Bad credit limits your options in all kinds of ways. A bad credit score can prevent you from getting the apartment you want, getting a mortgage, or a loan for a car; it can even prevent you from being hired for certain jobs. Some employers will check applicants’ credit scores to get an idea of how responsible they are.
Right or wrong, this is the reality of our world. So, if you’re weighed down with a bad credit score, you understandably want to raise your score as quickly as possible. But how can you prove yourself by responsibly using a line of credit if your bad score prevents you from obtaining a line of credit?
The Surge unsecured credit card is one option you might want to consider.
What is the Surge Credit Card?
The Surge Mastercard is a card best suited for people with a bad credit score who are looking to improve their credit but don’t want to put down a deposit for a secured credit card. Because of the card’s relatively high initial credit limit and ability to double your credit line after six months of making on-time payments, Surge is a good choice when it comes to subprime unsecured credit cards.
Surge Mastercard is issued by Celtic Bank and serviced by Continental Finance. Celtic Bank is a privately owned bank located in Utah. The bank was founded in 2001 and, since then, has become one of the leading financial institution lenders in the country.
Borrowers can feel secure, knowing that an established bank issues their card with a solid reputation.
Surge Mastercard is an unsecured card. Borrowers of all credit backgrounds are likely to be approved, as the card was designed for people with poor credit. Surge reports to all three credit bureaus, so you can use the card to quickly improve your credit score by making payments on time and having a low credit utilization rate.
Pros and Cons of Surge Credit Card
Surge Mastercard is a card with both benefits and drawbacks. As with any credit card or financial service, whether or not a card is a good option for you will depend on a myriad of factors dependent on your unique financial situation and goals.
- There is no deposit required. Since this is an unsecured card, scraping funds together is unnecessary.
- Pre-approval is fast, easy, and requires no hard pull on your credit.
- Borrowers can be approved for an initial credit line between $300-$1000; if all payments are made on time, this credit line can be extended after only six months. This makes the Surge card really helpful for borrowers who need access to a line of credit. With higher lines of credit available than you’ll find with many unsecured cards, it’s much easier for borrowers to keep their credit utilization rate low.
- The Surge card is accepted everywhere that Mastercard is.
- Card users are protected from fraud and have zero liability if their card is stolen.
- There are no monthly fees for the first 12 months. Surge’s high fees are one of the drawbacks of this card, but for the first year, cardholders are exempt from the costly monthly fee.
- Surge reports to the three major credit bureaus. This means that using the card responsibly by making all payments on time and carrying a low credit utilization rate (among other fiscally responsible behaviors) can lead to a higher credit score over time.
- Cardholders who sign up for electronic statements receive free access to their Vantage 3.0 score from Experian.
- You have 24/7 access to your account with Surge’s online portal.
- Surge has a 25-day grace period from the end of the last billing cycle. This means that cardholders who pay their card off in full each month within that grace period will avoid all interest charges. Responsible use of this card can be quite cost-effective, particularly in the first year before the monthly fees begin.
- You can access your account through a mobile app.
- Surge has a high APR. The variable APR is listed in the card’s terms and conditions as 29.90%. This can change depending on the market. There are subprime unsecured credit cards with higher APRs, but if you compare this rate to a credit card that is not subprime, it’s fairly steep.
- There are several high fees that can add up. There is a high annual fee of $99 and a monthly fee of $10 per month. The monthly fee is waived for the first 12 months. After that, it is billed annually, and cardholders are charged $120 all at once.
- There are no perks or rewards. This is typical for many subprime unsecured cards. But if you have other options for credit cards, it may be worth it to keep looking and try to find a card that offers benefits such as cashback or miles.
Surge Platinum Credit Card Rates and Fees
All rates and fees listed are taken from Surge Platinum Mastercard cardholder agreement as of July 2022.
|Monthly Maintenance Fee||$10 per month, billed annually at $120. Maintenance fees are waived for the first 12 months.|
|Cash Advances Fee||$5 or 5%, whichever is greater|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3% of the transaction in U.S dollars|
|Late Payment Fee||Up to $40|
As you can see, these fees can add up. This is a card that has the potential to be quite costly. For some borrowers, a secured credit card with a deposit, lower fees, and interest may be the best choice. If you decide to go with the Surge unsecured Mastercard, the best thing to do is plan ahead and use the card responsibly.
Tips for Improving Your Credit with the Surge Unsecured Credit Card
1) Keep your credit utilization rate low
Credit utilization is one of the most important factors that determine your credit score. If you’re trying to raise your score, you’ll want to keep credit utilization in mind as showing available credit is important.
Experts advise not to spend more than 30% of your overall credit. If Surge approves you for a $300 line of credit, then you shouldn’t spend more than $90. If you’re approved for a $1,000 line of credit, then you shouldn’t spend more than $300.
You should also opt to extend your line of credit after six months of on-time payments, even if you don’t need more credit.
Here is why: Say you have a $1,000 line of credit, and you spend $300. Then you have a credit utilization rate of 30%. If you opt to extend your credit line to $2,000, this brings your credit utilization down to 15%. It also gives you the option to spend up to $600 without causing significant damage to your credit score.
2) Pay your balance in full each month and make payments on time
Not only is there a late fee of up to $40 if you fail to make monthly payments by the due date, but late payments can damage your credit score if reported to the credit bureaus. Therefore, making payments on time is always the best practice.
You should try to pay off the balance in full each month for one simple reason: you can avoid interest charges by doing so. Surge Mastercard has a grace period of 25 days.
If you pay off your balance before the end of that 25 days, you won’t be charged any interest. The Surge Mastercard does have a steep variable APR of 29.90%, so it’s best to avoid interest whenever you can.
Furthermore, paying off your balance each month will help with improving your payment history over time.
3) Only spend what you know you can pay back right away
One popular method is to set up an automatic payment from the card for a bill or subscription. Then set up a second automatic payment to pay off the card from your checking account. You can use the card to pay for a monthly charge that you would have paid for out of checking anyway.
Keep the card at home, not in your wallet, and you won’t be tempted to make impulse purchases with it. Some borrowers go even further with this and put the card in their freezer or a lock box to make it even more difficult to access. With this method, you have a line of credit available if you absolutely need it, but there’s no whipping your card out on a whim.
4) Consider keeping the card open even if you pay it off
This applies not only to the Surge card but to all credit cards you open. If you can afford the annual and monthly fees, then you should keep the card open, even if you pay it off and don’t plan to use it again. The age of an account is another important factor that determines your credit score.
That being said, if you are able to find a card that has lower fees or you’ve built up your credit a good deal, then you may decide it’s worth it to close the account. The fees can add up.
Is the Surge Credit Card Right for You?
If you’ve had trouble getting approved for other cards and need to improve your credit, then the Surge Platinum Mastercard could be the best option for you. Credit-building cards such as Surge were created for people with bad credit, so even with a poor credit score or limited credit history, there’s a chance you will be approved.
Since Surge is an unsecured credit card, it’s a good choice for people with low credit scores who aren’t able to put together the funds for a deposit.
If you are able to put together a deposit, you may want to consider a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, your credit line is based off the amount of money that you put down. When you close out the card, you get that money back, so in a way, you are really spending your own money that you’ve already put aside.
Many secured credit cards out there with lower interest rates and fees than the Surge unsecured credit card.
Surge could be a solid option if you decide on an unsecured card. Make sure to look around and do your research on other comparable cards.
There are a number of unsecured cards out there created specifically for people with bad credit. It’s worth your time to review all of your options.
Wrapping It Up
There are two types of credit cards to consider if you want to use a card to improve your credit score: secured and unsecured.
With a secured card, you must put down a deposit, and the size of the deposit determines your line of credit. These cards often have lower interest rates and fees than unsecured cards.
An unsecured credit card does not require a deposit but will often have a higher APR and fees than their secured counterparts. However, if you are unable to put down a deposit, an unsecured card may be your best option, even with the higher interest and fees.
The Surge Platinum Mastercard is one unsecured card that was designed specifically for people with bad credit. This means you have a good chance of being approved, no matter your credit situation.
You can avoid interest charges by always paying your balance in full before the end of the 25-day grace period that is enacted each billing cycle.
The Surge Mastercard credit card has no perks or rewards, such as cashback or miles. However, they allow cardholders to extend their credit line after six months of on-time payments. This is something that you won’t see with a lot of subprime credit cards.
If you decide to open a Surge Platinum Mastercard, the best way to use it to your advantage is to keep your credit utilization rate low (30% or under), always pay off the full balance of your credit card bill each month, and keep the card open even if you aren’t using it.
As with any credit card, you’ll need to fully consider your specific financial situation before deciding if this is the right card for you.
If you don’t have perfect credit, the Surge credit card is worth considering. Good Luck!