Reflex Mastercard® Review
Continental Finance released the Reflex Mastercard® for people who have poor credit. It has two versions that you can get depending on how poor your credit is. So if you’re just starting your credit building journey, this is for you. We’ll go over the pros and cons of this card below. In turn, you’ll be able to see whether or not it’s a viable option for your lifestyle.
Reflex Mastercard® Pros
1. Two Versions
The Reflex Mastercard® comes with two versions. You can get either the secured or unsecured version of this card. If you get the secured version, you’ll pay a security deposit. This deposit is then your line of credit. An unsecured card doesn’t need a direct deposit. You may be able to upgrade to the unsecured card as your credit improves.
2. Improves Creditworthiness
Having a card that reports to all three credit bureaus is critical. This card does just that once a month. You want to make your monthly payments on time each month. This will show lenders that you can make good decisions regarding your finances. Also, stay below 33% for credit utilization for an even more impressive impact. Ideally, you shouldn’t take out more than you can pay each month. This will help you avoid interest.
3. Higher Credit Limit
Your initial credit limit will be between $300 and $750. However, this can jump up to $2,000 within 12 months of opening the Reflex Mastercard®. All you have to do is make every payment on time. If you do, the lender will review your card after 12 months. They’ll approve you for the higher credit line at this point. This is usually the point where people try for other cards, though.
4. Free Account Access
Reflex Mastercard® holders get free access to their accounts through a mobile app. So you can use this app to check your balance, make payments, and track your FICO score. It’s encrypted with additional security layers to safeguard your information. Additionally, it’s very user-friendly and easy to navigate. It offers a countdown to a higher credit limit too.
5. Fast Application
Unlike some credit cards with complicated applications, the Reflex Mastercard® is simple. Once you fill it out, you’ll get an answer within seconds. If you don’t have good enough credit for the unsecured card, they’ll offer you the secured one. The majority of applicants end up with the unsecured card though. You’ll get a more detailed explanation of why you didn’t get it if they deny you.
6. Wide Acceptance
MasterCard is one of the most widely accepted card brands in the world. There are hundreds of thousands of vendors that use it. This means that you don’t have to worry about carrying one or two cards with you when you shop. Most vendors accept MasterCard and Visa at the very least, and this is great news for you.
Reflex Mastercard® – Cons
1. Annual Fee
Unfortunately, the Reflex Mastercard® comes with a high annual fee. This card has an annual fee of $75 to $99. For a card with no rewards, this is a very steep annual fee. It’ll be hard to justify this card and make it balance out the annual fee.
2. Monthly Maintenance Fee
On top of the annual fee, you’ll pay a monthly maintenance fee. The monthly maintenance fee for this card ranges from $0 – $120.00 annually (billed at $0 – $10.00 per month). The monthly maintenance fee is not billed for the first 12 months your account is opened. When you combine this with the annual fee, you could pay up to $219 per year. This is on-par with excellent reward cards for miscellaneous fees without any of the perks the rewards card has.
3. High APR
A higher APR is expected with this card since the Reflex Mastercard® is for people with poor credit. Each month you carry a balance, you’ll pay 25.90% – 29.99% (variable), based on your creditworthiness when you open your account. This APR will vary with the market based on the prime rate. This can add up very quickly and push you deeper into debt. The best way to avoid this is not to carry a balance in the first place. If you’re learning to build credit, this is a necessary step.
4. Foreign Transaction Fee
This card isn’t one you’d use when you travel if you can help it. You’ll pay a foreign transaction fee each time you run this card through a non-US bank. This includes ATMs, shopping, and online purchases. All of these fees will come in your monthly bill. You pay 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars every time you swipe your card. So this can easily add up to hundreds of dollars in fees.
5. Credit Line Cap
No matter where you start, you can get a credit increase up to $2,000. However, this is where it stops. Your credit won’t go up any higher than this. If you only use 33% of it, you can only use $660. If you go over, your credit score can start to drop a few points. A few points can be huge when you’re working on building your credit.
6. No Rewards
This is a very basic card with no frills. There are no rewards whatsoever when you get this card. Aside from building your credit, it doesn’t offer you anything else. This makes it exceptionally hard to justify the high yearly fees you have to pay. Even if you use it each month, you’ll be out hundreds in annual fees and monthly maintenance fees.
7. Other Fees
This card comes riddled with other miscellaneous fees. For example, getting an alternate card costs you $30. Lay payment fees are $27 for the first and $38 after. There is a 5% or $5 cash advance fee. All of these little things keep adding up and pushing you deeper into debt.
Bottom Line – Should You Apply for the Reflex MasterCard?
Unless you have absolutely no other options, we recommend you avoid it. It makes more sense to go with a highly rated secured credit card. Not only will this be more forgiving if you carry a monthly balance, but it won’t have a high annual fee. In turn, this can save you hundreds in the long run.