Milestone® Mastercard® With Free Choice of Card Image

Advertiser Disclosure
Picture of Item Reviewed
Apply Here

This is one of the more popular and cost effective unsecured credit cards for those of you with bad credit because
 

  • The fees are reasonable (just annual fee - no one time application fee or monthly maintenance fee)
  • Go through a pre-approval process first with "soft pull"

If you are denied during the pre-approval process, we suggest that you consider a secured credit card with no credit checks like the Opensky Secured Card.

Introduction
Introduction

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.

Card Details
Card Details


Annual Fee : 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.

APR : 23.9%

Peer Comparison
Peer Comparison

Cards Card Details And APR
Credit One Annual Fee: $0 to $99
APR :15.65% to 24.15%
Surge Annual Fee : Y1 = $125, then $96
Monnthly Fee : Y1 = $0, then
$10/m

APR : 29.9%
Verve Annual Fee : Y1 = $125, then $96
Monthly Fee : Y1 = $0, then $10/m
APR : 29.9%
First Access Annual Fee : Y1 = $75, then $48
Monthly Fee : Y1 = $0, then $6.25/m
App Fee: $89
APR : 29.9%
Total Visa Annual Fee : Y1 = $75, then $84
Monthly Fee : Y1 = $0, then $6.25/m
One-time Fee: $89
APR : 29.9%
First Premier Annual Fee : Y1 = $75, then $45
Monthly Fee : Y1 = $0,then $6.25/m
One-time Fee : $95
APR : 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).

Opinion and Verdict
Opinion and Verdict

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.