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Blaze MasterCard
REVIEW

Advertiser Disclosure
Picture of Blaze MasterCard
You might have received an offer in your mail for this and if you have, below is our roundup of the card for you. In this review, you will find out:

  • The different fees and rates you could get
  • A reward program that awaits you
  • How this compares with other similar cards
  • If you should pull the trigger and apply

By : Mr Credit Card

Introduction

If you are reading this, chances are that you have gotten an email offer from this credit card. It is relatively new and in this review, we will explore it.
 

Card Details

On their website, Blaze has six different terms and conditions sheets. But if we look carefully at all of them, there are essentially three different fees and rates offers that you may be offered. The strange thing is that on some of the terms and conditions sheets, they list foreign transaction fees as 2% whilst on other, there is no foreign transaction fees listed at all? Does that mean that for those versions you cannot use them if you travel abroad? I do not know. But I think it is safe to assume that the foreign transaction fee is 2% regardless of what card you are offered

First Option

Annual Fee : $19
Authorize User Fee : $20
APR : 22.15%

Second Option

Annual Fee : $50
Authorize User Fee : $20
APR : 22.15%

Third Option

Annual Fee : $75
Authorize User Fee : $20
APR : 29.9%
 

Reward Program

The Blaze MasterCard is one of two sub prime card which actually has a reward program (the other one being Credit One). Below are the key features:

  • Earn $1 for every $100 that you spend (ie 1% cash back)
  • Earn Unlimited Rewards
  • Rewards expire in 5 Years
  • Rewards can be redeemed in $25 increments
  • Rewards can be redeemed as statement credit
  • If you have a positive credit after redeeming rewards, you can request a "refund check"

 

FinePrints

When I read through the terms and conditions page, I realized that there were a few fine prints that potential card holders should be aware of.

Firstly, in their terms and conditions, it says that they will post your payment when they receive it. But you may not get to make new purchases against that amount for up to 30 days. I have heard of 10 day holds but to explicitly say there could be a 30 day hold in another thing altogether.

The other thing to take note of is the minimum monthly payment. If your balance is $30 or less, you have to pay the full amount. If your balance is more than $30, you will have to pay the greater of $30 or 4% of the balance.
 

Competition

Cards Annual Fee Monthly
Maintenance Fees
One-time
Processing Fee
APR
Blaze $19, $50 or $75 N.A. N.A. 22.15% to 29.9%
Credit One $0 to $99 N.A. N.A. 15.65% to 24.15%
Surge Y1 = $125
Y2 Onwards = $96
Y1 = $0
Y2 Onwards
$10 monthly
$120 annually
N.A. 29.9%
Verve Y1 = $125
Y2 Onwards = $96
Y1 = $0
Y2 Onwards
$10 monthly
$120 annually
N.A. 29.9%
First Access Y1 = $75
Y2 Onwards = $48
Y1 = $0
Y2 Onwards
$6.25 monthly
$75 annually
$89 29.9%
Total Visa Y1 = $75
Y2 Onwards = $48
Y1 = $0
Y2 Onwards
$6.25 monthly
$75 annually
$89 29.9%
First Premier Y1 = $75
Y2 Onwards = $45
Y1 = $0
Y2 Onwards
$6.25 monthly
$75 annually
$95 36%


There are quite a few subprime credit cards in the market that target folks with bad credit. As you can see from the table above, many charge lots of fee. For example, it is not uncommon to see cards charge a one time processing fee or a monthly maintenance fee. One of the recent trends has been to charge a higher annual fee the first year. Then in the second year, reduce the annual fee but add a monthly maintenance fee.

Hence, it was quite a relief when I saw that the Blaze MasterCard neither a one-time application fee nor any monthly maintenance fee. In fact, their annual fee is quite reasonable. They join other cards like Credit One, Genesis and Indigo, who offer different annual fees and rates depending on your credit profile.

Their annual fee of $19, $50 and $75 are quite similar to Credit Ones, Milestone and Indigo's fees ($0 to $99). Blaze's APR is within the bounds of their peers as well.

The one area that this card shines is their reward program. The only other sub prime card with a reward program is Credit One. I think Blaze's reward is slightly better because you earn an equivalent of 1% cash back on all spending whereas for Credit One, you only earn 1X on gas and groceries.
 

Our Take

The Blaze MasterCard is one of the few sub prime credit cards that has a very reasonable annual fee and comes without other fees like application and monthly maintenance fees. It also has a reward program where you essentially get a flat 1% cash back.

If you have bad credit, then this should be one of the cards that you should consider if you are looking for an unsecured card. The only problem might be that you can only apply for this card if you have received an email offer. And if you have, and you have bad credit and are looking to rebuild, then this would appear to be a decent card to get.
 


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