| Last updated on October 18th, 2023
- 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
- 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Balance Transfer APR
- 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
At a Glance
The Mercury® Mastercard® is a no annual fee credit card for those hoping to boost their credit score while potentially earning decent rewards. The card from Mercury Financial is only available by pre-selection and an invitation code to apply, meaning other credit-builder options might make more sense.
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- No annual fee
- Free access to FICO score
- Reports to the three main credit bureaus
- $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stole
- Regular Purchase APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Annual Fee: $0 to $79
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0% to 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
- You have had credit issues in the past
- You want an unsecured card that doesn’t charge an annual fee
- You plan to pay your balance in full every month
- You have received a pre-approval letter from Mercury™
Mercury Mastercard® Review
Earn Basic Cash Back Rewards
The Mercury Card offers basic rewards to some users – but not to others. So, if you receive an invitation to apply for the Mercury Card, can you expect any rewards? Mercury doesn’t provide up-front information on the rewards users can earn with their cards.
That said, the Mercury Mastercard offers eligible cardholders 1X points on eligible purchases. There is no cap on rewards earned. Additionally, points will round up to the next dollar. That rewards rate isn’t exceptional, but it is still a welcome feature for those looking to rebuild their credit score.
Points earned with the Mercury Mastercard are eligible for statement credits, with a minimum redemption of 1,000 points. One-thousand points equal $10, the minimum amount available for redemptions. It may take up to a week to see your credits on the card account.
Mercury Mastercard comparisons
Here is how the Mercury Mastercard stacks up compared to two popular competitors:
Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
Petal 2 Visa® Credit Card
|Open to all applicants
|Open to all applicants
|Up to 1% cash back on all purchases (not all card offers feature rewards)
|See if you qualify instantly without harming your credit score and enjoy an instant decision on your application
|Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments; 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away
|$500 – $1,500 credit limits
|Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as few as 7 months.
|$300 – $10,000 credit limits
|Free, online credit score access for cardholders.
|No credit score? No problem. If eligible, we’ll create your Cash Score instead.
|$0 to $79 annual fee
|$0 to $59 annual fee
|No fees whatsoever
A High APR
As previously noted, the Mercury Card falls into the same trap as many other subprime credit cards in that it features sky-high interest rates. That rate is variable, but since it is aimed at those rebuilding their credit, they don’t vary too much. Unfortunately, that is a common issue with cards of this variety, so always plan to pay your balance in full every month.
The Mercury Mastercard app also offers cardholders a secure way to check their account balance and transaction history and manage linked bank accounts to pay their monthly statements. The app sounds great in principle, but there are many complaints from cardholders that are either Barclay’s holdovers or new to Mercury that have encountered issues with both the app and the card’s website.
Other Card Features
The card benefits from the global acceptance of the Mastercard payment network. To date, the Mastercard network encompasses over 40 million merchants worldwide. That’s not to say, however, that the Mercury Card is the best option for use outside the United States. The card features a foreign transaction fee of 3% of the transaction cost in U.S. dollars, which isn’t the worst rate out there, but it’s certainly not as good as a card that charges no foreign transaction fees at all.
Fortunately, the Mastercard perks of the Mercury Card extend beyond the near-global acceptance of the card. Cardholders also enjoy a variety of perks, including:
|Zero Liability Protection
|Mastercard Global Services
|ID Theft Protection
The Mercury Mastercard is available in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
FAQs About Mercury
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Mercury and the Mercury Mastercard:
Preapproval letters for Mercury come as either a physical letter or an email. Preapproved offers are granted by the lender and are based on basic credit report information they obtain from reporting agencies. A preapproval letter is no guarantee of approval for the Mercury Mastercard.
Mercury Financial pulls from any of the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian).
Those with bad credit, or even no credit history at all, should consider a merchandise card, like the Merit Platinum, Freedom Gold, Buy on Trust, or Unique Platinum. These merchandise, or catalog cards, provide an unsecured line of credit that cardholders can use to make purchases at select retailers, as described in each card’s review.
While the Mercury Mastercard is issued through First Bank & Trust, the card is actually the product of CreditShop, a financial services company that purchased a significant portion of the Barclays credit card portfolio in 2018. This purchase has resulted in some Barclays cardholders having their existing accounts switched to the new Mercury Mastercard.
So, did Barclays buyout the Mercury Card? No. The Mercury Mastercard is not affiliated with Barclays or Barclaycard. It simply shares ownership with a company that purchased a large share of the Barclays portfolio – especially credit cards for people with average credit or bad credit.
Should You Apply for the Mercury™ Mastercard®?
The Mercury™ Mastercard® is an intriguing option for those who are looking to rebuild their credit, but not be tied down with a substandard card that charges an annual fee once their score improves. The regular reporting to all the major credit bureaus and the lack of an annual fee is the major selling points of this card, which otherwise struggles because of the high-interest rates it charges.
First Bank & Trust only allows those who receive a reservation code in the mail to apply, which is frustrating, but not uncommon. Credit One is one of the most well-known examples of a card issuer mailing out invites to apply, with their cards also targeting those with less-than-perfect credit scores.
In this marketplace, the Mercury Mastercard is a decent option to consider. The high APR, however, makes it a difficult card to live with for those who need to carry a balance. Fortunately, there are other offers to consider that provide the chance to build credit and a lower interest rate. Since the card also requires a fair credit score, it may be difficult to get for those with a credit score in the low 600s or a credit score of 580 or more. In this case, there are a few other options to consider:
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