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Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card review: A chance to build credit and earn rewards

You can enjoy cash back, low fees and no deposit requirement with only a fair credit score

 /  10 min
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Snapshot

4.5

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Bottom line

If you have fair credit, the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa could be a great fit if you’re eager to earn rewards and want to avoid putting down a security deposit or paying a high annual fee. This card also offers free credit score monitoring to help you track your progress as you increase your score.

Best for up to 1.5 percent cash back
Image of Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card

Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card

  • Cost of membership
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
    5 / 5
    Ease of building credit
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 1 stars out of 5
    1 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
    5 / 5
Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Recommended Credit

N/A

Intro offer

Info

1-1.5% Cash Back

Rewards rate

Info

$0

Annual fee

26.99% - 29.99% (Variable)

Regular APR

Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card overview

The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa Credit Card is a credit-building card for people with fair credit. It’s an upgraded version of the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card, a credit-building card geared more toward people with bad credit.

Other than the credit requirements, the biggest difference between the two cards is the Cash Back Visa card’s rewards program, which lets you earn 1 percent or 1.5 percent cash back on purchases, depending on your creditworthiness. The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa also carries no deposit requirement, offers prequalification and even gives you a chance at a credit limit increase after seven months of on-time payments.

These perks, especially the cash back program, are hard to find on unsecured credit-building cards. Considering the Cash Back Visa charges no annual fee, it could be a good choice if you’re looking for a low-cost way to earn rewards while working on your score.

That said, people with fair credit have plenty of options. While the Mission Lane Cash Back card is a rewarding choice, its potentially low starting credit limit and high APR may make other cards more suitable for credit-builders with less responsible credit habits.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • Unlimited 1 percent or 1.5 percent for all qualifying purchases

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: $0
    • Regular APR: 26.99 percent to 29.99 percent
    • 3 percent foreign transaction fees
    • Late payment fee of up to $35

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Fair

    Credit-building features

    • Automatic consideration for a higher credit line in as few as 7 months
    • Free, online credit score access for cardholders
    • Instant decision on your application
    • No security deposit required

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

Mission Lane Cash Back Visa pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    You may be eligible for a credit limit increase after the first seven months, which can help improve your credit score by lowering your credit utilization ratio.

  • Checkmark

    You get free access to your credit score and credit-building tools to help build good financial habits.

  • Checkmark

    Cardholders can earn an unlimited 1 percent or 1.5 percent cash back on eligible purchases, which is rare for credit-building cards.

Cons

  • This card’s minimum credit limit is $300, which may not give you much room to maintain low credit utilization.

  • The variable APR is higher than the average credit card interest rate, which makes carrying a balance costly.

  • A confusing prequalification process may make it unclear which Mission Lane card the issuer approves you for.

Why you might want the Mission Lane Cash Back Credit Card

Along with its ongoing rewards, the Mission Lane card has a few good features that help make it an option credit-builders should consider. Here’s a look at the card’s top perks.

Rewards rate: A possible advantage

The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa card’s 1 percent to 1.5 percent flat cash back rate is typical of the rate on the few credit cards for fair credit that offer rewards. Since many credit-building cards carry no rewards, the Cash Back Visa card’s program is a big plus. Although these rates are among the lowest rewards rates you’ll find on any rewards card, your cash back can stack up over time and be a nice nest egg as you improve your credit.

Application: Save time with an instant credit decision and a soft pull

The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa offers an instant approval decision if you qualify. This process is ideal for anyone who wants to know right away whether they will be approved or denied. If approved, you can start building good credit habits as soon as the card arrives. If denied, you can at least quickly move on with your search for the right credit card. To qualify for an instant credit decision, you must input your information accurately when applying. 

Almost all card applications require a hard pull of your credit when you submit an application — which temporarily lowers your credit score — but soft pull prequalification helps save time and lowers the chances of applying and getting denied for a credit card. Mission Lane’s soft credit check process won’t impact your credit. If you qualify for the card and your information can be verified, Mission Lane states you will be approved. However, the issuer will perform a hard credit pull if you go through with the application, which could temporarily drop your score.

Benefits: No security deposit required and other credit-building tools

One of the Mission Lane card’s best features is that it’s an unsecured credit card for people with fair credit. Card issuers take on more risk when they extend credit to borrowers with a limited or fair credit history without requiring a security deposit, so this card is a rarity. You won’t have to tie up money in a security deposit until you upgrade or close your account, as you would with most secured cards. 

Mission Lane will also review your card account to see if you’re eligible for an increased credit limit after seven months. If your account is in good standing (not overdue or over its limit), the issuer will expand your credit limit beyond your starting limit. That’s a relatively short time frame for an unsecured card available with fair credit, and it could help you keep your credit utilization in check via more available credit. Since credit utilization makes up 30 percent of your FICO credit score, offering a chance at a higher credit limit is a big plus for a credit-building card like the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa.

Why you might want a different card for fair credit

Though the Mission Lane Cash Back Credit Card has great credit-building perks, it has a few drawbacks. This card can be costly if you carry a balance or are new to using credit cards. Between the fees and the low rewards rate, it might be more trouble than it’s worth.

Rates and fees: Added costs make this card expensive

The Mission Lane Cash Back card’s rates and fees are typical for this type of credit card, but they could still add up. To start, the variable APR for the card is 26.99 percent to 29.99 percent, which is higher than the average credit card interest rate.

You must also factor in the Mission Lane card’s up to $35 late payment fee, which isn’t unusual for a credit-building card, as other cards often charge up to $40. After that, the Mission Lane Cash Back’s late payment fee is up to $41. Finally, Mission Lane’s 3 percent foreign transaction fee can make traveling abroad expensive. Even if you qualify for the 1.5 percent rewards rate, the foreign transaction fee can negate any rewards you may earn on a trip abroad.

Credit limit: Hard to keep utilization low

At the bare minimum, your credit limit is $300. This limit is still relatively low, so you’ll need to monitor your credit utilization to avoid damaging your score. A good rule of thumb is to keep your credit utilization below 30 percent (with $300 in available credit, that’s $90) — but the lower your credit utilization, the better. If you spend more than $90 a month, your best option is to pay off your balance frequently throughout the billing cycle to keep your credit line available. Plus, if you pay off your balance entirely each month, you can avoid the card’s high interest rate, which would only increase your utilization and potentially negate your rewards.

How the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card compares to other credit cards for fair credit

You should evaluate other options before applying for any credit card, but especially one like the Mission Lane Cash Back because you might find that an unsecured card won’t be an ideal fit for you. For example, a secured card could be a better fit even if it doesn’t have all the features you’re looking for. Here’s a look at two other credit cards for people with fair credit.

Image of Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card

Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1-1.5% Cash Back
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Image of Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$39

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1.5% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Image of Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
Info

Who should get the Mission Lane Cash Back?

The Mission Lane Cash Back Card is a fairly straightforward card to use. With great credit-building tools and low fees built into the card, the Missions Lane is very useful to those who need more simplicity than a typical rewards card. 

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa worth it?

The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa card is a solid credit-building option if you’re looking for a card that earns rewards and requires no security deposit. But there are other options out there, even if you’re set on an unsecured card.

If you don’t mind tying up a bit of money temporarily in a security deposit, it’s also worth looking into secured credit cards since they can give you a bit more control over your credit limit and help you keep credit utilization in check.

Rating methodology

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data points analyzed
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perks evaluated

Our proprietary card rating system takes into account a mix of factors when scoring credit cards for people building credit, including each card’s cost, APR, credit-building tools and more.

We analyzed over 50 of the most popular cards designed for people with no credit history, bad credit or a fair credit score and scored each based on where its key features stood in relation to others in its category. 

Here are some of the key factors that gave this card its score: 

Written by
India Davis
Editor, Credit Cards

India Davis is an editor specializing in credit cards and updates. She believes in putting the reader first and carrying out a brand’s voice to its fullest potential. She has lived and worked in three different countries and hopes to explore more of the world post-pandemic.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.