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Continental Finance offers a handful of credit cards for people who are trying to build or rebuild their credit. The cards have similar features and terms, and the Reflex Mastercard® is one of the options that can be had without a security deposit.
$75 - $125
- See if you Pre-Qualify with no impact to your credit score
- Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
- Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian (When you sign up for e-statements)
- All credit types welcome to apply
- Card offers are for an authentic Mastercard with a Credit Limit between $300 - $1,000 (subject to available credit)
- Mastercard Zero Liability Protection (subject to Mastercard guidelines)
- Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard is accepted
- Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
- 29.99% APR (variable)
- $75 - $125 annual fee
|Reports to all three credit bureaus||High annual fee|
|Does not require a security deposit||Monthly fee after the first year|
|High interest rates|
|Few cardholder benefits|
|Continental Finance Customer Service Contact Info|
P.O. Box 3220
Buffalo, NY 14240
You might not need great credit to qualify for the Reflex Mastercard®, and you won't have to pay a deposit if approved—an important consideration since many cards for building credit are secured. It's a useful card to build credit with, but its costly fees may not make it the best choice compared with other cards that can do the same thing.
Build Credit and Get a Possible Limit Increase
The company that issues the Reflex Mastercard® will report your account to all three credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—the ideal arrangement if you're trying to build credit.
Once you've had the card for at least six months, you may also be able to apply for a credit limit increase. If approved, a higher credit limit can make it easier to use your card for large purchases and help you keep your utilization ratio down, which can help your credit scores.
Watch Out for the Many Fees
While the Reflex Mastercard® can help you build credit, its many fees make it an expensive option.
To start, there's an annual fee that will be $75 - $125, depending on your creditworthiness. It's a high fee compared with most non-rewards credit cards, and there are many unsecured, and even a few secured, cards that don't have an annual fee at all.
The Reflex Mastercard® also has a monthly maintenance fee, which could be $0 to $10 a month, starting after your first year with the card. While there are other cards for people with bad credit that have similar fees, monthly fees on credit cards are uncommon.
The annual and monthly fee could cost you up to $219 your second year with the card. The Reflex Mastercard® is definitely an option, but you could build your credit just as well and keep that $219 in your pocket by instead signing up for a card that doesn't charge an annual or monthly fee.
Additionally, there's a 3% cash advance fee ($10 minimum), and a 3% foreign transaction fee. Again, these fees are fairly common, but some cards, including a few secured cards don't have foreign transaction fees.
Few Cardholder Benefits and No Rewards
Considering the card's high annual fee and potential monthly fees, you'd think cardholders would get a lot in return. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
The card has no rewards program and few benefits beyond what's offered through Mastercard, such as zero liability on unauthorized purchases. You'll get free monthly access to your credit score, but you can check and monitor your credit score with other free services, such as the ones Experian offers.
The Reflex Mastercard® also allows you to manage your account online and with either the iOS or Android apps. From there, you can check your balance, report your card lost or stolen, schedule payments and review past statements.
Prequalification Won't Impact Your Credit
If you're interested in the Reflex Mastercard®, you can submit a prequalification application that won't impact your credit scores. The best terms you could receive is an offer for an unsecured card with a $75 annual fee, high credit limit and no monthly fee. However, you'll still want to compare the offer to other unsecured and secured cards.
|Purchase APR: 29.99% Variable||Grace period: 25 days|
|Transfer APR: N/A||Annual fee: $75 - $125|
|Cash advance APR: 29.99% Variable||Monthly maintenance fee: $0 - $10 after the first year||Minimum interest charge: None||Balance transfer fee: N/A|
|Cash advance fee: Greater of $10 or 3% of the cash advance amount|
|Foreign transaction fee: 0% - 3%|
|Late payment fee: Up to $40|
|Returned payment fee: Up to $40|
You can add authorized users to your account by paying a one-time $30 fee per authorized user. The user you add will get a card that's connected to your account, but you will be responsible for paying the entire balance.
While adding an authorized user could help that person build credit, you both may be better off finding cards that don't charge annual fees. Some cards also don't charge fees to add authorized users.
Is This Card Right for You?
The Reflex Mastercard® could be appealing, particularly if you're trying to build credit. You may even be able to qualify for up to a $1,000 credit limit.
If your credit is good enough to qualify for the best possible terms, you also should look into other unsecured cards that don't charge an annual fee. You can also consider secured cards that have a lower (or no) annual fee, and can help you build your credit the same as an unsecured card would.