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 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.)

Pros

  • Approvals for applicants with poor credit
  • Get pre-qualified before applying

Cons

APRs

  • APR for purchases and cash advances: 23.9%

Fees

  • Annual Fee: $35, $59, or $75 ($99 2nd year on) at account opening. Annual fee depends on creditworthiness.
  • Authorized user fee: $25
  • Late fee, returned check fee, over limit fee: up to $35
  • Cash advance fee: $5 or 5% up to $100
  • Foreign transaction fee: 1%

Detailed Review of the Milestone Gold MasterCard

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 April 22, 2015, CreditCards.com reports the average APR for bad credit credit cards as 22.73%, so 23.9% isn't bad.

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.

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.

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).

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 24.9%.

Consider also the Capital One Classic Platinum MasterCard (a non-secured credit card), which has a 20.9% APR and $39 annual fee.

 Last updated April 23, 2015. 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.