Reflex MasterCard
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

Reflex Mastercard Review Summary

The Reflex Mastercard is one of the rare credit cards for bad credit that will give you a starting credit limit of up to $1,000. Furthermore, the cash advance fee is waived for the first 12 months. Unlike many of it's peers, this card comes with features found in more established cards. They have a mobile app, gives card members a free Vantage score from TransUnion and even charges no foreign transaction fee for some card members.

The Reflex Mastercard is an unsecured credit card from Continental Finance and is issued by Celtic Bank. It is targeted at those of you with bad credit with a score ranging from 510 and above to 650 and card holders are given a starting credit limit of between $300 and $750. Reflex has just made some changes that has made this card even more attractive. Firstly, they will now review your account for credit line increases after six months. Secondly, rather than giving a fixed fee or rate to everyone who is accepted, Reflex now gives different card holders different fees, rates and starting limit. So someone who has a credit score and profile in the "upper end of the bad credit spectrum" can get a card with just a reasonable annual fee (with no monthly fee), no foreign transaction fee and a $750 starting credit limit. These changes have made us revisit our previous rating for this card. We now give it a four out of five star and based on our review, we think this is perhaps the best unsecured credit card for people with bad credit at this moment.


Card Details

Annual Fee - This is how the annual fee of the Reflex Mastercard works. During the first year, the annual fee will range between $75 and $99. From the second year onwards, the annual fee will be $99.

Monthly Maintenance Fee - During the first year, Reflex will not charge any monthly fee. From the second year onwards, there will be a monthly fee that ranges between $0 to $10 a month. So you might not get charged a monthly fee at all. This is a change from their previous terms where they charge a fixed monthly fee of $10 a month. This is welcome news for applicants.

APR - Another thing that Reflex changes is that now they offer card holders a range of APR, from 25.9% to 29.99% (same as the regular purchase).

Starting Credit Limit - Reflex has a starting credit limit of between $300 to $750.

Review of Credit Limit Increase - You will be given a review for a credit limit increase after 6 months. However, if you are given an initial credit limit of $300, you will only be given a review of credit limit increase after 12 months.

Cash Advance APR and Fees - The cash advance APR is 25.9% to 29.99%. The cash advance fee is the greater of 5% of the cash advance or $5. There are a couple of rules that you should be aware of. Firstly, NO cash advance is allowed within the first 95 days.

Foreign Transaction Fee - Interestingly, Reflex also gives you a range of foreign transaction fee. You will get one between 0% to 3%. So you might actually get a version with no foreign transaction fee.

Free Vantage 3.0 Score from TransUnion - Card members will get access to a free Vantage 3.0 score from TransUnion if they sign up for e-statements.


Implications of Range of Fees and Rates

The fact that Reflex has different fees and rates for different people means that if you are on the "upper end of the credit spectrum", are are likely to get a card offer with better terms. For example, if your credit score are income are in the mid 600 range and your income is good, it would not surprise me if you are offered a card with just has an annual fee, no monthly fees, $750 starting credit limit and no foreign transaction fee.

If however, your credit score is in the "lower end of the bad credit spectrum" (say around 510 credit score), you are more likely to have to pay both an annual fee and monthly fee and your starting credit limit is likely to be only $300. And if your starting credit limit is $300, your account will only be reviewed for credit line increase after 12 months rather than 6 months.

If your credit is really poor, you might be asked to put up a security deposit and the Reflex will become a secured credit card.

So I view the fact that Reflex has a range of fees and rates means that those of you with slightly better credit (600 to mid 600) are likely to get better terms and a higher credit limit than someone who has scores in the 500s. I think that is a good thing for consumers because those who would have been rejected and denied in the past would have a chance of getting approved but having to pay slightly more fees and have a lower starting credit limit.


Comparisons

Card Annual Fee Upfront Fee Monthly Fee APR Starting Limit Mobile App
Reflex Mastercard$75 to $99 1st Year
Then $99
N.A.$0-$10/m25.9%-29.99%$300 - $750Yes
Surge Mastercard$75 to $99 1st Year
Then $99
N.A.$0-$10/m25.99%-29.9%$300 - $750Yes
Milestone Mastercard$35 to $99N.A.N.A.24.90%$300N.A.
Indigo Mastercard$0 to $99N.A.N.A.24.90%$300N.A.
Destiny Mastercard$59 to $99N.A.N.A.24.90%$300N.A.
Credit One Amex$39N.A.N.A.25.49%$500Yes
Credit One Visa$0-$99N.A.N.A.19.49% to 25.49%$300Yes
Total Visa$75 1st Year
Then $48
$89$0 1st Year
$6.25/m
34.99%$300N.A.


Before we do our comparison, we have to mention that most unsecured credit cards charge fees like annual fees, monthly fee and even a one-time application fee. Some cards charge all of them. If you look at the list of subprime unsecured credit cards that Reflex competes with, you can group these cards into two groups. The first group of cards only charge an annual fee and do not charge any monthly fees or one-time application fee. These cards include Credit One, Indigo, Milestone and Destiny. These cards also make you go through a soft pull pre-approval processs first before you go through with an actual application. This saves you a hard inquiry on your credit reports. To get approved for these cards, your scores have to be in the "higher range of the bad credit spectrum" - from 550 and above at least.

The second group of cards tend to charge both an annual fee and a monthly maintenance fee and sometimes a one-time application fee as well. These cards include the Fit Mastercard (also from Continental Finance), Total Visa, First Access. As you can see from the table above, these cards charge an annual fee as well as a monthly fee.

Reflex Has Flexible Fees and Rates

Because the Reflex Mastercard has annual fees and monthly fees that come in a range, depending on the terms you get, the card can fall into either bucket of the list above. In the best case scenario, you will not be charged any monthly fee from the second year onwards, then the Reflex credit card resembles (fee wise) the first group of cards like Credit One, Indigo, Destiny etc. As we mentioned before, if you credit score is the "upper range" of the bad credit spectrum, you may only be charged an annual fee, no monthly fee, the lowest APR and you might even have no foreign transaction fees. You are also likely to get a $750 limit or at least in the upper range.

However, if your credit situation is in the lower end of the spectrum (say low 500s), then you are likely to have to pay both an annual fee and monthly fee (from the second year onwards). Your APR is likely to be 29.9% and your starting credit limit will most likely be $300.

So as far as fee goes, the Reflex Mastercard fees and rates come in a range and so it is really hard to do a proper comparison. All we can say is that the better your credit score and profile, the lower fees and high starting credit limits you will get.

Good Starting Credit Limits

As far as starting credit limit goes, the Reflex Mastercard is head and shoulders above their peers. Most of their peers start you off with a $300 credit limie. Some like Destiny Mastercard, Milestone Mastercard and Indigo do not ever increase your credit limit and you are stuck with a $300 limit as long as you carry their card. Others like Credit One do increase your credit limit and they still start you off with a $300 credit limit. With the Reflex Mastercard, you start off between $300 and $750 and you will be evaluated for a credit line increase after 6 months (note: if your starting limit is $300, you will be evaluated for a credit line increase after 12 months).

Mobile App, Free Credit Scores

In terms of features, the Reflex credit card is pretty up to date compared to some of it's peers. They have both an Android and IOS mobile app where you can manage your account. If you sign up for e-statements (which we always recommend), you will get access to a free Vantage 3.0 credit score from TransUnion. The card is also eligible for digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay.


What We Like About Reflex Mastercard

Flexible Fees and Rates

Unlike most unsecured credit cards, Reflex offers a range of fees and rates to cardholders depending on their credit score and credit profile. This is actually a very good thing because those of you who are on the higher end of the "bad credit spectrum", you are likely to get a card with just an annual fee, a $1,000 starting credit line and be potentially be eligible for credit limit increase after 6 months, the lower end of their APR range and possibly no foreign transaction fee.

If you fall in the lower end of the "bad credit spectrum", then instead of being declined, you might just be offered a card with slightly higher fees simple because the issuer is taking a bigger risk on you.

Up to $750 in Starting Credit Limits

Most cards start you with a $300 credit limit regardless of your credit score or profile. Because Reflex is flexible, some of you mght get a starting limit of up to $750. That is a very high limit for those of you with bad credit. Having a higher limit makes this card more worthwhile as an emergency card.

No Foreign Transaction Fee Possible

The foreign transaction fee ranges from 0% to 3%. Therefore, you might be given a card with no foreign transaction fee.

Review For Credit Line Increase

Reflex will review your account for a credit line increase after six months. This is in contrast to some cards like Destiny Mastercard, Indigo Mastercard which will never increase your credit line. Even if you get the lowest possible starting credit limit ($300), your account will still be reviewed for a credit line increase (but after 12 months rather than 6 months).

Soft Pull Pre-approval

Before you actually apply for this card, you have to get pre-approved. Pre-approval results in a soft pull and not a hard inquiry. You will know the terms of the card being offered to you (or you might be denied). If you are happy with the terms, you can then proceed to apply (which will result in a hard inquiry but getting pre-approved increases your chances of getting approved). If you are not happy with the terms offered, then simply do not proceed with the application.

Modern Features Like Mobile App, Free Credit Scores Etc

The Reflex Mastercard comes with features found in prime credit cards. This is in constrast to many sub prime issuers who are behind on the technology side. Reflex has a mobile app on both Android and IOS and is eligible for use on your digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. They also offer a free Vantage 3.0 credit score from TransUnion if you choose to get e-statements. Some cards like Indigo and Milestone do not have mobile apps or free credit scores.

Reports to Three Major Credit Bureaus

Reflex Mastercard reports your payments to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). This will help you build and rebuild your credit if you pay on time and if you keep your credit utilization low.

What Features We Wished Reflex Credit Card Has?

To be honest, we can find little fault with this card. However, there are some issuers like Credit One which gives their card members cash back when they spend on their card. Reflex Mastercard does not have any cash back program. But to me, this is not a big deal because as a rebuilder you should not be concerned about how much cash back you earn from your credit card. Focus on keeping your credit utilization low and paying on time and in full every month and you will slowly but surely improve your credit score.


Reflex Mastarcard - Best Unsecured Credit Card

In my opinion, the Reflex Mastercard is now arguably the best unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit. The reason is due to the changes it has made to the card recently. Because they offer a range of fees, rates and even starting limits, some of you on the upper range of the bad credit spectrum might get a card with just an annual fee, a $750 starting limit and even have no foreign transaction fee. There is hardly any unsecured today who will start you off with a $750 credit limit and having no foreign transaction fee. Furthermore, your account will be checked after 6 months to see if you are eligible for a credit line increase.

If you credit score is at the lower end of the bad credit spectrum (say around 510), then you might get offered a card with both annual fee and monthly fee (from second year onwards) and a lower starting credit limit (may be one with a $300). That is the price you have to pay with a bad credit score if you want an unsecured credit card. But your account will still be evaluated for a credit limit increase after 12 months. It is also offset by the fact that there will be no foreign transaction fees for the first 12 months for those of you who got the $300 limit version. There is also no cash advance fee for the first 12 months.

This card also has modern features found in prime credit cards. They have a mobile app and offer a free Vantage credit score from TransUnion. If I were to nitpick, I wished they offer a cash back program.

To sum up, after reviewing the Reflex Mastercard, I would give it a 4 star rating. If you are looking for an unsecured credit card to rebuild your credit, or perhaps you have bad credit and you need an emergency credit card to get during this Covid-19 pandemic, then I would definitely consider the Reflex Mastercard because you might get a card with a very good starting credit limit and reasonable fees, together with modern features.


How To Apply?

Below is a screenshot of the Reflex Mastercard pre-qualification page. You will have to fill in the usual information about yourself, name, address, email, phone number, SSN and income etc. It will also ask you if you intend to use this card for cash advance. I suggest you say no for this. The basic terms are also listed on the page and you should just go through them. After you press "see my offers", you will know if you have been pre-approved and if so what terms you will be offered. If you are happy with the terms, you should proceed to apply.
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FAQS


Customer Service Information

Phone

Automated Account Information

1-866-449-4514
(Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week)

Customer Service

1-866-449-4514
(Customer Care Specialists are available 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon–Fri, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat/EASTERN TIMES)

Payments

1-800-518-6142
(7 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat/EASTERN TIMES)

Lost/Stolen Card

1-800-556-5678

Mail

Inquiries Reflex Card
P.O. Box 3220
Buffalo, NY 14240-3220

Payments on Account

Reflex Card
P.O. Box 6812
Carol Stream, IL 60197-6812