By Marcy Bialeschki


5 Min. To Read

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So, you have less than perfect credit -- maybe even have a bankruptcy in your past. These unfortunate realities don’t have to define you. There will be times when having a little extra spending money would be handy, but you think you won’t qualify for an unsecured credit card. There might be a glimmer of hope with the Milestone MasterCard.

The Milestone MasterCard from the Bank of Missouri is an unsecured credit card for people with bad to fair credit. The Milestone MasterCard can even help people who have experienced bankruptcy. With a free pre-qualification checker online, you can quickly see if you qualify without stimulating a hard pull on your credit. This means checking to see your chances of getting a card will not negatively affect your credit score.

Once you qualify, you can go online and apply. The fees attached to the Milestone MasterCard are reasonable. Many cards that target people with less than perfect credit tend to ‘kick you while you’re down’ and have ridiculous added costs. The Milestone MasterCard does not have a security deposit, application fee, monthly fees, or one-time fees.

However, the Milestone card does have an annual fee of $35 - $75 the first year dependent on your creditworthiness at the time of your application. The yearly fee will most likely increase in the second year and be as high as $99. The idea is the same as with any credit card designed for people with struggling credit -- use the card for a short amount of time to improve your credit and move on to a better card. This strategy will keep you from paying increased fees for the second year. In short, the Milestone MasterCard lives up to its name. It helps people improve their credit and reach a ‘milestone’ to upgrade to a better card.

Ensuring a card upgrade and improved credit score requires patience and discipline. The Milestone MasterCard reports to all three major credit bureaus, so following a strict plan of charging a small amount every month and paying it off on time will start boosting your credit score. With a credit limit of $300, you will not have much of an emergency fund, but you will have enough to make a few purchases or pay a couple of bills. Just be sure to pay the balance every month. With a 24.9% purchase APR, this card is not designed to carry a balance. Missing one monthly payment can affect your overall plan to improve your credit and possibly plummet you into some pretty crippling debt if you continue to accrue interest month after month.

This credit card is designed to be a quick ‘credit fix,’ not hang around forever. The name even reflects its purpose. This card is supposed to get you back on your feet with responsible use and credit reporting until you hit a ‘milestone’ that will allow you to get a better credit card. When used within its capabilities and this scope, the Milestone MasterCard is a sound credit recovery credit card.

A pretty great feature of the Milestone Mastercard is it comes with all the MasterCard perks. You’ll enjoy extended warranties on large purchases, theft protection -- including $0 fraud liability, 24-hour global services to help with lost, stolen, or damaged cards, and access to an airport concierge. See a MasterCard website for more information.

To qualify for a Milestone MasterCard, you must be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama), have a physical address, an IP address, social security number, and proof of income. Although the Milestone MasterCard will consider people with damaged credit, there is no guarantee you will qualify. It is recommended you use the free pre-qualification tool on the website before applying. This inquiry will not negatively affect your credit score.

Card Features:

$35 - $75 annual fee the first year / up to $99 the second year and after

24.9% purchase APR

$300 credit limit reduced by annual fee

No monthly fees

No one-time fees

No hidden fees

1% foreign transaction fee

$40 max late fee

$40 max over limit fee

29.9%max penalty APR

29.9% cash advance APT

No cash advance fee the first year / $5 or 5% after

Credit limit increase as soon as six months with responsible use

As with any consumer product, it’s only as good as its customer service. The biggest complaint of Milestone MasterCard users is their payments are not processed in a timely fashion. Some customers have reported payments not being deducted from their account for up to 30 days. If accurate, this practice is entirely unacceptable for any credit card company but especially egregious for one whose primary goal is to help customers improve their credit.

The other big complaint is rude and ineffective customer service. Many customers complained about the poor service and had to make payments more than once to get them posted. Again, if accurate, this practice is unsatisfactory, especially if it stimulates a late payment fee.

These two complaints give the Milestone MasterCard an overall rating of 3.5 stars from WalletHub. But to be honest, most of the credit cards for poor credit have average comprehensive reviews and lots of dissatisfied customers. The strategy should be to have a consistent payment plan, don’t overextend, and keep an eye on your balance. Unfortunately, you cannot control how fast the bank processes your payment, and you can’t prevent human error. But you can do your part and keep an eye on all aspects of your account. This practice will likely help you avoid mishaps that could damage your credit rather than improve it.

In Review

The Milestone MasterCard is a good card for credit recovery. Reporting to all three big credit bureaus, responsible use will give you that boost in your credit score that you need. The overall plan should be to ditch this card after the first year to avoid the increased annual fee. But comparatively, the Milestone Mastercard is as good as any other unsecured card for poor credit. It has the potential to live up to its name and help you reach a new Milestone in your financial freedom.

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