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Mercury MasterCard Review

Written by Robert Ferry on June 30, 2020
Mercury MasterCard Review

The Mercury MasterCard emanates from the First Bank & Trust.

It’s a relatively unknown card, but ideal for people looking for no “roller-coaster” credit card.

With zero annual fees and a handy mobile application, the Mercury MasterCard is ideal for someone who’s had a bad credit history in the past.

Launched in 2018, the Mercury MasterCard is a relatively new credit card in the landscape.

Primarily, this mid-tier card is marketed towards people having a credit score ranging from 550 and 650.

As a mid-tier unsecured card with no annual fee, it helps people who have had credit issues in the past, and those who want to pay their full balance at the end of every month.

One noteworthy feature is that you cannot apply unless you get an invitation email from the credit card company.

At a glance, the interest rates of this card are a bit high, but clearing the whole balance offsets the burden of cardholders and defines a clear path for them to build their credit.

The Mercury MasterCard is ideal for

  • People who have had credit challenges
  • Intend to clear the full balances at the end of every month
  • Want an unsecured card with zero yearly fees
  • Anyone who has received an invitation letter from the Mercury

Mercury MasterCard stats

This unsecured card has a mammoth of advantages, and we’ve outlined some features that you need to know before applying.

  • Annual fee – zero
  • Late fees – charges up to $38
  • Annual Percentage rate (APR) from 25.90-27.90% that varies based on the Prime Rate
  • The cash advance APR ranges from 27.90-29.90% and also fluctuates with respect to the Prime Rate
  • A 5% or 10% cash advance fee based on the amount of the cash advance
  • A credit limit of at least $1,500. Some people have reported credit limits that double or triple this minimum threshold
  • A foreign transaction fee of 3% for every international purchase
  • You’ll incur a 4% or 5% balance transfer fee based on the amount you’re transferring

You can read the fine print and understand more terms and conditions outlined in the cardmember agreement document.

Mercury Credit Card Overview

On the 26th of September 2018, CreditShop LLC reported a successful conversion of more than 500,000 MasterCard credit cards to Mercury, coupled with approximately $1.4 billion.

Issued by the First Bank & Trust, South Dakota, the Mercury MasterCard includes more than half a million members. It includes about 175 million Americans with FICO scores spanning between 575 and 675.

Primarily, this card is a mid-tier card designed to give consumers in this category a better chance to manage their finances, especially those with a bad credit history in the past.

As a bank with a history over a century, the First Bank & Trust is a Corporation that spans more than 23 geographies and close to 18 communities in Minnesota and South Dakota.

There has been some speculation about whether Barclays did buy Mercury. Technically, the British Barclays bank sold more than $1.6 of its “risky” credit card balances to CreditShop LLC, which subsequently converted these entities to Mercury MasterCard accounts.

While there is a considerable number of Barclays users who were notified that their card is being converted to a Mercury MasterCard, this credit card company has no affiliation to Barclays in any way.

CreditShop LLC is a consumer finance company that creates and advertises personal loans and credit cards designed for sub-prime users as well as those nearing this category.

Pros of a Mercury MasterCard 

The Mercury MasterCard has a mammoth of perks that offer convenience and a friendly user interface.

A convenient mobile application

In this technological era, having your banking configured on your mobile is one of the priceless things.

The mobile application is available for both Apple and Android, and you can view rewards, your FICO score, and clear your bills.

Besides, the app has an incredible security configuration ranging from fingerprint scans and facial identifications geared to protect you from fraudulent activity.

You can check your transactions, manage communications and notifications, and track your credit score. Additionally, the app has a one-touch dialing button for accessing seamless customer service.

MasterCard global acceptance

With over 40 million outlets, MasterCard is one of the most widely accepted cards across the world.

Like Visa, MasterCard works with millions of merchants worldwide, and users hardly encounter a situation where they can’t use their cards.

This perk is particularly beneficial for people who don’t like carrying several cards to different places. If you’re afraid that one of your cards might get rejected by a vendor, the Mercury MasterCard is one of the ideal available options.

Free access to your FICO score

The preliminary step to building your credit score is knowing the score you have.

The Mercury credit card has a provision for accessing your FICO score for free, and you can check for any errors and confirm the accuracy in the elements in the report.

More than 90% of loan issuers use your FICO score to access your loan eligibility, and a Mercury MasterCard would be an ideal way to track and build your score.

Zero liability for fraud

Besides the security measures meant to reinforce login security in the mobile app, the Mercury MasterCard protects you if someone makes payments using your card.

You won’t be accountable for any fraudulent payments made using your card as long as you report that the card was stolen.

The lender will block the card, delete all fraudulent activity, and give you a new card.

No annual fee - Mercury MasterCard Review

Most credit cards have expensive annual fees.

The Mercury MasterCard, unlike other cards, charges no annual fee, which makes it ideal if you want to raise your credit utilization but don’t plan on using their card extensively.

Since you won’t have to be paying a yearly fee for your card, you can use as little or as much as you want with no problem.

Cons of the Mercury MasterCard

While the card has a set of advantages, it also has a few downsides.

Below are some cons to consider.

High interest rates

Unlike most other unsecured credit cards, the Mercury MasterCard has relatively expensive interest rates.

Since it’s a simple credit card, you’ll have to incur incredibly expensive interest rates.

The Mercury card could make you fall in a cycle of debt like sub-prime credit cards that feature very high interest rates.

Even at a low-tier spectrum of interest rates, the card’s annual percentage rate for balance transfers and purchases goes above 25%, while those on the top range get interest rates that are close to 28%. In both cases, the annual percentage rates are considerably higher than the average APR for secured credit cards, usually about 24%.

The interest rates vary based on the Prime Rate, and people with lower credit certainly pay more interest. However, if you make complete, timely payments, you’ll most likely pay the standard annual interest fee.

You’ll probably use this card to build your credit, and one of the most effective ways is making timely payments and avoiding credit card debt.

Foreign transaction fee

If you use your card in any non-US bank, you’ll incur an additional 3% transaction fee.

This mostly happens if you’re a frequent traveler, and you would want to make foreign purchases and payments. It also happens if you perform transactions in non-US Banks or ATM withdrawals.

However, if you reside and use your card within the US, this fee should be the least of your worries.

Restricted to only invited individuals

One of the saddest things is that even if you’re interested in the Mercury card, you can’t apply for it at your will.

Keep in mind that it’s an exclusively mid-tier card and restricted to invited persons.

Unless you receive an invitation from Mercury, you wouldn’t be able to get the Mercury MasterCard.

High transfer fee on balances

The Mercury master card isn’t ideal for doing balance transfers.

Unlike several cards marketed for balance transfers, this card has no provision for zero APR and interest-free grace periods that span an incredibly long period.

You’ll have to pay 4-5% of the amount you want to transfer for each transaction and an additional 26.40% interest.

Overall, these fees are cumulatively expensive and may dent your card balances a great deal.

Finding the terms and conditions isn’t straightforward.

You can easily find the cardmember agreement online, but it isn’t conclusive about specific pieces of information.

For instance, you wouldn’t easily find the eligibility criteria for being a Mercury credit card holder, and what factors the company uses to shortlist invitees.

Additionally, it’s quite hard to find comprehensive information about the credit card’s limits and rewards program. While some users talk about issues revolving around limits and rewards programs on the internet, Mercury hasn’t explicitly made them public.

Since each credit card application adds a hard inquiry on your credit report, you need to be sure that the company is a good fit for you. However, Mercury doesn’t offer this provision, and it can be incredibly frustrating for new applicants.

Application process

One of the unique elements about this card is the exclusive invitation process that’s only limited to selected persons.

You first need to receive a “pre-approval” letter from Mercury, that comes with a reservation code that lets you proceed with the application.

While there is a lot of information regarding the application process, Mercury doesn’t outline the exact eligibility criteria, but if your credit score falls between 575 and 675, then you’re likely to receive the invitation.

Once you have the reservation code, applying for the card would be an incredibly straightforward process.

Make sure you have the reservation code

Mercury refers to the invitation as the “reservation code,” which you’ll receive in the email they’ve sent to you.

Once you have this code, you should visit their website and click “respond to mail offer.”

Key in your reservation code

You’ll see a screen that congratulates you for getting the invitation, and you’ll be required to enter the reservation code as well as the last four digits of your SSN.

Complete the application form

After the system verified your invitation code, you’ll be redirected to the card application screen.

Here, you’ll provide your identification information as well as your financial information like your income level.

Since you’ll apply online, Mercury might need you to attach some documents to back your application, such as your bank statement.

You can either scan the documents and upload them as a soft copy or send them an email with the attached files.

Wait for their response

Keep in mind that receiving an invitation isn’t a direct ticket to having your application verified.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll need to wait for 4 to 5 days to hear from them.

If your application is successful, you’ll receive your card in the mail and get a notification that your application was successful.

Rewards - Mercury MasterCard Review

Mercury doesn’t provide any preliminary information about the rewards that users should expect to earn.

According to myFICO, there is a significant disparity in the users to whom the company gives rewards and those it doesn’t.

There have been many reviews made by users on myFICO forum about the cash backs they receive on purchases. Some reviewers report having a 1 to 2 % cashback on purchases coupled with $10 for every 1,000 points earned.

Unfortunately, it is quite impossible to say how much reward points you’ll receive as well as the credit limits and credit limit increases. This is because these elements are tailored for each cardholder.

Can I have an increase in my credit limit with the mercury MasterCard? 

While Mercury doesn’t explicitly outline the criteria for a credit increase on this MasterCard, some users have reported an automatic increment in their credit increment.

The credit limit varies between different people considering that some users have reported having a modest $150 limit while others have had their limits going up to $3000 and $5000.

Does this provision have a mobile application?

The Mercury MasterCard has a top-rated mobile application for both android and apple. Cardholders can perform the following operations using the mobile app.

  • Check account balances
  • Review recent and past transactions
  • Review their credit score according to FICO
  • Clear their bills
  • Retrieve their account information
  • Get e-Statements

Fico score access

Like several other credit card builders, Mercury has the provision for you to check your credit score according to FICO.

Every month, you can use the application to check your score, track your progress, and improve your credit score.

Mercury MasterCard client testimonials

Several cardholders across the web report being satisfied with the Mercury MasterCard.

Positive reviewers say that it’s an incredibly straightforward way for them to build their credit history.

For instance, one cardholder reported that they attained a credit limit of $2000 without a lot of problems at Credit Karma.

Other users have reported an automatic increase in their credit limit from a few hundred dollars up to $4,500, while some reviewers claimed that they improved their score by over 100 points in less than a year of usage.

However, like in any other service, the Mercury MasterCard has some negative reviews by some cardholders. Luckily, most negative reviews cycle around the transition from Barclays to Mercury and are about change in credit scores.

For instance, one user from the myFICO forum reported a decrease in their credit limit from $4000 to $3000 in the change from Barclays to Mercury. On the other hand, another user reported an increase in their credit limit by almost 100% during this transition.

Should I apply for a Mercury MasterCard?

At a glance, the Mercury MasterCard ideal for those who want to build their credit, and who want to avoid the crazy card charges and annual fees that most cards carry.

One unique element of this card is the lack of the annual fee, which is otherwise affected by the high-interest charges.

Overall, the Mercury credit card is an ideal way to improve your credit, and if you receive the pre-approval letter from Mercury, it might be worth checking out.

If you find that the card has some downsides that might be detrimental to your score, consider other options like the Capital One Platinum Credit Card.

Conclusion

Generally, MasterCard has a mammoth of positive reviews from clients - especially those who want to build their credit from scratch.

However, the common downside is the high-interest rates, which you can offset by keeping your credit utilization, preferably below 30%.

If you get an invitation letter from Mercury, it would be great to complete the application and look at it as a means to improve your credit score.

Article written by Robert Ferry

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