Great for access to unsecured credit
Annual fee: $75 the first year; $99 thereafter
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Updated: November 1, 2023
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Geared toward people with less-than-perfect credit
Offers the option to apply for prequalification
No security deposit required
Indigo® Mastercard® review: A chance to rebuild credit, with plenty of costs
Updated September 11, 2023
This date may not reflect recent changes in individual terms.
Written by: Eric Freeman
- Geared toward people with less-than-perfect credit
- Offers the option to apply for prequalification
- No security deposit required
- Low credit limit with no option for an increase
- Purchase APR is high
- High annual fee with no rewards to offset the cost
What you need to know about the Indigo® Mastercard®
The Indigo® Mastercard® can help you build credit, but there are several things to watch out for before you decide if it’s right for you.
A chance to rebuild credit
The primary draw of the Indigo® Mastercard® is that it’s geared toward people who want to rebuild credit without requiring a security deposit. Unlike secured credit cards, you won’t have to put down money upfront to secure the account.
The bank doesn’t list the exact credit requirements for approval, but it does say the card is for “those with less-than-perfect credit.” While not everyone will qualify, that language suggests that your chances of approval might be better than with many other cards.
Better yet, you can apply for prequalification for the card, which means you can have your eligibility assessed without placing a hard inquiry on your credit reports. And while prequalification isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be approved for the card, it can give you an idea of whether you might be approved if you were to formally apply.
A high annual fee with no rewards
While the issuer’s willingness to work with people in need of credit is a plus, you’ll find yourself paying a fair amount just to use this card.
First, the Indigo® Mastercard® has an annual fee of $75 the first year and $99 after that (you might see different terms on Credit Karma). That’s not an uncommon annual fee for a credit card, but it’s high for a card that doesn’t offer any rewards to help offset the upfront cost. Essentially, you’ll be paying every year just for access to credit.
The low credit line could limit you
While the Indigo® Mastercard® is available to people with different kinds of credit profiles, it’s not guaranteed to work for all budgets. That’s because the card offers a credit limit of just $300 (which is immediately decreased by the amount of the card’s annual fee). Other cards meant for building credit might also come with a low initial limit, but a fair number of those cards will review accounts periodically for potential credit-line increases. This card, however, doesn’t offer that.
In addition to limiting your potential buying power, that low credit line could also hurt your ability to build credit. The amount of available credit you use — your credit utilization rate — is a major factor in determining your credit scores. And with a $300 limit (terms might be different when you apply through Credit Karma), you could find that you’re using that entire credit limit fairly often.
It’s recommended to keep your credit utilization under 30%, which might be a challenge with this card. Other cards meant for building credit might offer you a similarly low credit limit but also promise regular reviews for potential credit line increases.
You could pay even more if you carry a balance
If you carry a balance on the Indigo® Mastercard®, it’s going to cost you. The card comes with a variable purchase APR of 24.9%, which is pretty high for a credit-building card (you might see different terms on Credit Karma).
And if you make a late payment, you could face a late fee of up to $41 (you might see different offers on Credit Karma). Missed payments can happen for any number of reasons, so that’s a serious risk for your account.
Who this card is good for
The Indigo® Mastercard® could be a good choice for people struggling to get approved for other cards, but we don’t recommend it if you have other options for building credit.
While the ability to get approved (and apply for prequalification) with a less-than-perfect credit history is a clear positive, the high annual fee and purchase APR mean you might end up paying a fair amount just for access to credit. Add in the relatively low credit line, and your purchasing power and ability to improve your credit might be limited.
Instead, we suggest looking at a card with no annual fee that allows you to access more features over time. These cards may not look as attractive right now and might even require an initial security deposit, but they offer more opportunities to improve your credit over the long term.
Updated: November 7, 2023
Most helpful positive review
April 9, 2023
Exactly as Described Per Karma Offer
— Credit Karma Member, Verified cardholder
Applied for the card in March,received the card 7 business days later.They gave me the credit line they offered with no annual fee.Score of 620.Interest is a little high at 29.9 but having no annual fee is a positive.The fee is based on credit worthiness so be sure to check the exact offer Karma is giving you before applying!
Most helpful negative review
October 27, 2022
Not a credit card worthy of an annual fee
— Credit Karma Member, Verified cardholder
I got this credit card when my credit was bad. I got approved which was great at first. I then had the credit card for two years paying it in full and I never got a credit increase. I called to ask for one and they told me that’s not possible with this credit card. I had a credit limit with no benefits of $300 for two years and paying $99 for annual fee. Not worth it at all.