Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card review: No upfront cost to build credit, but not much else

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In a Nutshell

The Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card offers the chance to build credit without charging an annual fee or requiring a security deposit. But the card doesn’t offer any rewards, and it could cost you a lot in interest if you carry a balance.

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Pros Cons
Offers the chance to build credit Limited ways to apply
Doesn’t require a security deposit High variable purchase APR
No annual fee No rewards program for added value
Higher credit line potentially available if you meet certain qualifications

What you need to know about the Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card

Not everyone can apply

Unfortunately, there are limited ways to apply for the Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card. According to Mission Lane, you can apply if you’ve received an offer in the mail.

If you’re interested in applying for this card but don’t have an offer in your inbox, you’ll have to join a waitlist to apply. But if that seems like a lot to go through to apply directly with the issuer, then this might not be the card for you. Take note though — you can also apply through Credit Karma.

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No security deposit and no annual fee

Some credit-building cards require you to put down a security deposit to open an account, but you don’t have to worry about that upfront cost with the Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card. Instead, your application decision and credit limit — if approved — will be determined based on your credit profile and history.

Plus, as the name suggests, this card charges no annual fee. While the card might end up costing you in other ways — more on that in a bit — you won’t have to pay just for carrying the card in your wallet.

Features for building credit

Mission Lane reports your card activity to all three major consumer credit bureaus, which can make it easier to build your credit history — so long as you use the card regularly, carefully and make all of your payments on time and in full. This is a standard feature offered by cards meant for building credit, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

You might be able to get a credit limit increase, too. Within 12 months of account opening, Mission Lane will assess your account to determine whether your account is eligible for a credit-line increase. This is based on certain factors in order to qualify, such as a history of on-time payments; whether your account has ever exceeded your credit limit; whether your account has ever been restricted from use; whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy or closed the account; and whether you have the income to pay a higher limit.

A higher credit limit could help improve your credit. The amount of available credit you use, also known as your credit utilization ratio, is one of the most important factors in determining your credit scores, and a lower number is better. So if you’re approved for a higher credit limit and you’re able to keep your credit utilization ratio low — say, below the typically recommended 30% — you could see a positive impact on your credit scores.

Interest could be high

While you won’t have to put down a security deposit or pay an annual fee for the chance to build credit, the Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card’s variable purchase APR of 26.99% is relatively high and could cost you in interest if you carry a balance.

On the other hand, the card doesn’t offer rewards to tempt you into spending more than you can afford. While we typically consider a rewards program to be a positive for a credit-building card, it’s not necessarily the best feature if your priority is to stick to a budget and avoid any costly interest payments.

What else to know about the Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card

In addition to the card’s highlights, here are some other features to know before you apply.

  • The card offers rental car collision damage waiver insurance and fraud protection.
  • Mission Lane provides cardholders with short, online educational videos covering various credit-related topics.
  • This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee and a late fee of up to $35.

Who this card is good for

It’s worth considering the Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card if you want to build your credit history without having to pay a security deposit or an annual fee. Not every credit-building card comes with no upfront cost, so this could be a good option for people looking to avoid that.

But this card probably isn’t ideal if you’re looking for more and think you can qualify for a card with more features. There’s no rewards program, and the high variable purchase APR means you could pay a lot in interest if you carry a balance.

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

If you’re not sold on the Mission Lane No Annual Fee Visa® Credit Card, compare it with these cards.