By Marcy Bialeschki


5 Min. To Read

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With all of the options available, finding a credit card that fits your needs is challenging. It can be even more difficult for those who are trying to lift themselves out from under the shroud of poor credit. Finding a company willing to take a chance on you is actually not the hard part. Patrons with the special need of a re-starter card must be particularly careful not to fall into another credit trap.

Most people need some kind of credit card whether it's to get a tank of gas to get to work, or maybe it’s a few groceries right before payday. If you are trying to get out from under debt, you need a card with limited spending power and few fees. Putting a few necessary purchases on the card every month and paying them off on time will eventually start to heal ailing credit. Finding the right card that will provide what you need to get back on track and avoid what you don’t need will be the real challenge.

The Reflex Mastercard by Continental Finance Company is one option for rebuilding credit. It has some basic features all credit card owners should be entitled to. Nonetheless, it is comforting to know your Reflex Mastercard comes with $0 fraud liability. Online account managing is also a nice feature, especially when coupled with the mobile app for on-the-go access to your account.

Additionally, the Reflex Mastercard reports to the three major credit businesses monthly, helping you move your credit score faster. Customers will also get access to a free monthly credit score report if they enroll in e-statements.

As with all cards in this category, however, it is critical the customer realizes how the Reflex Mastercard works to improve their credit score. Credit can improve if the customer follows three basic rules:

Put a few purchases on the card per month, only what you know you can pay-in-full.

Pay the complete balance every month

Pay your bill on time

The Reflex Mastercard, however, has a few troubling areas for most customers trying to regain credit. Let’s take a look at how this card might hurt your credit instead of help it.

We all know when cash is scarce and you are trying to get out from under debt, the last thing you need is more expenses. The Reflex Mastercard has a hefty annual fee. This feature seems incompatible with the purpose of the card. Customers who apply for a credit rebuilding card don’t need to be pummeled with the crushing force of more fees.

Not only does the cardholder assume the large annual fee, but also after the first year, an additional monthly fee is added. This means, for the second year and all years following, a Reflex Mastercard customer will pay a few fees per year just to have the card. Seem a little steep? It is; however, a person with a 580-credit score might have to play by their rules for a bit until they can move on to a card with fewer fees. The bottom line: No one should keep this card longer than they have to.

The rate structure aligns with this in some capacity and can be viewed on the application page.

There is no grace period for cash advances which translates to the fact that there is no way to keep from paying interest unless you pay the entire amount by the due date every month as far as cash advances go. Yes, this is the concept of these types of cards; however, other some cards have a grace period to take the pressure off.

The strict payment expectations of the Reflex Mastercard could harm your credit rather than help it. The lack of a grace period, the annual fee, and the monthly fee need to be red flags for potential customers.

Customers who need a chance to rebuild credit will find the Reflex Mastercard an option, but they must be ready to follow some strict rules or a chance to build credit might push them further in debt. The high APR and fees make this choice hard to put on the short-list of possible options. If you feel this card is right for you, charge a manageable amount every month and be sure to pay it off by the due date. When your credit has moved to the positive enough, you should look into getting a different card to avoid paying those crippling fees any longer than you have to.

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