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Although it’s an unsecured credit card, the Blaze MasterCard has terms and conditions nearly identical to that of many secured cards. It has a sky-high APR, comes packed with fees and doesn’t give you a lot in return.
The only real difference is that you don’t have to put down a security deposit, which might be more appealing for someone with poor credit who is short on cash.
The Blaze MasterCard is what some might call an end-of-the-line choice. This is the type of credit card you might get if you have a blemished credit history, don’t have any extra money for a deposit on a secured card and you need a credit card.
There are some big drawbacks to this card that should not be overlooked. First, it charges an annual fee of $75. In the fine print of the card agreement, it states that the range of credit limit you could be given starts at $350 up to a maximum of $1,500. If you’re only granted a credit limit of $350, that annual fee will cut your credit to $275 before you even sign your name to the back.
Part of building up a better credit profile is maintaining a low credit utilization ratio. If you’ve used up $75 of your credit on a $350 credit line, that’s a credit utilization of 25%. Anything above a 30% ratio can have a negative impact on your score, which means that actually using this card may not do much to help your credit rating.
The card also has a double whammy of high APR — a variable 29.9% on purchases — and a $25 late fee. That’s bad news for anyone whose bad credit is at least partly to blame on late payments.
Unless you commit to exceptional payment behavior with this card, you will have difficulty improving your credit score and qualifying for better offers.
One possible bright spot with this card is buried in the fine print. It’s possible to qualify for a higher credit limit if you pay on time, meet the issuer’s debt-to-income requirements and keep your account in good standing.
We have enough gripes with this card that we think you’d be better off using a prepaid debit card or a secured card.
Who should get this card
We can’t recommend that anyone choose this card.
Fees and APR
- The annual fee is $75.
- The variable APR on purchases with this card is 29.9%.
- Late payments won’t affect your annual percentage rate but you will be subject to a late fee of up to $25.
Extras, perks and using points
For an additional $4.95 per month, you can enroll in the PREMIUM Club Membership, which gives access to an online mall that pays cash back rewards and offers lost key protection and prescription, hotel and rental car discounts.
How this card compares
The Discover it Secured Card packs a powerful punch of attributes not typically seen in secured cards. For starters, you earn cash back with the card — something no other secured card on the market offers. And it will double your cash back at the end of the first year. The bank also will review your account, starting at eight months to see if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured card.
The Credit One Bank Platinum Card offers some rewards, and charges a decent APR for a secured card. A major drawback of the card is that you won’t know the exact terms of your offer until you’ve applied.
The two reasons you may want to apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is if you don’t own a checking account, but still want access to a credit card, or if you’re looking for a secured card with a decent annual percentage rate.
There’s a very narrow band of consumers this applies to, we imagine.
The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is aimed at those with fair credit, which means it’s easier to be approved for than many other cards. It also reports to all three of the major credit bureaus, so with regular on-time payments, you can improve your score and eligibility for credit cards with lower APRs. This card has three different fee structures. The one you’re offered is dependent on your creditworthiness as determined by the issuer.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.