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Indigo® Mastercard® review: A simple credit-building card with very few features

Build credit with no extra bells and whistles

 /  12 min
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Bankrate rating
Rating: 2.2 stars out of 5

Bottom line

This card can be a decent — though pricey — choice if you’re just starting your credit-building journey.

Best for bankruptcy forgiveness
Image of Indigo® Mastercard®

Indigo® Mastercard®

  • Cost of membership
    Rating: 1 stars out of 5
    1 / 5
    Ease of building credit
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    Rating: 2 stars out of 5
    2 / 5
    Rating: 1.3 stars out of 5
    1.3 / 5
Bad to Fair (300 – 670)
Recommended Credit

Regular APR

Annual fee

Indigo® Mastercard® Overview

Since the Indigo Mastercard doesn’t require a security deposit, it could be more accessible for people who have declared bankruptcy or have bad credit or no credit history.

However, depending on your credit score, you may have to pay a high annual fee. The card also carries a relatively high interest rate and only a $300 credit limit. Such a low limit could make it challenging to build credit since it will be harder to keep your credit utilization ratio low (a significant factor in your credit score). The interest rate could also work against you if you carry a balance on the card. 

  • Credit Card Cash Back


    • This card does not offer rewards.

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: $0 to $99, depending on creditworthiness
    • APR: 24.90 percent

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive 
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Fair

    Credit-building features

    • Can pre-qualify with a soft credit pull
    • Reports to all three credit bureaus

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Mastercard ID Theft Protection™
    • Zero Liability protection

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

Indigo Mastercard pros and cons


  • Checkmark

    You can prequalify with only a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit score.

  • Checkmark

    A low 1 percent foreign transaction fee makes it a solid choice for international purchases.

  • Checkmark

    The issuer reports card activity to all three major credit bureaus each month, letting cardholders gradually build credit history.


  • Its high ongoing APR could prove costly if you end up carrying a balance.

  • Can’t offset the card’s potentially high annual fee with perks or rewards.

  • You may have to be mindful of your credit utilization ratio since a low credit limit could negatively impact your credit score if you have a high balance.

Why you might want the Indigo Mastercard

This no-fuss card helps credit-builders keep things simple. You won't need to worry about keeping up with rewards and bonus categories, and though its perks are light, the card comes with a few key protections in case your card is lost or stolen.   

Rewards: A focus on building credit instead

Not only does the Indigo credit card have no sign-up bonus or welcome offer, it also offers no rewards or cash back programs. But landing a rewards card without good credit isn’t always easy, and it might be best to avoid cards with rewards when you are working on improving your credit history.

Instead of managing rewards rates, bonus categories and welcome offers, you can keep things simple with this card and focus on paying off your balance each month and practicing positive spending habits.

Perks: Card protections can offer peace of mind

You won’t find any valuable perks on this card, but its basic protections provide adequate security and peace of mind. As you rebuild your credit, you’ll eventually set your sights on cards with plush perks like travel insurance and lounge access, but the Indigo Mastercard serves its niche well in the meantime with its basic consumer-friendly perks.

The card comes with Mastercard ID Theft Protection™and Zero Liability protection. With the card's theft protection policy, your personal information such as your Social Security number, email addresses, debit cards, credit cards, bank accounts and usernames and passwords for web logins are monitored closely. You'll receive alerts for any suspicious activity as well as access to theft resolution experts who can help you if your identity is stolen.

With zero-liability protection, you also won't be responsible for unauthorized purchases if your personal information or credit card is lost or stolen.

Why you might want a different credit-building card

While the Indigo card can help you build credit, it can come at a cost. You could face a high annual fee, and for a card dedicated to credit-building, the Indigo card lacks some standard features. Similar cards with lower fees and better credit-building benefits might be more appealing.

Credit limit: Hard to keep credit utilization low

You gain access to the Indigo Mastercard credit limit without a security deposit, making it an unsecured card

But the small $300 credit limit can be inconvenient because it doesn’t give you much flexibility to make purchases. Your annual fee and purchases will all cut into your credit line. For instance, carrying a balance of just $90 would give you a 30 percent utilization ratio. A balance any higher than that could result in a credit utilization ratio that might negatively impact your credit score.

Fees: Additional costs add up

When you apply for this card, the issuer will assign you one of three possible annual fees:

  • $0
  • $59
  • $75 the first year, $99 thereafter

Your credit score ultimately determines your annual fee, and Indigo doesn’t specify in the cardholder terms whether your annual fee will change as your credit score changes.

Keep in mind that your annual fee initially eats into your $300 credit limit, which can make it more difficult to maintain a low credit utilization ratio.

If you are approved for the card but have an annual fee and your credit score improves while you’re an Indigo Mastercard cardholder, consider applying for another card. Find a new card that’s available with fair or good credit and consider closing your Indigo card account once you get the new card. Keeping your sights on better, more affordable cards will give you a milestone to work toward and familiarize you with the many rewards and perks available.

One highlight of the card’s rates and fees is its foreign transaction fee. The Indigo card comes with a low 1 percent fee for every international transaction, outpacing the typical 3 percent fee found on most other cards. Although the card is not exactly a no-foreign-transaction-fee card, 1 percent is a solid rate for a non-travel credit card.

Ongoing APR: Expensive for carrying a balance

The Indigo Mastercard has a regular APR of 24.90 percent for purchases and a 29.90 percent APR for a cash advance, and missing a payment can bump your interest rate up to the 29.90 percent penalty APR. You’ll also face a late payment fee of up to $40. These rates and fees could hinder your credit-building progress if you happen to carry a balance on your card or miss a payment.

However, you do receive a 0 percent cash advance fee for your first year (then $5 or 5 percent of the total transaction amount, whichever is greater, but must not exceed $100). Despite this first-year offer, you might want to avoid large cash advances if you have bad credit. After the first year, you will pay interest on the cash advance starting on the transaction date, which can really stretch your credit limit. When rebuilding credit, you should keep costs low within a manageable budget.

Credit-building features: Limited benefits 

This card lacks some attractive features that could be helpful for people working on their credit history. You won't find perks like an automatic review of your account for a credit line increase, free monthly credit reports or customizable payment plans. 

Instead, the Indigo card only offers two basic benefits for credit-builders: a soft credit pull to prequalify and reporting credit activity to all three credit bureaus. These two features can be advantageous. For instance, by prequalifying you can get a sense of your approval odds for this card and it won’t impact your credit score.

However, prequalification does not equal approval. Formal approval will still require a hard credit check, which may lower your score a bit.

Also, building your credit becomes easier when a card reports your activities to all three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). If you use the card responsibly by making payments on time, you’ll be on the road to establishing good credit and getting credit cards with valuable rewards programs and other benefits.

However, you can find these same features on credit-building cards that offer additional benefits such as credit line increases. While you may have to switch to a secured credit card to enjoy extra credit-building perks, there are plenty of unsecured cards, like the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card, that carry these benefits too.  

How the Indigo Mastercard compares to other credit-building cards

Though the Indigo Mastercard may be ideal for people with bad credit or no credit history, several competitors offer cards with comparable benefits at a much lower cost. 

Image of Indigo® Mastercard®

Indigo® Mastercard®

Annual fee


Intro offer


Rewards rate


Recommended Credit Score

Bad to Fair (300 – 670)
Image of Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Annual fee


Intro offer

Cashback Match™

Rewards rate

1% - 2%

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
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


Intro offer


Rewards rate


Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History

Best cards to pair with the Indigo Mastercard

If you have bad or limited credit history, it may be a good idea to focus on building credit with a single card. Pairing cards or opening multiple cards at the same time could distract you from making on-time payments and make it difficult to stay organized. If you’re just getting started, we recommend keeping things simple and sticking to the basics of credit building

Who is the Indigo Mastercard right for?

The Indigo Mastercard isn’t the right choice for everyone, but if any of these cardholder profiles resonate with you, it may be a solid option to consider.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Indigo Mastercard worth it?

If you have a low credit score or limited credit history, you might consider the Indigo Mastercard. Getting this card doesn’t require a grueling approval process, and you can prequalify even if you have no credit history.

Yet, the card can be expensive. You could face both a high, nonrefundable annual fee and high interest rates. Plus, the $300 starting credit limit may make it harder to keep your credit utilization in check. With a typical secured card, you could not only avoid an annual fee, but also set your own limit based on your deposit to get more breathing room.   

While the Indigo card could be a temporary credit-building tool if you want to avoid a security deposit, there are less expensive options with better long-term value.

The information about the Indigo® Mastercard® has been collected independently by The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

How we rated this card

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data points analyzed
fees tracked
Credit Card Reviews
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 key factors that gave this card its score: 

Frequently asked questions

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

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.