Some things in life are absolute; that carton of milk is either good, or it’s really bad. Other things are less binary — like your credit. The FICO credit score can range anywhere from 300 to 850, and everyone seems to have a different definition of “bad credit.”
In general, though, if you have bad credit you tend to know it — particularly when applications for financing get rejected. Being turned down for credit can be a blow, but there are options for obtaining credit and rebuilding your score.
One such option is the Surge MasterCard® credit card. Issued by Celtic Bank and backed by Continental Finance, the Surge card is an unsecured card available to consumers with bad credit.
Our Surge Credit Card Review: 3.9/5.0
For most people, the best thing about the Surge card is that it will report to all three major credit bureaus. This means that you can use the Surge card to improve damaged credit, provided you maintain your card in good standing.
The Surge card is also unsecured, meaning you won’t need to put down a deposit or pre-load the card to use it. Those at the very low end of the FICO score spectrum who have trouble getting approved for other unsecured cards may have better luck with a Surge card.
Additionally, the credit line should be manageable for most people; the maximum spending limit on the card is $500, and what portion of that maximum you are approved for will depend on your credit score.
You’ll want to be sure to completely pay off your Surge card every month. This is good advice for any credit card, but it’s especially important when you consider the high 29.99% variable APR that comes with the Surge card.
You can also expect to see a $125 annual fee show up shortly after you open the card. While the annual fee drops to $96 after the first year, you’ll start to see an additional $10 monthly maintenance fee after the first 12 months.
How to Apply for the Surge MasterCard®
Applying for the Surge credit card is quick and easy, and can be completed entirely online through the link below.
If you can’t apply online for any reason, you can call the Surge Customer Service team at: 1-866-449-4514. Customer Care Specialists are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
How to Check the Status of Your Application
When applying for a Surge credit card online, most users can expect a decision almost immediately. If you have an issue with your application, or need to check the status of it for some reason, you can call customer service at:
To check the status of your account at any time, you can use the Continental Finance sign-in portal. The portal is also where you can make online payments on your account as well as choose to receive electronic statements.
How to Use the Surge Credit Card
To get the most out of your Surge card, you should use it to make a small purchase during the month, then pay your balance in full when your statement arrives. Over time, as you make on-time payments and never miss payments, your credit report should start to reflect your good financial behavior.
Never carry a balance on your Surge card. The nearly 30% APR on the card means carrying a balance will be very expensive, and should always be avoided. Use your Surge credit card solely to improve your poor credit, not as a way to make purchases you cannot pay off right away.
5 Additional Card Options for Bad Credit
If it turns out the Surge card is not for you, or you just want to see other options, check out our picks for the top five credit cards for bad credit. Comparison shopping is the best way to ensure you get the best rates — and the lowest fees — for which you can qualify.
Improving Your Credit is a Journey
When your milk goes sour, your breakfast options often sour with it; few people really enjoy dry cereal. The same thing can be said of your credit; when your score sours, so too do your credit options. That said, there are options, including the Surge MasterCard®, which can be used to build your credit and improve your score.
Just remember that rebuilding your credit is a journey; it can’t be accomplished overnight. It takes months, or even years, of dedicated work to rebuild a bad credit score — but it is possible. Be diligent, and your score will grow.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.