How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
|
Advertising Disclosure
LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).
|
American Express Disclosure
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

American Express Disclosure

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® Review

Surge<sup>®</sup> Platinum Mastercard<sup>®</sup>
Build Credit
Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
Worldwide Use
Use your card wherever Mastercard is accepted
Easy Application Process
Fast and easy application process; results in seconds. All credit types welcome to apply
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It was not reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Our take: The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® aims to help you improve your bad or poor credit but the actual cost of its fees outweigh its potential benefits.

Is the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® a good card?

The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® offers an easy and effective — but expensive — way to rebuild credit. There is no security deposit which makes it appealing for someone who needs access to credit but may be short on cash at the moment. However the annual and monthly fees quickly add up, and unlike a security deposit, are not refundable.

That said, if you have suffered financial setbacks, have been declined by other credit card issuers and will not carry a balance as you make on-time payments, this could be a useful tool that you use until you’re able to get a better card.

Quick facts

    • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
    • All credit types welcome to apply!
    • Monthly Credit Score – Sign up for electronic statements, and get your Vantage 3.0 Score Credit Score From Experian
    • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000 (subject to available credit)
    • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
    • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
    • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
    • Online account access 24/7
    • Checking Account Required
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit scores ranges may vary. Your individual chance at approval may vary due to factors such as creditors using a particular variation at their discretion
  • 300 600 660
    Fair/Poor
  • Mastercard Zero Liability Protection
  • Free monthly credit score
  • Monthly reporting to all three major credit bureaus
  • Mobile app

Intro Purchase APR

See website for Details*

Regular Purchase APR

29.99% APR (Variable)

Intro BT APR

See website for Details*

Regular BT APR

See website for Details*

Annual Fee

$75 - $125

Cash Advance Fee

Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fee

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Balance Transfer Fee

See website for Details*

Pros and cons

  • Low credit scores welcome
  • No security deposit required
  • Up to $1,000 credit limit
  • Credit limit may double after 6 months
  • Monthly reporting to 3 credit bureaus
  • High annual fee
  • Monthly membership fees
  • No sign-up bonus
  • No rewards
  • High APR

What we like about the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® Card

  • Low credit scores welcome

    The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® offers users a chance to rebuild credit — or start with no credit history at all — by including some features that aim to help build credit with a credit card to get your finances on the right track. With the option to prequalify, you can see if this is a card that’s an option for you without risking the potential negative effects of a hard pull on your credit report.

  • No security deposit

    A key selling point of the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® is that no security deposit is required. Many secured credit cards (but not all) require a deposit of $100 or more, which may be hard to come up with in a pinch.

  • Up to $1,000 credit limit

    Your initial credit limit may range from $300 to as much as $1,000. Usually you’d have to put down a hefty sum of cash to secure this high of a limit with a secured credit card, since most secured credit cards match your credit limit to the amount that you deposit (minus any fees).

  • Credit limit may double after six months

    With on-time minimum payments for your first six monthly payments, your credit limit can double. This means an initial $400 credit limit would increase to $800. Likewise a $1,000 credit limit would double to $2,000.

    This can be a blessing and a curse. A higher credit limit can boost your credit score by helping you keep a lower credit utilization ratio. However, it also increases the risk of building up a debt that you can’t afford to pay off.

  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus

    When you’re building, or rebuilding credit, you want all of your positive financial moves to be known — and the best way for that to happen is if your credit card issuer reports to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

    Not all lenders report data to all three. This is helpful in the future if you plan to apply for additional credit in the future, like an auto loan or mortgage. You won’t have control over which credit bureau a lender pulls your data from, so you’ll want to make sure your positive payment history is reported in each database.

What to look out for with the Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

  • High annual fee

    The main drawback of the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® is that it’s expensive to carry. There’s an annual fee of $75 - $125. And, you can’t tell what the fee will be until you apply and get accepted. Plus, you’re stuck paying the annual fee for the life of the account, which means you’ll likely have to close the card once you move on to better cards (which could lower your credit score). You can find many cards for building credit that offer minimal or no fees.

  • Monthly fee

    In addition to an annual fee, with the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® you’re also assessed a monthly fee starting in the second year of card ownership. This fee ranges from $0 to $10 per month, or $0 to $120 per year.

  • No sign-up bonus

    While many issuers offer a sign-up bonus for opening and making purchases on a credit card, the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® has none. However, this isn’t a large shortcoming — credit cards for bad credit generally don’t offer lucrative sign-up bonuses, which are reserved for applicants with good credit.

  • Possibly no rewards structure

    Another element of a great credit card that is missing here: rewards. The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® doesn’t offer a rewards program, but that is pretty standard with credit cards for rebuilding credit. One card that does offer cash back rewards on every purchase is the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card.

  • High APR

    With a 29.99% APR (Variable) that can change with the market, this is a card that you do not want to carry a balance on. Make sure to use the card to charge only items for which you know you can repay by the due date.

Alternative cards to the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® card

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® vs. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

| Disclosures
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Rates & Fees
N/A
30.74% (Variable)
$0
Non-rewards Card
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking to access your account from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One's mobile app
  • For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply
300 600
Poor/Limited

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

 

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card offers a smaller credit limit, initially up to $200, but with no fees and a minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200. Potentially you could begin building or repairing credit for $49, which is refundable. You can raise your initial credit line by depositing more money.

While this card doesn’t offer perks like a sign-up bonus or rewards, it does offer a clear path on how you can use it to rebuild your credit and upgrade to an unsecured card. Additionally it reports to all three credit bureaus to further assist you in improving your credit.

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card

| Disclosures
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Rates & Fees
N/A
28.24% Variable APR
$0
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit history.
  • Your secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit, and your credit line will equal your deposit amount, starting at $200. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. Activate for free.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
300 600
Poor/Limited

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

 

As a card that’s intended for people with poor or limited credit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers a slightly lower APR, no annual fee and your choice of credit limit (you choose your limit, based on your security deposit, from $200 up to the credit line approved). One feature worth noting is that after seven months of card membership, Discover automatically reviews your account to determine if you’re eligible for a transition to an unsecured account with no security deposit.

Cardholders can earn Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.. And to sweeten this even further, Discover matches all of your cash back at the end of your first year. So if you’ve earned $400 in cash back, you’ll get another $400.

Is the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® right for you?

As a last resort, the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® might be the right card for you. It has high fees (and lack of transparency on how high of a fee you’ll get) and an uncertain rewards program. Plus there is no clear card you can graduate to, unlike with the alternative credit cards, so we suggest considering one of those as your first choice of cards to build credit.

If you’re just starting out on your credit journey, we suggest a student credit card, if applicable, or a credit card for beginners. There are several cards that have no annual fee, rewards programs and the option to upgrade to a better card in the future.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

apply-now-iconApply Now
on Continental Finance's secure site