The Surge Mastercard Credit Card issued by Celtic Bank and serviced by Continental Finance, is an unsecured credit card targeted to those with limited or poor credit. The card charges an annual fee and you can expect a starting credit limit of at least $300 with a potential increase in as little as 6 months.
This unsecured credit card can be used as an effective tool to build credit as the issuer reports your monthly payments to the three major credit bureaus—TransUnion, Experian, Equifax. Without a rewards program, however, the card is not ideal for everyday purchases. This is also not a card to keep long term once you improve your credit and qualify for better offers.
Surge Mastercard Benefits
The Surge Mastercard credit card is an accessible credit card to consumers with a wide range of credit scores. It’s an option for those who have difficulty getting approved for an unsecured credit card and don’t want to give a security deposit — as secured credit cards require.
As you use the Surge credit card, your usage will be reported to all three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. With on-time payments, low credit card utilization and responsible use, you can build up your credit score and eventually qualify for a better credit card.
You may also be eligible for a potential credit limit increase after six months of making the required minimum monthly payments. This can help lower your credit utilization, which is another factor that can positively impact your credit score.
Surge Mastercard Rates and fees
The Surge credit card has an annual fee of $75 to $99, which is quite steep for a credit-building credit card. There’s also a potential monthly maintenance fee of up to $10. Other credit-building cards come with no monthly maintenance fees.
There’s also an additional one-time card fee of $30, if applicable. The card has a cash advance fee of 5 percent of the cash advance amount or $5, whichever is greater.
If you’re traveling internationally, there’s a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent. Late payments and returned payments both come with penalty fees up to $40.
APRs range from 25.90 percent to 29.99 percent, based on creditworthiness. This is quite high compared to other credit card. High APRs are typical of credit-building cards.
Surge Mastercard Pros
- Reports to all major credit bureaus – Continental Finance reports to all three major credit bureaus. If you make your payments on time each month, this can help you rebuild your credit and improve your credit score.
- Possibility of an unsecured card – Depending on your creditworthiness, you may qualify for an unsecured credit card.
- Bad credit okay – Continental Finance specializes in borrowers with bad credit, so a low credit score probably won’t stop you from getting approved. On the other hand, the fees might make you think twice about adding this card to your wallet.
- High credit limit – Some borrowers can get a credit limit as high as $750. However, this depends on your credit score, so this limit isn’t available to everyone.
Surge Mastercard Cons
- Annual fee – The Surge Mastercard is a pricey card to own. The annual fee is $125 the first year and $96 thereafter.
- Monthly maintenance fee – The monthly maintenance fee is $0 for the first year, then $10 each month beginning in the second year. This means cardholders pay $120 each year just in maintenance fees.
- Other fees – In addition to the annual and monthly fees, the Surge Mastercard charges $30 for each authorized user and up to $40 for any late or returned payments. Cardholders also pay a 3% foreign transaction fee for any purchases made outside the United States.
- High APR – The Surge Mastercard comes with a 29.90% variable interest rate, which is higher than many cards available to those with low credit scores.
- May require a security deposit – Depending on your creditworthiness, you may be required to pay a security deposit.
- No rewards – While it’s not uncommon for subprime credit cards to lack a rewards program, there are a handful of subprime cards out there that do. If rewards are important to you, it’s worth checking out other options.
Surge Mastercard Reviews
The Surge Mastercard gets mixed reviews, which is to be expected with a subprime credit card.
The majority of reviewers who give the card high marks say it’s good for rebuilding a low credit score as long as you’re careful not to run up a big balance.
I Appreciate the professional way they allow me to rebuild my credit or at least try, I did A pre-approval and then applied. Was approved and had a card inside two weeks No deposit required. So far i am loving this card!romonaharris71
my surge mastercard was 750.00 limit, and a 24.99 apr and after 6 months charging and paying it off each month they increased my limit to 1250.00, i’ve never had a problem with surge mastercard myself.supermanhah72
I cannot use my card at all. Even though i have full available credit. I cant even get a hold of anyone on the phone to help me figure out why. Every time i call it says transferring my call and hangs up on me. I can’t log on to the app or log on online. This is beyond ridiculous and frustrating for someone who needs immediate help.lyssmobley
How to Apply for the Surge Mastercard
Applying for the Surge credit card is quick and easy, and can be completed entirely online through the link below.
- Apply for the Surge Mastercard
If you can’t apply online for any reason, you can call the Surge Customer Service team at: 1-866-449-4514. Customer Care Specialists are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
How to Use the Surge Credit Card
To get the most out of your Surge card, you should use it to make a small purchase during the month, then pay your balance in full when your statement arrives. Over time, as you make on-time payments and never miss payments, your credit report should start to reflect your good financial behavior.
Never carry a balance on your Surge card. The sky-high APR on the card means carrying a balance will be very expensive, and should always be avoided. Use your Surge credit card solely to improve your poor credit, not as a way to make purchases you cannot pay off right away.
Surge Mastercard Alternatives
If you’re put off by the high APR and fees associated with the Surge card, here are three alternatives that might be a better fit.
Indigo Platinum Mastercard
If you prefer an unsecured credit card, the Indigo Platinum Mastercard is an unsecured card that accepts applicants with bad credit. On the other hand, it comes with a 24.90% APR and the possibility of an annual fee.
Depending on the applicant’s creditworthiness, the annual fee can be $0, $59, or $99. Applicants approved for a $99 annual fee pay $75 for the first year.
OpenSky Secured Visa
The OpenSky Secured Visa is a secured credit card, but there is no credit check — making it a good choice for people with bad credit or no credit history. While there is a $35 annual fee, the 17.39% APR is hard to beat.
If you qualify, you’ll need to pay a $200 refundable security deposit. If you want a higher credit limit, you can pay as much as $3,000 to secure your card.
On the downside, there is no option to upgrade to an unsecured down the road. There is also no option to waive the annual fee if your credit score improves.
Capital One Secured Mastercard
The Capital One Secured Mastercard has a 26.99% APR and no annual fee. It also lets you choose a security deposit that fits your budget, allowing you to pay $49, $99, or $200 to secure your card.
You can also get access to a higher credit limit by paying your bill on time. After five months of responsible use, Capital One will automatically review your account and decide whether to offer you a credit limit increase.
Surge Mastercard VS Competitors
|Credit card||APR||Annual fee||Security deposit||Credit line|
|Surge Mastercard® Credit Card||25.90%-29.99% variable||$75-$99||None||$300-$750|
|OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card||17.39% variable||$35||$200-$3,000||Same as security deposit|
|Secured Mastercard® from Capital One||26.99% variable||$0||$49, $99 or $200||Start with an initial credit line of $200.|
Surge Mastercard Credit Card FAQs
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Surge Mastercard.
Is the Surge Credit Card a Good Card?
The Sure Mastercard isn’t a good fit for everyone, but it might help those with bad credit repair their score. With any credit card, it’s important to research the terms and conditions, including the interest rate and any fees.
There’s no getting around the fact that the Surge Mastercard has a high annual fee, an expensive monthly maintenance fee, and high interest. If you need a credit-building card and you’ve exhausted all your options, however, the Surge card could help you establish a positive payment history.
Is the Surge Credit Card a Secured Card?
The Surge Mastercard is both a secured card and an unsecured card. Your creditworthiness determines which version of the card you’re offered.
If you have a bad credit score, you might be limited to a secured card. If you choose to accept the offer for a secured card, you’ll need to provide a security deposit.
What Bank Is the Surge Credit Card?
The Surge Mastercard is issued by Celtic Bank and serviced by Continental Finance.
Does the Surge Credit Card Give Increases?
According to the Continental Finance website, Surge Mastercard cardholders are eligible for a credit review and the possibility of a limit increase after six months. However, the site isn’t clear about whether this review is done automatically or if cardholders need to request it.
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