Full Review of Blaze Mastercard Credit Card
Unsecured credit line access
Qualify for an increased credit line
Higher than average APR
- Unsecured Credit Line Access: When you have poor credit or no credit at all, you often can only qualify for secured credit cards, which can require you to put down hundreds of dollars as a security deposit. If parting with your hard-earned cash isn’t appealing, the Blaze Mastercard may be a solid alternative. You may be able to qualify for this card even if you have less-than-stellar credit, and get access to an unsecured line of credit.
- Qualify for an Increased Credit Line: Cardholders who keep their account in good standing with on-time payments can qualify for a credit line increase in as little as six months. Many cards for people with bad credit don’t have as clear of a timeline for qualifying for a credit line increase. Being able to get more spending power in less than a year is a nice benefit.
- Costly Fees: Before applying for the Blaze Mastercard, you should be aware of two major fees:
- Annual fee: You’ll be assessed a $75 annual fee before you use this card, and the fee reduces the amount of credit you have available. For example, if you are approved for a $350 credit line, the fee would lower the available credit to $275.
- Authorized user fee: Adding an authorized user, such as a spouse or partner, to the account will incur a $20 annual fee.
While high fees are typical of cards for people with poor credit, there are other credit cards that don’t charge them. The Petal card is another option for someone building their credit history. Also an unsecured card, it has no annual fees, foreign transaction fees, authorized user fees, or late payment fees.
- No Rewards: Unfortunately, the Blaze Mastercard doesn’t have a rewards program. You won’t earn points, miles, or cash back when you use your card. While that’s common for cards designed for people with bad credit, it’s still disappointing. If you’re willing to apply for a secured credit card instead of an unsecured credit card, and put down a refundable deposit, you can find options that offer rewards. For example, the Discover it Secured card has no annual fee and you can earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent each quarter at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Even better, Discover will match all of the cash back you earn during your first year as a cardholder, effectively doubling your rewards. To put that in perspective, let’s say you spent $6,000 on your Discover it Secured card: $1,000 each quarter at gas stations and restaurants, and $2,000 on other purchases. You’d earn $100 in rewards. But thanks to Discover’s cash back match, Discover would match all of the cash back you earned, giving you $200 in rewards.
- Higher-than-Average APR: According to the Federal Reserve, the average APR on all credit cards was just over 15%, as of February 2020. As of April 30, 2020, the purchase APR on the Blaze Mastercard was 29.9%—far higher than the national average. If you carry a balance on your card from month to month, a higher APR will cause you to pay much more in interest charges. To put those numbers in perspective, let’s say your credit card has a $1,000 balance, an APR of 15%, and a minimum monthly payment of $35. It would take you 36 months to pay off your debt and, in total, you’d pay $245 in interest charges. If you had a $1,000 balance on a credit card with 29.9% APR and a minimum monthly payment of $35, it would take you 51 months to pay off your debt, and you’d pay $770 in interest charges. The higher APR would cost you $525 in additional interest. If you tend to carry a balance, look for another card with a lower APR, like the Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured credit card. It has a $99 annual fee, but has a fixed 9.9% APR.
This Card is Best For
Motivated to create positive credit history
If you have no credit history or poor credit and don’t want a secured credit card, the Blaze Mastercard can be a good option. It gives you access to an unsecured line of credit, and you can qualify for an increased credit line in as little as six months.
While it does charge fees, this card can be a useful tool for building your credit since it reports your payment activity to the major credit bureaus. As your credit improves and you can qualify for other credit cards, you can close your account to avoid future fees.
The Blaze Mastercard offers few benefits, but it does have:
- Limited liability protection
- Security alerts
- Online account access
The Blaze Mastercard is issued by Nebraska-based First Savings Bank, a smaller card issuer that isn’t included in J.D. Power’s Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
Customer service can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 866-205-8311.
This card offers standard security features, including 24/7 account alerts. You’re also never held responsible for unauthorized transactions if your card is lost or stolen as long as you notify First Savings Bank.
If you’ve struggled to qualify for other credit cards and don’t want to apply for a secured card, the Blaze Mastercard is a decent alternative. You’ll get access to an unsecured credit card, and you may qualify for an increased credit limit in as little as six months. The card does charge fees, but that tradeoff may be justified if your goal is to avoid having to put down a large security deposit.