Jasper Mastercard® Review

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The Jasper Mastercard® (Jasper Card) is an unsecured credit card designed for first-time credit card users and those looking to build credit.

Although it’s not technically a student credit card, the fact that it doesn’t require a credit history for approval — thanks to an innovative underwriting process — and its availability for foreign nationals in the United States on student or work visas make it appropriate for those pursuing higher degrees.

And it’s an excellent alternative to secured credit cards, which require what’s effectively a down payment as a condition of use.

Jasper isn’t perfect. It lacks an introductory APR promotion, for example. But it’s an above-average choice for anyone in the process of building or rebuilding credit.

Key Features

The Jasper Mastercard’s most important features include:

Referral Bonus

For each friend you successfully refer to Jasper, you’ll earn an extra 0.5% cash back for a full year, up to 6% total cash back (5% above the 1% cash-back baseline).

Underwriting Process

Jasper uses a nontraditional underwriting process that considers noncredit factors, including sufficient proof of income, to produce a more holistic gauge of applicant risk. Not having a credit score or having limited credit will not necessarily disqualify your application from consideration.

However, if you have good credit, your application will be considered using common credit factors.

Credit Limit

Jasper offers credit limits up to $5,000 with no security deposit required. Your actual credit limit will depend on your income, creditworthiness, and other factors.

Earning and Redeeming Rewards

All eligible Jasper purchases earn 1% cash back. Cash back doesn’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing and is automatically applied to your account balance at the end of each statement cycle.

Important Fees

This card has no annual fee. Other fees may apply, including a foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the United States or denominated in foreign currencies.

Card Benefits

The Jasper Mastercard has a number of perks and benefits underwritten by Mastercard, including:

  • Satisfaction Guarantee for Purchases. Select Jasper Mastercard purchases — those made in full with the card — qualify for Mastercard’s satisfaction guarantee protection for 60 days from the date of purchase.
  • Extended Warranty on Select Purchases. Eligible purchases also qualify for a one-year extended warranty, for total warranty coverage (including the original manufacturer’s warranty) of 24 months or less.
  • Price Protection on Select Purchases. Jasper is one of the few remaining credit cards offering price protection coverage on eligible items for 60 days from purchase. If you find a lower price on an identical item during the coverage period, this benefit may refund the difference. Note that this benefit is subject to change or revocation at any time.
  • Purchase Assurance. This benefit provides reimbursement for covered theft, loss, or damage on eligible items for up to 90 days from purchase, subject to policy limits and exclusions.
  • Mastercard Travel Benefits. Jasper’s comprehensive Mastercard-backed travel benefits include a car rental loss and damage waiver, lost or damaged luggage protection, travel accident insurance, trip interruption and cancellation insurance, and more.
  • Cellphone Protection. Enjoy reimbursement for covered damages to your eligible cellular telephone device, subject to limitations and deductibles.

Credit Required

Jasper is appropriate for applicants with fair to excellent credit. Applicants with limited or nonexistent credit may qualify for approval, depending on income and other underwriting factors.

Jasper reports account information, including payment history, to the three major credit bureaus, so your use of the card will be reflected on your future credit score.

Advantages

The Jasper Mastercard is an effective product for building and rebuilding credit. It has some other notable advantages as well.

  1. No Annual Fee. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee. That’s welcome news for frugal cardholders who can’t be bothered to pay a recurring levy.
  2. No Credit History Required for Approval. Jasper doesn’t require new credit applicants to demonstrate any particular length of credit history — or any credit history at all if their income and other underwriting factors qualify them for approval. This makes Jasper a fantastic first credit card option for younger cardholders.
  3. No Security Deposit Required. Unlike many other cards for people with limited or fair credit, this card doesn’t require a security deposit as a condition of account opening.
  4. 1% Cash Back on All Eligible Purchases. Jasper earns 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. That’s a nice rate of return for an entry-level card, as many direct competitors lack rewards programs at all.
  5. Nice Referral Bonus. Each successful referral earns 0.5% bonus cash back for a full year, up to 6% cash back (5% above the base rate).
  6. Impressive Mastercard Benefits, Including Price Protection. Jasper Mastercard has an impressive lineup of premium Mastercard benefits, including basic travel insurance and price protection. It’s one of the few remaining credit cards offering price protection to new account holders, in fact.
  7. Regular Credit Bureau Reporting. Jasper regularly reports account activity to all three major consumer credit reporting bureaus. This is good news for cardholders eager to build credit and improve their credit scores with a pattern of timely repayment and responsible credit use.
  8. Credit Limit Up to $5,000. Jasper offers credit limits as high as $5,000 to qualified cardholders. This is higher than many competing cards.

Disadvantages

Jasper isn’t perfect. Its drawbacks include a less-generous rewards program and no introductory APR promotion.

  1. Cash Back Capped at 1%. There’s no way to earn cash back on Jasper purchases at a rate greater than 1%. This is a drawback for cardholders who’d like to earn a high return on everyday spending (and who qualify for more generous cash back cards).
  2. No Introductory APR Promotion. Jasper has no introductory interest rates (APR) promotion, so it’s not appropriate for applicants looking to cheaply finance major purchases or pay down high-interest debt accrued elsewhere through balance transfers.

Final Word

The Jasper Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards for new-to-credit applicants and those with less-than-perfect credit, bar none. If you’re eager to begin using an unsecured credit card but concerned about the drawbacks of secured credit cards, Jasper could be just the answer you’ve been waiting for.

If you decide after careful consideration that Jasper isn’t right for you, don’t fret — plenty of high-quality unsecured credit cards appeal to first-timers.

Source: moneycrashers.com

Petal 1 Credit Card Review – Earn Rewards With No Annual Fee

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card is an unsecured credit card designed to help new-to-credit consumers build credit. It’s also appropriate for applicants in the midst of rebuilding credit.

Petal 1’s nonexistent annual fee is just the beginning. As one of the best secured credit card alternatives on the market, Petal 1 has a seamless application process and a host of additional features, perks, and capabilities worth mentioning.

If you’re looking for a new entry-level credit card that doesn’t require a security deposit and won’t penalize you for a complicated credit history[1], you owe it to yourself to take a closer look.

Key Features

These are the most important features of the Petal 1 card, a rewards credit card from one of the most innovative credit card issuers around.

Earning Rewards

Earn between 2% and 10% cash back on eligible purchases from select merchants. Once earned, cash back doesn’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

Redeeming Rewards

Redeem in any amount for a statement credit or for a paper check once your cash-back rewards balance hits $20 (the minimum check amount is $20).

Credit Limit

Depending on your income, creditworthiness (possibly based on your FICO credit scores from the three major credit bureaus), and other factors, your initial credit limit could be as low as $500 or as high as $5,000.

If you’re still building credit and have a complicated credit history, you can still apply for Petal 1.

Important Fees

Petal 1 does not charge an annual fee or fee for international transactions (foreign transaction fees). Possible fees include late fees up to $29 for the first late payment and $40 for any subsequent late payments, and a returned payment fee of $29.

Regular APR

The regular APR for purchases is 19.99% to 29.49%, depending on your creditworthiness, prevailing interest rates, and other factors.

Credit Bureau Reporting

Petal reports Petal 1 account information, including payment history, to all three major consumer credit reporting bureaus. This means responsible use of the card will be added to your credit history and may help to boost your credit score.

Additional Capabilities and Benefits

Additional Petal 1 capabilities and benefits include:

  • A mobile app that makes it easy to manage your funds, track spending, and automate payments on the go
  • Cash flow technology (cash score) that can help earn approval for new-to-credit applicants with bank accounts and adequate banking history
  • Get preapproval within minutes without impacting your credit score

Credit Required

The Petal 1 card is designed for cardholders with average credit (fair credit) as well as new-to-credit consumers with no credit histories and those in the process of rebuilding credit. It’s a suitable student credit card too.


Advantages

These are the Petal 1 card’s top advantages for cardholders.

  1. No Annual Fee. Petal 1 doesn’t charge an annual fee. That’s good news for frugal cardholders and a welcome contrast with some entry-level cards.
  2. No Security Deposit Required. Petal 1 doesn’t require a security deposit as a condition of account opening. This is a key distinction from secured cards, which appeal to the same audience as this one.
  3. Open to New-to-Credit Applicants. Thanks to an innovative underwriting process that considers cash flow and other noncredit factors, Petal 1 is appropriate for applicants without credit histories or with limited credit history.
  4. Ideal for Consumers Rebuilding Credit. Petal 1 may also be appropriate for consumers in the midst of rebuilding credit.
  5. Cash Back on Some Transactions. The Petal 1 card earns between 2% and 10% cash back on purchases with select merchants.
  6. No International Transaction Fee. Petal 1 doesn’t charge a fee for international transactions, so frequent international travelers can use it without fear of surcharges.
  7. Potential for Relatively High Credit Limits. Petal 1 offers credit limits between $500 and $5,000. That’s on the high side for an entry-level credit card.
  8. Regular Credit Bureau Reporting. Petal regularly reports account information to the three major consumer credit reporting bureaus. With timely repayments and responsible credit utilization, your Petal 1 card could help increase your credit score over time.

Disadvantages

Consider these drawbacks before applying for a Petal 1 card.

  1. Potential for High Regular APR. Petal 1’s maximum APR is on the high side. That’s a drawback for cardholders who plan to carry balances from month to month.
  2. No Cash Back on Most Transactions. Despite its attractive cash-back rate on certain partner purchases, Petal 1 doesn’t earn cash back on most transactions. That’s a problem for consumers looking for an everyday credit card that earns rewards.
  3. Credit Limits Capped at $5,000. Petal 1’s maximum credit limit could be problematic for higher-income cardholders.

Final Word

The Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card is a rarity in the world of entry-level credit cards: a no-annual-fee product that doesn’t require a security deposit and earns cash-back rewards on some transactions.

Although it does have some drawbacks, including the potential for a high APR, it’s a great option for millions of would-be cardholders in the process of rebuilding their credit — and millions more who’ve never had a credit card at all.

Source: moneycrashers.com

What Your Credit Score Says About You

Your credit score is more than just a number. It represents how reliable a borrower you are and how well (or poorly) you manage your debt. Just like your SAT scores back in high school (which I prefer to never think about again), it will spark judgement.

Prospective lenders, landlords and maybe even a new dating partner will use your score as a make-or-break sign. If you’re curious to know where you stand, be sure to get your free credit score report with Turbo.

Depending on where your score falls on the credit score scale (which runs between 300 and 850 on the VantageScore scale) what does this three-digit figure actually reveal about you?

Note: Some creditors will use the FICO score system, which is graded and calculated differently from the VantageScore. We’re using VantageScore below.

Superprime: 818 – 850

A score between 818 and 850 is the equivalent of an A/A+ on your school report card. It implies you’ve been very responsible with your credit, paying your bills on time and in full each month. Even if you had a low score at one point, you’ve worked hard over time to reclaim a top spot on the credit score charts. In short, you’re very mindful and responsible when it comes to credit.

Your score also reveals that you’re a relatively safe bet when it comes to borrowing money from a lender or renting out an apartment. Using your VantageScore, the lowest mortgage rates tend to go to borrowers with credit scores in the 818-850 range, which means your high score will also help you save money down the road.

Prime Plus: 727 – 817

If superprime is the honor-roll student, prime plus is the one occasionally acing tests and getting high B’s otherwise. This score tells people that you’re a solid bet, and maybe just a tad new to the game still. You’ve been hard at work building your score and doing the right things. Continue maintaining a nice level of available credit and pay on time, and you’ll hit that Superprime title in no time!

This range will make you eligible for most credit cards, loans, and mortgages with a slightly higher interest rate than those in the superprime category. Still, you should have no problem securing most cards or major loans, even those required for a house or car.

Prime: 636 – 726

This range shows you’re either somewhat new at building credit or you’ve made a few mistakes, suggesting you have some room for improvement when it comes to managing your credit well.

Since payment history, debt-to-credit ratio, and available credit are the three biggest factors in crunching your credit score, a figure in this range could signal that you were late paying a bill recently or are carrying a tall balance on your credit cards (or both). A score of 636-726 will hardly exempt you from qualifying for credit, but it may cost you a higher interest rate on that loan.

Non-Prime: 546 – 635

Hmm. Did you recently foreclose on your home? Are you delinquent on some bills?

At this level, your score suggests you are going through some tough credit times or, at least, recovering from some recent setbacks. While you may be making the right moves to rebuild your credit now, it may take many months or several years. Meanwhile, lenders will see this as concerning. You may qualify for new credit, but it will likely come attached to a higher-than-average interest rate.

High Risk: 300 – 545

At this point, I’d lay low and not apply for any new credit until your score breaks 545. Your score is telling people, “I’m not in a good place!” And banks and landlords may see you as too big a risk.

If you’re getting over a bankruptcy or a foreclosure, it may take seven to ten years before the stain falls off your credit report. In the meantime, your credit score may be slow to heal.

To help, you could take on a secured card, which is sort of like a credit card on training wheels. It’s designed for people who can’t qualify for a typical credit card yet (perhaps due to very low credit).

How it works: You load the card with your own money, just like you would a prepaid card. You then use it like a credit card, charging a few expenses on it and paying off your bill every month (or, essentially paying yourself back).

The activity on a secured card gets reported to the credit reporting agencies. Use it wisely and your credit score could inch up sooner than later. Eventually you may be able to qualify for a traditional credit card and really start to enhance your credit game to boost your score. Patience and good behavior will go a very long way.

General Credit Score Questions

Various credit cards

Knowledge is the best tool when it comes to building your credit score and reaching that Superprime status. To help you reach your credit score goals, here are a couple of common questions.

What’s the Credit Score Wheel?

The credit score wheel is a way to visualize the various elements that factor into your credit score. This wheel will look a little different depending on if you’re looking at VantageScores or FICO scores, as the two are calculated using different weights.

The VantageScore 4.0 criteria are as follows (in descending order of importance):

  1. Payment History: Paying your bills on time is the most heavily-weighted criteria here.
  2. Age and Type of Credit: Having numerous types of credit (credit cards, mortgage, auto loan, etc) over a long period of time is another huge factor.
  3. Percentage of Credit Used: Having your individual credit balances under 30% of total available credit can help grow your score.
  4. Total Balances and Debt: Maintaining a low level of total debt will help your score reach Superprime.
  5. Recent Credit Behavior: Opening too many accounts too quickly will hurt you. Allow a sizeable gap between opening accounts.
  6. Available Credit: This goes hand-in-hand with percentage of credit used. Don’t use too much credit, only what you need.

Does My Credit Score Impact my APR?

Many wonder if their credit score will impact their APR. In short, yes, your credit score heavily impacts your APR.

Those with a higher credit score, especially those in the Prime Plus and Superprime territory, will have a far lower APR than those in the other tiers. Unfortunately credit is necessary to build credit, so you’ll likely have to start with credit cards that have poor APR. (Just use them sparingly and don’t leave a balance!)

Your Credit Scores: A Never-Ending Battle

Woman pushing credit card up a hill

Your credit score is always moving in one direction or another. You can’t get lazy and expect it to stay put, so make sure you’re always aware of where your credit use is at. Don’t spend what you don’t have, don’t open too many accounts, and keep an accurate budget.

You can reach Superprime eventually. Before you know it, you’ll be the one on the block all the other credit card holders want to be like!

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Source: mint.intuit.com