first year, the annual fee can stay at $35, $59, or jump to $99. Another downside is that you won't know how much you'll pay until you apply for the card. If your credit is truly poor, the Milestone card can be quite expensive.
- High interest rate - The Milestone Mastercard has an annual percentage rate (APR) of 24.90% and a penalty APR of 29.90%.
- Other fees - The card issuer can charge up to $40 for late or returned payments. The card issuer may also charge a $40 fee if you exceed your credit limit.
- Low credit limit - The credit limit is just $300 when you open your card, and this amount can be further reduced by the annual fee.
- No rewards program - Believe it or not, some credit cards geared toward those with bad credit also offer rewards. The Milestone Mastercard doesn't have a rewards program.
How to Apply for the Milestone Mastercard
You can apply for the Milestone Mastercard online. Start by going to the Milestone credit card website.
1. From there, click "get the card" on the pre-qualification page.
2. Next, enter your information on the pre-qualification application.
3. If you pre-qualify for a Milestone Mastercard, the card issuer will notify you. At that point, you'll need to fill out and submit a full application.
To get pre-qualified, you must meet certain criteria, including:
- Income requirements
- No creditor delinquencies within the past 30 days
- Haven't applied for the Milestone Mastercard within the last 60 days
- Don't have an application pending
- Don't have an existing Milestone Mastercard
- Have never had a Milestone Mastercard charged off due to lack of payment
To review all the fine print for the Milestone Mastercard, see the card's terms and conditions.
4. Once you submit your application and get approved, you should receive your Milestone Mastercard within 14 days.
Milestone Mastercard Reviews
The Milestone Mastercard gets mixed reviews, which is to be expected with a card geared primarily toward those with bad credit.
Some reviewers on Credit Karma and WalletHub complain about the high annual fee, as well as poor customer service and the lack of a mobile app to make managing the account more convenient.
However, other reviewers say the Milestone Mastercard did what it was supposed to do and helped them raise their credit score.
One reviewer noted that they used the card to boost their score and now plan to close their account before the annual fee is due. Another reviewer said the card helped them "jumpstart a rotten credit score" but that it was a hassle to close their account.
Alternatives to the Milestone Mastercard
Even if your credit score is bad, you probably still have a number of options. If you're wary of the Milestone Mastercard's potentially high annual fee, consider these alternatives.
1. Discover it Secured Credit Card
If you're put off by the Milestone Mastercard's high annual fee, you'll probably be pleased to discover the Discover it Secured credit card. It has no annual fee and a 22.99% APR.
Even better, the Discover it Secured card comes with a rewards program. If approved for a card, you'll receive 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants and gas stations up to $1,000, as well as unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.
One downside is that the Discover it Secured card is a secured credit card. To open your account, you'll need to pay a $200 security deposit.
2. Capital One Secured Mastercard
The Capital One Secured Mastercard requires a security deposit, but you can choose to pay $49, $99, or $200 to open your account. Capital One also offers an automatic credit limit upgrade after five months of regular payments.
The card has a 26.99% APR and no rewards program, but there is no annual fee.
3. OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
The OpenSky Secured Visa credit card comes with an 18.95% APR, which is a competitive interest rate for any kind of credit card. At $35, the annual fee is also considerably lower compared to similar credit cards.
You'll also receive credit reporting to all three credit bureaus. Because it's a secured card, you'll need to deposit at least $200, but you can raise that to $3,000 if you need a higher credit limit.
How to Get in Touch with Milestone Mastercard Customer Service
One area in which reviewers say the Milestone Mastercard falls short is its customer service. Unlike a lot of other credit card lenders, the Bank of Missouri doesn't offer a mobile, and its customer service is available during limited hours.
You can get in touch with a customer service representative by phone between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific Time seven days a week by calling 866-453-2636.
Is the Milestone Mastercard Right for You?
If you want to rebuild your credit score, the Milestone Mastercard could be a good choice. Most people will get approved even with a poor credit score, and you'll get access to a modest credit line without having to come up with a security deposit.
However, there are definitely better and more affordable options available. With any credit card, it's important to factor in the cost of an annual fee before you sign up.
If your credit is poor, you could end up paying as much as $99 per year to use the Milestone Mastercard. This is in addition to any interest you might accumulate if you fail to pay off your balance each month.
If you don't have a lot of experience managing credit card debt, or you've gotten into trouble with debt in the past, the Milestone card could lead you down the same path again. This type of card is best for people who need to rebuild and want to use their card for a relatively short period of time for the purpose of getting positive payment history reported to the credit bureaus.
Milestone Mastercard FAQs
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers regarding the Milestone Mastercard.
Can the Milestone Mastercard Help You Build or Reestablish Credit?
The Milestone Mastercard is a credit-building credit card, so it can definitely help you repair or establish credit. However, it's imperative to go about it the right way.
A credit card can be a great tool for rebuilding your credit, but it can also trap you in a cycle of debt if you're not careful. To use a card as a credit rehab tool, you should restrict yourself to making small purchases and then immediately paying them off each month.
If you make this a habit and stay consistent with it over a span of several months, you'll start to see your credit score improve. This is because your payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score.
By paying off your full balance every month, you also avoid accumulating interest. In this way, a credit card is like a free short-term loan every month.
Does Milestone Increase Your Credit Limit?
Neither the Milestone Mastercard's website nor its terms and conditions offer any information about credit limit increases.
Furthermore, reviews are mixed on this issue. While some reviewers say they received a credit limit increase by calling customer service and asking for them, others say they were never able to obtain a limit increase and closed their account out of frustration.
How Long Does It Take to Get my Milestone Credit Card?
According to the Milestone Mastercard's FAQ page, you should receive your card within 14 days of getting approved.
If you want to use a credit card to improve your credit score or establish credit for the first time, the Milestone Mastercard can help you do that. Because it reports to all three credit bureaus, it can be an effective way to boost your score.
However, a high annual fee and a low credit limit are major drawbacks to consider. If you're looking for an unsecured credit card that's easy to get even with bad credit, you should definitely shop around before signing on with the Milestone card.
About the Author
Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in CNBC, Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.