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Scores matter. They matter to students taking tests. They matter to athletes in competition. And they matter to anyone who wants to build or rebuild credit with responsible use.
Credit scores can play an important role in your financial success. They may help determine whether you qualify for many of the best credit cards and loans. So, what if you’re looking to rebuild your credit or build it from scratch? Where do you even start? Your best bet may be a secured credit card, or it may be an unsecured credit card like Indigo® Platinum MasterCard®.
Indigo® Platinum MasterCard®
While it can’t compete with the best rewards credit cards in terms of perks, Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® may be the best starter card on the market. It offers a great way to build up your credit if you don’t want to put up a cash deposit for a secured card.
With this card, your credit limit doesn’t depend on a cash deposit; instead, it will be determined once your card application is accepted. Regardless of the credit limit you end up with, it’s important to use Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® responsibly. That’s because your payment history is reported to the three major credit bureaus, giving you the chance to demonstrate your financial responsibility over time.
- The rundown: Everything we like about Indigo® Platinum MasterCard®
- Heads up: What you should consider before applying
- Do the math: How to get the most out of Indigo® Platinum MasterCard®
- The competition: How Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® stacks up against similar cards
- Bottom line: Is Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® right for you?
This credit card can be a good fit for someone right out of college or high school who is trying to build a credit history from the ground up. Here’s what we like most about it:
An unsecured card for building credit
When your credit needs some work, you may have several options to consider. You could apply for a secured card, which requires you to make a cash deposit in exchange for a line of credit. Or, you may qualify for an unsecured card like Indigo® Platinum MasterCard®. Both options have their merits, but this card could be great if you don’t like the idea of putting down a cash deposit.The best unsecured credit cards for building credit
Prequalification without a hard inquiry
Having some blemishes or gaps in your credit history won’t automatically disqualify you from being able to receive the Indigo® Platinum MasterCard®. You can even prequalify without a hard inquiry on your credit reports. Just remember that prequalification is not a guarantee of approval and, if you do end up actually applying for the card, you’ll have a hard inquiry in your credit files.Can a prequalification hurt your credit score?
Reporting to the three major bureaus
A card like Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® is meant to help you at the start of your credit journey. To that end, your use of the card will be reported to all three major credit bureaus. Use it responsibly and you may be able to qualify for a more rewarding credit card in the future.
Unlike certain secured cards — like the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® — Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® comes with an annual fee of $75 - $99, (the exact fee depends on your credit profile). Unfortunately, annual fees tend to be a fact of life if you have less-than-perfect credit and are shopping for an unsecured card.
You’ll need to consider how responsible you are and whether this is a price you want to pay to build your credit. An alternative may be to apply for a retail credit card, which allows you to slowly build your credit by being responsible and paying off your balance in full and on time each month.
Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® also has a relatively high variable purchase annual percentage rate of 23.90 percent and a late payment fee of up to $38. If you aren’t careful, this card could end up hurting rather than helping your financial bottom line.
If you opt for this credit card, consider your escape plan ahead of time. You might want to review your credit before you have to pay the relatively steep annual fee the second time.
Over the course of a year, if you’re a responsible cardholder, your credit may improve to the point that you can qualify for a better credit card — perhaps one with a $0 annual fee or a lower variable purchase APR.
|Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card||1.5 percent cash back on every purchase with a $39 annual fee|
|Capital One® Secured Mastercard®||Secured credit card with no annual fee|
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
From cardholders in the last year
If you can qualify for a slightly better credit card, you may want to consider this cash back card with a $39 annual fee. You’ll earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, with no expiration during the lifetime of the account. Just be aware that the variable purchase APR is 24.99 percent — slightly higher than with the Indigo® Platinum MasterCard®.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
If you’re hesitant to pay an annual fee, Capital One® Secured Mastercard® may be a better way to go. This card requires an initial cash deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your creditworthiness. You may get access to a higher credit limit after making your first five monthly payments on time.
If you’re trying to establish credit for the first time or if you’re rebuilding your credit, Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® may be a great choice. Just remember that you’ll need to be a responsible cardholder and pay off your balance in full and on time each month if you want to see your credit rise.
It’s OK to wince a bit when you pay that annual fee, but the overall goal can definitely outweigh that charge — especially if it means qualifying for a better card with a $0 annual fee later down the line.
Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.