Blaze Mastercard Credit Card Review
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The Blaze Mastercard is an unsecured credit card designed specifically for people working toward building their credit. After making six on-time monthly payments, cardholders can qualify for a credit line increase, but they will pay an annual fee and authorized user fee.
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Blaze MasterCard® Credit Card
The Blaze MasterCard® Credit Card is not one of our top-rated credit cards for bad credit. You can review our list of the best credit cards for bad credit for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Blaze Mastercard Credit Card
- Unsecured credit line access
- Qualify for an increased credit line
- Costly fees
- No rewards
- Higher than average APR
- Unsecured Credit Line Access:
When you have poor credit or no credit at all, you often can only qualify for secured credit cards, which can require you to put down hundreds of dollars as a security deposit. If parting with your hard-earned cash isn’t appealing, the Blaze Mastercard may be a solid alternative. You may qualify for this card even if you have less-than-stellar credit, and get access to an unsecured line of credit.
- Qualify for an Increased Credit Line:
Cardholders who keep their account in good standing with on-time payments can qualify for a credit line increase in as little as six months. Many cards for people with bad credit don’t have a clear timeline for qualifying for a credit line increase. Getting more spending power in less than a year is a nice benefit.
- Costly Fees:
Before applying for the Blaze Mastercard, you should be aware of two major fees:
- Annual fee:
You’ll be assessed a $75 annual fee before you use this card, and the fee reduces the amount of credit you have available. For example, if you are approved for a $350 credit line, the fee would lower the available credit to $275.
- Authorized user fee:
Adding an authorized user, such as a spouse or partner, to the account will incur a $20 annual fee.
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While high fees are typical of cards for people with poor credit, other credit cards don’t charge them. The Petal card is another option for someone building their credit history. Also an unsecured card, it has no annual fees, foreign transaction fees, authorized user fees, or late payment fees.
- No Rewards:
Unfortunately, the Blaze Mastercard doesn’t have a rewards program. You won’t earn points, miles, or cash back when you use your card. While that’s common for cards designed for people with bad credit, it’s still disappointing. If you’re willing to apply for a secured credit card instead of an unsecured credit card, and put down a refundable deposit, you can find options that offer rewards.
For Example, the Discover it Secured card has no annual fee and you can earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent each quarter at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Even better, Discover will match all of the cash back you earn during your first year as a cardholder, effectively doubling your rewards.
To put that in perspective, let’s say you spent $6,000 on your Discover it Secured card: $1,000 each quarter at gas stations and restaurants, and $2,000 on other purchases. You’d earn $100 in rewards. But thanks to Discover’s cash back match, Discover would match all of the cash back you earned, giving you $200 in rewards.
- Higher-than-Average APR:
According to the Federal Reserve, the average APR on all credit cards was just over 17.13%, as of August 2021. The purchase APR on the Blaze Mastercard is 29.9%—far higher than the national average. If you carry a balance on your card from month to month, a higher APR will cause you to pay much more in interest charges.
To put those numbers in perspective, let’s say your credit card has a $1,000 balance, an APR of 17.13%, and a minimum monthly payment of $35. It would take you 37 months to pay off your debt and, in total, you’d pay $294 in interest charges. If you had a $1,000 balance on a credit card with 29.9% APR and a minimum monthly payment of $35, it would take you 51 months to pay off your debt, and you’d pay $770 in interest charges. The higher APR would cost you $476 in additional interest. If you tend to carry a balance, look for another card with a lower APR, like the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa card.
This Card is Best For
- Motivated to Create Positive Credit History
- CREDIT BUILDER
If you have no credit history or poor credit and don’t want a secured credit card, the Blaze Mastercard can be a good option. It gives you access to an unsecured line of credit, and you can qualify for an increased credit line in as little as six months.
While it charges fees, this card can be a useful tool for building your credit since it reports your payment activity to the major credit bureaus. As your credit improves and you can qualify for other credit cards, you can close your account to avoid future fees.
The Blaze Mastercard offers few benefits, but it does have:
- Limited liability protection
- Security alerts
- Online account access
The Blaze Mastercard is issued by South Dakota-based First Savings Bank, a smaller card issuer that isn’t included in J.D. Power’s Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
Customer service can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 605-782-3472.
This card offers standard security features, including 24/7 account alerts. You’re also never held responsible for unauthorized transactions if your card is lost or stolen as long as you notify First Savings Bank.
If you’ve struggled to qualify for other credit cards and don’t want to apply for a secured card, the Blaze Mastercard is a decent alternative. You’ll get access to an unsecured credit card, and you may qualify for an increased credit limit in as little as six months. The card does charge fees, but that tradeoff may be justified if your goal is to avoid having to put down a large security deposit.
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Read About Tech Credit Card Rating Methodology
Read About Tech is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
Overall Credit Card Star Rating Category Weightings
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
- While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
- We utilize BLS (U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
- We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
Low or Reasonable Fees
Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses.
Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% – 5%, which we grade accordingly.
Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
Solid Security/Customer Service
Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.