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Deserve® Classic Card review

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An unsecured card that you may qualify for with no credit history.

  • Get this card if you’re new to credit.
  • Pick something else if you don’t want to share your bank account information.
  • Apply if you’re new to credit or have a fair to good credit score of at least 650.


Annual fee


Purchase APR (variable)


Recommended credit score


Product NameDeserve® Classic Card
Card typeMastercard
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR24.74% variable
Balance transfer APRN/A
Foreign transaction feeNone
Interest free periodUp to 23 days
Late payment feeUp to $25
Returned payment feeUp to $37
Additional cardholder fee$0
Apply now

The basics

It can be difficult to get an unsecured credit card if you have no credit history. At the same time, you might not want to put down a deposit for a secured credit card.

That’s where the Deserve® Classic Card can help. Because Deserve uses proprietary methods to gauge how responsibly you’ll use your card, you may qualify for it with no credit history. And unlike similar cards, the Deserve® Classic Card doesn’t charge exorbitant membership fees. In fact, its annual fee is $0. If you use your card responsibly, you may be able to upgrade to one of Deserve’s other credit cards.

When you apply for the Deserve® Classic Card, you’ll need to connect your bank account. Deserve will look at your transaction history and weigh your ability to afford card payments. This is what allows the bank to determine your eligibility for the card if you have little to no credit history.

When other banks say no, Deserve may welcome you

Deserve has a non-traditional process for customer screening. When considering your application, it looks at factors like your education, future employability and projected earnings — not just your credit score. This could help you get a credit card when other banks might deny you just because you’re new to credit.

If you have a credit score, you’ll have a better chance of approval with a fair to good score of 650 or higher.

The perks

  • No deposit required.

    If you’re new to credit, you may be mostly limited to secured credit cards — which require you to put down a security deposit. The Deserve® Classic Card does not have this requirement. This can be helpful since you won’t have to lock down the $200 or $300 that you’d otherwise deposit for a secured card.

  • No prior credit history required.

    Deserve welcomes customers who are new to credit, and it uses proprietary methods to assess how responsible of a cardholder you’ll be.

  • Up to $1,500 credit limit.

    Any credit line over a few hundred dollars is a good deal for a credit-building product, especially since you might need to provide a security deposit with other cards. To get a $1,500 credit limit with a secured card, you’d need to put down a deposit of $1,500 or more.

  • Upgrade to the Deserve® PRO or Deserve® Edu Card with good credit behavior.

    The Deserve® PRO and Deserve® Edu Card offer cash back, higher maximum credit limits and no annual fees. You may be able to upgrade to them with good credit behavior, such as paying your bills on time and staying within your credit limit.

Secured vs. unsecured cards: What’s the difference?

You’ll also like …

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    An unexpected but welcome perk. You won’t pay a fee when you use your card abroad or on a foreign website.

  • No overlimit fees.

    You won’t be charged a fee if you go over your credit limit. That’s good news if you feel you’ve had trouble managing your available credit in the past.

  • Mastercard purchase and travel benefits.

    When you pay for your wireless bill with your card, your phone is covered against damage or theft up to $600.

    Eligible purchases you make with your card will receive price protection and extended warranties. You’ll also get access to travel assistance services when you’re traveling 50 miles or more from home.

    Contact roadside assistance whenever your car breaks down on the road. Also, when you pay for your car rental with your card, you’ll receive a complimentary collision damage waiver.

Apply now

What to watch out for

  • No balance transfers or cash advances.

    This isn’t entirely a bad thing, as this card is mainly for building credit. Balance transfers can be tricky, especially when it comes to transfer fees and avoiding interest. Cash advances typically come with sky-high APRs, which can also put a damper on your ability to build credit.

  • High APR.

    The 24.74% variable purchase APR is a relatively high interest rate. The average credit card APR is around 16%. Consider paying off your balance each month to avoid accruing interest on your balance.

How does credit card interest work?

Compare unsecured cards that can help you build credit

Name Product Filter values Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
24.9% fixed
$0 to $99
The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card is specifically designed for those with less than perfect credit.
26.46% variable
A no-annual-fee card for average credit. Earn a higher credit line after five on-time payments.
24.9% fixed
$35 to $99
All the benefits of Mastercard Gold for those with less than perfect credit.
34.99% fixed
$75 intro annual fee for the first year ($48 thereafter)
Build or rebuild your credit with this Visa credit card.
19.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 to $99
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Deserve® Classic Card, you must be at least 18 years old.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income, source of income and employment information
  • Social Security number and mother’s maiden name
  • Current bank account information if you’re a US citizen or permanent resident

What credit score do I need?

If you don’t have a credit history, you’re the target customer for this card and more than welcome to apply.

If you have a credit history, you’ll have a better chance of approval if you apply with at least a fair to good credit score of 650. If you have a good to excellent score of 670 or higher, consider applying for a more powerful card.

What’s a good credit score?

What do customers say about the Deserve® Classic Card?

Many customers say this card is helpful for building credit. However, other customers say they’ve run into logistical difficulties: poor customer service, bills erroneously reported as unpaid, difficulty getting replacement cards and more. Some also say they feel uncomfortable linking their bank accounts.

Deserve is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It currently has six complaints on its profile, all of which have been resolved or answered according to the BBB.

How to apply for the Deserve® Classic Card

  1. Click apply now.
  2. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
  3. You may be asked to connect your bank account. This lets Deserve read and analyze your financial records to determine whether you’re eligible if you’re new to credit. If you are, it will help them determine an appropriate credit limit. The company can’t make changes to the linked bank account.
  4. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to get my Deserve® Classic Card?

The Deserve website has automated conditional approval, so you’ll often get a decision within a minute. In some cases, more information may be needed and you’ll have to wait a few business days to a few weeks to receive a response.

If approved, you’ll likely receive your new card in the mail within seven to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make your payments on time. Pay one-off card bills online at the Deserve website, or enroll in autopay to avoid missing payments.
  • Avoid interest. You can take advantage of the 23 day grace period to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late payments come with fees of up to $25, and returned payments have fees of up to $37.
  • Customer service. If you have questions, contact Deserve support at 800-418-2362. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., PST.

Bottom line

Pound for pound, the Deserve® Classic Card isn’t the most high-powered product. It doesn’t come with perks like rewards or a signup bonus. However, this product doesn’t require a deposit and could be your path to more lucrative cards.

Not convinced it’s the right card for you? Visit our comprehensive guide to credit cards and compare your options.

Apply now

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  1. Default Gravatar
    May 10, 2018

    Why must you supply your username, password and answers to security questions for your bank when you apply? I answered the questions correctly, was able to move on to the rest of the application and later changed my password for security reasons. Received an email from my bank telling me I was locked out of my account because there were too many failed login attempts! Once I answered all the questions correctly, I figured I passed the test. But I certainly didn’t want to have ALL my banking information floating around in cyberspace for someone to have…

    • AvatarStaff
      May 11, 2018

      Hello Eknockone,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Just to confirm though that we do not represent any lender, we do not offer loans ourselves and we do not represent any company we feature on our site. 

      With regards to your online banking login being asked when you apply for a loan, there are actually pay-day loan lenders that do that. Nevertheless, please know that they will not have access to your bank account and neither will the third-party service like finder that facilitates the sending of read-only copies of your bank statements. Lenders will also not store your login details and generally, this process is encrypted and secure through their site. 

      There’s an article on this page that explains why lenders do this.


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