*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It 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 Jul 28, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
The Jasper Mastercard® is targeted toward helping those with little or no credit history in the United States build credit, whether you’ve grown up in the country or you’re immigrating to the U.S. for employment.
Overall, the Jasper Mastercard® is a good choice for those starting out on their credit journeys. We’ll break down what it offers, where it falls short and look at another option for building credit.
- Jasper Mastercard® pros
- Jasper Mastercard® cons
- Compare it with the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
- Is the Jasper Mastercard® right for you?
15.49% -24.99% (Variable)
No credit history required to apply if you don’t already have one
- Earn 1% cash back on every purchase. Terms apply.*
- Up to a $5,000 credit limit
- Unique autopay settings, push notifications, and utilization alerts that help you manage your account and build your credit
- All the benefits of a premium Mastercard
- No annual fee, no security deposit, no foreign transaction fees*
- Issued by WebBank, Member FDIC
- See additional Jasper Mastercard® details
See additional details for Jasper Mastercard®
Note that the Jasper Mastercard® was previously known as the CreditStacks Mastercard. CreditStacks rebranded as Jasper in 2020.
Jasper Mastercard® pros
Apply with little or no credit history. If you have a credit score, the issuer will check it when you apply. But if you don’t have one, your application will still be considered for the Jasper Mastercard®.
In fact, the card may be especially helpful for people who are immigrating to the U.S. for a job and need to establish credit. No Social Security number (SSN) is required to apply if you are new to the U.S. and in the country on a work visa, and the company can start processing your application even before you start your new job.
Those applying without an SSN must provide the following:
- Visa information
- Proof of U.S. employment
Once you get your SSN, you’ll have to provide it to Jasper within 60 days of card activation.
Be aware that other applicants, who are not new to the U.S. and on a work visa, must provide a SSN when they apply.
Using the Jasper Mastercard® won’t build credit history until you’ve linked an SSN, but once you’ve obtained your SSN and submitted it to the issuer, Jasper will retroactively report your activity to the credit bureaus.
Potentially generous credit limit. Many credit-building credit cards start cardholders off with low credit limits around $200 or $500 (especially secured credit cards, which require a deposit). However, the Jasper Mastercard® offers limits up to $5,000 – though you’re not guaranteed to get the highest limit.
Reasonable purchase APR. The regular purchase APR for the Jasper Mastercard® is 15.49% -24.99% (Variable). This is quite reasonable considering that the regular purchase APR on some cards can be above 20%. However, it’s still a best practice to pay the card off in full each billing cycle, so you don’t incur interest charges and allow debt to build up.
No annual fee. An annual fee of $0 is a definite plus, especially if this is your first credit card.
No foreign transaction fee. Visiting family outside the United States? Don’t worry about paying a foreign transaction fee for each purchase you make abroad – with this card, there is $0*.
Jasper Mastercard® cons
Can’t add authorized users. Most credit cards allow you to add authorized users, which can help a spouse or other family member start to establish credit history using your account. At the time of this review’s publication, the Jasper Mastercard® does not allow authorized users.
Doesn’t report to Experian. The three major consumer credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Your usage of the Jasper Mastercard® will be reported to Equifax and TransUnion, but it does not currently report to Experian.
Modest rewards rate. Earn 1% cash back on every eligible purchase. This isn’t a big downside when getting a starter credit card to build credit. However, there are cards available that earn 1.5% or 2% back on every $1 spent, or up to 5% or 6% back in specialized categories.
You’ll get cash back earned with the Jasper Mastercard® automatically each month as a credit to your account (if your account is active and in good standing). **Terms apply.
Compare it with the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
Another card geared toward helping immigrants build credit is the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students. As the name implies, this card is meant for college students – and for international students, no SSN is needed to apply. (But you won’t build credit history until you link an SSN.)
Here’s how the two cards compare:
Jasper Mastercard® vs. the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
|Jasper Mastercard®||Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students|
|Best for||Professionals on a work visa or permanent resident card, or consumers without prior credit history looking to build credit.||College students at U.S. universities.|
|Rewards||Earn 1% cash back on every eligible purchase.||1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases.|
|Foreign transaction fee||$0*||None|
|Regular purchase APR||15.49% -24.99% (Variable)||18.74% variable|
Both cards are solid credit-building credit cards. The Jasper Mastercard® will likely be a better choice for those coming to the U.S. on a work visa, while college students will find the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students a better fit.
One helpful benefit offered by the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a reimbursement of up to $59 for Amazon Prime Student. (Note that if billed annually, a Prime Student membership costs $59. However, the monthly rate of $6.49 adds up to more than that, so the reimbursement won’t cover a full year of membership billed monthly.)
1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases
Receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after your first purchase with your new Deserve EDU Mastercard (Lifetime Value of $59).
Build a positive credit history with responsible use
- Receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after your first purchase with your new Deserve EDU Mastercard (Lifetime Value of $59).
- Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning cash back on all purchases.
- Feel secure with cell phone protection up to $600.
- No deposit required. No annual fees.
- No international transaction fees on purchases abroad so you can travel with confidence.
- No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.
- Refer A Friend Program: Refer anyone to Deserve using your personal referral code. Upon approval, card activation and use, you'll receive $30 and so will your referral. Referral bonuses are unlimited!
- Manage and track your spending, set automatic payments and securely freeze your card all through one easy to use app.
- See if you prequalify with no impact to your credit score in minutes.
- Deserve Mastercards are issued by Celtic Bank, Member FDIC.
- Enjoy Mastercard Platinum Benefits intended to make your life easier like Mastercard ID Theft Prevention™ and Master Rental®.
See additional details for Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
A flaw the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students shares with the Jasper Mastercard® is that it only reports to two of the three credit bureaus. The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students just reports to Experian and TransUnion, while Jasper Mastercard® just reports to Equifax and TransUnion.
For consumers looking for a card that reports to all three credit bureaus, the Discover it® Secured is an excellent first credit card. It offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. And for new cardmembers, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
The Discover it® Secured’s annual fee is $0.
2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*
No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*
- No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
- Using your secured card will build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, prepaid and debit cards can’t do that.
- Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
- Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
- Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
- Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
- INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Discover it® Secured
Note that it is a secured card, meaning you must submit a security deposit in the amount of your credit limit (which can range from $200 to $2,500). The deposit is refundable when you pay off the card and close the account, or if Discover graduates you to an unsecured card – and starting at month eight, Discover begins conducting monthly reviews to see if you qualify for that upgrade.
Is the Jasper Mastercard® right for you?
Whether you’re new to the country or simply new to credit, the Jasper Mastercard® provides an opportunity to start your financial journey off right. By following the best practices below, you can build an excellent credit score that will help you qualify for better rates on products such as mortgages and auto loans, as well as credit cards with premium benefits and rewards.
Behaviors that help build good credit include:
- Paying on time and in full. Of all the factors that influence your credit score, paying on time carries the most weight. And paying in full is smart so you don’t build up debt.
- Keeping your utilization low. Utilization is the amount of your credit limit that you’re using. It’s typically expressed as a percent, and experts recommend using less than 30% of your credit limit every month – for example, $300 on a card with a $1,000 limit.
- Applying for new credit judiciously. New credit makes up 10% of your score. When you apply for new credit, you add a hard inquiry to your credit report, which typically knocks your score down by about five points. Plus, new accounts reduce the average age of your accounts, and length of credit history makes up 15% of your credit score.
As you work to build credit history, it’s smart to keep an eye on your credit score. You can check your score for free, and monitoring it regularly helps you make sure you’re on the right track.