In recent times, owning a credit card has been highly practical. You can plan out your monthly budget evenly and even distribute the weight of the more significant purchases into smaller EMIs. Moreover, a credit card can also reduce the risk of fraud as the money is not deducted from your account immediately, as opposed to debit cards. You would be unable to make use of any of these benefits even with a bad credit score. Further, several forms of credit cards are available for everyone to use. If you have a bad credit history, or none at all, unsecured credit cards are the right choice for you. One of the most popular and trustworthy examples of is the Surge Mastercard.
Celtic Bank issues this credit card, and Continental Finances services it to those with low or bad credit. The card has a low initial credit limit. Although, there is a potential credit limit increase for Surge users in only six months. Moreover, the credit card issuer will report your payment records to three major credit bureaus monthly. So, if you make timely payments, you can use this card to build up your credit score gradually, but it may cost you. It is because Surge, and other unsecured credit cards, generally have a higher annual fee for users with bad credit scores.
This article discusses the Surge credit card in detail for those interested in its services. Also, if you are new to these kinds of credit cards, it will guide you through the process of availing them. Learn about the Surge credit card’s various features, usability, benefits, and drawbacks in our review.
Overview Of Surge Mastercard
Surge Mastercard quickly rose to fame soon after the bank initially issued it. Surge’s target group is those with a bad credit score like any other unsecured credit card. So, the issuer does not need you to show an upfront security deposit to avail the card. Continental Finance services the card and plays a vital role in bringing your credit score up. The service provider will send your monthly payment history reports to three major credit bureaus once you start using Surge. You can instantly build credit with your reports reaching bureaus like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
However, as we mentioned earlier, the Surge Mastercard credit card can be costly. Its high cost is one of its most significant drawbacks. There is a high annual fee along with a monthly maintenance fee that starts during the second year of use.
Moreover, there is an extra foreign transaction fee for every purchase you make outside the United States. Its annual fee may vary depending on your credit score, but it still takes up a significant part of your credit limit. Money is a big concern for any user; hence, we will discuss the financial aspects of the Surge Mastercard at length.
Here are some more facts about the card’s issuers and servicers:
Celtic Bank, the Surge card issuer, is a nationwide lender to small businesses and residential construction. The state of Utah charters this private industrial bank, which has been operating since 2001. Further, its headquarters is in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Small Business Administration of America has approved the bank. Moreover, it is one of SBA’s preferred lenders, having ranked eighth among the largest SBA lenders in the nation in 2014.
Continental Finance Company, or CFC, is one of the leading credit card marketers and servicers in the United States. CFC has been leading ever since its launch in 2005. The company’s target group is users who do not qualify for traditional credit card issuers and financial institutions. Lastly, the company is famous for its strong customer service program.
This popular unsecured card is becoming a user favorite and is already one of the most effective ways to raise your credit score. However, before using any new product, it is important to weigh its pros and cons.
One of the biggest perks of using the Surge Mastercard is that your monthly payment reports reach three major credit bureaus. So, you can build back your credit in no time. Moreover, you do not require a security deposit at the time of approval.
Surge can be beneficial if you are experiencing an emergency and urgently need a credit card. The credit card reaches you within two weeks of approval. During times of crisis, it is your best option.
Despite your credit score, you can qualify for a minimum credit limit of anywhere between $300 to $1,000. Though, if you continue handling your bills responsibly, there is a potential credit limit increase after six months. With a higher credit limit, making larger purchases becomes more efficient.
On the other hand, the high annual fee makes this credit card less preferred for most users. The Surge Mastercard charges an annual fee between $75 to $99. Moreover, after using the card for a year, you will need to pay monthly maintenance fees. Later, after you become an authorized user with a higher credit limit, you would also have to pay a separate foreign transaction fee. When you sum up all these costs, they add up to a huge amount. A majority of the users can not afford such high credit card expenses.
Some users with poor credit scores may not require a credit card urgently. Hence, it would be better for these users to wait for a secured credit card. Instead of paying such a high monthly and annual fee, you can use that money as a security deposit. Getting a secured credit card would also become easier with a security deposit.
How Do Surge Credit Cards Work
Surge Mastercard is an expensive option, even amongst other credit building cards. So, it would help if you chose this option after thoroughly reviewing your other alternatives. If you are sure you can not qualify for any secured credit cards, then you should go for Surge Mastercard.
Once you select Surge, you should understand its working. Here are some basic details:
It is effortless to activate your Surge Mastercard. You can activate your credit card from the ease of your home, either over the phone or online. To activate the card using the phone, call the activation number. Make sure to use the number that you used in your application form. Once you receive your card in the mail, you can call the number within one month to activate it.
Likewise, if you wish to activate it online, you can visit this link. It leads to the official Continental Finance website and is safe. Visit the link and fill in the information it asks for. Next, click on Activate My Card to finish the process. Lastly, if you have any doubts about Surge’s activation process, visit https://www.surgecardinfo.com/. You can contact their customer support if you want to clarify your doubts.
- Annual Fee and Additional Charges
Here is how the financial cycle for Surge Mastercard works:
This credit building card has an annual fee ranging between $75 and $99. Moreover, there is no apparent reason for the amount selected for you to pay as the annual fee. After you use the card for a year, it will start charging you monthly fees of up to $10. Hence, the monthly maintenance fees add another $120 to your annual charges. Most credit cards for those with poor credit do not require monthly fees. The APR for Surge Mastercard is also quite high compared to other credit-building cards, ranging from 25% to 30%, depending on your credibility.
In addition, Surge Mastercard also requires a cash advance fee of 5% or $5, depending on the amount. There is also a fee if you wish to add another user to your account. You would have to pay a $30 one-time fee for every user you add to your account. Further, there are charges if you want to use the card to make purchases outside the US. For international travel, you would also have to pay the foreign transaction fees of 3%.
Lastly, if you fail to pay the credit card bill on time, the card charges you with penalty fees of up to $41. Keep in mind that you would still have to pay the late payment fee if any of your payments are returned.
- Credit Building and Credit Line
Initially, the company offers you a minimum credit of $300. You can also get a higher credit line if your credit profile is good. Further, to increase your credit score quicker, you need to make sure to make on-time payments for the first six monthly payments. Continental Finance’s credit building process includes monthly reporting of your payment history to three credit bureaus. These three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) and the monthly reporting can effectively build credit and improve your score quicker.
Within as little as six months, you can become capable of qualifying for a secured credit card. Moreover, you are liable for automatic credit line increases after the first six months.
Benefits of Using Surge MasterCard
While users complain about the expensive nature of Surge, it has plenty of benefits that make up for that drawback. Indeed, Surge Mastercard is not very preferable for permanent use. However, it is perfectly ideal to use when you want to rapidly build credit and switch to better options sooner. Several benefits put Surge in a leading position:
- Reputable Companies
Two very reputable and experienced institutions handle Surge. Firstly, before putting your faith in anybody who handles your finances, you must ensure they are trustworthy. Secondly, the companies need to be transparent.
Surge’s issuers and servicers have been operating as financial lenders and marketers for decades. Moreover, according to SBA’s rankings, Celtic Bank, the issuing company, is one of the leading companies in the field. Conducting a background check on these companies eliminates all risks of fraudulence. Lastly, neither company is involved in any false propaganda.
The companies take extreme care to make their customers comfortable. For example, Continental Finance Company’s website is highly interactive and very easy to use. Hence, it gives you a very clear idea of what you are dealing with.
The website not only has an FAQs section to make things easier for you, but it also allows you to use several Surge services without having to create an account. Lastly, according to reviews, most customers are very pleased with the company’s customer services. Users praise them for quickly responding and resolving issues.
- No Liability for Fraud
As you already know, getting approval for your Surge applications does not require security deposits. Moreover, since the company mainly designs these cards for those with poor credit, users hold little to no liability except for their charges.
The Surge Mastercard has a unique fraud protection program. For example, in case of fraud, the user will not be held responsible. If there are any unauthorized charges on a user’s credit card, the owner and other account holders will not be charged.
- Regular Credit Reporting
Once again, one of the biggest perks of owning a Surge Mastercard is its monthly credit reports to major credit agencies. These credit reports are a very effective tool in the process of building credit. Plus, the company even promises to double your credit using these means. One of the credit agencies, Experian, even gives you access to free credit scores. Hence, you can gain access to your Vantage 3.0 score and take a look at your free credit score after signing up for E-statements.
The Surge card may not be handy for permanent use due to its high expenses and lack of perks. However, this particular benefit makes it highly ideal for short-term usage. You can take advantage of its monthly reports and maintain your on-time payments. Soon, your credit score will increase with responsible payment of your credit card bills. Once that happens, you can opt for a secured card and achieve its full benefits.
- Credit Line Increase
The initial credit limit for your card would be between $300 and $1,000, depending on your credit. However, if you continue making timely payments, you will soon be eligible for an increase. Higher credit limits make it easier to get loans and further credit. Moreover, it would also help you lower your credit use. In the long run, all of this will prevent you from falling into higher long-term debts.
- Open to All Credit Types
One of the most vital things about unsecured cards is that people with all kinds of credit can qualify for them. Similarly, your application for Surge would be considered for approval regardless of your credit level, whether you have good, bad, or limited credit.
Who Should Refrain From Using the Surge Credit Card
Since the Surge card is a credit building card, it does not hold much benefit other than the ones we have stated. So, if you are in any of these situations, using the Surge credit card may not be the best option for you:
- If you are new to learning about credit cards and Surge is the first option you come across, think again. It is advisable that you thoroughly look through all your options before selecting Surge. Its high charges might be a little difficult for a beginner to keep up with.
- If you qualify for secured cards, it would be better to choose that option. Also, these cards will offer you many benefits and high rewards that Surge may not.
- If you have poor credit but do not require a credit card urgently, try building up your credit using other methods. This way, you can save a lot of your money from the excessive charges of unsecured cards.
- If you have low credit but have enough money to present a security deposit for any secured cards. It may take some time for the approval of your application, but the rewards would be higher.
- If you use your credit card to make frequent purchases outside of the US, Surge charges you pretty high fees for foreign transactions. So, you may want to select another card to build up your credit, which charges less for foreign transactions.
Surge Credit For Beginners: Usage Tips
Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind while using Surge credit cards:
- Surge is a popular credit card for bad credit, but it is not sustainable over a long period. Hence, it would be wise to avoid setting any long-term goals for the same.
- Try to make use of the pre-qualification perk Surge offers. If you manage to pre-qualify, you can gain approval for your application without having an impact on your credit score.
- Once you get the card, make sure to be on top of all your payments. With timely payments, you can get a higher credit, which would help you qualify for other secure credit cards.
- Do not make any international purchases with your Surge card to avoid additional charges.
- While using Surge, try to use your credit wisely. Proper credit use could help you avoid deep, long-term debts.
- If you have increased your credit score to your liking within the first year of using Surge, stop using its services. Starting the second year, you would have to pay a monthly fee for your card. Since Surge’s primary use was to improve your credit, it is no longer needed to continue paying its charges. Move onto other credit cards with your improved credit score.
Who Should Use the Surge Mastercard Credit Card
There may be several reasons that you may not be able to qualify to attain a regular credit card. If you can legally get a credit card but still can not qualify for one, it is probably due to your bad credit history. In such cases, you can opt for an unsecured credit card like Surge. You should get a Surge credit card if you are in any of these situations:
- Short or No Credit History
For a credit card issuer to become interested in you, you must have a solid credit score. However, finding a place to start becomes tricky if you have no credit score. Most issuers are not interested in first-time users. In cases like this, you should apply for an unsecured card, which will help you increase your credibility.
- Recent Late Payments
If you recently missed any due dates on your credit card bills, it puts a negative stamp on your credit report. Suppose there are any payments where you missed the date or have not yet cleared, then getting a new, regular credit card could be challenging. However, Surge Mastercard could help you clear your credit report quicker with more timely payments put on your record.
- Past Defaulter History
As we mentioned in the previous point, recent late payments can affect your credit score highly. However, this applies to oversights in the past as well. If you are already a defaulter, most issuers may not accept your application even if your error is not recent. Such history would leave you with few choices, and your best pick would be a Surge Mastercard.
- Irregular or No Income
If you are unemployed or have started earning very recently, your income records would reflect poorly. Irregular income, or no income at all, makes it nearly impossible to attain a credit card. A credit card for those with a bad credit score targets such users and helps them build credit in a small amount of time.
- Recent Bankruptcy
If you recently filed for bankruptcy, most issuers would not take the risk of providing you with a credit card. Bankruptcy strongly lowers your credibility. While you can usually qualify for it after a year, some issuers will not take you on till your record completely clears. However, you can easily get a Surge Mastercard, even in such cases. On the other hand, you may face a higher annual fee and an additional monthly maintenance fee.
Where to Get Surge Credit Services and Guarantees
You will find all the information you need about the Surge credit card and its official webpage by its servicer, Continental Finance Company. Use the website to activate your card, check your application status, report an issue, etc. You can also perform all these tasks over the phone. Although, you must make sure to call using the same number you put in your application form.
Surge does not offer a lot of guarantees other than a minimum credit of $300 after approval. In fact, if your credit score allows it, Surge might offer you a secured card instead. Moreover, there is no guarantee of getting an unsecured credit card either.
FAQs About Surge Mastercard
We have provided the readers with a brief Surge credit card review in this article. However, some readers may have a few doubts that remain. So, to give you complete clarity, we included this FAQs section.
Our team made a list of users’ most common questions regarding the Surge Mastercard and answered them:
- Is Surge a legitimate credit card?
Yes, the Surge Mastercard is a perfectly legit and credible credit card. It is issued and serviced by two experienced and reputable companies. Further, it provides services, especially to users whom the traditional financing institutions overlook. You can use this card to improve your credit in a short amount of time. Surge further proves its credibility by building your credit faster after sending monthly payment history reports to major credit agencies.
- How much is the Surge credit limit?
Regardless of your credit, after approval, you are sure to gain a minimum credit of $300. However, depending on your credit history, you can even get a starting credit of up to $1,000. Over time, users can increase their credit limits even further with timely payments.
- How do I activate my Surge card?
You can activate your new or reissued cards both online or over the phone. You must finish the activation process within 30 days of receiving your Surge card in the mail. While activating your card over the phone is more manageable, doing it online would be more secure.
You can visit the official Continental Finance website and go to the Activate My Card section. Next, fill in the details in the form. Lastly, click Activate My Card to complete the process.
- How many credit cards should you have?
There is no correct answer to this question. You should own as many credit cards as you can handle. After a survey, the popular credit agency, Experian, discovered that an average American man owns four credit cards. If you are capable of keeping up with the charges and financial statements for all your cards, this can be helpful. You could earn higher rewards and finance with multiple credit cards with no interest.
- What credit cards does the Celtic Bank issue?
The bank provides a wide selection of credit cards, being a leading credit card issuer in the market. Many of these cards have other financial service providers, and the bank simply issues them. The company’s most popular credit cards include the Reflex Mastercard, the Surge Mastercard, and the Indigo Platinum Mastercard.
- Can I pay my Surge card with a debit card?
Yes, you can pay for your Surge card with a debit card. To do that, sign in to your online banking account through Continental Finance’s Mobile Access app. This app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Moreover, you can pay with your debit card over the phone. However, you should note that the company will charge you up to $11 for each transaction using your debit card.
- Are Surge and Reflex the same?
Surge Mastercard and Reflex Mastercard are separate credit cards. However, they share many similarities. For example, both cards are under the same issuing bank. Moreover, both are credit building cards with the same range of credit limits, which are $300 to $1,000. Lastly, neither credit card company requires you to put in a security deposit to qualify. Both Surge and Reflex Mastercard serve users with all credit types.
- Does Surge make a hard inquiry?
If you pre-qualify, you can quickly get in with a soft pull. However, the company has total authority to perform a hard inquiry on your credit report. Such a hard inquiry can even cause your credit score to drop by a few points. If the credit card issuers can not verify your identity or conduct a proper background check, they will opt for a hard pull. But if you are verifiable and the issuer finds you authentic, you can also get in with a regular check.
Lastly, since Surge provides to those with a lower credit score, you can instantly qualify for it even with bad credit. Although, for cases that are tough to verify, it may take the company up to 30 days to make a final decision. => Click here to visit the official website of SURGE
Conclusion : Is Surge Credit Card Suitable For You?
After thoroughly reviewing the Surge credit card, our verdict is that the card is suitable for use. However, users must carefully examine their other choice and select Surge as a final resort. Putting Surge as a final option is because of its expensive nature. If you plan to travel abroad and want to use a credit card, the Surge Mastercard is not the best due to its fees regarding foreign purchases.
It is undeniable that using a Surge Mastercard is one of the most effective ways to build up your credit quickly. So, if you have poor credit, using Surge as a short-term solution to bring it up is your best option. Even though the card charges a little high, it produces results. An increased credit after timely payments and monthly reports to major credit agencies are only some of its benefits.
You have to be a responsible card owner and not splurge on unnecessary expenses. When you use the card and your credit wisely, you will not have to bear many of its heavy fees. Lastly, try to pre-qualify for the card, as it would allow you to get the card without having an impact on your credit score.