SelfScore Classic MasterCard

Advertiser Disclosure
Picture of SelfScore Classic MasterCard
By : Mr Credit Card

Quick Introduction

SelfScore has launched two cards that are specifically targeted at international students in the US. This is one of the them. The other is called "Achieve" and comes with a cash back program. The real difference between the two cards is that if you have not got any credit history at all, you will be considered for this card (Classic). After 6 months of on time payments, you will be eligible to be upgraded to the "Achieve" card.

As most of you would know, establishing a credit history in the US is very important because it enables you to get auto loans, rent an apartment, get a credit card. However, to build a credit history, you would need at least a social security number. Most people who just got into the US do not have a social security number. SelfScore gets around that by not requiring any SSN to approve. Instead, they require a different set of information.

How Does This Card work

As we mentioned earlier, this card does not require a SSN. Instead, you need to show your passport, student visa, I-20 and your bank statements. For security purposes, they will not accept mail or email attachments. Instead, after you apply, you can create an account and upload those documents (more secure). Once SelfScore gets all your documents, it will take about 3 days to approve your application. After about 6 months of timely payments, you should get upgraded to their Achieve card, which has a cash back program.
 

Card Details

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 19.74%*(v)

Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%

Rewards: No Reward Program

Requirements: US Bank Account, Passport, I-20, Student Visa

Initial Limit: Up to $1,500.


Peer Comparison

Card Annual Fee
APR
FX Fee
Rewards
Rewards
Score Monitoring
SelfScore Classic Annual Fee = $0
APR = 19.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = N.A.
Score Monitoring = N.A.
SelfScore Achieve Annual Fee = $0
APR = 19.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1% Cash Back
Score Monitoring = N.A.
Capital One Journey Annual Fee = $0
APR = 20.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1.25% Cash Back
Score Monitoring = Vantage 3.0 TU
Discover it Student Annual Fee$0
APR = 13.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 5% rotating categories
1% everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
Discover Chrome Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 13.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 2% gas and dining
1% everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
Citi ThankYou Preferred Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 14.74% - 24.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 2X dining out and entertainment
1X everything else
Score Monitoring = N.A.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Annual Fee = $0
APR = 11.9% - 21.9%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 1% cash back
Score Monitoring = Bankcard Score 2 - Experian
BankAmericard Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 12.74% - 22.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = N.A.
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 13.74% - 23.74%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 3% on gas and 2% on grocery & wholesale club for first $2500 in these spending a quarter
1% on everything else
Score Monitoring = FICO TU
BankAmericard Travel Rewards Student Annual Fee = $0
APR = 15.74% - 23.74%
FX Fee = 0%
Rewards = 1.5X
Score Monitoring - FICO TU
State Farm Student Visa Annual Fee = $0
APR = 12.24% - 19.24%
FX Fee = 3%
Rewards = 1X for every $2
3X for State Farm Insurance Payments (up to $4000 a year)
Score Monitoring - N.A.


It is really hard to compare this card with other student credit cards because this one is specifically targeted at international students who do not have a credit history in the US and most likely have not gotten a social security number.

SelfScore has a higher level card called the Achieve. It has a cash back program where you get 1% cash back on all purchases and you may also get a higher credit limit (up to $5,000 vs $1,500 for this card). However, the comparison is irrelevant because after 6 months of paying on time, you will be eligible to get upgraded to the Achieve card anyway.

The other card that is known to approved folks with no SSN is the Citi ThankYou Preferred for College Students. You need to open a bank account with citi and apply for your card at the branch. You will need the same documents as when applying for this card. The Citi ThankYou has a points base reward program and in this aspect is better than this card. However, they do charge a foreign transaction fee or it would not be the ideal card to carry when you go back home on a vacation or take a semester abroad.
 

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • No SSN required
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • No Security Deposit
  • Eligible for upgrade to Achieve card (with cash back program)

Cons
  • No reward program


Our Take

If you are a new international student in the US, the SelfScore Classic card is probably one of the best thing for you because you could apply for a credit card in the US without having a social security number. It will start reporting to the three major credit bureaus (having said that, you still need to get your SSN eventually for you to get a score). Furthermore, you will be eligible to get upgraded to a cash back card after just 6 months of paying on time. Once you have established a credit history, you could apply for other cards in the future if you want to.