Tribute Mastercard Credit Card Review - Old Relic of CompuCredit
Executive Summary - The Tribute® Gold MasterCard® is also a credit card issued by First Bank of Delaware and CompuCredit as well which explains why most of the details are similar to the Imagine Card that we have also looked at. Likewise, the Tribute Gold MasterCard is for consumers with no credit or bad credit that may be looking for a way to build or rebuild. However, the high fees associated with this card would present a financial challenge. We would instead recommend that you consider the Credit One Bank with Gas Rewards instead.
No Surprise Here. There are Fees - Most unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit carry fees that are not typical of other cards. In fact, most consumers that have bad credit and have been denied by other cards accept the additional fees in exchange for an opportunity to just have a credit card as well as the chance to rebuild their credit. The Tribute MasterCard includes an annual fee of $150.00 and a monthly fee of $9.95. This means that you will be paying a total of $269.40 per year just to carry the Tribute card. There is however, no application or processing fee.
APR - Again, when faced with bad or no credit, consumers also accept a high APR as par for the course. The APR for the Tribute Card is prime rate plus 24.5%. The average daily balance method (including new purchases) is used to calculate monthly balances. The grace period is 25 days. This is not the highest APR that is offered with a sub prime card however, so in this respect the Tribute Card can actually be considered better than some of the others.
Are There Any Benefits to the Tribute Gold MasterCard? - The Tribute card does report payments made to all three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This is an important detail to examine when considering a sub prime credit card. No matter how good or bad your credit is, if your payment history is not reported to the credit bureaus, your credit cannot be affected positively or negatively. There is essentially no reason to bear the fees and high APR of a sub prime credit card if it does not at least assist you in rebuilding or building a positive credit history.
You will also have an available credit line with the Tribute card. If you are approved for the $300 Card, your initial line of credit will be $300. The Annual Fee of $150 will appear on your first statement and once your initial minimum payment of $30 has been received, cleared and posted on your credit card account, you will have a credit line of $180 available on your card. The Account Maintenance Fee of $9.95 per month will begin when you make your first purchase or cash advance.
Peer Comparisons - If you read this review years ago, we would have compared this card to quite a few cards. But right now, that number is dwindling. And the reason is because since the financial crisis in 2008, many sub-prime issuers have stopped issuing cards. First Premier Bank is one of their competitors though it does not really fare better in the area of fees. If you got a First Premier, you would be charged a one-time fee of $95. The annual fee for the first year is $75. From the second year onwards, the annual fee drops to $45 but they tagged on a monthly processing fee of $6.25 or $75 a year. So all in all, from the second year onwards, you are paying $110 in annual fee. The interest rate on FP is 36% which is way higher than Tribute.
The other card to compare with is the Credit One Visa With Gas Rewards. The annual fee will range from $35 to $75 and the APR ranges from 17.9% to 23.9%. Furthermore, you also earn points for gasoline spending! This appears to be a much better alternative.
Verdict - The Tribute® MasterCard® Gold Credit Card has significantly higher fees than other sup-prime cards. If you add up both the annual fee and the monthly maintenance fees, they total over two hundred dollar in addition to the high 24.5%* interest rate. A much better card to get would be the Credit One Visa, which have much lower fees and even a reward program..
Update - Along with the Imagine Credit Card, the Tribute Gold MasterCard has run into quite a few problems including a lawsuit by the FTC for deceptive credit card marketing. CompuCredit ended up agreeing to a settlement of $114 million dollars and thus, the Tribute Gold MasterCard is no longer available either.
Although this may be viewed as a step in the right direction, it leaves many consumers searching for a creditor that will give them a chance to start over. As mentioned previously, the most reasonable option if you have bad credit is probably the Credit One Visa with Gas Rewards.
If your credit is in the mid 600s and you do not have any derogatory items on your credit report, you might also want to consider the Barclays Rewards MasterCard®. You'll pay no annual fee for this card and also earn reward points.