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Milestone® Mastercard® Review 2024

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Updated April 30, 2024

The Milestone® Mastercard® helps those with low (or no) credit scores build a positive credit history. By making on-time payments and keeping your card balance low, you should be able to graduate from this card in a year or two.

Milestone Mastercard

Milestone® Mastercard®

Milestone® Mastercard®

Credit score
Poor/Limited
APR
35.90%
Annual fees
$175 the first year; $49 thereafter
Minimum deposit
N/A

Pros:

  • Can help build (or rebuild) credit
  • No security deposit necessary
  • Zero liability protection

Cons:

  • High fees
  • No rewards program
  • You cannot choose the card version you want

And let’s hope you can. Because Milestone® Mastercard® has among the most unfavorable terms and fees we’ve seen. The APR for purchases and cash advances is 35.90%. The first year’s annual fee is $175 the first year; $49 thereafter, with no monthly fee. But if you still have the card after the first year, you’ll pay $49 per year—plus $150/year in monthly fees, billed at $12.50 per month. Your annual cost starting in year two: $199.

What’s more, for all these fees, you will get virtually zero ongoing benefits, no welcome bonus, and no rewards for spending.

There are different versions of the Milestone® Mastercard®, each with varying terms. You’ll pay an annual fee of $175 the first year; $49 thereafter.

Regardless of which version of the Milestone® Mastercard® you qualify for, you’re going to get virtually zero ongoing benefits, no welcome bonus, and no rewards for spending.

TIME’s Take

The Milestone® Mastercard® should, quite literally, be your last resort among credit cards.

Built into this product are traps that someone either new to credit or with poor credit habits may easily spring. Once that happens, it can be hard to dig out of debt because of sky-high fees and interest rates.

With a potentially high annual fee and no ongoing benefits worth mentioning, there are very few redeeming factors with this card.

Milestone Mastercard: Pros and cons

ProsCons
Can help build (or rebuild) credit
High fees
No security deposit necessary
No rewards program
Zero liability protection
You cannot choose the card version you want

Who is the card for?

The Milestone® Mastercard® is a credit-building tool for those with truly nowhere else to turn. Its credit limit is $700. And reports of a credit line increase are almost nonexistent.

To consider this card, two things must be true:

  1. You don’t have the money to float a security deposit for a secured credit card.
  2. You’ve got either no credit or poor credit and can’t get approved for an unsecured starter credit card.

Unless both of those situations describe you, you’ve got better options. Just about any secured credit card on the market offers more favorable terms (lower annual fee, rewards for spending, etc.). Plus, you can acquire a significantly higher credit limit if you’re willing to put down a sizable deposit.

This card is also only for folks who can absolutely pay their credit card bill in full each month and know they’ll never exceed their credit limit. You shouldn’t open any credit card unless you can do those things—but this card will sting you in a particularly bad way if you slip up. For example, its annual percentage rate (APR) can exceed 30%.

Features

Reports to all three credit bureaus

The Milestone® Mastercard® relays your credit card activity to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These are the three credit bureaus used by the vast majority of credit issuers, which means that if you have good credit habits (paying bills on time, keeping card balances low, etc.), future lenders will see your hard work.

Identity theft monitoring

The Milestone® Mastercard® is, you guessed it, a Mastercard. Because of this, the card comes with automated identity theft monitoring to help you spot fraudulent activity on your card.

Zero-liability protection

If your card is lost or stolen and you find unauthorized charges, you may not be responsible if you report your card as missing within a reasonable amount of time.

Credit protection

During the application process, you have the option to enroll your card in “Milestone® Credit Protection.” For a fee of $1.49 per $100 of your monthly statement balance, you’re eligible to have your monthly balance (or monthly minimum payment) canceled if you experience unforeseen eligible event such as:

  • Involuntary termination of employment
  • Expenses for auto service or parts of a qualifying amount
  • Disability
  • Hospitalization
  • Natural disaster
  • Loss of life

There are certain restrictions, so it’s possible you may not be covered even if you’re experiencing one of the above circumstances.

The fine print

The Milestone® Mastercard® is completely unforgiving for anyone who isn’t a model user, as you’ll see with the below fees.

Annual fee

Depending on your creditworthiness, you’ll pay an annual fee between of $175 the first year; $49 thereafter.

Furthermore, that annual fee will occupy part of your credit line until you pay it off. And because credit limits have been reported as low as $700, your card could be mailed to you with an available credit limit as low as $525 (and a credit utilization of 25%).

APR

While the exact terms you get will vary based on your credit, you could be charged more than 35% APR. That is a predatory rate, and outright dangerous for those who think they might carry a balance month-to-month. For example, carrying a $500 balance could result in more than $14 in interest in a single month.

That said, if you never carry a balance, this won’t affect you at all. And anyone shopping for a credit card should be capable of fully paying off their balance each month, or else credit cards are probably not a good idea.

Overlimit coverage

During the application process, you’ll be asked to opt into “overlimit coverage.” This means that any time you exceed your credit limit, your card will still be processed—but you’ll incur a $40 fee. You could even be charged two additional overlimit fees if you remain over your credit limit for future past due dates.

Don’t opt into this service. You can effectively “overspend” your limit by simply paying your card more often to free up your credit line.

Other fees

The Milestone® Mastercard® charges up to $41 fee for late payments and returned payments. You’ll also pay $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance (capped at $100).

One pleasant surprise is the card’s foreign transaction fee, which is just 1%. The most common fee is 3%, so this is one area where the card is better than many of its competitors. It’s still not a good card to bring when traveling abroad, however.

What could be improved

The Milestone® Mastercard® is bare bones in every way. And it’s got astronomical fees.

To improve this card, Milestone could tweak some benefits to better serve those just beginning in the credit card world (or those trying to mop up a messy past). After all, that’s whom the card is targeted towards.

To this end, the company could add features such as a free monthly credit score (something very common among credit cards). It could also rid the card of annual fees. The card squeezes money from its users in other ways, and its tendency to offer a low credit limit means the annual fee can easily affect credit utilization.

Milestone could also stop offering overlimit coverage. It sounds philanthropic, but it’s just another opportunity for Milestone to make money. Nearly all credit card issuers discontinued the option many years ago.

Card alternatives

Description
N/A
$200
APR
35.90%
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Annual fees
$175 the first year; $49 thereafter
annual_fees
Credit score
Poor/Limited
credit_score_needed

Bottom line

The Milestone® Mastercard® is missing key elements that competitors generally offer, such as a rewards program, credit-building benefits, and no annual fee. Its high fees should scare off anyone with other options. If you’re just beginning your search for a credit card aimed at those with poor or limited credit, keep looking—and make the Milestone® Mastercard® your absolute last resort. It’s a booby trap for those inexperienced—or not careful with—with credit.

Milestone Mastercard

Milestone® Mastercard®

Milestone® Mastercard®

Credit score
Poor/Limited
APR
35.90%
Annual fees
$175 the first year; $49 thereafter
Minimum deposit
N/A

Pros:

  • Can help build (or rebuild) credit
  • No security deposit necessary
  • Zero liability protection

Cons:

  • High fees
  • No rewards program
  • You cannot choose the card version you want

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the credit limit for the Milestone® Mastercard®?

Your credit limit will be determined after you apply for the card. However, most data points report a credit limit of $700.

Who issues the Milestone® Mastercard®?

Milestone® Mastercard® is issued by Bank of Missouri.

How do I check the status of my Milestone credit card?

You can view your Milestone® Mastercard® application status by calling 866-502-6439 and navigating the automated system.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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