Milestone Gold MasterCard Review: Is it Legit?

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The Milestone Gold MasterCard is a credit card aimed at applicants with poor credit. The card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (formerly Mid America Bank & Trust Company) an FDIC-insured bank located in Dixon, Missouri. (Note that FDIC insurance doesn’t really help you as a credit customer, but does speak to the legitimacy of the bank.)

When it comes to subprime credit cards, the Milestone Gold MasterCard is one of the better ones. Despite the potentially high annual fee and low credit limit, the Milestone Gold MasterCard has a relatively low APR, especially when compared to the First Premier Bank Credit Card’s 36% APR (it was as high as 59.9% at one point in time). As of May 30, 2018, CreditCards.com reports the average APR for bad credit credit cards as 23.77%, so 23.9% isn't bad.

Fees

The annual fee you’re charged will be $35, $59 or $75 depending on your creditworthiness. You won’t know the exact annual fee until you’re approved. The version of the $75 annual fee card charges a $99 annual fee every year after the first year. But, this shouldn’t be a credit card you hold onto for a long time. Use for a year or two it to re-establish your credit history until you can qualify for something which better terms.

There's no cash advance fee in the first year and a cash advance fee of $5 or 5% of the advance amount in the second year and each year after that. The cash advance APR is a steep 29.9%, which means you should avoid cash advances on this credit card.

The foreign transaction fee is just 1%, which is relatively low compared to many other credit cards.

Getting Approved

You can pre-qualify for the Milestone Gold MasterCard before you apply to get a better idea of whether you’re going to be approved for the credit card. Keep in mind that pre-qualification is no guarantee of approval, but can be a good estimate. The card's website says that pre-qualification won't hurt your credit score.

If approved, you’ll receive a $300 minimum credit limit based on your creditworthiness, income, debt and other qualification factors. On the downside, a portion of your initial credit limit will be consumed with the annual fee and if you choose to add an authorized user, you’ll be assessed a fee for that too. Paying off your fees before making any charges on the credit card is the best way to avoid a high credit utilization and keeps you from getting into more debt than you can handle.

Minimum Payment

There’s a steep minimum payment of the greater of 7% or $35 on the balance, which is higher than many other credit cards, but will help you pay off your balance faster. Seven percent of the minimum won't be higher than $35 until your balance is above $500, so in most cases, your monthly payment on this card will be $35 (unless your balance is below $35). It's best to build a habit of paying your balance in full each month. The minimum payment won't matter as long as you stick to that rule.

With a 23.9% APR, it’s better if you pay your balance in full to avoid finance charges. You have a 25-day grace period to pay your balance and avoid interest.

Alternatives

Before going with the Milestone Gold MasterCard, check out the Capital One Secured MasterCard, which approved a $200 credit limit for a security deposit as low as $49. There's no annual fee, but an APR of 24.99%.

Consider also the Capital One Platinum MasterCard (a non-secured credit card), which has a 24.99 to 28.99% APR and no annual fee.

 Last updated May 30, 2018. Credit card terms and sign-up bonuses are subject to change from the time of this review. Refer to the application for current terms and conditions.