|Credit Building Rating:||3.8 / 5|
|Cost of Membership||5.0|
|Ease of Building Credit||3.0|
In a Nutshell:
The Jasper Cash Back Mastercard charges no annual fee* and offers a chance at a high credit limit and decent baseline rewards. However, it doesn’t carry many distinguishing features that set it apart from other cards for people with fair credit.
*All information about the Jasper Cash Back Mastercard has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. The Jasper Cash Back Mastercard is no longer available through CreditCards.com.
Average Cost Of Membership Per Year ($3,600 annual spend)
Security Deposit Required
Access To Higher Credit Line?
Future credit line increases may be granted based on your overall credit performance, but no specified time period.
Other Rates And Fees
Other Notable Features: Extended warranty, price protection, cell phone protection, auto rental coverage, lost or damaged luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, mobile app to track spending and manage account
If you’re new to cash back credit cards and have at least fair credit, the Jasper Cash Back Mastercard could be a decent starting point on your rewards journey. The card charges no annual fee, offers simple flat-rate rewards and gives you a chance to boost your rate with successful referrals.
While it’s by no means the best cash back card on the market, if a fair credit score has you facing limited card options, the Jasper card could be useful as a starter card until you can move on to more lucrative offerings.
That said, the card’s rewards are not as impressive as they may seem at first glance since reaching them relies on a referral tier system that may prove impractical for the average cardholder.
Earning cash back
On the surface, the Jasper card offers quite a high potential cash back rate for a no annual fee card – as much as 6% cash back***. However, earning rewards isn’t as easy as you might think, and it may be tricky to calculate exactly how much cash back you’ll earn with the Jasper card, especially if you’re new to rewards cards.
Here’s how it works: All cardholders start off earning 1% cash back for eligible purchases, which is the bare minimum you should expect to earn with a cash back card. Then, to earn a higher cash back rate, you need to refer friends and have them sign up and activate their own Jasper card. For every successful referral, you’ll earn 1% more cash back for one full year.
While this may look good on paper, the utility of this referral program will obviously depend on how many people you know who need a starter credit card and decide the Jasper card is the best fit.
The Jasper card’s terms also note that the maximum amount of cash back you can earn is determined by your credit limit – so if you a have a $5,000 limit and a 6% cash back rate, you can only earn a maximum of $300 back each month, even if you pay off your bill early. While it’s by no means a deal-breaker on its own, this lack of flexibility limits the Jasper card’s appeal as a cash back card.
The good news is that if you can get successful referrals, the card may help you work your way up to that 6% cash back rate quickly. You can now increase your cash back rate by an additional 1% back for every successful referral, instead of the previous 0.5% back per referral, up to the 6% cash back rate.
This means that you can work your way up to 6% cash back by successfully referring five people to the card. While this rate is only valid for a year, it could make the Jasper card a better short-term option than popular flat-rate cash back cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, although it might be difficult to find 5 friends to refer.
There’s also a great perk waiting for new cardholders who apply for the Jasper card via your referral and are approved: New referred customers get a 1% boost to their cash back rate for their first 12 months, so they’ll start off at a 2% flat cash back rate on all purchases.
If you’re looking at the Jasper card as more of a starter card, its rewards scheme should look even more generous considering the card charges no annual fee and does not require a security deposit.
Redeeming cash back
Because the Jasper card is available to cardholders with only fair credit, cardholders need to prove their credit responsibility before they can access the cash back they’ve earned. After three months of on-time payments, you’ll automatically be credited with your cash back every month.
If you do happen to miss a payment, or should your account otherwise fall out of good standing, your cash back will be locked and you won’t be able to earn any more cash back until your account is back in good standing.
The Jasper card may not carry a particularly robust list of perks and benefits, but it does offer a few noteworthy advantages, including a chance at a fairly high credit limit and a reasonable list of fees.
Chance at a good credit limit
New cardholders can be approved for up to $5,000 in credit, which is quite impressive for a starter card. While there’s certainly no guarantee you’ll be given this limit, this is impressive even compared to the best high-limit secured cards. Having a decent credit limit will make it much easier to move from fair to good credit, as it will offer you more wiggle room when it comes to credit utilization.
That said, the card’s starting limit is just $100, which falls short of the limit you’ll find even on many unsecured cards open to people with a poor or limited credit history. These cards typically start you out with a limit of at least $300.
No annual fee or deposit requirement
Having no annual fee makes this low-hassle card even easier for newbies to manage and is especially impressive since this is an unsecured card for people with fair credit history.
Unsecured cards available to cardholders at this credit level often carry a ton of fees, and the cost of membership is our most important scoring factor when evaluating credit-building cards, so the Jasper card earns major points here.
Unlike secured credit cards, the Jasper card also doesn’t require a security deposit as collateral, making it an easier starting point if you don’t want to put up and tie up a chunk of money as you build credit.
The card is also reasonable with its other fees: Its late fee is just $27, compared to the up to $40 you’ll find on many cards, and, if you have a late or missed payment on your account, you won’t face a penalty APR. Plus, the card carries no foreign transaction fee, making it a good fit for frequent travelers.
You’ll also enjoy some solid Mastercard benefits, including cellphone insurance, travel insurance, rental car insurance, ID theft protection, lost or damaged luggage insurance and more.
The Jasper card also comes with a few big disadvantages, especially for rewards-seekers. One area where the card falls short is its average rewards rate. Sure, 6% cash back** sounds high, but most cardholders will struggle to gather all the successful referrals needed to reach it. You’re probably looking at a more realistic rate of 1% to 3% with the Jasper card. With that in mind, you can find a better rewards program, even with a starter card.
How does the Jasper card compare to other credit-building and cash back cards?
While the Jasper card offers a decent rewards program and reasonable fees, it’s not your only option if you have fair credit and are in the market for a low- or no-annual-fee card that earns cash back.
Here are a few of our favorite alternatives to the Jasper card:
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$500 to $10,000
$200 to $2,500 (based on deposit)
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
The Petal 2 Visa card also charges no annual fee and starts you off earning 1% cash back. You can then boost this rate to up to 1.5% back with on-time payments, offering a good incentive for building responsible financial habits. This means it could beat out the Jasper card in terms of rewards, even without successful referrals. You may also qualify for a credit limit of up to $10,000 and the card reports to all three credit bureaus.
Another good option for cardholders with fair or average credit, the QuicksilverOne offers a flat 1.5% cash back rate on every purchase, with no referrals required. While the card carries a relatively low annual fee of $39, its solid cash back rate means the fee should be fairly easy to offset. Capital One also reviews accounts for higher credit lines after around six months. You may even be able to upgrade to a higher-tier Capital One card down the line, like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.
If you’re willing to put down money in a deposit, the Discover it Secured card is hard to beat as a credit-building option. The card charges no annual fee, offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and Discover will even match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. The card also offers a good range to choose from when making your security deposit ($200 to $2,500), which will double as your credit limit. Even better, Discover gives you a chance to graduate to an unsecured card after just eight months of responsible use.
Who should get the Jasper card
- Credit-builders hoping for a chance at a high credit limit
- Credit-builders with a lot of friends who’d be interested in a referral to the Jasper card
- Credit-builders looking to avoid a security deposit and annual fee
Who should not get the Jasper card
- People with no Social Security number (Jasper requires you to provide one)
- People with no credit history or a damaged credit history (Jasper requires at least a fair credit score)
- Credit-builders looking to maximize their rewards (you can get more than 1% cash back with some secured cards without paying an annual fee or seeking referrals)
How to use the Jasper card
- Use the card for all purchases to take advantage of the 1% cash back rate.
- Refer any interested friends to the card in order to boost your cash back rate (assuming they’re approved).
- Use the mobile app to stay on top of your finances, including payment due dates and your cash back rewards.
- Use the card when overseas to take advantage of the travel benefits and lack of foreign transaction fees.
- Pay your cellphone bill with the card to take advantage of the cellphone insurance benefit.
Is the Jasper card worth it?
If you have at least fair credit and are looking for a starter rewards card, the Jasper card could be worth an application, especially if you know others who also need a starter card and could help you temporarily boost your cash back rate via referrals. The card charges no annual fee and keeps its other fees relatively low, so there’s little risk in applying other than the standard hard pull you’ll face. That said, there are plenty of other options for people who want to move from fair to good credit while earning cash back rewards.
*Review the Jasper fee schedule
***Your cash back rate will be increased by 1% for 12 months for each referred applicant that activates their card, up to a limit of 6% total cash back. To earn 6% cash back, you must successfully refer 5 new cardholders within the same 12-month period. To become eligible to redeem cash back, you must first make three on-time payments. The purchases on which you can earn cash back are limited each billing cycle to an amount equal to your credit limit. Review the Rewards Terms and Conditions.
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