Is the Aspire Credit Card Worth It?

Aspire Credit Card

$49 - $175
7

7.0/10

Strengths

  • Unsecured credit card for bad credit
  • No application fee

Weaknesses

  • Relatively high fees
  • Cannot request credit limit increase

The Aspire Credit Card is one of two “Aspire” credit cards offered by The Bank of Missouri in St. Robert, MO. (the second is the Aspire Cash Back Reward Card)

The Aspire Credit Card is an unsecured credit card meant for people with bad credit. It’s not a card anyone can simply apply for, you have to have an invitation (which is why their website says “respond to offer” on the buttons rather than “apply).

If you received an invitation, you might be wondering if this card is worth it, we’ll explain:

Aspire Credit Card Benefits

Many of the Aspire Credit Card’s benefits are similar to that of other unsecured credit cards designed for folks with bad credit. It’s unclear how high of a credit limit you get but their agreement does state that they will not accept credit limit increases requests, so what you get is what you get.

One benefit they tout is a free credit score. While nice, the credit score they offer is a VantageScore 3.0 which is the same score that many other services offer for free. There are at least half a dozen different companies that offer a free credit score so this benefit is not terribly impressive.

The one highlight is in the type of product – it’s an unsecured credit card so you don’t have to leave a hefty security deposit. Many secured credit cards operate “like” unsecured cards in that you leave a deposit but never touch it. Your limit is your deposit amount and so the balance is “secured” by the deposit. With the Aspire Credit Card, you don’t have to leave a deposit.

Another point in favor of the card is that there are no application fees.

Requesting an Aspire Credit Limit Increase

Unfortunately, the Aspire Credit Card will not accept any credit increase requests. It’s stated within the cardholder agreement:

If approved for an Account, your initial Credit Limit(s) will appear on your Card carrier. Your current Credit Limit(s) can be found on your Statement or provided upon request. We do not accept Credit Limit increase requests.

Aspire Credit Card’s Cardholder Agreement

That said, they do reserve the right to increase or decrease your credit limit so there are opportunities for it to change after it has been set. You can’t ask them to increase it but they could do so on their own.

Aspire Credit Card Fees

The Aspire Card’s fees, according to their generic cardholder agreement, are substantial.

Expect an annual fee between $49 to $175 in the first year, then $0 to $49 after that. It’s not clear why there is such a large range but I suspect it has to do with the creditworthiness of the cardholder.

There is also an account maintenance fee of $60 to $159 annually, billed monthly at $5 to $12.50 per month after the first year.

If you add an additional card for an authorized user, that’s $25 per year.

How does this compare to other unsecured credit cards?

Another big one is the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit – The annual fee is $75 for the first year and then $99 annually after that first year. The Aspire Credit Card’s fees may have a lower bottom end of the range but also a much higher top end. If you are only paying $49 a year, that’s great. if you’re paying $175 – that’s more than twice the fee of Credit One’s similarly targeted card.

Aspire Credit Card Alternatives

The Aspire Credit Card is may be good for building credit but there are alternatives that are cheaper.

You can look to the Chime Credit Builder Credit Card which uses your Chime account. There are no fees, which makes it far cheaper than the Aspire Credit Card, and it reports your behavior to all three credit bureaus.

Alternatively, you can look to the Extra Debit Card that links to your existing checking account to determine how much credit to issue you. Again, this card has no fees so is a more affordable option compared to the Aspire Credit Card.

Is the Aspire Credit Card Worth it?

The main benefit of the card is that you’re paying for a credit card that can help you build credit over time, as long as you use the card responsibly.

The Aspire Credit Card is okay… but it’s not great. It’s just slightly more expensive than some alternatives, which you may or may not qualify for.

If you received this offer and are considering, shop around to see if you can get a better unsecured credit card that can also help you build credit. There are several options out there and you owe it to yourself to see if you can get the same type of card for less.

If you can’t, there’s nothing wrong with the Aspire Credit Card other than the fact that it’s expensive.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools, everything I use) is Empower Personal Dashboard, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Aimee
2 years ago

I got an offer on one and there are no monthly fees on it.

Schmoe
1 year ago

Aspire card is a scam. You can have an account in perfect standing, then they will, out of the blue send you an email saying your credit limit has dropped to $100 and that they are going to terminate your account within a month. Then when you finally get a hold of someone they say they are closing your account due to inactivity. I had a limit of $2000 with an account in perfect standing, paying all their scam yearly fees then they can the account. Sounds like the Bank of Missouri is having financial problems to dump cardholders like… Read more »

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