Surge Mastercard® comes in the form of a secured or an unsecured credit card aimed towards people with a poor credit score.
Although this credit card promises to deliver a clear path to build credit, it comes attached with heavy fees and it should only be considered as last resort.
What is an Unsecured Credit Card?
Unsecured means the issuer does not require a previous security deposit in order to grant you use of the card, however, if you’re not able to repay your credit card balance down the road, the lack of a security deposit will lead the creditor to use other options to collect debt such as third-party debt collectors, reporting your bad balance to credit bureaus, suing you or asking court permission to garnish your wages.
Secured or Unsecured Card?
Both options are available but the choosing criteria specifics for the one you’ll be offered is not publicly disclosed.
You can apply for the unsecured version but be offered the secured one instead, failed applications for the unsecured version will typically require a security deposit between $50 and $500.
Ultimately, the one you’ll be offered will depend on your creditworthiness and several other factors reviewed during your application.
Who’s The Issuer of Surge Credit Cards?
Celtic Bank is the card’s issuer, it was founded in 2001 and it’s headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
They’re specialized in small business financing and have ranked as one of the top ten SBA lenders since 2013.
What Kind of Credit Card is It?
The Surge Mastercard® was designed as a fast credit-building card for those in need of a credit score fix, it shines by offering an unsecured version and delivering monthly updates to credit bureaus.
How Can I Restore My Credit Score with Surge?
Continental Finance is the card’s servicer, they send reports of your payment history on a monthly basis to all three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion), given that you’re responsible when it comes to using your credit card and pay your bills on time, your credit score will always be promptly updated and shift upwards over time.
On a side note: If you’re not on par with your credit score, check out how often your credit score updates.
Is It Suited For Me?
It’s best suited for customers who fall in-between a very poor and fair credit score range, more precisely, between 300 and 669 (Approximately 33% of Americans fit this position, according to a FICO chart on Experian).
If you fall into this category and you’re struggling to get approved for a credit card, the Surge Mastercard® is very well suited for you.
Be prepared for a heavy fee ride though, services specifically tailored to target low credit score customers are usually more expensive than “standard” ones.
How to Use It Wisely?
First of all, avoid carrying a balance on this card, it’s not the best option to make purchases you can’t pay for right away due to its over-the-roof APR which ranges from 24.99% to 29.99%.
Since this is a credit card aimed to restore your credit score, it’s wise to use it as a tool to serve its purpose.
Repaying in full and on time will build a strong credit history, this means you’ll be more reliable to companies and future credit applications.
On top of this, it has a low limit, if you have the chance to fully repay it every month, the better off you’ll be.
Avoid late payments, they will bring fees and you’ll see your credit limit reduced, if by any chance you can’t fully repay the balance, make at least a minimum payment.
If you’re finding yourself forgetting about payments (we’ve all been there!), set up automatic debits so everything goes smoothly.
Surge Mastercard® Features
◣ Interest grace period of 25 days
◣ Easy to qualify
◣ Initial credit limit from 300$ to 750$
◣ Potential credit limit increase after 6 months
◣ $0 Fraud liability
◣ Monthly credit bureau reports
◣ Free monthly credit score
◣ No rewards
◣ High monthly fees ($0 to 10$)
◣ High annual fees ($75 to $99)
◣ High APR (ranges from 25.90% to 29.99%)
How do I Apply?
You can apply here.
Is Surge The Best Option for Me?
Probably not, consider shopping around before applying as there are better options, even for individuals carrying a sub-optimal credit score, Surge Mastercard® should only be considered if you’ve previously tried to apply for other services and did not qualify.
Direct Competitors (from best to worst)
1- Citi® Secured Mastercard® vs Surge Mastercard®
The first choice in comparison to the Surge Mastercard®.
The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a secured credit card, the credit limit will be determined by the deposit amount made, from a minimum of $200 up to $2500, if you never miss payments, Citi will probably return your initial deposit and offer you an unsecured credit card.
Citi® Secured Mastercard® is issued by one of the largest credit issuers in the world, Citibank, therefore, Citi cardholders can expect a stronger case for future eligibility in credit applications.
This card has no rewards but it also has no annual fee to counterbalance.
You can apply here.
2- Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® vs Surge Mastercard®
The difference between these two is mainly cashback rewards.
Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa cardholders are eligible to earn 1% cashback on, groceries, gas, telecommunication, and internet services.
Credit One Bank has a minimum credit line of $300.
The same benefits are to be expected when it comes to fraud liability and credit reports, however, the major downside of this credit card is that you may not be able to get an interest grace period, consult the offered interest terms before saying yes.
You can apply for Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® here.
3- Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® vs Surge Mastercard®
Indigo is nearly identical to the Surge Mastercard®, both are easy to qualify for and both are credit-builder cards, the key differences are the annual fees cost and the credit limit, Indigo offers a $300 credit line limit, the Surge Mastercard® charges higher annual fees but has higher credit line limit from the start.
You can apply for Indigo credit card here.