Sportsman’s Guide Visa Review Shopping Cart Trick

Sportsman's Guide Visa Review and Why Use the Shopping Cart Trick When Applying

Sportsman’s Guide Visa Review + Comenity Shopping Cart Trick

Are you an outdoor fanatic that finds themselves continually looking for new tools, equipment, or gear? Have you heard of the Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club Rewards Visa Credit Card? If not, you’re in luck. We’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of the Sportsman’s Guide Visa. You’ll get a perfect understanding on whether or not this is a card you want by the end. The second part of this article will go over my personal experiences as a Sportsman’s Guide Visa cardholder. Yes, I have this credit card, and I will share my first-hand account of what the benefits are. I will explain why I used the Comenity Shopping Cart Trick when applying for the Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club™ Rewards Visa® Credit Card.

What is the Sportsman’s Guide Visa and How Does it Work?

This brand-specific Visa card allows you to get rewarded for shopping at Sportsman’s Guide. Sportsman’s Guide is an outdoor gear store that carries everything from fishing, hunting, and outdoor camping gear. The Sportsman’s Guide Visa credit card offers cardholders unique saving opportunities.

Once you apply and receive your card, you can shop for all of your outdoor gear at Sportsman’s Guide. Each purchase you make with the Sportsman’s Guide Visa will earn you one percent toward rewards certificates.

You can opt into their Buyer’s Club for even more savings. Buyer’s Club members get 10 percent off every purchase. Additionally, Buyer’s Club Visa cardholders also earn another 2.5 percent discount on every purchase. Please note Buyer’s Club members pay a $40 annual fee. So if you buy a lot from the Sportsman’s Guide catalog, the benefits will quickly outweigh the cost.

Regular Sportsman’s Guide Visa cardholders without Buyer’s Club membership don’t pay this annual fee. However, they also don’t get the 10 percent with an additional 2.5 percent off their purchases. They only get the flat one percent rewards rate.

You can redeem your earnings as Rewards Certificates toward purchases at Sportsman’s Guide.

Sportsman's Guide Visa Card Art

Sportsman’s Guide Visa Benefits

Bonus for Signing On

The Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club Rewards Visa Credit Card has a nice bonus for signing up. Cardholders who spend $500 outside Sportsman’s Guide in the first three months get a bonus. You’ll get a $40 Reward Certificate toward any purchase at Sportsman’s Guide. Earning this bonus works out to spending just $167 per month. It’s very doable, especially when you consider all of the small things you buy each month. Use it in the grocery stores, at gas stations, to pay bills, and more.

Optional Buyer’s Club

This $40 bonus for signing on equals your $40 annual fee to become a Buyer’s Club member. You can save up to 12.5 percent on every purchase you make at The Guide. You’re eligible for 10 percent off every purchase you make along with five percent off ammo and guns.

Members also get access to the Buyer’s Club 4-Pay Plan. This plan gives you four months of interest-free payments on orders over $150. Finally, Buyer’s Club members also get an instant rebate each year. You’ll automatically get two $10 coupons when you renew your membership. With these coupons, it is like getting half off your Buyer’s Club membership each year.

One Percent Cash Back

The Sportsman’s Guide Visa gives you a flat one percent cash back rate. It applies to every purchase you make on everyday items outside of the Sportsman’s Guide store. As long as the vendor accepts Visa, you can use your card. Your points stack up to Rewards Certificates that you spend at Sportsman’s Guide.

No Annual Fee

Regular cardholders won’t pay an annual fee unless they upgrade to the Buyer’s Club. This means that you get a rewards card with no annual fee. Finding a rewards card with no annual fee is rare. Yes, it’s only one percent on everyday purchases, but it can stack up.

Sportsman’s Guide Visa Drawbacks

Brand-Specific Card

Although you can use this card for everyday purchases, it restricts how you redeem them. The Sportsman’s Guide Visa is a company branded card. This means that you have limited options when it comes to using your rewards. You must use them to purchase items through the Sportsman’s Guide online catalog and nowhere else. If you don’t spend a lot on outdoor gear, this could be difficult.

Restricted Savings

You do save by having this card. But, Buyer’s Club members save the most and have the most opportunities. Buyer’s Club members get huge savings, exclusive discounts and deals, payment plans, and more. Regular cardholders are not offered these perks. To get them, you have to pay the $40 annual fee and become a Buyer’s Club member.

Only One Physical Sportsman’s Guide Outlet Store Location

Sportsman’s Guide has exactly one physical Sportsman’s Guide Outlet store location. It’s connected to their warehouse in St. Paul, Minnesota. Otherwise, you have to shop the Sportsman’s Guide online catalog. While this isn’t terrible, you don’t have the convenience of trying things on before you buy them. You can travel to the Sportsman’s Guide Outlet Store, but this could be hours from your residence.

Who Would and Wouldn’t Benefit from the Sportsman’s Guide Visa

You would benefit from having the Sportsman’s Guide Visa card if:

  • You don’t mind shopping the Sportsman’s Guide online catalog.
  • You’re a buyer of a lot of outdoor gear.
  • You pay to become a Buyer’s Club member.
  • You want a flat rewards rate on everyday purchases.

Individuals who would not benefit from applying for and getting the Sportsman’s Guide Visa include:

  • People who don’t buy a lot of outdoor gear.
  • People who can’t or won’t pay to become Buyer’s Club members.
  • You like flexibility when you redeem your rewards.
  • You want a higher reward rate.

Bottom Line on the Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club™ Rewards Visa® Credit Card

The Sportsman’s Guide Visa is a solid retail card for outdoor enthusiasts. You have the potential to save a lot of money on purchases you would have made anyway. However, people who want more flexibility might want to look elsewhere due to the restrictions.

My personal experience as a Sportsman’s Guide Visa Cardholder

I grew up as a kid whose family would plan fishing trips. Mainly my Father and Brother would often go fishing. Many times our family vacations would be planned around places that both offered attractions and fishing spots. So I was pretty much the younger kid tagging along on their fishing trips. I have fished myself and know my way around fishing gear and basic casting. So you probably think the Sportsman’s Guide Visa is not the right credit card for my lifestyle. For the most part accurate but that is not the reason I applied for this credit card.

The Sportsman’s Guide Visa Card is one of the most popular credit cards offered by Comenity Bank. Comenity bank is very well known for providing a soft credit inquiry technique known as the Shopping Cart Trick. All is required to get approved for some (not all) Comenity Bank-issued credit cards is the last four digits of your social security number. The reason this Visa credit card was right for me was that I was rebuilding my credit. This is one of the few major issued credit card offers that work using the Shopping Cart Trick.

How I used the Shopping Cart Trick to Get Approved for the Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club™ Rewards Visa® Credit Card

I Started first by identifying which Shopping Cart Trick offers were the best for me. I did so much research that I wrote an entire blog post article about it. This Shopping Cart Trick article has been my most viewed article on by far. I explain the whole Shopping Cart Trick process. If you want to know the steps you need to take I recommend that you read this article. Not only that but most important I listed specific Comenity store credit card offers that I was able to get a soft pull application pop-up. This I consider my Shopping Cart Trick credit fast track approval list. I did the hard work of finding the easiest approved Shopping Cart Trick Comenity cards, so you don’t have to!

Caution When Using the Shopping Cart Trick Offered by Comenity Bank

Please note I only completed two of these credit card applications. I picked the two Comenity store credit cards that were most useful for my needs. I only open accounts which I will use long term. Please also note if you open too many credit card accounts some or all may be closed down by Comenity. So wisely choose when applying the Shopping Cart Trick.

Sportsman’s Guide Visa Pre Approval

Soft pull credit card applications were important to me because I was in the process of rebuilding my credit. I needed new lines of credit to rebuild my credit. I did not want hard pull credit inquiries to lower my credit score. After reviewing the best offers available to me, I decided that the Sportsman Guide Visa would be the best credit card offer. Is this method a Sportsman’s Guide Visa pre approval? No not in a traditional sense, but it works in a similar way. Much like with a traditional pre approval Comenity will do a look see or soft inquiry on your credit report. You receive no hard credit inquiry and credit approval tends to be much easier than with other major credit cards.

Did the Sportsman’s Guide Visa Credit Card Prove Useful to Me Beyond Building My Credit?

The answer to this was yes. This card offered further perks that go beyond the benefits I listed at the beginning of this article. I honestly thought this would only be a no annual fee major credit card that would rebuild my credit. I did not think I would have much use after that other than keeping this card active on my credit report and helping with my age of accounts.

SportsMan’s Guide Cardholder Benefit 1:

During the Christmas holiday season of last year, I received the opportunity to earn even more reward points. This special offer was to earn even more points for just dining at restaurants. This is the thing most people don’t understand about their reward credit cards. Many of these reward cards offer special promotion periods to earn even more credit card rewards. So you shouldn’t just cut up some credit cards because you believe that that they have outlived their usefulness. I have many other credit cards that have offered me additional benefits at no cost to me. Further, I am earning free rewards faster as with this example.

3X Reward Points Towards Dining With Restaurants Using The Sportsman's Guide Visa Credit Card

SportsMan’s Guide Cardholder Benefit 2:

So I am saving the very best for last! What is one of the most sought after offer credit card deals on the Internet? The answer to this is a balance transfer credit card offering a 0 interest intro with no balance transfer fees. Typically the vast majority of all balance transfer credit cards require that you pay a 3% balance transfer fee. If you are a Sportsman’s Guide Visa cardholder, they will periodically offer this extraordinary 0 fee balance transfer promotion.

I only was presented with this balance transfer offer last May of 2018. I wanted to know more about it, and the Comenity Sportsman’s Guide representative told me that they periodically offer this 0 balance transfer fee on the Sportsman’s Guide credit card. So I believe that I was only offered this now because I was a cardholder for over a year. My account was also in good standing. For me, this was the best benefit that the Sportsman’s Guide Visa Card has offered.

Sportsman's Guide Visa 0 Balance Transfer Fee 0 Interest

The Sportsman’s Guide Visa Helped Build My Business

You see I have built my entire business with the use of credit cards. I am a credit card blogger and vlogger (YouTube Channel CreditFast). I should know how to use credit cards correctly right??? Yes, and I have built my entire blog/vlog portion of my business using credit cards. I am not going to lie and say it is easy. You need to carefully plan all spending and make all your payments on time and avoid interest. Credit cards like the Sportsman’s Guide Visa offer special 0 interest promotions, but you need to follow the terms carefully.

How I Exactly Used the Sportsman’s Guide Visa Card to Build My Business

I used my Sportsman’s Guide credit card to help purchase camera equipment. First I use reward earning credit cards to make the purchases. For example, I bought camera gear from Amazon on my Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase. Then I transferred my balance to my Sportsman’s Guide Visa Card. So this is one example of how I earned 3% rewards on my purchases and 0 interest at the same time. This same principle can be applied if you are a consumer and need to make a large purchase(s) with any reward credit card.

Consumers Can Benefit With a Balance Transfer Using Their Sportsman’s Guide Visa Card

Again you don’t need to be a business owner. These same principles can be applied to anyone offered the Sportsman’s Guide Visa Card balance transfer offer. Balance transfer offers when utilized correctly can help reduce interest charges or obliterate them. So I recommend significantly having in place a plan to pay down your balance before the 0 APR intro ends. If you do this and follow through with your plan, this will be a brilliant way of handling credit debt.

Final Thoughts On My Experience with the Sportsman’s Guide Buyer’s Club™ Rewards Visa® Credit Card

I am happy to report that the Sportsman’s Guide Visa card has gone far beyond my initial expectations. This card proved more useful than just being a major credit card to help rebuild my credit. Now that I have restored my credit and have good credit I plan to keep the Sportsman’s Guide credit card. Who knows? Sometime soon I may even return to the lake. Most likely with a new fishing pole I received by redeeming points earned through my Sportsman’s Guide Visa Card!


Capital One Quicksilver Card Review

Capital One Quicksilver Card Compared With Capital One Platinum

Capital One Quicksilver Card Review

The Capital One Quicksilver Card is a great way for people to maximize their rewards. This simple card has a straightforward 1.5 percent cash back on everyday purchases. There are also very few hoops to jump through to get this card. We’ll cover the pros and cons of having the Capital One Quicksilver Card below. This will help you figure out if this card is a good choice for your lifestyle.

Capital One Quicksilver Benefits

Rewards Rate

One of the biggest Capital One Quicksilver card benefits is the rewards rate. You get a generous 1.5 percent cash back. This includes each purchase you make. This is higher than quite a few rewards cards. They usually offer rotating categories or one percent cash back. This higher rate means that you can earn rewards at a quicker pace. It also encourages you to use your card more often.

Limitless Rewards

Your rewards don’t expire as long as you have an account open and in good standing. This is great news for people who like to stack their rewards. You can save your rewards all year and cash them out when you want to make a larger purchase. Redeem your rewards as a paper check, gift card, or statement credits. You can also set up automatic redemption when you reach $25, $50, $100, or $200 in rewards.

No Annual Fee

Another point that makes the Capital One Quicksilver Card stand out is no annual fee. Every reward you earn will be pure profit. It’s great for people who don’t plan to use their card frequently. This makes the Capital One Quicksilver MasterCard a good no annual fee low usage credit card. You won’t have to worry about earning enough rewards to justify the annual fee. No annual fee is rare for a rewards card. They usually range between $50 and $100 and up.

Introductory APR

You get zero percent APR for the first 15 months. This introductory offer is good for every purchase and balance transfer you make with this card. You’ll be able to buy a more expensive purchase and pay it off over 15 months. It’s also a great time to pay down some of your debts with a balance transfer.

CreditWise Access

The Capital One Quicksilver Card gives cardholders access to Capital One CreditWise. CreditWise is a variety of tools that help you improve and understand your credit. You also get free credit score monitoring. It’ll show up on your dashboard with your monthly statement. CreditWise is an easy way to learn about your credit. It also teaches responsible use.

Fringe Benefits

Cardholders with the Capital One Unsecured MasterCard get access to several fringe benefits. These benefits are nice perks for people who like to travel or use the card for entertainment. Frequent travelers get 24/7 concierge service and travel booking assistance. There is also emergency card replacement available for stolen or lost cards. Finally, cardholders get VIP or priority access special golf outings, concerts, and sporting events.

Bonus for Signing Up

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with a bonus for signing up for the card. You have to spend just $500 in the first three months after you open an account. You’ll get a $150 statement credit for doing so. That works out to around $167 per month. That’s more than most people spend on groceries alone.

No Foreign Transaction Fee

The Capital One Quicksilver Card can use it when they travel. There is no foreign transaction fee attached to this card. This means that you can use it through non-US banks without a penalty. It’s also great for people who do a lot of international shopping or shipping.

Capital One Quicksilver Card Drawbacks

Credit Needed

One of the biggest drawbacks of this card is the credit requirements. You want to have very good or excellent credit before you apply for it. The Capital One Quicksilver approval odds fall drastically if you have fair/average credit or lower. You want to save your credit and not apply if you don’t meet the credit requirements.

Reward Redemption Restrictions

You do have the potential to earn a lot of rewards with this card. However, it restricts you on your redemption options. Also, you can’t redeem your rewards for travel, merchandise, or non-cash options. So this can make it difficult to get the most out of your card. You could redeem your rewards as a paper check and apply them that way.

Fixed Reward Rate

There are no rotating categories with high reward percentages like with the Discover it® Card and Chase Freedom® Card. Everything is a flat 1.5 percent cash back. It may take you a long time to earn a decent amount of rewards. This is especially true if you only use the card sporadically. However, they don’t ever expire. You could let them stack for years and then redeem them.

Higher APR

Your APR will start once the promotional period ends. This is a variable rate that starts at 14.74 percent and goes up to 24.74 percent. This can add up quickly if you plan to carry a balance from month to month. Also, the APR amount depends on your credit score. Even people will excellent credit will pay slightly more for this card. It’s typical to have a higher APR on a reward card like the Capital One Quicksilver Card.

Approval Odds With the Capital One Quicksilver Card

We mentioned that you need good to excellent credit to qualify for this card. This makes the Capital One Quicksilver approval odds lower for a lot of people. It dings your credit report each time you apply for it. The lenders look for any outstanding accounts, large credit problems, and your payment history. They’ll deny your application if they see any large issues or patterns.

Capital One Quicksilver vs Platinum

You should have a good idea on whether or not you want to apply for the Capital One Quicksilver Card. I’m now going to tell you about my experience with both of these cards. Hopefully, this will solidify whether or not the Capital One Quicksilver MasterCard is right for you.

I had poor to fair credit when I received an invitation offer for the Capital One Platinum MasterCard. This was good enough to start with the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card and receive a $300 credit limit. This gave me all of the tools that I needed to build my credit score. This is also a great first credit card because it’s straightforward with few frills.

Upgrade to Capital One Quicksilver Card and Receive a Credit Line Increase

There are no rewards or a bonus for signing up with the Capital One Platinum. However, there is also no annual fee with this Capital One MasterCard. It also gives you the opportunity to upgrade. So this is what sold me on these particular credit cards. All I had to do was make five payments in a row on time. Also after five on-time payments, I received a generous credit line increase. I went from a $300 credit line to $2300.

Capital One reviewed my account after a few short months. I was eligible for an upgrade at this point. So I decided to stay with Capital One because they initially gave me a great deal with the Capital One Platinum Card.

I decided to upgrade Capital One Platinum to Quicksilver. I loved that this card was also very straightforward and easy to understand. The Capital One Quicksilver benefits were also significant for a rewards card. I’m able to get 1.5 percent cash back on my everyday purchases. I can also let the rewards stack up for as long as I want.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with my Capital One experience. The Capital One Platinum Card is a great foundation to build your credit. Additionally, the upgrade to the Capital One Quicksilver Card was fast and easy.

Comparing the Capital One Quicksilver Card to the Capital One Platinum Card

Capital One
Capital One
Annual Fee $0 $0
Bonus for
Signing Up
$150 $0
Credit Needed Good & Above Fair
Foreign Transaction
None None
Reward Program 1.5% Cash Back None
Penalty Rate None None

Capital One Quicksilver Card is Best For:

  • This card is best for people with good to excellent credit. People who want a straightforward cash back card like this card. It’s also good for people who routinely travel or ship outside the United States.

Capital One Platinum Card is Best For:

  • This card is best for people with fair credit. Anyone who wants to build their score and upgrade to a card with the same lender can benefit. It’s also a great choice for people who want a simple credit card.

Comparing the Capital One Quicksilver Card and Capital One Platinum Card Bottom Line

The Capital One Quicksilver MasterCard is a solid choice. It’s very simple to use. You get access to a variety of tools to help you build and monitor your credit. You also get rewards for using it on everyday purchases. So anyone with excellent credit can benefit from having and using this card.

The Capital One Platinum Card is a solid choice for people who want to build their credit. It’s simple to use. Also, the opportunity to upgrade to the Capital One Quicksilver Card is a huge perk. Both of these cards can help you achieve excellent credit.


Airline Credit Card Offers – Are Airline Credit Cards Worth It?

Are airline credit card offers the best way to earn free travel?

Airline Credit Card Offers and Answering the Question – Are Airline Credit Cards Worth It?

Do your summer plans include travel? Perhaps you’ve spent time in an airport recently. If you have, you’ve most likely seen airline credit card offers. This can lead you to wonder are airline credit cards worth it or if you should just skip it. So the simple answer is that it depends on how often you travel with the credit card’s airline.

In reality, this is more complex, but it boils down to brand loyalty. How often do you fly one particular airline? If the answer is a lot, airline credit card offers may be worth it for you. We’ll go over when airline credit cards are worth it. We’ll touch on the best travel credit cards to earn free travel as well.

How Do Airline Miles Work?

So the first thing you have to understand is how airline miles work. This will help you choose the best airline miles credit cards to suit your needs. Airline-branded credit cards work for the specific airline that’s linked to them. When you fly this airline and use this card, you gain rewards.

You can use these rewards for free tickets, seat upgrades, meals, in-flight entertainment, and more. So you typically earn around one mile for every dollar that you spend. You have chances to earn more for purchasing things directly from the airline or its partners.

Are Airline Credit Cards Worth It?

Airline credit card offers are good choices if:

  • You Check Bags: The typical cost of one checked suitcase is around $25 one way. If your airline credit cards give you a free checked bag, you save $50 round trip. So say that your card’s annual fee is $95. Two trips with a checked bag will give you enough rewards to pay for the airline card annual fee.
  • You Fly With a Specific Airline: Frequent flyers that are loyal to one airline benefit from airline credit card offers. You get more opportunities to earn more perks, discounts, and miles. Bonuses and easier more frequent redemption periods can pay for a trip.
  • You Need Travel Perks for Your Frequent Travels: The best travel credit cards that are airline specific give extra rewards. Also, you may gain access to airport lounges as you travel. Seat upgrades, priority boarding, and discounts are other perks that you get for frequent travels.

Airline Credit Card Considerations and Drawbacks

There are a few pieces that you want to consider when you’re shopping for the best credit card for airline miles. Keeping these in mind will help to ensure that you don’t get a nasty surprise later on.

1. Sign-Up Bonus Spending Amount

Many credit cards with airline miles offer a nice sign-up bonus. This entices people to sign up for the card in the first place. The average value hovers around $400. However, you want to pay attention to what you have to spend. The average amount you’ll spend to get your bonus is around $1,380. Some cards require you to spend between $3,000 and $5,000. In this case, the bonus doesn’t outweigh what you spend to get it.

2. Annual Fee

Even the best miles credit card has an annual fee. This is a rewards card, and this means that the annual fee is usually higher. So a lot of airline credit cards have an annual fee that ranges from $90 to $130. You pay this every year whether you actually use the card or not. The goal is to make the rewards outweigh the fee. This can be easy if you travel a lot and this will make paying the annual fee worth it.

3. Interest Rates

Carry a balance from month to month, and you’ll pay interest. Again, this is a rewards card. This means that both the annual fee and the interest rates are usually higher. This applies even if you have excellent credit. Generally, your interest rates range between 15 to 22 percent. If you carry a balance, this can add up very fast. It can also eat into your rewards because you pay more.

4. First Year Value Drop

The time to use your airline miles credit card the most is in the first year. This is when most lenders waive the annual fee and give you bonuses. After the first year is up, the reward value drops significantly. You’ll have to earn enough rewards to justify the annual fee. Also, you won’t have any bonuses to fall back on if you fall short. This can put a large dent in the travel discount value of your airline miles credit card.

Airline Miles Credit Card Examples

If you’re curious about airline-specific credit cards, we have two for you.

United TravelBank Credit Card

  • If you frequently fly United Airlines, look into the United TravelBank Chase Visa. It stands out because it has no annual fee. You get TravelBank cash at a rate of 2 percent for every dollar spent on airline tickets through United. You also get 1.5 percent TravelBank cash for everything else. Pay for food and beverages on your flight and get a 25 percent statement credit. You also get price protection, travel insurance, and no foreign transaction fee.

JetBlue® Plus MasterCard Barclaycard

  • For anyone who flies JetBlue, this card has huge earning potential. You get six points per dollar you spend with JetBlue. You get two points for everyday spending, and it’s unlimited rewards. There is no blackout dates and no foreign transaction fee with the JetBlue® Plus MasterCard. You’ll also get a 50 percent statement credit for any entertainment, cocktails, or meals you purchase in-flight. If you spend $50,000 per year, you’re eligible for the TrueBlue Mosaic rewards program.

Question Answered: Are Airline Credit Cards Worth It?

General Travel Cards

If you don’t fly a lot, you may want a general travel card. They don’t offer the specific perks that you get with airline credit card offers. However, they do have greater flexibility for rewards. You can earn rewards with every purchase you make. This includes everyday items.

A general travel card is a good choice if:

  • You Budget When You Travel: If you like traveling on the cheapest rate, this card can help. You simply book the flight and use your rewards to cover the cost. Depending on the card, you can earn two miles for every dollar you spend.
  • Match the Rewards to Your Travel Style: Strategy when you travel pairs very well with general travel cards. If you like to figure out how to maximize your rewards with a flexible card, a general travel card is a good choice.

General Travel Card Examples

If the answer to the question: Are airline credit cards worth it is no then CreditFast has other credit offer recommendations. We have what is arguably some of the best general travel rewards credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

  • These general travel cards from Chase come with huge perks. Compare the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Reserve® Cards to learn which card is best for you. These two Sapphire travel reward cards from Chase offer some of the best travel rewards. Sapphire cards can earn rewards that can be redeemed for airline travel. Sapphire Reserve offers $300 travel reimbursement each year. Your Reserve card grants you complimentary lounge access at most major airports. Also, Chase will reimburse Reserve cardholders for TSA Precheck or Global Entry fees. So these can be huge airline travel perks. Depending on your needs a Chase Sapphire card can be better than any of the airline credit card offers discussed.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

  • This general travel card comes with no annual fee. Once you get your bonuses, you keep them. They don’t expire, and you can’t lose them unless you close your account. You can earn unlimited miles and rewards. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card gives you 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend on everyday purchases. Additionally, you can use your miles on any airline and hotel. Finally, you also get 20,000 bonus miles by spending $1,000 in the first three months.

Airline Credit Card Offers Bottom Line

So, are airline credit cards worth it? If you choose the correct airline credit card offers, yes. Furthermore, the rewards can outweigh the costs very easily if you do your research. So take your time and look over different airline credit card offers. Finally, match the offer that fits your spending the closest and enjoy the air travel rewards.

CreditFast has reviewed the best travel credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each credit card. We have chosen travel and airline credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.


Citi Secured MasterCard Review Pros and Cons

The Citi Secured MasterCard helps to repair credit.

Citi Secured MasterCard Pros and Cons

The Citi Secured MasterCard is a simple card for people who have poor credit. It doesn’t come with a lot of extras, but it’s a solid card. If you have poor credit, it’s a good way to start rebuilding your credit score. We’ll go over the pros and cons of the Citibank Secured Card, so you know if it’s an option you want to consider. If not, there are other secured cards available.

Top 3 Secured Credit Cards

Citi Secured MasterCard Pros

No Annual Fee

The CitiBank Secured Credit Card doesn’t have an annual fee. This is great because you have a lower credit limit with this card. Justifying an annual fee with this card would be hard. Citi understands this, and they don’t charge one with this card. You can use the card sparingly and not have to worry about getting money to pay extra fees.

Flexible Starting Deposit

Unlike a lot of secured cards, the Citi Secured Credit Card has a flexible starting deposit. The minimum amount is $200 to open a card. But, this deposit amount goes up to $2,500 depending on your credit. This is huge for a secured card because a lot of them max out at $500 to $1,000 for a maximum deposit. It gives you more freedom and a higher spending limit.

Reports to Three Credit Bureaus

You need a card that reports to all three major credit bureaus. With the Citi Secured MasterCard, you’ll get it. Each month, Citi will report your credit card activity. As long as you’re using the card responsibly, your FICO score can improve. It may take a few months of on-time payments, but it will start to go up. Because it reports to all three credit bureaus, you’ll get consistent improvement.

Insurance Perks

If you travel, you want to take the Citi Secured Credit Card with you. It’ll help you get a few perks while you’re traveling. These perks include things like travel accident insurance and rental car insurance. You won’t have to pay extra for these perks either. Citi gives them to you for having and using this card. So this allows you to free up a little more of your travel budget for recreational spending.

Citi Concierge Service Access

Another great perk you get with this card is access to Citi Concierge service. This free service will help you as you travel. It gives you access to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week hotel booking help. Citi will help you find a hotel at the best rate available and book it for you for free. It also helps you book tickets to events.

Price Rewind

Another great perk is the Citi Secured MasterCard Price Rewind program. You make your purchases and register them with Citi online. For the next 60 days, Citi will look for lower prices. If it finds them, you’ll get the difference. This can appear as a statement credit on your account.

Introductory APR

Another thing that sets the Citibank Secured Card apart is the introductory APR offer. For the first 12 months, you’ll pay a zero percent APR on every purchase you make. It also applies to balance transfers. So, if you have a small amount of debt you can transfer and pay it off. This is great for people who want to make purchases and make sure they can pay them off without interest.

Free FICO Score

The Citi Secured MasterCard gives you free access to your FICO credit score. This allows you to monitor your credit as your build it. It also gives you a chance to monitor your credit history and look for fraud. You’ll be able to watch your score rise as Citi reports your card usage habits.

Wide Acceptance

As a MasterCard, a lot of vendors accept the Citibank Secured Credit Card. Vendors all over the world accept MasterCard. You can use it online or in-person. It’s good for entertainment, dining, transportation, shopping, and much more. This stops you from having to carry two different cards around. It also gives you more opportunity to use it and build your credit.

Citi Secured MasterCard Cons

High APR

Once the introductory offer ends, you’re subject to a high APR. This rate will vary between 14.49 percent and 23.99 percent. The rate depends on your credit score. It can add up quickly if you carry a balance. There is also a penalty APR if you miss a payment of 29.99 percent. You can avoid this by not carrying a balance from month to month.

No Rewards

This is a secured card, and it doesn’t have any rewards. So, you won’t enjoy anything like cash back for spending. This is typical of a secured card because you’re trying to build your credit. Once your credit is good enough, you can apply for various rewards cards. It might take a while, but it’s worth it.

Restricted Spending

Secured credit cards come with quite a few restrictions. You’ll have a very restricted spending limit. So you only want to use 30 percent of your card’s available balance. If your credit line is $200, you should only spend $60 at the most. This limits how useful the card is to you. It won’t be very useful in emergencies.

Cash Advance Fee

This card also comes with a very large cash advance fee. If you decide to take out a cash advance, you’ll pay a 26.74 percent fee. This goes for each time you take out a cash advance. This fee means that you’ll have to pay it back as well as the amount you took out for the advance. It can add up very quickly. This is also a fast way to slide into debt and have trouble getting back out.

Bottom Line on the Citi® Secured Mastercard®

The Citi Secured MasterCard is a no-frills option for people who need to rebuild their credit. It gives several perks that are unusual for secured cards. There are a few drawbacks, but every card has drawbacks. So if you’re considering rebuilding your credit, check out the Citi Secured MasterCard. It can help you get your credit back on track.

CreditFast has reviewed the best secured credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each secured credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.


Consolidating Credit Card Debt 3 Ways

Consolidating Credit Card Debt - Learn 3 Ways

Consolidating Credit Card Debt

Consolidating credit card debt requires a lot of thought before you do it. There are several things to consider and there are several ways you can go about consolidating credit card debt. You want to make sure that you’re making your situation better and not worse.

What Consolidating Credit Card Debt Means

When you consolidate your debt, you take all of your payments and put them into one payment. This can be loan payments or credit card payments. If you have multiple credit card payments, you can consolidate them all into one payment. This doesn’t mean that your debt goes away. You might also end up paying more on the consolidated payment than you would have with the individual ones. It does simplify the payment process though.

Before Consolidating Credit Card Debt, Try These Steps

Since consolidation involves taking out a loan, there are a few things to consider. The whole point of a consolidation loan it to get yourself out of debt. Everyone wants to get out of credit debt fast. You can only do this quicker if you consider these points:

  • Budget: Make a monthly budget and track everything you spend. There are apps you can learn to use that make it very easy to budget. Learn how Mint works to help people budget either by using their desktop or the app. This will help you understand where your money goes. It’ll also help you trim away excess expenses so you can stay out of debt.
  • Lower Payments: Contact your lenders and see if they’ll lower your monthly payments. As long as you’ve not defaulted, most will work with you. They may waive fees, change your due date to match your paydays or reduce your interest rates. If they won’t consider consolidating credit card debt.
  • Spending: Take a long look at your spending. You have to understand how you got into debt in the first place. If you routinely live outside your financial means, this consolidation loan won’t help you much. You’ll most likely end up right back where you started within a few months. It is important to recognize the warning signs of credit card debt.

Additional Things to Consider Before Consolidating Credit Card Debt

  • Make sure you can afford your payment. A lot of people fall behind with their consolidation loan payments because they don’t modify their spending.
  • Your debt consolidation loan can cost you more in fees, interest, and miscellaneous costs than you’d spend paying your original payments.
  • If you have a lower credit score, you might not get lower interest rates on your debt consolidation loan, balance transfer credit cards, or home equity loan.
  • Using a nonprofit credit counselor can help you understand your debt and help you choose the best debt consolidation option for your lifestyle.
  • Debt settlement companies can charge upfront fees before they help settle your debts.

Different Ways to Consolidate Your Debt

There are three primary ways to consolidate your debt. Which one you use depends on your situation. One that works for someone else may not work well for you.

1. Debt Consolidation Loan

Consider consolidating credit card debt with a debt consolidation loan. You can get one from credit unions, banks, and installment loan lenders. You combine your monthly payments into one simple loan payment. This way, you’ll only have to remember to make this one payment a month. You may also get a lower interest rate than you currently pay on your other debt. You do want to make sure that the interest rate isn’t just an introductory offer. Ideally, the lower interest rate should last the life of the loan.
When you look into a debt consolidation loan, look at the terms and conditions. You want to look for any additional costs or fees you wouldn’t have with your current payments. Make sure that you’re not paying a lot more overall. Lower monthly payments usually mean you pay more in interest fees. The goal is to get out of debt, not pay more in.
  • Debt Consolidation Loan Tip: It’s a good idea to compare various loans before you pick one. Check the interest rates, fees, and terms. This will help you pick a loan that fits your budget. It’ll also help you pay the least amount of money over time.

2. Balance Transfer Credit Cards

A lot of lenders offer balance transfer credit cards with good introductory offers. These introductory offers are usually a zero percent interest rate for a set amount of months. This means that you’ll only pay on the amount you transfer over and no additional interest rates. This introductory offer typically lasts between 12 and 18 months. It’s also possible to find a balance transfer card without that doesn’t have a balance transfer fee.

When the introductory offer ends, the interest rate goes back to the regular rate. If you’re two months late on a payment, the lender can start charging interest. It doesn’t matter if you’re still in the introductory period or not. Also, if you make purchases on this card, you’ll pay interest on them right away. You’ll continue to pay interest until you pay the balance off.

  • Balance Transfer Card Tip: Don’t make any purchases on your new balance transfer card. Use it to pay off your transferred balances, and don’t use it for anything else. Not only will this help you pay your balances off quicker, but it’ll also stop you from paying interest. Review the Credit Fast picks for the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards.

3. Home Equity Loan

Consolidating credit card debt with a home equity loan can be risky, but it’s an option. You take out a loan for the amount of your debt against your home’s equity. You use the funds from this loan to pay off your debt. Now you have to pay back the home equity loan. If you don’t or can’t pay back the home equity loan, you could lose your home. The bank or lender could foreclose on it, no matter how small the home equity loan is.

Usually, this type of loan has a lower interest rate. You do want to make sure that you won’t pay closing costs with this type of loan. These costs can easily amount to thousands of extra dollars. A home equity loan can also make it harder for you to sell or refinance your home later on. If your home’s value falls, you can find yourself underwater. This means that you’ll owe more than your home is worth.

  • Home Equity Loan Tip: Using a home equity loan should be a last resort for consolidating credit card debt. It’s very risky, and you don’t want to lose your home to foreclosure. If you do take out a home equity loan, make every payment on time. It’s also a good idea to try and pay a little more than the payment each month.

Choose the Right Way With Consolidating Credit Card Debt

No matter which of the 3 ways you choose for consolidating credit card debt, make sure it works for your situation. You don’t want to fall farther behind and make your situation worse. These three different debt consolidation ideas allow you to compare them easily. Use your debt consolidation loan responsibly, and you can be on your way to no debt.


Best Gas Card – Earn Gas Rewards When Gas Prices Go Up

Earn gas rewards at the gas station by finding the best gas card.

Best Gas Card and Benefits of Gas Credit Cards When Gas Prices Go Up

Anyone who commutes regularly can tell you how useful gas credit cards are. This is especially true when gas prices go up. For college students or people who commute for work, the gas rewards can stack up. Even if you don’t commute, you still fill up your car routinely using a gas card. So the best gas card can really help you when the gas prices rise.

There is also a gas credit card for bad credit available to earn gas rewards. If you’ve never heard of gas credit cards and gas rewards, this article is for you. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about gas rewards cards. I’ll also review the four best gas credit cards available including one of the gas cards for bad credit. So you’ll have a good starting point for research.

Defining What is a Gas Credit Card

A gas credit card comes directly from a gas station. When you use this card, you can get discounts and additional perks like a few cents off per gallon. Some also offer a rewards system in the form of points. You could even get as much as three percent cash back. So, if you fill your car every few days, this three percent can quickly add up.

You do want to choose the best gas card for your preferred gas station. This is important because some only offer discounts or rewards if you fuel up at their gas station. These cards can also be easier to apply for and get approved, and they can boost your credit score.

How to Apply for a Gas Credit Card

The gas station application process is usually relatively straightforward. You can ask at the gas station of your choice if they have gas credit cards and how you apply. It can vary from gas station to gas station. But, you usually have the option of applying online or applying right at the gas station.

You’ll input your relevant information and find out if your credit is high enough for approval. If you are, the lender will send you your gas reward credit card in the mail. Once you get it, you can start using it straight away. If not, you can work on rebuilding your credit and try again, or look into gas credit cards for bad credit.

Important Gas Rewards Credit Cards Considerations to Find the Best Gas Card

Even the best gas card has essential considerations you want to keep in mind. The last thing you want to do is get gas cards that don’t fit your lifestyle. It won’t do you any good if you don’t use it regularly.

  • Annual Fee – Annual fees tend to cost more with rewards cards. This is true for gas rewards credit cards as well. You want to check and see what your annual fee is. If it’s high, this can defeat the purpose of your rewards. Ideally, your goal is to make your rewards outweigh the annual fee. If you can’t do this, you’ll be paying in for a card you may not use that often.
  • Interest Rate – Generally, gas credit cards come with a higher interest rate. This is especially true if they’re rewards-style cards, but most rewards cards have higher rates. You can avoid interest by paying off your balance every month. If you don’t carry a balance, you won’t pay interest.
  • Rewards Limits – Some gas rewards cards have caps on how many rewards you can earn. This cap usually resets every three months, but it can cut into your rewards. A few of the best gas card options have unlimited rewards. This is useful if you spend a lot and tend to hit caps quickly. You’ll get more rewards with a card with no limit. No limits on earning gas rewards are especially helpful when gas prices go up.
  • Rotating Cash Back Categories – A lot of gas cards come with fixed bonus percentages. However, a few do offer rotating or bonus categories. This rotating category cards can give you up to five percent cash back during certain quarters. Gas credit cards usually transfer this higher cash back to gas station purchases as well.
  • Sign-Up Bonus – The best gas card may offer you a sign-up bonus when you open the card. You usually have to spend a certain amount during the first three months to get this bonus. However, the bonus can end up being worth $150 and up. This shouldn’t help you make a decision between cards. But, if you’re deciding between two and the one with the bonus works better, take it.
  • Terms and Conditions – If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Unfortunately, the same goes gas reward cards. Make sure that you read the fine print. It’ll tell you all of the miscellaneous fees and important card information you want to know.

Compare Gas Rewards to Find the Best Gas Card

Now that you know what to look for, there are a few other important things you should know. It’s important that you compare best gas reward cards. There are five things you have to know and do to help ensure that you get the best one.

  • Know what your credit score is
  • Compare the rewards programs and ensure they match your habits
  • Compare interest rates and fees between cards
  • Check the annual fee
  • Pick a card with a low cost and maximum benefits

Gas Rewards – Reviewing Four of the Best Gas Credit Cards

1. Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

This card gives you three percent cash back on gas, two percent for groceries, and one percent on everything else. The Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card does have a $2,500 cap, but this starts over every quarter. If you spend $500 during the first three months, you get a $150 sign-up bonus as well.

This card also comes with no annual fee, and this is huge for a rewards card. You’ll pay not APR for the first 12 months, and there are unlimited rewards. This is why this Bank of America credit card made the Credit Fast best gas card list. However, this card does require excellent credit. It also has a higher APR and a foreign transaction fee.

2. Blue Cash Preferred Card

The Blue Cash Preferred Card has straight cashback with no rotating categories. If you spend $1,000 in the first three months, you get a $150 statement credit. It gives you three percent cash back on gas and up to six percent cash back at select supermarkets. There is also a zero percent APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months.

The six percent rewards rate caps at $6,000 per year, and then it restarts. There is also a foreign transaction fee. You’ll pay a $95 annual fee each year for having the card as well. But, it’s a good choice for people who do a lot of grocery shopping. If you want to avoid credit card fees look at the top 5 no annual fee credit cards Credit Fast recommends.

3. Discover it Card

Each quarter; this card rotates rewards categories. In the last two years, gas station purchases got five percent cashback during the first quarter. After the first year, the Discover it Card matches any rewards you earned throughout the year. There are also multiple ways to redeem your rewards, and identity theft monitoring.

You do need credit in the high 600s or low 700s to qualify for this card. As it is Discover, it’s not as widely accepted as MasterCard or Visa. Also, the rotating categories can be difficult to track. You can only earn around $75 per quarter before the rewards cap kicks in as well. Another cash back card is the Chase Freedom® Cash Back Visa which also offers 5% 1st quarter on gas purchases.

4. Discover it Secured Card – One of the Best Gas Cards for Bad Credit

As far as gas cards for bad credit go, the Discover it Secured card is a good option. It only costs $200 to open an account, and people with bad credit qualify. The card also gives quick upgrade opportunities after eight months of on-time payments. You earn two percent cash back at the gas station. This caps at $1,000 but resets every four months.

There is no annual fee with this card, and it’s one of the few secured credit cards with rewards. You get free credit monitoring, and it has an easy application process. It does have an APR around 24.49 percent, but you can avoid this by not carrying a balance. There is also a late payment fee and a balance transfer fee. These are both avoidable though with responsible use.

Bottom Line on Finding the Best Gas Card and Gas Rewards

The best gas card can help you save money and build your credit at the same time. You earn even more gas rewards when gas prices go up. However, choosing the best gas card requires you to do your research. Even if you have bad credit, one of these gas reward cards can help you.

CreditFast has reviewed credit cards and benefits of each best gas card with a sign-up bonus. We have chosen the best gas card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.


Credit Builder Loan From Self Lender Review

Build credit credit score fast with a credit builder loan. Read the full Self Lender review. plus YouTube video.

Self Lender Review – Credit Builder Loan

Anyone who wants to fix their credit but doesn’t want to use a credit card has other options. A credit builder loan is a great alternative to traditional credit building methods, and there is no credit check required. What’s better, it’s available in all 50 states. Our comprehensive Self Lender review will give you a good idea if this is a feasible option for you to use.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about this service step-by-step. This includes what a credit builder loan is, how you apply, and how it can help. We’ll also talk about who could benefit most from using this tool, and why it’s a good alternative. By the end of this Self Lender review, you will know if this credit builder loan is right for you.

Apply Self Lender – Build Your Financial Future

Who or What is Self Lender?

First up on our Self Lender review is pinning down exactly who or what Self Lender is. Basically, Self Lender offers credit building or credit repair installment loans. First, they offer free credit monitoring. This monitoring system lets you see exactly where your credit score is at. It also allows you to track your score and watch for fraudulent activity or incorrect information. This credit scoring service will give you tips and hints to improve your credit, and it’s all at no cost.

Most important, the company also offers a credit builder loan program. This program is where they offer a truly unique type of installment loan. It’s also where they can help people rebuild their credit. Whether you have bad credit or no credit, this program can help you. They designed the program to give people second chances, even when other lenders turned them down. It may be slightly slower than traditional credit building tools, but it works.

How the Credit Builder Loan Program Works

When you think of a loan, you think of applying and getting your money right away. However, this program works in reverse to a traditional installment loan. Once you apply for the loan, the company will place the loan amount in a Certificate of Deposit account. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures this money, so it’s safe. You’ll make set monthly payments for a set number of months until you pay the loan off. When you pay it off, the company will release the funds to you.

You can choose from a single year loan or a two-year loan program when you apply. The lowest payment amount this program has is just $25 per month, and it’s stretched out over two years. If you choose this loan, you’ll pay a $9 administrative fee. This fee will go up depending on which loan you choose, but it caps at $15 upfront. So, you don’t have to have a lot of money to enroll in this program. You just have to be sure that you can make all of your monthly payments on time.

Free On-Demand Credit Monitoring is Offered with a Self Lender Credit Builder Loan

You get free on-demand credit monitoring, and you’ll also get a VantageScore. This comes from TransUnion. It allows you to get into the habit of tracking your score while you build it. In around six months, you should see your score improve. Or, you should see a score generate if you didn’t have one. This program will let you pay off the balance before the lending period is up. However, this won’t help to build your score any higher.

When you get the money, it’s yours to do whatever you want with it. So you can create an emergency fund or reinvest it. You could even take out another credit builder loan and continue to improve your score. You want to pay the full term of the loan. This way you will have 12 or 24 months of on-time payments reported to the credit bureaus. Also, Self Lender is an installment loan which gets reported differently than a credit card which is a revolving account. Having different credit trade types on your credit report is called credit mix; it factors 10% of your credit score.

The Credit Builder Loan Application Process

Now that you know what this installment loan program does, our Self Lender review will go through the application process. It is fairly straightforward, and it can take as little as five minutes from start to finish.

Start by going to the Self Lender website and click “Get Started.” The site will then ask you what type of loan you want. Choose from a regular loan or the normal credit builder option with a CD. Then, you’ll have to create an account and log in. Once this is complete, you’ll have to fill in:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Birthday
  • Social Security Number
  • Income Limit

It’ll take this information and run it through ChexSystems to check your banking history. It’s looking for any issues like bad checks or overdrafts. However, it usually ignores them unless you have outstanding balances. If it comes back with no issues, you’ll move on to the next step.

Self Lender Review the Different Credit Builder Loan Options

Next, you’ll have to choose a loan amount, payment, and terms. These are all preset by the company. A larger loan won’t help you fix your credit faster. However, it might mean that you don’t pay as much for interest. You can choose from the following options:

Loan One Loan Two Loan Three Loan Four
Loan Amount $525 $545 $1,000 $2,200
Monthly Payment $25 $48 $89 $194
Repayment Term 24 Months 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months
Total Interest $75 $31 $68 $128
Cost Upfront $9 $15 $12 $12

Once you’ve settled on a loan, the site will ask you to input how you’d like to make your payments. You can choose from a debit card or a checking account. However, you’ll pay extra fees if you use a debit card to make your payments.

You’ll start making your monthly payments. The company will report your payments to all three credit bureaus. In around six months, you should see your score improve. However, this will only help if all of your other credit lines are in good standing. If you default on one, this program will do little to help build your credit score.

Penalties and Fees

If you get into this program and miss payments, you’ll pay for it. If you’re 15 days late with your payment, you’ll pay an additional 5% of the monthly payment fee. Also if you’re 30 days late with a payment, it’ll go on your credit report. If you don’t catch it up, it’ll eventually default. You’ll get your original deposit amount back. It’ll subtract whatever you still owed plus any fees. This will go on your credit report and damage your score.

Benefits and Drawbacks of the Credit Builder Loan

As with any credit building tool, the Self Lender program comes with pros and cons. It’s only fair that this Self Lender review gives you both sides so you can make an informed decision.

Self Lender Review of Benefits

  • The program forces you to save.
  • Any upfront costs are extremely affordable.
  • No penalties for paying off the loan early.
  • There is no credit check required with a hard credit inquiry.
  • It can diversify your credit history because it’s an installment loan.
  • It reports every payment to the credit bureaus.

Self Lender Review of Drawbacks

  • Any late payments can damage your credit.
  • You may not qualify if you have outstanding banking fees.
  • You’ll pay 5% more per month if you’re 15 days late.
  • It costs you to take out the loan.
  • The CD’s interest rate is extremely low.
  • It costs more to pay with a debit card.

People Who Benefit from this Program

This program is an excellent choice for people with no or bad credit. It’s also a good choice for people who want to try an alternative to traditional credit repair tools. As there is no credit check, it’s a solid choice for people with no credit history as well. If you’re younger and you can’t get a normal credit card, this program could work. It can give you a solid foundation to build your credit history on. As we mentioned before, it’ll diversify your credit history at the same time.

Alternatives to the Credit Builder Loan

If you’re still not sure about this program, there are other options available to you. They may cost more upfront or be harder to qualify for, but they’re available.

1. Authorized User
If a parent, relative, or sibling has a credit card, ask if they’ll add you as an authorized user. You’ll get your own card that functions off their line of credit. This is risky for them though. If you make purchases and don’t pay it, it’ll hurt their credit. Learn more here at making your teen an authorized user.

2. Loan Co-Signer
Another option available to you is to ask someone with good credit to co-sign a traditional loan with you. They’ll look at your co-signer’s credit history along with your own to determine your eligibility. If they approve your loan and you don’t pay it, your co-signer will be on the hook for the balance. Read more on the risks of co-signing.

3. Secured Credit Cards
A final option is applying for and getting a secured credit card. You can get them with bad or no credit, but they cost more upfront. You’ll pay a deposit that ranges between $49 up to $200, and $200 becomes your line of credit. Don’t carry a balance from month to month and you won’t pay interest. Review the Credit Fast Top 3 Picks for Secured Credit Card Applications.

So if you want to learn more from Self Lender or apply visit:
Apply Self Lender – Build Your Financial Future

Self Lender Review Credit Builder Loan Bottom Line

Our Self Lender review of the credit builder loan program gave you a comprehensive look at what it offers. We walked you through the application process and gave you benefits and drawbacks of the program. We also gave you alternatives. This program is a solid option for anyone who wants to build or fix their credit. You can choose from several payment, and loan amounts to fit into any budget. As long as you make your payments on time, it can help you build a solid credit history.


Secured MasterCard from Capital One Review

Reviewed are the Features of the Secured MasterCard from Capital One

Secured MasterCard from Capital One Review

When it comes to fixing or establishing your credit, the Secured MasterCard from Capital One is a decent choice. It comes with several perks that are unusual for a secured credit card for their cardholders to enjoy. If you’re curious whether or not the Capital One Secured MasterCard is a good fit for you, read on. We’ll list the good and the not so good that comes with this card.

Benefits of the Secured MasterCard from Capital One

Easy Account Monitoring

The Capital One Secured credit card has easily accessible account monitoring. You’ll get online account access. You can log in through the app or through the website. This allows you to monitor your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You’ll be able to log in and check your balance, bills, and any purchases. You can also call in and contact support with any questions or concerns.

Regular Credit Reporting

The Capital One Secured card helps you build or rebuild your credit. As long as you use it responsibly, should see your credit increase. It regularly reports to all three credit bureaus. This is great if you have a very thin credit history. Lenders will be able to look and see you making on-time payments and using your card responsibly. This can make them more comfortable to work with you.

Lower Initial Deposit

Normally when you get a secured card, your deposit amount is your credit line. However, the Capital One Secured card deposit it different, and this makes it stand out. The deposits start at $49, and this can get you a credit line of $200. The total amount will depend on your creditworthiness. If you want a higher credit limit, your Capital One Secured card deposit can range from $99 to $200.

CreditWise and Monitoring Tools

On top of 24/7 account access, Capital One gives cardholders more tools to succeed. Cardholders will enjoy CreditWise, and this is a free monitoring app. It lets you see your credit score improving. It’ll also show you your payment and credit history in real time. CreditWise monitors your account for suspicious activity as well. Finally, you can set up an alert system to warn you of upcoming payments. It’ll email you if you’re too close to your credit limit as well.

Access to a Higher Credit Line

The Secured MasterCard from Capital One lets you get a higher credit line quickly. When you open the account, all you do is make your first five payments on time. If you do this, Capital One may offer you a higher credit line. This higher credit line gives you a little more freedom with your purchases. It also gives you a chance to continue to learn to be financially responsible.

No Annual Fees

Some secured cards have annual fees, but the Secured MasterCard from Capital One has no annual fee. No annual fees allow you to focus on building your credit and your credit history. You won’t have to worry about having extra money around to pay your annual fee. This is great news for people who don’t have a lot of money, to begin with. It gives you the flexibility to plan for your expenses as well.

No Additional Deposit for a Credit Increase

Usually, when you apply for a higher line of credit, you pay an additional deposit. This isn’t the case with the Capital One Secured credit card. Capital One will monitor how well you’re doing with your card. Show them that you can use it responsibly and your credit is doing better, you can get a credit increase. If your credit is doing well enough, you won’t pay an additional deposit.

Widely Accepted

MasterCard is one of the more popular credit card brands. It’s been around since 1966, and most vendors accept it. You can use it at restaurants, for entertainment, shopping, and more. You can also use it online or in person, and this makes it easy to build up a solid foundation for your credit. Just make sure that you can pay off your balance each month and avoid sliding into debt.

Flexible Payment Options

A lot of cards have one specific due date, and you have to work around it. The Secured MasterCard from Capital One has a fluid payment due date and options. When you get the card, you can pick the due date that suits you. You can also choose how you’d like to make your payment. You can pay by check, at a local branch, or online. Whichever way you choose to pay is free, and you won’t pay an additional fee.

Authorized User

Another thing that sets the Secured MasterCard from Capital One apart is the authorized user feature. You can register another person to use your card. Once you do, you can monitor their activity through CreditWise. You may not want to do this because it’s a smaller credit line, but the option is there.

Drawbacks of the Secured MasterCard from Capital One

No Rewards

The Capital One Secured Card has no reward system. You won’t earn any reward points or cash back when you use the card. This is fairly typical of secured credit cards. It allows you to focus on fixing or building up a solid credit history. You can always graduate to a rewards card once you build up your credit score. However the Discover it® Secured Credit Card does offer cash back rewards from day one.


If you usually carry a balance from month to month, you want to break this habit with this card. The Capital One Secured MasterCard has a higher APR. For each month you carry a balance, you’ll pay an additional APR of 24.99%. This rate can stack up very quickly, and it’s a fast way to get into debt. If you’re having trouble paying your balance, it’s time to scale back your spending.

Lower Maximum Security Deposit

Although it’s nice that you’ll pay less for a security deposit, it has a lower maximum amount. The highest security deposit you can pay for this card is $1,000. This restricts how high your final credit line amount is. Other secured credit cards offer maximum security deposits ranging from $2,500 to $4,900.

Have to Have a Savings or Checking Account

In order to open this card, you have to have either a checking or a savings account. You can’t open the card without one, and this can make it difficult. It is relatively easy to open one of these accounts though. It also doesn’t have to be through Capital One. You can open one at the bank of your choice, and it’ll work. If you do not have a bank account then the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a good option.

Eligibility Restrictions

This card comes with a few other restrictions as well. If you’re an existing customer, you can only have two other Capital One accounts. They also have to be in good standing and show a history of responsible use. If you’ve recently had a credit card discharged, you won’t be eligible for this card. It’s important to know these restrictions before you apply for this card.

Lower Initial Credit Limit

Whether you pay a $49, $99, or $200 security deposit, your initial credit limit is $200. You’ll have this credit limit for at least the first five months you have the Secured MasterCard from Capital One. Once the five months is up, you may be eligible for a higher line of credit.

No Graduating to an Unsecured Card

A lot of secured cards have a graduation process. After you build up your credit, they’ll offer you an unsecured card. However, this card doesn’t offer that option. If you want an unsecured card from Capital One, you have to apply for it. You may get pre-qualification offers from the company when your credit fits their requirements.

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Bottom Line Secured MasterCard® from Capital One®

The Secured MasterCard from Capital One has several great benefits and a few drawbacks. So it’s a good tool to use to fill out your credit history. As long as you use it responsibly, it’ll work for you. Finally, if you’re considering trying to build your credit, it’s worth looking into this secured card.

CreditFast has reviewed the best secured credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each secured credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.


Discover it Secured Card Review Benefits

The Discover it Secured Card can help build good credit history.

Discover it Secured Card Review of Benefits and Drawbacks

For rebuilding credit, it’s hard to find a card like the Discover it Secured Card. It offers so many good things for people to encourage them to use the card. If you’ve never heard of a secured card or the Discover it Secured credit card, this is for you. We’ll talk about the benefits and drawbacks of this secured credit card. By the end, you’ll know if this is a card that fits your situation or if you should keep looking.

Discover it Secured Card Benefits

1. Lower Deposit Amount

This secured Discover card requires you to pay a deposit when you get it. This deposit is what you’ll have to spend for your credit line. The minimum amount you can deposit is $200. It’s a great choice for people who don’t have a lot of extra cash around. You do need banking information when before you get your card. This lets them secure your credit line deposit. If you do not have a bank account the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a credible option to consider.

2. Fast Upgrade Opportunities

Unlike several secured cards, the Discover it Secured Card comes with fast upgrade opportunities. If you submit every payment by the due date for eight months, they’ll review your account. If they don’t see any outstanding problems, they’ll consider transitioning you to an unsecured credit line. This is when you’ll get your initial deposit back as long as you pay off the balance. They’ll continue to review your account each month to see if you’re eligible for an upgrade.

3. Cash Back

It’s extremely rare to find a secured credit card that gives cash back. But, the Discover it Secured Card does just that. You’ll get cash back for every single purchase you make with your card. Make purchases at gas stations or restaurants and get 2% cash back. That is why at Credit Fast we think that this is one of the best gas cards for bad credit. This does drop to 1% when you hit the $1,000 mark. But, it starts over again every four months. You’ll get 1% cash back on every other purchase you make with the Discover secured card.

4. Cash Back Match

Discover rewards its cardholders at the end of their first credit year. They’ll give you a dollar-for-dollar cash back match. So, if you made $600 in cash back rewards, Discover would double it. This is free and automatic, so you don’t have to keep track of your rewards. It’s also a great incentive to use your card to work on your credit score.

5. No Annual Fee

This is a secured card, and it has absolutely no annual fee. This lets you use the card as much or as little as you want without a problem. It’s a good choice for people who don’t plan to use their card as much during the year. You won’t have to try and justify spending to earn enough rewards to match the annual fee. Any cash back rewards you earn each month are pure profit.

6. Free Social Security Number Monitoring

When you sign up for the Discover secured credit card, you’ll get free social security number monitoring. Discover will automatically crawl thousands of risky websites looking for your social security number. When it finds it, you’ll get a free text message alert to warn you. This feature can help to cut down on identity fraud and potentially save you money.

7. Free Credit Monitoring

You want to be able to watch your credit score go up. You can do this with free credit monitoring you get when you get the Discover secured card. It allows you to log in and check it each month. This helps you tell exactly where your credit is at all times. It’s also a good way to catch issues or fraudulent transactions in a hurry. You won’t get surprised by them a few months down the line.

8. Reports to All Three Credit Bureaus

This secured card will start reporting your activity to the credit bureaus after your first month. This is why it’s so important to have all of your payments submitted by or before the due date. You don’t want to have missed or late bill payments in your credit history. Missing payments or paying late can make your score worse and harder to build.

9. Credit Requirements

A lot of secured credit cards only work well for very low credit. However, the Discover it Secured Card has a higher range. It works very well to build credit until you hit at least 670. This feature lets you use this card for a longer period and still benefit from it. By the time you hit 670, you’ll usually get an upgrade to an unsecured card. This will help you continue to rebuild bad credit.

10. Easy Application Process

Applying for the Discover it Secured credit card is an easy process. You just have to fill out the online Discover application. You’ll know if you qualify for this card within minutes. Once you submit your banking information with the deposit, Discover will send you the card. You can start using it right away to build your credit.

11. Freeze It

The Discover Secured credit card comes with an important security feature. The Freeze It feature lets you freeze your card’s funds with the press of a button. It’s great if you lose or misplace your card. You can use the app to unfreeze it quickly when you locate it again as well.

Discover It Secured Card Drawbacks

1. High APR

This is a secured credit card, so it does have a higher interest rate. You’ll pay a variable rate of 24.49% each month you carry a balance. This can add up very fast, so it’s best to avoid it. You can avoid paying this rate by paying the total amount you owe every month. It’s a good incentive to learn responsible credit card use.

2. Lower Credit Lines

The credit line on the Discover secured card is lower. It all depends on what you can afford for an initial deposit. If it’s just $200, that’s what you have to spend. This can be restricting, and it won’t help out much in emergencies. But, if you can afford a higher deposit, you’ll get a higher line of credit. The maximum line of credit you can have with this card is $2,500.

3. Balance Transfer Fee

If you plan to do a balance transfer with this card, you’ll pay a fee. The fee works out to 3% of whatever amount you transfer to the card. So, if you decide to transfer $1,000 to the card, you’ll pay a $30 balance transfer fee. You’ll also pay an introductory balance transfer APR of 10.99% for the first six months. This isn’t a good card to transfer balances to because of the fees.

4. Late Payment Fee

If you forget to make a payment or miss it completely, you’ll pay a fee. The first time you miss it, there isn’t a fee, but every missed payment after that has one. It’ll cost you $27 each time you miss a payment. Also, if you miss two payments in a six-month span, the fee is $37. It also negatively impacts your credit score, and it can drop it a few points.

5. Slower Upgrade Time

Other secured cards will review and upgrade your account within four to six months. The Discover it Secured Card makes you wait until at least the eighth-month mark. If you don’t make it, you have to wait until the next month for another review. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re doing everything correctly.

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The Discover it® Secured Credit Card Bottom Line

The Discover it Secured Card is a solid secured card for people who want to rebuild their credit score. As you can see, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. You’ll learn how to use it responsibly and get rewards along the way. It’ll allow you to rebuild your credit quickly and graduate to an unsecured card. All of these reasons make the Discover it Secured Card worth checking into.

CreditFast has reviewed the best secured credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each secured credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.


Best Secured Credit Cards – Top 3 Secured Cards

What are the best secured credit cards? Listed are the top 3 secured cards to build credit fast.

The Three Best Secured Credit Cards

When it comes to poor or no credit, you may think that you have no way out. You don’t qualify for a traditional credit card, and a loan is out of the question. But, you’re certainly not alone, and there is a way out. You can safely build your credit and learn good financial habits with secured credit cards. Credit Fast has reviewed what we feel are the best secured credit cards. Are any of these top 3 secured cards we have chosen right for you?

A secured card comes with limitations or restrictions, so you don’t have to worry as much about overspending. It’s a great tool to help people with poor or no credit start to rebuild. If you’re not sure what secured credit cards are, this is for you. We’ll talk about secured credit cards, and then we’ll list the three best secured credit cards available.

Defining a Secured Credit Card

Simply put, a secured credit card is like a beginner credit card. You pay a deposit, and this deposit becomes your line of credit. So, if your initial deposit is $200, you have a $200 credit line. You can’t spend more than this deposit amount. If you do fail to pay your balance, the lender can keep your deposit.

This system makes secured cards a very low-risk option for the lenders. It’s exactly why people with bad or no credit can apply and receive them quite easily. Also, the secured cards typically come with higher interest rates than traditional credit cards. If you carry a balance from month to month, the lender profits because you’ll pay interest on your balance.

Low Fees is Why We Chose These Cards as the Top 3 Secured Cards

Some of the best secured credit cards have low annual fees. Some are higher, but you shouldn’t pay more than $50 for your card’s annual fee. Two of the Credit Fast picks for the top 3 secured cards have no annual fee. These low fee secured cards will save you money while you build or rebuild your credit.

Most large credit card issuers have a secured card or two. They hope that you use your secured card to build your credit. When your credit is high enough, they’re hoping you transfer to one of their unsecured cards. This gets more customers for the lenders, so it’s in their best interest to have good secured card options.

If you make your monthly payments on time for six to eight months, you may get a credit line increase. You will most likely have to call the lender and request it. Some credit card companies will increase your credit line automatically. They’ll look at your payment history and decide if you get your increase. You don’t want to stay on a secured card forever though.

Upgrade Your Secured Card to an Unsecured Card or Move On

Ideally, you should use the card responsibly for a year or a year and a half. Monitor your credit carefully during this time. Use this time to pay off any debts or dispute any errors. The healthier your credit history looks, the more lenders are going to want to work with you.

When you reach the point that your credit is good enough for an unsecured card, move on. First, ask your credit card issuer whether they can upgrade your secured credit card to an unsecured credit card. Doing this you can keep your same account open by simply doing a product change. Keeping the same account and credit card number is better for the age of accounts. Older well-maintained credit accounts are a positive reflection on your credit report.

Otherwise, pay off your balance, close your secured account, and get your new unsecured card. Be sure to ask where they’re going to send your deposit. Also, ask how long it’ll be before it’s in your hands. Use your new card responsibly and keep building up a strong credit history and score.

The Three Best Secured Credit Cards

Now that you know what a secured credit card is, Credit Fast will give you three good options. These mini-reviews will let you easily compare them side-by-side. You’ll be able to find out which one of these top 3 secured cards works the best for your situation. Our picks for the best secured credit cards to build credit fast include:

  • Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
  • Discover it® Secured Card
  • OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

1. Capital One Secured Card Mastercard

First up on our list of the best secured credit cards is the Capital One Secured card. This card comes with no annual fee. Also, your beginning credit deposit varies from $49, $99, and $200 for a $200 credit line. This will depend on your credit score when you apply for the card. After you make your first five payments on time, you can get a credit increase. The credit line caps at $3,000, which is high for this type of card.

This card is a MasterCard, so a variety of vendors accept it. It reports monthly to the credit bureaus. This card gives you free access to your FICO credit score through a service called CreditWise. People with credit scores ranging between 350 and 629 can benefit from having this card. This card comes with no foreign transaction fee, so you can use it if you travel.

It does come with a higher APR of 24.99%, and this is variable. You won’t get a 0% introductory period either with this card. But, you can avoid this fee by paying your balance in full each month. All in all, this is a solid option to help you improve your credit. It’s a basic card, but the no annual fee and flexible deposit amounts are huge bonuses.

2. Discover It Secured from Discover Card

Second on our list of the best secured credit cards is the Discover It Secured card. It stands out because it’s one of the very few secured options that gives cash back rewards. You’ll enjoy 2% cash back for restaurant and gas station purchases. This caps at $1,000 every three months, and then it starts over. However, you shouldn’t spend more than you can pay off each month because the APR is 23.99%.

You’ll also enjoy no annual fee, and it reports to all three credit bureaus. It comes with no foreign transaction fee, over limit fee, and no late fee on your first late payment. You should see your credit score climbing nicely if you use it responsibly. The minimum deposit starts at $200, and there is no flexibility with this price.

This card gives you free access to your FICO credit score. You can monitor your account and score online or from the app. It gives you access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also comes with a Freeze It option. So this helps you prevent fraudulent purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances on misplaced or lost cards.

3. OpenSky Secured Visa

You don’t even need a bank account to apply and receive your OpenSky Secured Visa. It also gives you a flexible initial deposit. The deposit amount starts at $200, and it goes up to $3,000. This is great if you don’t have a lot of money on hand for your deposit. The lender allows you to send in your deposit four ways. A debit card will give you instant access, and mailing the deposit can take up to five days.

There is no hard credit check for this card either so your score won’t drop more. All you need is a stable job to apply, and you don’t need a credit history. The OpenSky Visa is an easy first credit card to get approved to help you build credit fast. It comes with a 25 day grace period for paying your bill. This makes it a great option if you’re learning how to manage your finances.

It also reports to the three credit bureaus each month. If you want to learn more about managing your finances, OpenSky can help. They offer free optional credit education to their customers. They’ll give you step-by-step credit building advice. This includes access to your credit score and how to dispute any errors.

These Best Secured Credit Cards Build Credit Fast Bottom Line

Building your credit score will take patience. It didn’t fall overnight, and it won’t go up overnight either. But, any one of the three best secured credit cards can help you build credit fast. You’ll learn how to use your card responsibly when you use it. You’ll be well on your way to having a healthier credit score when you choose the best secured credit cards.

CreditFast has reviewed the best secured credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each secured credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.