Milestone® Gold Mastercard® review: Worth the fees?

Man standing outside in the street, looking at his phone Image:

In a Nutshell

This card could be a good option if you have some credit problems or little to no credit history and want to build your credit profile. But with high fees and a low credit limit, you’ll need to carefully track your spending and be sure to make payments on time for it to be worthwhile.

Jennifer Brozic is a personal finance writer and has written for Citi. Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors' opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when it’s posted.
Advertiser Disclosure

We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

Pros Cons
Considers people who have little, no or negative credit history High purchase and penalty APRs
No security deposit required Potential for a low credit limit
Applying for prequalification won’t affect your credit scores Annual fee
Possible account opening fees as well as fees for late payments, going over your credit limit and returned payments

From our partner

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

From cardholders in the last year

See Details, Rates & Fees

What you need to know about the Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

The Milestone® Gold Mastercard® is an unsecured credit card that’s designed for people who have little or no credit history or who have some credit negatives (like a bankruptcy). If you’re careful about how much you charge and make sure to pay your bills on time and in full, you could use it to build your credit. But there are a few things to know before you apply.

Reports to credit bureaus

As the issuer of the card, The Bank of Missouri will report your payments to the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. By making your monthly payments on time, you can help build your credit profile.

No security deposit required

Many of the credit cards designed for people working on establishing a solid credit history are secured cards, which require a cash deposit. The amount you put down as your security deposit is then typically equal to the credit limit you have with the card.

Because the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® is an unsecured card, you won’t need to put down a deposit.


You can apply for prequalification for the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® without affecting your credit scores. Getting prequalified is no guarantee of approval, but it can help you decide whether completing a formal application for the card is worth it. If you do submit a full application for the card, you’ll likely have a hard inquiry on your credit reports. A hard inquiry could temporarily lower your scores.

Annual fee

The Milestone® Gold Mastercard® comes with an annual fee. The annual fee ranges from $35 to $75 the first year your account is open, and you could be charged up to $99 a year after that. Some cardholders may be charged an account opening fee of $25 on top of the annual fee.

How much you’re charged depends on Milestone’s review of your credit profile, or how creditworthy the lender thinks you are. “Creditworthiness” is a term used to indicate how likely lenders think you are to pay back the money you borrow.

The annual fee will be deducted from your credit line when your account is open. For example, if your credit limit is $300 and the annual fee on your card is $59, you’ll have $241 in credit available to you.

While many credit-building cards have annual fees, it’s worth noting that there are some cards on the market that don’t. Of course, while some of those cards don’t have annual fees, a number of them are secured cards that do require a security deposit.

The upside of a security deposit versus an annual fee is that you can get your security deposit back at some point, in many cases.

High interest rate and penalty APR

The regular purchase APR on this card is 24.9% for purchases (there are no balance transfers available with this card). If you carry a balance, interest charges could add up quickly.

To make matters worse, if you make a single late payment, you could be charged a penalty APR of 29.9% that may remain on your account for as long as it’s open, even if you get your payments back on track.

You could also be charged a fee of up to $39 for late payments, returned payments or exceeding your credit limit.

Low minimum credit limit

The minimum credit limit for the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® could be low — potentially just a couple of hundred dollars. And the annual fee you’ll be charged at account opening will eat into your credit line before you even make a purchase.

With such a low limit, it could be tough to keep your credit utilization — the amount of credit you use compared with what is available to you — low. Your credit utilization ratio is one of the key factors used to calculate your credit scores, so that could make it more difficult to improve your credit.

To help keep your utilization low, consider making payments more than once a month and aim to pay off your balances in full.

Who this card is good for

The Milestone® Gold Mastercard® may be a good option if you’re new to credit or have a less-than-perfect credit history and want to work on building your credit profile.

But there are other credit-building cards available, and you may be able to find one with fewer fees or a higher credit limit if you shop around.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you want to use a credit card to help build your credit and don’t think the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® is right for you, consider these instead.