The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Sunday, May 26, 2024

Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit Review

Eric Bank

By: Eric Bank

Eric Bank
Eric Bank

Eric Bank is an M.B.A. who has covered financial and business topics since 1985, appearing regularly on Credible, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Zacks, Chron, BadCredit.org and dozens of other outlets. Eric specializes in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences, particularly in the world of personal finance. Eric holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Master's in Finance from DePaul University.

See full bio »

Editor: Jon McDonald

Jon McDonald
Jon McDonald

Jon leverages 15-plus years of journalism expertise to inform financial consumers about emerging trends and companies making an impact in the industry. He is most knowledgeable in the areas of budgeting, credit card rewards, and responsible credit use. Jon has a passion for writing and editing, and his articles have appeared in publications produced by The New York Times.

See full bio »

Reviewer: Danielle Spurlin

Danielle Spurlin
Danielle Spurlin

With more than 10 years of accounting experience, Danielle Marshall has a deep understanding of many financial disciplines, including personal and commercial lending, retirement annuities, financial forecasting, and general bookkeeping. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida's Fisher School of Accounting and currently manages all accounts receivable and payable for the parent company of CardRates.com. She works directly with credit card issuers and advertising partners to ensure our content meets compliance expectations and regulatory standards.

See full bio »
Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit Review

Rated 3.8 /5.0 ★★★★

Euphemisms have a way of cushioning reality. The car isn’t used; it’s “preowned.” He wasn’t fired; he’s “spending more time with his family.” Your credit isn’t lousy; it’s “less than perfect.” Credit card companies often use that last one, including the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit, the subject of this review.

I’ll examine this card and three leading competitors to see which ones are up to snuff. And once you finish, you’ll know whether this card is a perfect or less-than-perfect Mastercard® for you.

Main Points and Observations

  • The Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit is expensive, with a 35.9% APR and a $175 - $199 annual fee.
  • You may qualify for the card despite having really bad credit.
  • The card offers no rewards and few benefits.
  • It has a relatively high credit limit with no security deposit.

The Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit is for folks with terrible credit who want an unsecured credit card and are willing to pay through the nose to get one. Before you shell out the annual fee, I suggest you consider a secured card instead. You can get a good one with a $200 refundable deposit that may cost a lot less to own while enabling you to build your credit.

How to Qualify & Apply For the Card

Applying for the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit online is as easy. It should take less than a minute to provide the required information and receive a decision.

Disclosure: When you apply through links on our site, we often earn referral fees from partners. For more information, see our ad disclosure and review policy.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit Review

at Indigo® Mastercard®'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

3.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Now with higher credit limits
  • Increase your access to available credit
  • Higher limit than before, still no security deposit required!
  • Greater access to credit than before
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
35.9%
$175 - $199
Bad, Poor Credit

The application collects your name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth, Social Security number, total monthly income, total monthly expenses, and your choice of card design. You can request optional over-limit coverage and credit protection when you apply.

To qualify for the card, you must be at least 18 years old and reside in the United States. You also must meet the card’s requirements for identity verification and debt-to-income ratio and cannot have an existing or charged-off Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit account.

The servicer, Concora Credit Inc., may pull your credit report when you apply. If it approves your application, you should receive your new card within two weeks.

Benefits & Drawbacks to Consider

Considering the benefits and drawbacks of an unsecured credit card for poor credit helps you understand how it may improve or damage your financial situation. Making an informed decision can help you avoid high fees or interest rates while rebuilding your credit score.

Benefits

  • Relatively high credit limit: The initial credit limit may be as high as $700, which is typical for cards of this type.
  • Availability: You can get a card even if you have bad credit.
  • Credit building: Regular reporting to the three major credit bureaus helps you build or rebuild your credit history if you use the card responsibly and make timely payments each month.
  • No security deposit required: Unlike secured credit cards, you don’t need to provide a deposit to access credit.
  • Fraud protection: Offers protection against unauthorized charges on your card.
  • Optional insurance: You can enroll in programs for credit protection and over

Drawbacks

  • High fees: The card initially charges a $175 - $199 annual fee and a subsequent monthly fee beginning in the second year.
  • No rewards program: Unlike some other credit cards aimed at people with poor credit, the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit does not offer any rewards or cash back incentives.
  • High APR: The card has a 35.9% APR, which you can avoid by paying your entire balance each month.​
  • Limited credit line increase options: The card doesn’t have a clear policy or timeline for credit line increases.​

Other Cards Worth a Look

Considering competing subprime credit cards is important because it allows you to compare fees, interest rates, and benefits to find the best card for your financial situation. This comparison can help you minimize costs and maximize your potential for credit improvement​. The following three cards compete with the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit for consumers with bad credit.

FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® Review

at Continental Finance'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
3.5

OVERALL RATING

  • $400 credit limit doubles to $800! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial Credit Limit of $400.00 (Subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
  • Access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Checking Account Required
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
35.90% Fixed
$99 introductory fee for the first year, then $125 thereafter
Fair/Poor/Bad

The FIT™ Platinum Mastercard®is similar in many ways to the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit. However, it explicitly offers an initial credit limit of $400, which may double after six months of timely payments. It has a lower annual fee and regular APR.

However, it charges a one-time signup fee and a monthly maintenance fee (waived for the first year). The card offers optional credit protection but no overdraft coverage.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
4.1

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 1% cash back rewards^^ on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card
  • Perfect credit not required
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Checking account required
  • Opportunity to request credit limit increase after twelve months, fee applies
  • *See Rates, Fees, Costs & Limitations for complete offer details
  • ^^See Revvi Rewards Programs Terms & Conditions for details
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
N/A
35.99%
$75.00 1st year, $48.00 after
Fair

The Revvi Card differs from the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit because it offers 1% cash back when you pay for eligible purchases. Its euphemism of choice is that it “doesn’t require perfect credit, “ meaning you need a fair FICO score to get one. It has an astronomical APR, but its annual fee is lower.

The card charges a signup fee and a monthly maintenance fee beginning in the second year. Its grace period is 21 days, shorter than that of the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit.

Milestone® Mastercard® Review

at Milestone Mastercard®'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
3.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Greater access to credit than before - $700 credit limit
  • Get a Mastercard accepted online, in store and in app
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • $0 liability* for unauthorized use
  • Access your account online or from your mobile device 24/7
  • *Fraud protection provided by Mastercard Zero Liability Protection. If approved, you'll receive the Mastercard Guide to Benefits that details the complete terms with your card.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See terms
See terms
Fair/Good

Concora Credit also services Milestone® Mastercard®, which may account for its similarity to the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit. In fact, I couldn’t identify any differences between the two cards other than the issuers. They have the same high costs and scant benefits.

The Bank of Missouri issues the Milestone card, but both cards offer the same options for credit insurance and overdraft coverage.

Cardholder Reviews From Reddit

Forum remarks about this card provide insights into real user experiences, which can be valuable when you consider whether to apply for it. If many users report similar issues or praise the same aspects, these points may be more reliable than isolated comments.

One Reddit user advises new cardmembers to keep the card:

“Pay the fee and keep the card. I would do another year after that. People complain about [fees of] $100+ over a yearly period, but that’s the price you pay for the mistakes you have made in the past. Whether you messed up your credit or didn’t partake, mistakes were made. It’s not predatory; people don’t read the fine print. It won’t hurt your credit score to cancel right away, but you should get a one-year history on a card before you do.

Another Redditor suggests:

“It’s not a bad card for what it is. It will even accept people with bankruptcies or little or no credit history. It doesn’t require a security deposit. It is a Mastercard, so it is widely accepted by most merchants. If properly used, it helps build a credit history. It lets people use safer plastic for store or online purchases instead of riskier cash, and it may make it possible to rent a budget car or inexpensive hotel room.”

But Reddit user Personal finance is not a fan:

“This credit card honestly is awful. With the Indigo card, you have to wait 14 days after your payment posts before they update your credit. I even called, and the lady on the phone told me they put a hold on accounts when they get payments, so your card is locked for two weeks every month because of that policy. Avoid at all costs, plus their minimum payment is way higher than any other credit company I’ve seen before.”

While personal anecdotes can be eye-openers, they only tell part of the story. Individual incidents vary widely and may not represent the typical cardholder experience.

FAQs: What Is the Starting Credit Limit For the Card?

The initial credit limit for this card ranges from $300 to $700. However, its website does not specify a particular amount, so you shouldn’t expect a generous credit limit from an unsecured card that caters to consumers with low FICO scores.

Your annual fee reduces your initial spending power. For example, if your starting credit limit is $700, the annual fee will knock that limit down until you pay it. This cycle repeats annually, although the annual fee drops after the first year when the monthly fee kicks in.

It’s important to pay your bill promptly when your credit limit is low. Otherwise, you will quickly develop a high credit utilization ratio (i.e., the percentage of credit used compared to your credit limit) that can harm your FICO score. Generally, you want to keep your CUR below 30%.

credit utilization graphic
Maintaining a low utilization rate can improve your credit score.

This card does not provide a clear path to a card limit increase. Similar cards offer an automatic credit review after a set period of on-time payments, typically six to eight months.

How Does the Card Help Me Build Credit?

This card reports your account history to all three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. This reporting gives you the opportunity to establish a consistent payment record. You must pay at least the minimum amount due each month, typically a set percentage of your current balance.

Paying on time and keeping your unpaid balances below 30% of your credit limit can help build your credit scores. It may take six to 12 months of timely payments before your scores rise. Consistency is key because one missed payment can wipe out the progress you’ve made.

What Are the Card’s Fees?

The card is expensive, especially considering its meager benefits. After the first year, it drops the annual fee but starts its monthly fee, so you wind up with a higher cost starting in the second year.

Here is a summary of the card’s costs:

FEE TYPE DESCRIPTION
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) The interest rate on balances carried from one month to the next. For the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit, it’s 35.9%.
Annual Fee The card has a yearly charge for owning it, which is $175 - $199.
Monthly Fee A recurring charge each month for account maintenance, beginning in the second year of ownership
Cash Advance Fee The card charges a fee when you use the card to withdraw cash from an ATM.
Foreign Transaction Fee This is a fee for transactions in a foreign currency or processed through a foreign bank.
Late Payment Fee You pay a fee if you fail to make the minimum payment by the due date.
Returned Payment Fee A fee applies if the bank returns your payment due to insufficient funds or other reasons.
Overlimit Fee The card charges a fee if you exceed your credit limit.

These fees are characteristic of most subprime unsecured cards. Small miscellaneous fees may also apply, so read the cardmember agreement for the details.

Is This Credit Card Worth It?

The card is worth it only if you have really bad credit and you can’t qualify for a better card. Its APR is close to the statutory limit, so it’s wise to pay your full balance each month to avoid interest charges.

Rather than pay the high annual fees, I recommend you get a high-rated secured credit card instead. You must put down a refundable deposit that determines your credit limit, but these cards usually have much lower costs and better perks.

If you do get the card, consider replacing it before the monthly charges begin in the second year. That may be possible if your responsible use of the card lifts your credit scores and makes you eligible for better cards.

How Does Overlimit Coverage Work?

The card’s over-limit coverage allows you to exceed your credit limit. If you don’t opt for this overdraft protection, the card will decline any transaction that would take your account over the limit.

When you have over-limit coverage, your card can process charges that exceed your limit. Still, it will charge you a fee of up to $41. The card applies the fee once per billing cycle, even if you exceed your limit multiple times within the cycle.

However, even with the coverage, the card may still decline certain transactions based on factors such as your payment history or the amount the purchase will take you over the limit.

Is the Card Issuer Legit?

Celtic Bank, founded in 2001 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, provides financing for small businesses and issues credit cards, including the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit. The bank is a Top Ten Nationwide SBA (Small Business Administration) lender, having delivered more than $1 billion in funds to borrowers.

The Better Business Bureau does not accredit this bank and gives it a rating of B. Trustpilot gives Celtic Bank an Average score.

Concora Credit, Inc., formerly Genesis FS Card Services, began operations in 2001 with a mission “to help non-prime consumers do more with credit.” It services the card and is the nation’s leading provider of credit programs for non-prime consumers. It is BBB-accredited with a rating of A-minus.

This Card May Be For You If…

  • You have less-than-perfect credit: If your credit history is not great or you’ve had issues such as bankruptcy, this card may suit you as it caters to individuals with poor credit scores​.
  • You prefer no security deposit: The card does not require a security deposit, which may help you if you cannot provide one upfront​.
  • You want to build credit: Regular reporting to the three major credit bureaus means responsible card use can help improve your credit score​.

It’s difficult to get a decent credit card when your credit is in the dumpster. The Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit is an acceptable choice for consumers with the worst credit, as are the three alternative unsecured cards I reviewed in this article. But as I mentioned above, you may be better off with a secured card as they are available to almost all applicants, and many charge no annual fee.

About the Author

Eric Bank
Eric Bank Finance Expert

Eric Bank is an M.B.A. who has covered financial and business topics since 1985, appearing regularly on Credible, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Zacks, Chron, BadCredit.org and dozens of other outlets. Eric specializes in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences, particularly in the world of personal finance. Eric holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Master's in Finance from DePaul University.

Share the Knowledge!

Eric Bank