When you have no credit, limited credit, or bad credit – you don’t have many options for credit cards.
To establish or build credit, you may have to rely on credit builder products and services first. Some are over priced. Some are ineffective. And some are both!
If you’ve been considering the Destiny Mastercard, we can help you decide if it’s the right one for you. One key difference I want to highlight right off the bat is that the Destiny Mastercard, unlike many other credit builder products, is an unsecured credit card that lets you build credit with all three major credit bureaus.
Some only report to one or two bureaus. Destiny separates itself, in part, by reporting to all three. And it doesn’t require a security deposit.
In this Destiny card review, I’ll cover the pros and cons, and let you know why I think it’s worth considering, especially if you don’t want to set aside cash for a credit card security deposit.
Table of Contents
- What is the Destiny Mastercard?
- Destiny Mastercard Fees
- Best Destiny Card Features
- Destiny Card Drawbacks
- Destiny Mastercard Alternatives
- Destiny Card FAQs
- Destiny Mastercard Summary
What is the Destiny Mastercard?
The Destiny Mastercard is a credit card meant to build credit or repair a damaged credit score. It is issued by First Electronic Bank in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can apply online, or you may receive a mailed invitation.
It is an unsecured credit card, meaning it doesn’t require a security deposit like a secured credit card. The card’s sister product is the Indigo Platinum Mastercard. The card fees and benefits are similar, but the Indigo Card also offers a $0 annual fee.
Like most starter credit cards, you can’t collect rewards points with the Destiny card. The Destiny card also charges an annual fee.
According to their website, your initial credit limit will likely be $300. Consider it a temporary bridge to improve your credit and qualify for a better product with no annual fee, a higher spending limit, and the opportunity to earn rewards.
Who Can Qualify for the Destiny Card?
The Destiny Mastercard is one of the most accessible credit cards to qualify for as its target user has a credit score below 600.
The minimum qualifications are lenient and include the following:
- Are at least 18 years old (19 years in Alabama)
- Have a Social Security Number
- No previous Destiny Mastercard charged off due to delinquency
You will also need to meet additional income, debt, and identity requirements. However, the bank doesn’t disclose these criteria.
For example, the credit card homepage states that qualifying with a prior bankruptcy is possible. As you may know, it’s challenging to qualify for a rewards credit card when you still have a personal bankruptcy lingering on your credit report.
While qualification isn’t guaranteed if you satisfy the basic requirements, you can prequalify without hurting your credit. The prequalification process can also estimate your annual fee, purchase APR, and credit limit.
A hard credit check and a formal credit review are necessary for applying for the card. Even if you pass the prequalification, there’s still a chance Destiny may not approve your final application.
Destiny Mastercard Fees
There are two different versions of this card, and the annual differs too. Your yearly fee will be one of the following:
- $75 for the first 12 months and then $99
- $59 each year
The bad news is that you won’t know which annual fee you’re eligible for until you prequalify or apply. These fees are relatively high but are competitive with other credit cards for bad credit.
Some of the other card fees can include (as of 7/11/2022):
- Purchase APR: 24.99% variable APR
- Cash advance APR: 29.9% APR plus $5 or 5% (whichever is higher)
- Foreign transaction fee: 1%
- Late payment fee: Up to $40 (after a 25-day grace period)
- Returned payment fee: Up to $40
- Overlimit fee: Up to $40
Best Destiny Card Features
All credit builder products have pros and cons, and the Destiny Card is no different. Here’s a closer look at its top features so you know what to expect.
1. Builds Credit
Your payment history reports to all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Therefore, making your monthly payments on time (up to 25 days after the statement closing period) is essential.
It’s best to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30% of your card’s spending limit. For example, your credit limit is $300 then you should keep your outstanding balance below $90.
Maintaining a low credit utilization ratio may mean making multiple monthly credit card payments. The 15/3 credit card payment hack is one helpful strategy.
2. No Security Deposit
Most credit-building credit cards are secured and require a refundable security deposit. For instance, if you want a $300 spending limit, you’ll need to set aside a $300 deposit.
On the other hand, the Destiny Card can provide the same $300 credit line without the deposit. Depending on your circumstances, you may be unable to afford the $300 security deposit. However, this card can still help you build credit even if your finances are tight.
3. Easy Prequalification
You can prequalify for this card within a matter of minutes. Prequalifying only conducts a soft pull on your credit report to determine your initial creditworthiness.
However, a hard inquiry will temporarily damage your credit score if you apply for a card. Other credit cards and loans also incur a hard check even after the initial prequalification.
4. Low Credit Requirements
The Destiny card has lenient credit and income requirements that can help provide a “second chance” with building credit. It can also be helpful if you’ve never had credit and need to start somewhere. It’s possible to qualify with a credit score in the low 300s. By comparison, many of the best rewards credit cards require a score in the upper 600s or above.
Destiny Card Drawbacks
The Destiny Card has some of the same drawbacks you see with this class of cards. Issuers know they are taking on greater risk and that folks who need this type of card have fewer options, so these are not unique to Destiny.
1. High Fees
An annual fee between $59 and $99 can be an expensive way to build credit. However, it can be a more affordable alternative than a high upfront security deposit if you want a credit card. If you don’t have access to a large security deposit, then this may be your only option.
There is also no option to upgrade to a $0 annual fee version. So, it isn’t a good idea to keep this card active when you’re using it just to build a long credit history on your oldest credit accounts.
In addition to the high annual fee, the purchase APR is more expensive than many credit cards. This high interest rate isn’t exactly unexpected as credit cards catering to lower credit scores are more likely to carry a higher APR.
Taking these fees in stride and not carrying a balance to minimize your ownership costs is essential.
2. Low Credit Limit
Your card has a $300 preset spending limit that’s enough for basic expenses. This limit is similar to other unsecured and secured credit cards for folks with low credit scores.
Unfortunately, this low limit makes keeping a low credit utilization ratio a challenge. You may need to make multiple balance payments if you use this card for frequent purchases. A debit card can be more convenient for daily spending as you won’t carry a balance or need to set payment reminders.
A hassle-free way to maintain an ideal credit utilization ratio below 30% is to only charge one recurring expense to your card. Two examples are your cell phone bill or streaming subscriptions as the monthly charges can be below $90 (30% of a $300 limit).
3. No Future Credit Limit Increase
This card doesn’t offer ongoing account reviews with the prospect of increasing your limit. However, other credit cards may begin offering credit limit increases after six consecutive on-time monthly payments.
While future credit limit increases are not guaranteed with these other cards, it’s an effortless way to improve your credit and reduce your credit utilization ratio.
4. No Rewards Program
If you’re making several purchases per week or month, rewards are an easy way to get more value from your card as you build credit.
Unfortunately, you won’t earn cash back on purchases made with the Destiny Card. Rewards programs are still somewhat of a novelty for first credit cards but are becoming more common.
You also won’t receive a signup bonus. New cardholder offers are virtually non-existent for starter credit cards – except for student credit cards.
Destiny Mastercard Alternatives
These credit cards can also help you build credit. They may have a more attractive annual fee or rewards program than the Destiny Card.
Chime Credit Builder
The Chime Credit Builder is a secured credit card without an annual fee. Your spending limit is equal to your refundable security deposit.
One nice feature of Chime is that it doesn’t require a credit check to apply. Instead, you must first open a free Chime Checking Account and receive qualifying direct deposits of at least $200 per month.
This platform can be an excellent option as you can have a fee-free checking account, high-interest savings account, and credit card under one umbrella. Our Chime Credit Builder review has the full details.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.
Self Credit Builder
Self is another credit builder product that helps you build credit using their Credit Builder Account*. Monthly payments are reported to all three credit bureaus.
There is one great feature – you can use your savings as a deposit for a Visa® secured credit card** once you’ve:
- made three on-time payments,
- saved more than $100 into your account, and,
- have your account in good standing –
The fees include a $9 non-refundable administrative fee up front, but you can unlock the savings you build at the end of your plan – minus interest and fees.***
To learn more, check out our full review of Self.
Extra functions like a debit card but reports to the credit bureaus like a credit bureau. It deducts your charges daily from your linked bank account. Then, the card reports a monthly payment to the credit bureaus to improve your score each month. In effect, you never have to worry about carrying a balance and paying credit card interest or late fees.
A annual subscription costs $149 for the credit building service. This plan doesn’t earn purchase rewards. To earn 1% cash back and build credit, you pay $199 per year.
Learn more in our Extra Debit Card review.
Petal 2 Visa Card
The Petal 2 Visa Card can also be an exciting rewards credit card if you have a fair credit score (upper 500s to low 600s). In addition, you won’t pay an annual fee and don’t need to make a security deposit.
Additionally, you can start earning up to 1.5% back on purchases after 12 months of on-time payments. For more information, check out our Petal 2 Visa Card review.
Destiny Card FAQs
Your annual fee can be between $59 and $99, depending on your creditworthiness. You can preview your annual fee by prequalifying for the Destiny credit card.
Your initial credit limit is $300. This is also your ongoing credit limit as Destiny doesn’t offer credit limit increases.
You can call a toll-free number to receive customer support or to report fraudulent purchases. It’s only possible to apply for this credit card online.
Destiny Mastercard Summary
The Destiny Mastercard is a solid option for building credit with a low credit score. Its annual fee is expensive but more affordable than an upfront security deposit, though you will get your security deposit back at some point. A no-fee secured card may be a better option if you plan to have the card for multiple years.
You may consider alternatives if you want to earn rewards or can potentially qualify for a similar product with smaller fees. Also, here are some other ways to build credit without a regular credit card.
*All Credit Builder Accounts made by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, Sunrise Banks, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender or Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. Subject to ID Verification. Individual borrowers must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security Number are required. All loans are subject to consumer report review and approval. All Certificates of Deposit (CD) are deposited in Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Sunrise Banks, N.A., Member FDIC or Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A., Member FDIC.
Lead Bank. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender
Sunrise Banks, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender
Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender
**The Self Visa® Credit Card is issued by Lead Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, or South State Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.Requirements are subject to change. All requirements are subject to change.
***Sample products are $25 monthly loan payment at a $520 loan amount with a $9 administration fee, 24 month term and 15.92% Annual Percentage Rate; $35 monthly loan payment at a $724 loan amount with a $9 administration fee, 24 month term and 15.97% Annual Percentage Rate; $48 monthly loan payment at a $539 loan amount with a $9 administration fee, 12 month term and 15.65% Annual Percentage Rate; $150 monthly loan payment at a $1663 loan amount with a $9 administration fee, 12 month term and 15.91% Annual Percentage Rate. Please refer to www.self.inc/pricing for the most recent pricing options.