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Surge® Platinum Mastercard® review

 /  4 min
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Snapshot

2.8

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 2.8 stars out of 5

Bottom line

The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® can be an effective tool for getting a high credit limit and a chance at a credit limit increase in as little as six months, but the card’s high fees and APR make it a questionable choice for most credit-builders.

Image of Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
Apply now Lock
On Celtic Bank's secure site

Rewards rate

N/A

Annual fee

See website for Details*

Intro offer

N/A
Info

Regular APR

29.99% APR (Variable)

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
Info

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® overview

The Surge Platinum Mastercard is issued by Celtic Bank, designed for those who have a bad credit history or none at all and want to build or rebuild their credit.

You can check your Surge Platinum Mastercard application status and see if you pre-qualify in less than a minute. This unsecured credit card doesn’t require collateral — but it does come with a significant annual fee.

If your credit card options are limited, you can use a Surge Platinum Mastercard payment plan to build up your score with responsible use.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Checkmark

    Users can build up their credit with responsible usage

  • Checkmark

    Allows access to a credit limit of up to $1,000 without having to contribute a security deposit

  • Checkmark

    You may qualify for a higher credit limit after six months of usage

Cons

  • Cardholders have to pay an annual fee of $75 to $99

  • The variable APR is higher than some secured credit cards and higher than most unsecured credit cards

  • The card offers no ancillary benefits

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: N/A
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Annual fee: $75–$99
  • Purchase Intro APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 29.99% variable

Current sign-up bonus

There’s no sign-up bonus or welcome offer with this card. The main introductory benefit is the quick prequalification offer. Once you know if you’re prequalified, the application process is swift and you can start working on your credit almost immediately.

Key cardholder benefits

The Surge Platinum Mastercard credit card is an accessible credit card to consumers with a wide range of credit scores. It’s an option for those who have difficulty getting approved for an unsecured credit card and don’t want to give a security deposit — as secured credit cards require.

As you use the Surge Platinum credit card, your usage will be reported to all three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. With on-time payments, low credit card utilization and responsible use, you can build up your credit score and eventually qualify for a better credit card.

You may also be eligible for a potential credit limit increase after six months of making the required minimum monthly payments. This can help lower your credit utilization, which is another factor that can positively impact your credit score. Surge Platinum Mastercard

No security deposit

You can get a credit limit between $300 and $1,000 with the Surge Platinum credit card, with no security deposit required. If you’re approved, you have instant access to cash without having to offer up your own cash first. After making your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time, the up to $1,000 credit limit doubles to $2,000.

Rates and fees

The Surge Platinum credit card has an annual fee of $75 to $99, which is quite steep for a credit-building credit card. There’s also a potential monthly maintenance fee of up to $10. Other credit-building cards come with no monthly maintenance fees.

There’s also an additional one-time card fee of $30, if applicable. The card has a cash advance fee of 5 percent of the cash advance amount or $5, whichever is greater.

If you’re traveling internationally, there’s a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent. Late payments and returned payments both come with penalty fees up to $41.

This card's APR is 29.99 percent variabe, based on creditworthiness. This is quite high compared to other credit card. High APRs are typical of credit-building cards.

How the Surge Platinum Mastercard compares to other credit-building cards

If you’re looking for an effective credit card to build up credit, you may be better off with other options:

Image of Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
On Celtic Bank's secure site

Annual fee

See website for Details*

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
Info
Image of OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
On Capital Bank's secure site

Annual fee

$35

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History
Info
Image of Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Bankrate Score
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

Surge Platinum Mastercard vs. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit of $200 to $3,000, but the benefit is you can increase your credit line dramatically compared to the Surge Platinum Mastercard (since the deposit amount also becomes the credit limit). The annual fee of $35 is also lower, as is the variable APR of 21.64 percent.

Surge Platinum Mastercard vs. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is another secured credit card, but the refundable deposit amount is only $49, $99 or $200, depending on credit history. The variable APR of 29.74 percent is high, but all cardholders can be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with on-time monthly payments. The major benefit of this credit-building card is that there’s no annual fee.

Best cards to pair with Surge Platinum Mastercard

The Surge Platinum Mastercard’s high annual fee, high APR and lack of rewards make this a credit card you should only consider if you want an unsecured card and lack better options.

If you want to build up your credit, consider pairing the Surge Platinum Mastercard with a secured credit card to increase your credit availability, and potentially decrease your credit utilization.

Keep in mind, though, that getting too many credit cards in a short amount of time can damage your score. If you need to improve your credit score, getting multiple cards in a short time frame would be counterintuitive.

As your credit score increases, you may want to research better credit cards you might qualify for. Cash back and travel credit cards offer rewards as long as you make on-time payments. If you pay off what you owe in full each billing cycle, you can earn rewards without owing any extra interest.

Bankrate’s take: Is Surge Platinum Mastercard worth it?

If you need an unsecured credit card and don’t qualify for better cards, the Surge Platinum Mastercard can help you build up your credit with responsible usage.

If you can qualify for a card with a lower annual fee or have the funds to contribute a refundable security deposit, you may be able to qualify for a lower-cost secured credit card or a card with better perks.

Written by
Ryan Noonan
SEO Writer

Ryan Noonan is a 2018 graduate of the School of Journalism at The Ohio State University. He began working in marketing for Bankrate.com in December 2018 and has since begun using his industry expertise as a writer, contributing to both Bankrate.com and Creditcards.com.

Edited by Senior Credit Cards Editor

* 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.