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Avant Credit Card review: A decent choice but with little added benefits

This would be a solid pick if it were open to people with bad credit. 

 /  11 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for and how we rate our cards . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

2.7

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 2.7 stars out of 5

Bottom line

If you’re new to fair credit and struggle to qualify for unsecured cards with rewards and credit-building features, the Avant card is a decent choice to help you build credit. You’ll just want to note that a secured card with a refundable security deposit may be more cost-effective in the end, since this card could charge an annual fee.

Best for no penalty APR

Avant Credit Card

Apply now Lock
on Avant's secure site
  • Cost of membership
    Rating: 2 stars out of 5
    2 / 5
    Ease of building credit
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 2 stars out of 5
    2 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
    2.5 / 5
Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info
Recommended Credit

N/A

Intro offer

Info

Annual fee

Regular APR

-Disclosure: If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $1.00. Cash Advance Fee 3 percent, Min: $10

-Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC

The Avant Credit Card Overview

The Avant Credit Card is an unsecured credit card designed for someone with a fair or average credit score or a limited credit history. While it requires no deposit and can help you build credit with responsible use, it doesn’t offer many other benefits.

On the plus side, the Avant card’s initial credit limit beats out the limit of a few other unsecured cards for people with less-than-perfect credit. Plus, if you use the card responsibly, you may be able to increase your credit limit over time, which can help your credit utilization. The card also comes with no deposit requirement and you can even see if you’re preapproved for the card without a hard credit inquiry, allowing you to know your approval odds without negatively impacting your score.

But the card does potentially come with a steep annual fee of up to $59 depending on your creditworthiness. Cheaper alternatives are out there if you’re willing to temporarily tie up money in a security deposit. A secured card could give you more control over your credit limit and help you fast-track your credit-building efforts. Plus, some secured and unsecured options offer an ongoing rewards program if building credit isn’t your sole focus.

All in all, the Avant Credit Card could make sense if you struggle to qualify for a cheaper, more rewarding credit-building alternative. If you use the card responsibly and manage to boost your score, you can then apply for a more lucrative cash back or rewards card.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • This card does not offer rewards. 

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • $0 to $59, depending on your creditworthiness
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • 35.99% Variable ongoing APR
    • Late fees up to $39

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive 
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Fair

    Credit-building features

    • Chance to prequalify and see approval odds
    • Reports to the three major credit bureaus
    • Proactive credit limit increases

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Doesn’t require a security deposit
    • Avant credit app
    • Basic Mastercard benefits

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

Avant Credit Card pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    You can build your credit history with responsible use since it reports to all three major credit bureaus.

  • Checkmark

    This card does not require a security deposit, saving you money upfront.

  • Checkmark

    It offers pre-qualification with no risk to your credit score, setting it apart from other unsecured cards.

Cons

  • This card charges an annual fee that can be higher than alternative cards.

  • The low starting credit limit of $300 can make it difficult to maintain a good credit utilization ratio.

  • Unlike rival cards with lower costs, this card offers no rewards program.

Why you might want the Avant Credit Card

If you don't qualify yet for one of the best credit cards for good credit, the Avant Credit Card could be a worthwhile alternative. Since it’s an unsecured credit card for people with fair credit scores, you could use this card to maintain your credit-building journey while still saving on upfront costs. 

Credit-building features: Checks the necessary boxes to build credit

When building your credit, it’s helpful to use a card from an issuer that reports your progress every month. Avant reports to all three credit bureaus, so you can review your progress with these key entities. Avant also offers applicants the chance to prequalify for its credit card with a soft credit pull. A soft credit pull doesn’t affect your credit score, but you could get a better idea of your approval odds. The issuer also conducts proactive credit limit increases, meaning that it’ll grant you a higher credit line when you demonstrate consistent positive credit activity.

Cardholder perks: Curb costs and manage your credit online

Since the Avant credit card is unsecured, you don’t have to put down a security deposit. This could be a worthwhile step up for someone graduating from a secured card by cutting the upfront cost. You also have access to basic Mastercard benefits like $0 fraud liability protection, and you can easily manage your credit through Avant’s credit app. These perks are important backbones to have on any good credit card, and the Avant card delivers.

Why you might want a different credit-building card

The Avant credit card can get the job done when it comes to credit building but so can many other cards on the market. For instance, cards that offer rewards programs or other incentives might encourage you to use your credit card more responsibly. You could also find similar cards that don’t charge an annual fee, one of the chief downfalls of the Avant credit card. 

Rewards: Not competitive

The Avant credit card lacks a rewards program, which could be a bummer for credit builders hoping to also earn on their spending. While not having a rewards program can be helpful, since you won’t be tempted to overspend, earning rewards is often a top perk on an unsecured credit card.

While you shouldn’t expect to get the best rewards rates with a card for fair credit, plenty of cards available for this credit range do offer a decent rewards program. Often these programs come with incentives that can help motivate responsible credit habits, making them more well-rounded options overall.

Rates and fees: Uncertain annual fee could add unwelcome costs

While you’ll manage to skip some charges with the Avant credit card, including a security deposit and foreign transaction fees, you may still have to pay an annual fee. Depending on where your score falls and your overall creditworthiness, you could get hit with an annual fee of up to $59. The potential for this annual charge paired with the sky-high ongoing APR you’d face if you carry a balance could quickly make the Avant credit card an expensive choice. Plenty of alternatives on the market for people with fair credit don’t charge annual fees, including many secured cards. Most issuers of secured cards will also refund your deposit after using the card responsibly over time, making a secured card a potentially more cost-effective choice.

How the Avant Credit Card compares to other credit-building cards

Since the Avant card doesn’t offer rewards, charges a high variable APR and could potentially charge an annual fee, it may not be your first choice for a credit-builder card. Even though many unsecured cards could be a better fit, you may even want to consider secured cards before applying for the Avant card. 

Image of Avant Credit Card
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
on Avant's secure site

Annual fee

$59

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

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

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Cashback Match™
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 2%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
Info
Image of Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Upgrade's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200
Info

Rewards rate

1.5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Fair to Good (580 – 740)
Info

Who is the Avant Credit Card right for?

Credit builders may find their match with the Avant credit card, along with those who prefer no security deposit or a foreign transaction fee. 

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Avant Credit Card worth it?

The Avant Credit Card won’t be a great fit for everyone who still has to build their credit. It comes with a high APR and an annual fee that could get as high as $59. Plus, this card’s lack of a rewards program could also be a hurdle to some, as multiple secured and unsecured alternatives offer rewards opportunities in addition to their credit-building features.

It isn’t the cheapest option — a secured card will almost certainly be a better deal if you can afford to tie up money in a security deposit— but the Avant Credit Card is a decent starter card if you need an unsecured card and struggle to qualify for better options.

How we rated this card

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Our proprietary card rating system takes into account a mix of factors when scoring credit cards for students and 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 students and 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: 

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Ashley Parks
Editor, Credit cards

As a Bankrate credit cards editor, Ashley Parks is fascinated by the ways people can make credit cards work for them when armed with the right knowledge.

Edited by Editor II, Credit Cards
Reviewed by Former 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.