Surge Mastercard Credit Card Review: High Fees Make Building Credit Costly

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Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
Learn More externa link icon
Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    See Terms*
  • Regular APR:
    See Terms*
  • Recommended credit score:
    (No Credit History)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Credit-building tool for those with imperfect credit
  • Potential credit line increase after six months
Cons
  • $75 to $99 annual fee required
  • Additional monthly maintenance fee up to $10 per month
  • Very high APR
The Bottom Line
The Surge Platinum Mastercard is an unsecured credit card for people with bad credit or a limited credit history. Because it’s an unsecured card, you won’t have to submit a deposit upfront. However, this card’s high ongoing fees can quickly add up. With any card for building credit, you should prioritize responsible credit use. Your Surge Credit Card usage and on-time payments are reported to the three credit bureaus monthly, which can help you increase your credit score over time.

Additional Card Details

  • Starting credit limit of $300 to $1,000
  • Annual fee of $75 to $99
  • Monthly maintenance fee of $0 to $10 per month, starting after the first 12 months
  • Reports to credit bureaus monthly
  • Free monthly credit score when you enroll in e-statements

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® Full Review

Card Type

This card is an unsecured credit card for building credit. It’s available to people with less-than-great scores, as a tool for improving credit.

Annual Fee

When you apply for the Surge Platinum Mastercard, you may be assigned an annual fee ranging between $75 and $99, which is very high for a credit-building card with no rewards.

Welcome Offer

There’s no cash welcome offer or introductory APR offer with this card.

Rewards

The Surge Platinum Mastercard has no ongoing rewards.

Fees 

Not only will you be assigned an annual fee between $75 and $99, but you may also take on a monthly maintenance fee starting after your first 12 months. The issuer assigns this fee based on your creditworthiness. It can range from $0 to $10 per month, potentially adding another $120 to your annual total.

You’ll also pay a 3% foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the U.S. and up to $41 for any late or returned payments.

Benefits of Surge Platinum Mastercard

Since the Surge Platinum Mastercard is for people with bad credit or little credit history, it doesn’t offer many benefits beyond monthly reporting to the three credit bureaus.

Because it’s unsecured, you don’t have to put down a cash deposit like you would with a secured credit card. This can be helpful if you know you can make on-time payments each month, but don’t have the cash upfront to secure a deposit. 

Drawbacks of Surge Platinum Mastercard

The biggest drawback of this card is its fee schedule. Between the annual fee and ongoing monthly maintenance fees, you could rack up hundreds of dollars in fees each year — with no rewards to offset the cost. Plus with a potential credit line as low as $300, those high fees could reduce your available credit quickly.

How to Use the Surge Platinum Mastercard

To get the best use out of this card as a credit-building tool, use it for small purchases you can pay off each month. If you carry a balance, the incredibly high APR this card charges can make those balances quickly add up to long-term debt.

Make sure you pay your credit card bill early or on time each month, and keep your credit utilization low for the best possible impact on your credit score.

The Surge Platinum Mastercard comes with an initial credit limit of $300 to $1,000, so you’ll need to be extra careful about your spending to improve your credit. Credit utilization is one of the most influential factors in your credit score, and experts recommend maintaining a utilization rate below 30% (and ideally below 10%). If your credit limit is $500, for example, your balance should stay below $150 each month.

If you do decide to get the Surge Platinum Mastercard, use it only as long as you need to improve your score and qualify for better, more affordable cards.

Surge Platinum Mastercard Compared to Other Cards

Learn More externa link icon
Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    See Terms*
  • Regular APR:
    See Terms*
  • Recommended credit:
    (No Credit History)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
Learn More externa link icon
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $75 for the first year. After that, $99 annually ($8.25 per month)
  • Regular APR:
    26.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    300-670 (Bad to Fair)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.

Is Surge Platinum Mastercard Right for You?

There are many better options for building credit than the Surge Platinum Mastercard — both secured and unsecured. Despite avoiding the deposit required with a secured credit card, you may end up paying much more over time with this card, even if you practice perfect credit use and never subject balances to this card’s high APR. 

Say, for example, you’re assigned a $99 annual fee, an additional $10 monthly maintenance fee starting the second year, and it takes you two years to build a score high enough to qualify for another credit card. If you close this card after that time, you would have paid a total $318 over the lifetime of the card.

You’re better off saving that amount upfront and putting it toward a refundable security deposit on a secured credit card. This way, you could rest assured you’ll receive your deposit back after you’ve used the card to increase your score, as long as you close the card in good standing.

One thing we do like about this card is the potential credit limit increase you can get after six months. However, the issuer only reviews your account after this time at your request — other credit-building cards, like Capital One Platinum Credit Card, offer automatic credit line reviews after the same time period. 

With that being said, the Surge Platinum Mastercard could make sense if you have fair or poor credit and you really want an unsecured credit card — especially if you qualify for the lower annual fee and no monthly maintenance fee. This card does help you build credit through responsible credit use, which can increase your chances of approval for better credit cards in the future. But it shouldn’t be your first option. See the terms you might qualify for by checking your prequalification offers on the issuer’s site before you commit to an application and undergo a hard credit check.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

*All information about the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Surge Credit Card give credit line increases?

After you’re approved for the Surge Credit Card and use it responsibly for six months, you may be eligible for a credit line increase.

Is the Surge Credit Card a secured credit card?

The Surge Credit Card is an unsecured credit card, meaning you don’t have to put down a cash deposit as collateral.

What is the annual fee on the Surge Credit Card?

The Surge Credit Card charges an annual fee between $75 and $99. You may also be assessed a monthly maintenance fee of up to $10 (after the first 12 months from account opening).