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Milestone® Mastercard® With Free Choice of Card Image
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One of few sub prime unsecured cards today that is targeted at folks with less than perfect credit. If you are looking for an unsecured credit card, this is one of the few to consider. Check out our review below.

By : Mr Credit Card

Prior to the financial crisis in 2008, consumers who have bad credit had many choices of sub prime cards. However, they all came with very high fees. The CARD Act imposed rules on the types of fees that can be charged by issuers and today, many of those cards are no longer around. The ones that survive have had to adjust their fees and be more "consumer friendly". The Milestone Mastercard is one of those cards.

Who Is Milestone? Or Rather Who Is Behind It? - This card is actually serviced and marketed by Genesis Financial Solution and issued through Mid America Bank and Trust. Genesis has been around since 2001.

Fees and Rates - The APR for this card is 23.9%. This is rather high but not surprising for a card that is targeted at the sub prime market. We recommend you pay your bills in full. As far as the annual fee goes, you might get either of three versions of the card each with different annual fees. The first version has a $35 annual fee. The second version has a $59 annual fee. The third version has a $75 annual fee for the first year, then a $99 annual fee from the second year onwards.
 

Peer Comparison

Cards Annual Fee Monthly
Maintenance Fees
One-time
Processing Fee
APR
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%

In todays world, there are a few cards that we should be comparing this one with before coming to a conclusion.

The first card that we should compare this to is the First Premier Bank Card (FP). If you get approved for a FP card, you will have to pay a $95 processing fee and also a $75 annual fee. From the second year onwards, you will have to pay a $6.25 monthly maintenance fee (which works out to $75 a year). In addition, you will also have to pay a $75 annual fee. That means that from the second year onwards, the fees will work out to $150.

The second card to compare is the Verve (from Continental Finance). This card has an annual fee of $125 for the first year and $96 from the second year onwards. However, in addition to the annual fee, you also have to pay a $120 maintenance fee (billed at $10 a month). Therefore, the total fees each year will be over $200. The APR is also higher at 29.9%.

Another card that is worth comparing to is Credit One. In fact, if you look at the features side by side, you will realize that they are almost identical. Like this card, Credit One has a 23.9% APR. The annual fee ranges from $35 to $99 (pretty close to this card). The advantage that Credit One has is that you can also earn reward points for gas purchases (which is very rare for a sub prime card).
 

Should You Get This Card?

Based on the comparisons above, we can say that the Milestone Mastercard is one of the few very reasonable cards for those who have bad credit. Unlike many other cards in the past and cards like the First Premier and the Verve, they do not charge any application fees or monthly maintenance fees. All there do is charge an annual fee and that's it. If you have bad credit and are looking for an unsecured card, this card would be a candidate, as would be Credit One.

However, before we go out and apply for this card, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Even though this card is targeted to folks with bad credit, there have been folks who have been declined. To increase your chances of approval, you should have certain pieces in place before you apply.

Firstly, your credit score should preferably be above 550. It is also important to have a checking account. If you have a record and a problem with the chex system, trying getting a second chance checking account. You should ideally have settled any charge offs and collection accounts. It is also better if you already have other accounts (in good standing) in your report (like secured cards or auto loans). Lastly, if you have any federal tax liens on your credit report, it is best to settle them and get them removed.

If your credit is in really bad shape, then we would suggest getting a secured card first (in fact, try getting two) and get that in your report for at least a few months. Cards like First Progress would be a good candidate.

If you already have a no annual fee card like Walmart (for example), and you do not have any real baddies on your report, or if you have settle old charge offs and collections, then you might want to consider getting another no annual fee card like the Rewards MasterCard from Barclays (see what consumers say here) or the NFL card (see review here).

But if you have a secured card and/or an auto loan under your belt and you have been rejected for no annual fee store cards or gas cards, then this card would be a step for those of you looking to get an unsecured card.

How Does The Application Process Work

Before you can apply for card, you actually have to pre-qualify for it. You simply have to fill in the usual details, like name, address, SSN and phone etc. There is no hard pull on your credit report (just a soft pull). If you are "qualified", you will then start the actual application process. Below is a screen shot of the website where you can pre-qualify.
 

milestone gold application pagemilestone application form 2



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