|Credit Building Rating:||1.7 / 5|
|Cost of Membership||1.0|
|Ease of Building Credit||3.2|
In a Nutshell:
The Indigo Mastercard is a pretty basic credit building card, offering a standard APR and credit limit with no rewards program. Unless you qualify for a lower annual fee, it’s probably not worth what it costs to own.
Average cost of membership per year ($3,600 annual spend)
Security deposit required
Initial credit limit
Access to higher credit line?
Other rates and fees
Features: Auto rental insurance, extended warranty, roadside assistance, travel assistance, $0 fraud liability
If you are trying to improve your less than perfect credit, the Indigo Mastercard has a pretty standard APR and credit limit. But the wide range of annual fees and unspecified policy for increasing your credit limit over time rank this card on the lower end of credit building cards.
In general, the additional fees aren’t too bad for an unsecured card. You won’t have to pay a set-up or monthly servicing fee. There is no rewards program though, so if you qualify for the highest annual fee the cost of membership is much higher than typical.
Great approval odds
The Indigo Mastercard is specifically designed for people with less than perfect credit, and it is even available to those with a previous bankruptcy. If you are still worried about qualifying, you can check for pre-qualification on their website in just a couple minutes with no impact to your credit score.
If you have bad to fair credit and are eager to improve it, this card is a quick and easy way to get started.
Standard credit limit with no security deposit
Unlike many cards available to those with bad to fair credit, the Indigo card does not require any sort of security deposit. Everyone who is approved for this card will receive a standard credit limit of $225-$300, depending on your annual fee.
The Indigo card is a good option if you don’t have the funds to put down a large deposit, but want a standard credit limit right away.
No specified timeline to increase credit limit
When it comes to steadily increasing your credit limit, the Indigo card leaves much to be desired.
The initial credit limit of $300 is standard for a credit building card, but is still pretty low when it comes to boosting your credit score. Plus, the Indigo card does not specify any timeline for an account review to increase your credit limit. So while you’ll get the average credit limit right away without a deposit, you might find your progress inhibited a few months down the line when you can’t improve your available credit.
Average APR and additional fees
The Indigo card APR is also nothing special. You’ll find plenty of credit building options with a lower APR, such as the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, with an APR of 20.39% (variable). That said, many unsecured cards carry APRs upwards of 24 percent, so this is a middle of the road option. You definitely won’t want to carry a balance in order to avoid accumulating interest charges.
The cash advance fee, late or returned payment fee and minimum interest charge are also pretty standard on this card. They aren’t particularly high, but you’ll still want to avoid them whenever possible.
Pricey annual fee
After applying for the Indigo MasterCard, you’ll be assigned one of three possible annual fees based on your creditworthiness. You’ll get either $0, $59 or $99 ($75 the first year). It is impossible to know which fee you’ll be assigned before applying, and both the middle and top tier options are much higher than average.
Since this card offers no rewards to offset this cost and only average APR and additional fees, paying any sort of annual fee on this card doesn’t seem justified. If you are lucky enough to snag the $0 fee, it is a decent credit building option.
No rewards program
The Indigo MasterCard does not include any sort of rewards scheme like these cards do. You will get a few extra benefits, including extended warranty and roadside assistance, but the perks on this card are nothing special.
How to build credit with the Indigo Mastercard
Building credit with the Indigo Mastercard starts with paying on time. Payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, so be sure to pay at least the minimum due every month. Over time, you’ll build up positive payment history that will signal to future lenders that you can pay back what you owe. Of course, you should ideally pay more than the minimum due.
While paying just the minimum is enough to help your payment history (and, by extension, your credit score), paying only the minimum means you’ll be charged interest on your remain balance. If you’re not careful, you could quickly end up with a ton of debt. If you can’t pay it back and have to file bankruptcy, your credit will be in an even worse place than when you started.
The other major factor to consider when trying to build credit with the Indigo Mastercard is your credit utilization. Credit utilization is the amount of money you’ve borrowed (in other words, charged with your credit card) compared to the amount available for you to borrow (your total credit limit across all credit cards you hold). If, for example, you had a total credit limit of $2,000 and you owed $100, you’d have a credit utiliziation of 5%. One decent rule of thumb is that you should try to keep your credit utilization below 30%, but, really, the lower the better.
If the Indigo Mastercard is your only card, you’ll need to be extra careful due to the relatively low starting credit limit. For example, if you’re assigned a $300 limit and charge $50 to fill up your gas tank three times in a month, your credit utilization would be 50%, well above what’s considered a good credit utilization ratio. Instead, try to only charge small purchases to the card and pay them off quickly – such as a single streaming service or one meal out per week. If you can’t help but charge more, consider paying off your balance multiple times per month.
You can use free credit-tracking tools like Discover’s Credit Scorecard to keep an eye on your FICO score. Once you build up a better score by paying on time and keeping your utilization low, you may be able to qualify for a higher credit limit and a more lucrative (and less expensive) credit card.
See related: How to build credit
Why get the Indigo Mastercard?
- You have bad to fair credit and/or a previous bankruptcy and need a card with good approval odds.
- You can qualify for the $0 annual fee.
- You don’t have the money to put down a large security deposit but still want a standard initial credit limit.
How to use the Indigo Mastercard:
- Make regular charges and on-time payments to start improving your credit score.
- Pay your monthly balance in full whenever possible to avoid racking up interest charges.
- Take advantage of perks such as roadside assistance and extended warranty.
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