Milestone Mastercard Review 2022: Is This Credit Booster Right for You?

GOBankingRates Score

3.8
Quick Take: The Milestone Gold Mastercard is geared toward people with poor credit or no credit that need to build their score. The fine print shows they’d be better off looking somewhere else. While the Milestone Mastercard is an unsecured card, meaning no deposit is required to open one, the annual fees and interest rates can leave people in worse shape than they started if they’re not careful. To find this information, applicants have to visit the pre-qualification page and click "Terms and Conditions." However, for those who don't want the temptation of a high credit card limit, this card could be a good option for learning how to manage a credit card balance.
  • No Deposit Required
    5.0
  • Fees
    3.0
  • Fraud Protection
    4.0
  • Credit Limit
    3.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No deposit required
  • Can help build credit history since it reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Fraud protection
  • Use anywhere Mastercard is accepted

Cons

  • Maximum credit limit is only $300
  • Annual fees can be as high as $99 depending on credit score
  • High APR can mean steep payments
  • No rewards programs or features to help people better manage their money

Milestone Gold Mastercard Overview

The Milestone Gold Mastercard is an unsecured credit card offered through The Bank of Missouri. It is meant to help borrowers build their credit from scratch or give it a boost if they have a low score. Like any other credit card, it can help build someone’s credit history if used carefully. This card reports activity to all three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

This card does not require a deposit to open it, which is something usually reserved for people with credit scores in the “good” range or higher. That can be a plus to those with no credit or bad credit, but it also carries a high APR of 24.90%. The card also has an annual fee — something not everyone who’d use this card can afford — ranging from $35 to $99 depending on the cardholder’s credit score. 

The Milestone Gold Mastercard does not have any rewards program, unlike other cards with an annual fee. It does not offer cash back on purchases, either. While it isn’t necessarily common for cards aimed at people with lower credit scores to have a rewards program, some do, and a good card that charges an annual fee would. 

It does not offer much in the way of bonuses or other perks when opening the card for the first time, like 0% introductory APR. Genesis FS Card Services is the company providing customer service for this card, as they are the card issuer.

According to the website, this card is supposed to be a tool to help people with poor credit improve their scores. The credit limit of only $300 of doesn’t offer much wiggle room, however. It is not specified whether cardholders can qualify for a higher line of credit in the future. 

Standard Benefits

The Milestone Gold Mastercard comes with standard protections that one can expect to see in a credit card, including fraud protection and $0 liability for unauthorized purchases

Cardholders can also quickly get their card replaced if needed, a feature dubbed “emergency card replacement.” Emergency cash advances are also available. 

Mastercard’s ID Theft Protection monitors a user’s social security number, connected email accounts and credit card accounts for suspicious activity. However, users of this card can’t access their credit score to keep track of their progress. 

Features of the Milestone Gold Mastercard

Here’s a closer look at some of the features this card offers.

No Deposit Required

For many people with no credit or damaged credit scores, coming up with a minimum deposit to open a credit card isn’t possible. Minimum deposits are usually steep, around $200, and the Milestone Mastercard doesn’t require any money upfront.

Mastercard offers a credit line of at least $300 with this card, minus the annual fee amount. The annual fee for the Milestone Gold card starts at $35 and goes up to $99. The fee amount is not provided until after an application is submitted.

Good To Know

Credit cards that require a deposit will often refund that money once the cardholder improves their score and graduates to a regular card with a higher credit line. Unsecured credit cards will often have high APR, so be sure to watch for accumulating interest and make payments on time.

Fees

The APR on purchases made with this card is high — fixed at 24.90%. This could cause trouble if charges aren’t paid off in full every month, as a revolving balance on this card would rack up interest quickly. Everyone who uses this card pays that rate, regardless of their credit score. 

Cash advance and foreign purchase fees also apply, though they aren’t outlined on the website right away. Applicants have to visit the pre-qualification page and click the terms and conditions link to see them. Cash advances are $5 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater (not to exceed $100). Foreign transactions are 1% of the purchase amount in U.S. dollars. 

This card has late payment, returned payment and over-limit penalty fees. Each of these penalties can be up to $40. 

Fraud Protection

The Milestone Mastercard offers fraud protection to help cardholders keep their cards secure.

If a user loses their card or has it stolen, they can call a customer service hotline at 1-800-304-3096 for help. If a card is used without the cardholder’s permission — whether it’s lost or stolen — cardholders may not be responsible for charges.

The Milestone Mastercard is also a chip card, which provides another level of fraud security.

Credit Limit

The initial credit limit on the Milestone Mastercard is $300, minus some setup and annual fees. So for someone charged a $35 annual fee to use the card, they’d have $265 available to use. The ratio of credit used to the total credit line is a big part of how credit scores are calculated — the less of a cardholder’s total credit limit is used, the better it looks. A very low credit limit like the one offered here can actually make it harder for someone with a low score to improve.

However, to ensure that the temptation to rack up a high debt on a credit card is minimized, this low limit could be a positive.

Who Is the Milestone Gold Mastercard Best For?

The Milestone Gold Mastercard is best for those looking to build their credit who don’t have access to more conventional credit cards. 

Comparable Card Options for People With Low or No Credit

Because of this card’s shortcomings, it may be best for those looking to improve their score to look elsewhere. Other cards on the market offer better rates, cash-back programs and no annual fees while helping to rebuild credit. Here are a couple of alternatives to the Milestone Mastercard:

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Capital One’s Platinum Secured card has no annual fee and a flexible deposit. Deposits range from $49 for the minimum $200 line of credit to a higher deposit for a maximum credit line of $1,000. The APR is a bit high at a variable rate of 26.49%, and the card doesn’t offer rewards. However, with responsible use, cardholders can earn back their deposit.

After improving their credit, people can also choose to graduate up to a regular Platinum card with Capital One and have their initial deposit refunded.

Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card

The Petal 1 Visa has no annual fee, doesn’t require a deposit and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

This card is also packaged with an app that includes credit-building tools that help cardholders improve their credit score. Applicants’ creditworthiness is determined by other factors like saving habits and their credit score . There are late and returned payment fees, which users will need to make their payments on time to avoid. Petal 1 is a much better option for those looking to lay a more stable foundation for their credit.

How To Apply for the Milestone Gold Mastercard

Applying for the Milestone Gold Mastercard is simple:

  1. Go to the Milestone Gold Mastercard website.
  2. Click “Get Started” or “Pre-Qualify Today.”
  3. Fill out the quick online form.
  4. The card issuer will then contact applicants with more information.

Easy Entry, But Is Milestone Gold Mastercard for You?

The absence of a rewards program, inability to track one’s credit score, high annual fee and low credit line all add up to a card that makes it difficult to actually build good credit. While the Milestone Gold Card technically provides an easy entry point to the world of credit for those with a lower score, better options are available.

However, for those who are concerned about budgeting on a credit card with a higher limit, this card could be good for helping learn how to manage a credit card.

Final Take

This card could be good for building credit if the purchases made are very small amounts, but other options are ultimately better for substantially improving credit.

Information is accurate as of May 12, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Milestone. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Milestone.

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About the Author

John Bogna is a freelance writer and photographer based in Houston, Texas. His background spans topics from tech to culture and includes work for the Seattle Times, the Houston Press, WebMD and Mailchimp. Before moving to the Bayou City, John earned a B.A. in Journalism from CSU Long Beach.
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