Milestone® Gold Mastercard® review

Bankrate Staff  in  Credit History How we rate our cards  | 

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Recommended Credit Score

Bad to Fair (300 - 670)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

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Best for fraud protection

Annual Fee:
$35-$99
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
24.90%
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

 

Best for building credit

  • Rewards rate: N/A
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Annual fee: $35 to $99
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 24.90 percent fixed

Building credit takes a lot of hard work. Whether you’re starting from nothing or rebuilding after your credit scores took a dive, you’re left with few options as many lenders may hesitate to offer you a credit card or personal loan.

The Milestone Gold Mastercard fits into a category of credit cards specifically built for people with bad credit. Like many other credit cards for bad credit, the Milestone card is laden with confusing terms, high interest rates and varying annual fees. On the bright side, it doesn’t require a security deposit and reports your scores to all three major credit bureaus.

Current sign-up bonus

Since the focus on the Milestone Gold Mastercard is to build credit, the card doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus. That’s not unusual for cards of this type.

Benefits

The Milestone Gold card might not be your first choice for credit cards, but if you’re out of options and don’t want to turn to a secured card, it can help you boost your credit enough to qualify for better credit cards in the future.

Reports to three major credit bureaus

The Milestone Gold card can help you rebuild your credit by reporting to all three credit bureaus. If you use the card wisely and make your payments on time, you’ll see your credit scores go up across the board.

Account protection

Mastercard offers zero liability fraud protection for any unauthorized purchases made on lost or stolen cards. It also offers cardholders identity monitoring, protecting your Social Security number, email addresses, account login information, credit and debit cards and bank accounts.

Painless prequalification

If you don’t have the best credit, you don’t have to worry about pre-qualifying for the Milestone Gold Mastercard. The process does not affect your credit score, and there is no security deposit required to get the card.

Rates and fees

The Milestone Gold Mastercard has a fixed APR of 24.90 percent, a cash advance rate of 29.9 percent and a penalty rate of 29.9 percent for all three of its card offerings. Note that according to the terms and conditions of the card, the penalty APR may be applied indefinitely, so it’s important to always make payments on time (within 25 days after the end of the billing cycle) if you choose to get this card.

While the rates are the same for all three Milestone Gold cards, the annual fees range from $35 to $99 per year. Since the Milestone Gold Mastercard credit limit is only $300, this annual fee can really cut into the initial credit of the card. Penalty fees (late payment, returned payment or over-limit fees) can go up to $40 for each card. Finally, there is a 1 percent foreign transaction fee and cash advance fee of 5 percent or $5 (whichever is greater, not to exceed $100) after the first year of holding the account.

How the Milestone Gold Mastercard compares to other credit cards for bad credit

The Milestone Gold Mastercard falls right in line with the litany of other credit cards that claim to help people with bad credit while bombarding them with confusing terms and high fees. To give this card some credit, though, it’s not the worst in its class. For example, the Total Visa Unsecured Credit Card charges a program fee, an annual fee and an account servicing fee. If you’re committed to not paying a security deposit for a credit card while you rebuild your credit, the Milestone is a much better option.

But if you want to find the best combination of rates and fees for rebuilding your credit, you’ll need to turn to a secured credit card like the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One. While the APR is slightly higher than the Milestone card, it has a $0 annual fee and a flexible credit limit based on the amount of cash you put down for your security deposit. Plus, Capital One will monitor your account, and as you use it responsibly by doing things like making on-time payments, you may be able to earn back your deposit as a statement credit.

Card Name Rewards APR Annual Fee Other Fees
Milestone® Gold Mastercard® N/A 24.90 percent fixed $35-$99 Late payment fee: up to $40

Cash Advance: 5 percent or $5 after the first year

Secured Mastercard® from Capital One N/A 26.99 percent variable $0 Late payment fee: up to $40

Cash Advance: 3 percent or $10 , whichever is greater

Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card N/A See Terms See Terms Late payment fee: up to $40

Cash Advance: 3 percent or $10, whichever is greater. (after the first year)

Program: $89 (one-time)

Servicing: $75/year

Best cards to pair with the Milestone Gold Mastercard

It’s probably not a good idea to pair any other cards with the Milestone Gold credit card. If you’re in a position where you need this card, you should have one goal—building your credit. Rather than pairing cards with the Milestone credit card, you can think about upgrading to a better card. You likely still won’t qualify for the best rewards cards right after graduating from a rebuilding card like this one, but you can find cards that offer lower fees and better interest rates for people with average credit.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Milestone Gold Mastercard worth it?

This card might not be the best choice unless you have very limited options.

For a card that is aimed more toward those with less-than-stellar credit scores or little credit history, the Milestone Gold Mastercard limit, rates and fees make for a bad combination for people who are trying to get back on their feet. The high annual fees mixed with a low credit limit severely cuts into the initial available credit, and the indefinite penalty APR gives no grace to those who might make a late payment.

Make sure to consider other cards before you make a decision to apply for the Milestone Gold Mastercard. There are much better options out there—even for people with bad credit.

 

The information about the Total Visa Unsecured Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.