Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Indigo Platinum Mastercard Review

overall rating
1.6

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Having a poor credit score or no credit history at all can make it difficult to qualify for a credit card, especially if you aren’t willing or able to put down a deposit to secure the card. Requiring no security deposit, the Indigo Platinum Mastercard allows those who are credit-challenged to obtain a card without having to put down money. Its credit limit is only $300, though, and while a $0 annual fee is possible you may have to pay an annual fee of $59 or even $75 the first year and then $99, depending on your creditworthiness.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

overall rating
1.6
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
On Genesis Bank's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.9% variable
Annual Fee $0 - $99
Rewards Earning Rate This card does not offer a rewards program.
Balance Transfer Fee This card does not offer balance transfers.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 1%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all low cost cards in our database:
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
Rewards
Benefits
worst best

Full Review of Indigo Platinum Mastercard

Pros
  • Requires no security deposit

Cons
  • Annual fee

  • No rewards or one-time offer

  • Low credit limit

Pros Explained

  • Requires No Security Deposit: Since traditional (unsecured) credit cards are largely unavailable to people with poor credit or no credit history, such consumers typically have turned to a secured card; these require a security deposit that also serves as the card’s credit limit. The Indigo Platinum Mastercard skips the need for a security deposit. Instead, you get access to a revolving line of credit, from which the annual fee is deducted, if your history doesn’t qualify you for a card without an annual fee. As with a secured card, your activity of the card is reported to the major credit bureaus. Provided that activity is positive, the reporting allows you to build a credit history that eventually facilitates getting further credit products, such as traditional credit cards and loans.

Cons Explained

  • Annual Fee: When you submit your loan application, you’ll actually be considered for three different Indigo Platinum Mastercards. Which one you’ll qualify for is dependent on your creditworthiness. One card has no annual fee. The others cost $59 a year, or $75 for the first year and $99 after that. The fee you pay, along with whether you qualify for the card at all, depends, Indigo says, on a review of your income and debt, including whether you have been delinquent with any creditor within the last 30 days. Unlike traditional cards, then, credit score isn’t necessarily a consideration, since many applicants for the card may not have the credit history necessary to create a score.    
  • Low Credit Limit: If approved for an Indigo Platinum Mastercard, you’ll be awarded a credit line of $300. That’s a notably low and firm number, given that some other unsecured cards aimed at those with credit challenges offer initial limits of between $300 and $1,000. Those other cards also specify if and how the limit might be raised over time, provided you behave responsibly. Indigo makes no mention of any increases to its limit. For those who must pay a fee for the card, the credit available for purchases actually isn’t as much as $300, at least not at the start. Your annual fee is charged to the card at the outset, and so reduces your available credit by $59 or $75, depending on the fee you’re charged for your first year with the card. If you have a $300 credit limit and have a $75 annual fee, then, your available credit would actually be just $225.
  • No Rewards or One-Time Offer: The Indigo Platinum Mastercard provides no rewards on spending, nor does it offer a one-time offer to new cardmembers. While those omissions are fairly standard for a card designed for people with credit challenges, they’re unusual for a card that charges annual fees, at least to some of its cardholders.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Motivated to create positive credit history
    Credit Builder

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is designed for applicants with poor credit (which Experian, one of the three credit bureaus, defines as having a credit score of between 300 and 579) who want to build or rebuild their credit history (the card’s transactions are shared with those agencies). It’s also for such people who prefer not to (or cannot) come up with the security deposit required for a secured card, the leading alternative for those with no or damaged credit who want to improve their creditworthiness. 

Compared to the issuers of some competing cards, Indigo has a low and fixed credit limit of $300, with no process disclosed by which to increase it. That low limit makes the Indigo Platinum Mastercard a card more for people eager to build their credit than those who want to actually use it to make purchases. 

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard also has no travel benefits and charges a fee (albeit of a low 1%) on transactions made in foreign currency. That makes it a poor choice to take along on a trip, even compared to many other cards aimed at those with limited credit history or credit challenges.   

Like many such cards aimed at credit-challenged consumers, the Indigo Platinum Mastercard has a fixed and fairly high APR. With such a rate, the card is less than ideal for those who want to carry a balance, since interest charges will add up especially quickly. In addition, the card’s value to building a positive credit history will be reduced, since carrying a balance employs more of your credit limit—and the lower your “credit utilization,” the better, so far as credit bureaus are concerned.   

 Standard Benefits

  • Emergency card replacement
  • Emergency cash advance

Cardholder Experience

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is issued by the Celtic Bank, a privately-owned industrial bank based in Utah. As a small card issuer, Celtic Bank is not among the card issuers ranked in the J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The Indigo card is serviced by Genesis FS Card Services, though, and this would be the group handling customer services issues. As with the card issuer, Genesis F.S. Card Services was not included in the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

You can reach customer support through secure messaging or by calling 1-866-946-9545. However, customer service is only available during select hours, rather than 24/7, as most major card issuers provide. Customer support can be reached from 6:00am to 6:00pm Pacific Time, seven days a week. Such limited hours can make it difficult to get help if you have questions or problems outside of the issuer’s availability, so keep that in mind before applying for a card. 

Security Features

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard offers the standard security features for a basic unsecured card. 

With this card, you’re eligible for Mastercard ID Theft Protection. This service provides comprehensive monitoring of your Social Security number, email addresses, and credit card accounts. If your identity is compromised, identity-theft resolution specialists are available to help you recover 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our Verdict

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard potentially allows access to a credit card even if you have fair and even poor credit. However, that alone may not be enough to justify applying for this card over better options that fill the same need. While one version of the card has no annual fee, the others cost $59 and $99 ($75 for the first year). Its credit limit is a low $300, and it’s unclear if that amount might ever rise in future if you use the card responsibly. Look to alternatives to this card that are also aimed at the credit-deficient. If you can qualify for the Petal Visa, for example, the card is entirely fee-free. Not only does it lack an annual fee, then, but it also eschews the myriad of other fees that the Indigo Platinum Mastercard and most other such cards impose,including those for foreign transactions, late payment, and exceeding your credit limit. The Petal Visa also allows you to earn cash back on your everyday purchases. 

Because it requires a security deposit (of at least $200), the OpenSky Secured Visa will be easier to qualify for than the Petal Visa, and its APR on purchases is notably low. The card does, however, also have an annual fee, of $35, which is deducted from your credit limit. 

Another worthy secured card, the Discover it Secured Mastercard, has no annual fee and offers rewards. You’ll earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 of combined spend at gas stations and restaurants each quarter and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover will even match all cash back earned during your first year as a cardmember, effectively doubling your rewards.The rewards can really add up with the Discover it Secured Mastercard. For example, let’s say you spent $5,000 on your card during your first year as a cardmember: $1,000 on gas stations and restaurants in each quarter, and $1,000 on other purchases. You’d earn $90 in rewards during the year: $80 from gas and dining spending ($4,000 x 2%) and $10 from the miscellaneous purchases ($1,000 x 1%). And, with Discover’s cashback match, you’d end up with $180 in cash back rewards in that first year. If you’re still weighing an application for the Indigo Platinum Mastercard, consider getting the card mostly as a short-term tool you can use to establish your credit. If you use the card responsibly and make all of your payments on time, you can improve your credit score. After a year or two, you may be able to qualify for a better card. You could then consider closing your account with the Indigo Platinum Mastercard, to avoid having to pay its ongoing annual fees.

A final note: This card is nearly identical to another on the market, the Milestone Gold Mastercard, which shares many of its shortcomings. That other card, though, is issued by another small regional bank, has no version that lacks an annual fee, and potentially may award you a higher credit limit depending on your creditworthiness.

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For Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
on Genesis Bank's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
overall rating
1.6
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.9% variable
Annual Fee $0 - $99
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.