Full Review of Indigo Platinum Mastercard
Requires no security deposit
No rewards or one-time offer
Low credit limit
- 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.
- 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
Motivated to create positive credit history
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.
- Emergency card replacement
- Emergency cash advance
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.
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.
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.