Personal Finance
Advertiser Disclosure

Tomo Credit Card Review 2023

Tomo credit card review

Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more.

Updated November 28, 2023

The credit card industry is full of premium and reward cards, with few options existing for people with poor or no credit. Generally, if you don’t have a healthy credit history, you can forget getting a credit card and the opportunity to spread out payments on purchases. The Tomo Credit Card aims to help change that.

Unlike most credit cards, the Tomo card doesn’t perform a credit check as part of its approval process. There’s also no APR—though other fees may apply. In this review, we will analyze the Tomo Credit Card and seek to determine whether its features, fees, and perks make it a worthy addition to your wallet.

Time's Take

The Tomo Credit Card is a great choice for people struggling to gain mainstream credit card approval. Instead of relying on credit scores, it uses an algorithmic approach to determine whether someone should be approved. 

Moreover, because you can’t carry a balance on the card from one month to the next, no interest is charged. This makes it a useful solution for beginners getting used to having a credit card and managing and building credit.

TOMO Credit Card Review Summary: Pros & Cons

Doesn’t use credit scores to approve applications
Membership fee is required
No interest charges
Purchases don’t earn cash back
Includes several discounts, credits, and other perks
Some competitors may have better perks

Who is the card for?

The Tomo Credit Card is best for people looking to build credit or establish new credit. It’s fairly easy to qualify. You might not even need a Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

People with little, poor, or no credit have a shot at being approved for this card because TomoCredit, the company that issues it, doesn’t perform a credit check. Instead, it uses alternative data in the approval process, such as information from your bank account. This means you must link your bank account to apply. However, because there is no credit check, there will be no impact on your credit score.

People who can show positive trends with their bank accounts will have a better chance of approval. For instance, a healthy, stable income will increase your approval odds.

Rewards Structure

The Tomo card offered 1% cash back in the past, but that is no longer true. Today, the extra benefits cardholders receive are through World Elite Mastercard, which we will discuss in the next section.

Additional Hidden Perks

Being part of the Mastercard network means the Tomo Credit Card has some extra perks. Benefits offered by Mastercard include:

  • DoorDash discounts. Get three months of free DashPass membership, which includes free DoorDash delivery, and $5 off your first order every month.
  • Lyft credits. Take three Lyft rides and you’ll qualify for a $5 credit that you can use to pay for your next ride.
  • ShopRunner membership. Free ShopRunner membership, which offers free two-day shipping and free returns at various different stores, including Under Armour, Cole Haan, and Bloomingdale’s.
  • Fandango discounts. Get $5 off your next purchase when you spend $20 on movie tickets or streaming.
  • World Elite concierge. Access to a 24/7 concierge service that helps you with tasks like finding tickets to a sold-out show.
  • Cellphone insurance. Protection for cellphones that are lost or stolen.
  • Zero liability. You won’t be held responsible if someone makes an unauthorized purchase with your card.
  • Global luggage assistance. Assistance with luggage from anywhere in the world.

What could be improved

The removal of 1% cash back is unfortunate, and it would be nice to see it return. Of course, no APR is charged on this card because you can’t carry a balance. But those who pay their card off every month wouldn’t typically incur interest charges anyway. And with many credit cards paying cash back these days, it would be nice if the Tomo Credit Card did the same.

The other major area of improvement is the membership fee. Cardmembers must pay $2.99 per month—or $35.88 per year—just to use the card. That’s a tough pill to swallow, especially since the Tomo Credit Card is marketed to those with no credit or who want to build their credit. Some alternatives don’t charge monthly or annual fees, and it would be nice to see Tomo Credit follow suit.

Alternatives to the Tomo Credit Card

CardBest forRegular APRAnnual feeMinimum credit
Tomo Credit Card
People with no credit
$35.88, or $2.99 per month
29.99-33.99% Variable
Rebuilding credit
22.39% (variable)
Cash back on all purchases
Secured credit card with rewards
$25 first, then $35
No Credit, Rebuilding Credit, Poor, Bad
Last resort: First Access Visa
Easy approval
$75 first year, then $48
550-620 and below
Last resort: Total Card Visa®
People with a checking account
$75 first year, then $48
550-620 and below
Last resort: Revvi Visa®
People with bad credit
$75 first year, then $48
550-620 and below

The bottom line

The Tomo Credit Card aims to be different in a crowded field of premium, cash back, and travel rewards cards. Instead of focusing on rewards, its goal is to help the underserved build credit. The Tomo card no longer includes cash back, though it still comes with several discounts and perks via World Elite Mastercard. Overall, it’s a solid option for those who have struggled to gain approval for credit cards in the past.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Charge card vs standard credit card?

The Tomo card works more like a charge card than a standard credit card. This is because, while it doesn’t charge interest, you must pay the card in full every billing cycle. If you don’t, your account will be frozen until the card is paid off. To help keep your utilization low, you can set up weekly automatic payments.

Does the Tomo Credit Card do a hard credit pull?

The Tomo Credit Card doesn’t check your credit, so no hard credit pull is involved. Instead, you must link your bank account, which is a factor in Tomo’s approval decision.

Is the Tomo Credit Card safe?

The Tomo Credit Card keeps you safe with its World Elite Mastercard benefits. For instance, it includes zero liability, meaning you won’t be responsible if someone makes an unauthorized purchase with the card. There are also identity protection specialists available 24/7/365, and you will be alerted of any suspicious activity related to your card.

Is Tomo Credit a legitimate company?

Yes. Tomo Credit is based in San Francisco and was built by immigrant founders who struggled to get credit cards as foreign nationals. The company is dedicated to building the smartest card that doesn’t require a credit score for approval.

Is the Tomo Credit Card considered secured or unsecured?

The Tomo Credit Card is an unsecured credit card. However, unlike traditional credit cards, it doesn’t require a credit check or a credit pull. Instead, Tomo Credit uses a proprietary model to assess your creditworthiness. Part of this process involves evaluating your banking habits.

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