*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Jun 26, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
Who the card is best for
If you have fair to poor credit and want to build it up or reestablish it with an unsecured card, the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® may be an option to consider. This is a bare-bones credit card with few perks. There’s no sign-up bonus, no cashback rewards and you must pre-qualify before you can actually apply for the card. While no security deposit is required, it does come with higher fees that could make you question whether this card is your best option.
Where this card stands out in its category
The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® gives those with bad credit the chance to get an unsecured credit card, similar to the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit. You may qualify for the card even with a bankruptcy on your credit report.
You can pre-qualify for the card via a mailed offer letter or go to the website to see if you’re eligible. The pre-qualification won’t affect your credit score, and you can know as soon as 60 seconds whether you’ve been pre-qualified to apply for the card. Of course, once you officially apply, there will be a hard credit inquiry.
The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® reports card use to the three major credit bureaus, which gives you the chance to establish a consistent payment record while having the convenience of a credit card. Plus it comes with a $300 credit limit, and, unlike a secured card, you don’t have to put down a deposit. You can add an authorized user for $25 and you can customize the card for free.
Where the card falls short in its category
The card has a $0 - $99 annual fee — but you won’t know exactly how much you’ll pay until after you’re approved.
The card comes with a $300 credit limit, but the annual fee is automatically removed as soon as the card is opened. This can lower your credit limit, depending on the fee, before you’ve even had a chance to charge anything. The 24.90% APR rate is higher than those with excellent credit, but that’s to be expected for cardholders with bad credit.
You get dinged for penalty fees, including late payment, up to $37; over your limit, up to $37; and returned payment, up to $37. If you’re not careful with your card usage, these fees can really add up. The card issuer charges a $3 documentation fee when you request a printed copy of your statement. And it charges $10 for each copy of sales or other items posted to your account, although you won’t be charged if it’s a good faith effort to check a billing error.
Additional Indigo Platinum Credit Card benefits
- MasterRental insurance for car rentals. You may get coverage for covered damages, including physical damage and theft to a rental vehicle when using your eligible Mastercard to pay for your rental transaction. You must decline the collision/loss damage waiver offered by the car rental company.
- Extended warranty coverage for purchases. If you buy an item with your Mastercard that comes with an original manufacturer’s or U.S. store brand warranty that lasts for up to 12 months, it is extended for another 12 months.
- Master RoadAssist Service. If your car breaks down on the road, you can call a special number and help will be sent. You will be charged for all services, which will be billed to your Mastercard.
- MasterTrip® Travel Assistance. Before traveling, you get information on travel requirements including documentation (visas, passports), immunizations or currency exchange rates. You’ll also get help locating lost or stolen travel materials, including luggage. If you have a travel emergency and need cash, MasterTrip can arrange to transfer up to $5,000 from a family member, friend, or business account. If a tragedy occurs, you’ll get help with travel arrangements for you and your travel companion(s).
How to use it most effectively
This card is best for one key purpose — helping cardmembers with bad credit build it back up. To stay on track, make the payments on your Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® on time each month and watch your spending. These actions can build up a good credit record, which could lead to credit limit increases.
The truth is there are no rewards with the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®. You could say that having bad credit but still being allowed to get this card without a deposit to secure it is a reward. But in the end, it’s all about building up your credit score with this card.
Compare it with the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit
Like the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®, this is another card that’s available for those with bad credit that doesn’t require a security deposit. But unlike the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®, this card allows you to earn 1% on eligible purchases, terms apply. It covers spending on things like dining, gas, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service and cable or satellite TV service. Both cards start with a $300 credit limit, but the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit gives you free online access to your Experian credit score, along with a credit report summary.
Other alternatives to cards like Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® designed to help you build or rebuild your credit are secured credit cards like the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, a credit builder loan company like Self Lender or a traditional personal loan from a bank or credit union.
|Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®||Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit|
|Annual Fee||$0 - $99||$0-$99|
|Regular Purchase APR||24.90%||20.24% - 26.24% Variable|
|Rewards||None||1% on eligible purchases, terms apply|
|Sign Up Bonus||None||No bonus|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||See terms||Either $1 or 3% of each purchase in U.S. dollars, whichever is greater.|
The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®’s $0 - $99 annual fee is automatically deducted from your initial $300 credit limit. And there are none of the other real perks and benefits you get with cards for those with better credit. Still, it’s good that those with bad credit can have access to an unsecured card.
If you make regular payments on time, you may eventually be able to apply for a card that has more perks. But you should still check all your options — including secured credit cards, self-lenders or personal loans — before committing to this card.