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Review: The Build Card

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Please note: This card has been discontinued, and it is not available on our site.

  • Get this card if… your credit score is between 300 and 600 and you’ve exhausted other loan options.
  • Pick something else if… you don’t want to pay an annual fee or if your credit score is fair or better.
  • Recommended credit range to apply: 300 to 600 (poor)

Discontinued product

This card has been discontinued, and it is not available on our site. Compare other credit cards or take Finder's credit card quiz to find one that fits your needs.

How to apply for The Build Card

After you receive your offer code, click the Respond To Offer link on The Build Card website.

Hand sliding credit card

Enter your offer code, application ID, ZIP code and Social Security number, and proceed to the application, which will ask you for personal information like your contact details and annual income.

The basics

People with poor credit have few options for unsecured cards. Most lenders are simply unwilling to take a chance on so-called subprime borrowers.

The issuer of The Build Card — a company called FS Card — takes a different tack. Rather than shy away from customers with poor credit, it actively scopes out “deep subprime” borrowers with credit scores of between 300 and 600. To be clear, you can’t apply for The Build Card on a whim: You must be invited by FS Card.

The Build Card is a mixed bag of positives and negatives. On one hand, it’s an unsecured card, so it doesn’t require a security deposit like a secured card does. It also comes with a respectable $500 starting credit limit.

On the other hand, you’ll have to pay $125 to open the card (a $53 one-time account set-up fee and a $72 annual membership fee). The card also offers no grace period before charging you interest on purchases — a significant downside and something that is rare for credit cards in general.

How does credit card interest work?

Ultimately, it’s best to consider The Build Card only if you’re in a serious cash crunch and have no other options but to borrow money. The card comes with a high 29.9% variable APR for purchases and cash advances, but that’s better than what you’ll get with a payday loan (as long as you pay your balances in good time).

If your primary goal is to build credit, strongly consider passing on The Build Card. A secured card will likely be a better option — you’ll need to put down a security deposit, but the money will still be yours. Many excellent secured cards have no annual fees and require low deposits.

The perks

  • No security deposit needed. The Build Card is an unsecured card, so you don’t need a security deposit to get a credit line.

You’ll also like …

  • No foreign transaction fees. You can use your card overseas without incurring fees.
  • No over-limit fees. If you tend to spend over your credit limit, you’ll like that The Build Card doesn’t charge over-limit fees.

What to watch out for

  • Account setup fee. When you open your card account, you’ll pay a one-time fee of $53.
  • Annual fee. The Build Card charges a $72 membership fee for the first year. Starting the second year, you’ll pay a membership fee of $6 per month.
  • No grace period on interest. You’ll start accumulating interest on your purchases and cash advances immediately. This is a big difference from other cards, which typically offer grace periods of 20 days or more. To avoid accruing too much interest, do not carry a balance on your card for long.
  • No balance transfers. You can only use The Build Card for purchases and cash advances.
  • It hurts to pay late. Making late or returned payments could result in fees as high as $35.

What should I know before I apply?

Currently, you must be invited to apply for The Build Card. When you apply, you need to input the offer code that was sent to you.

What credit score do I need?

The Build Card targets cardholders with poor credit scores of 300 to 600.

If your credit score is higher than that range, consider a card for fair credit. If your credit score is lower than that range, look for a secured credit card — and especially consider one that doesn’t require a credit check.

I got the card — now what?

  • Online access. Create an account at The Build Card website, where you can manage your card account.
  • Making payments. There’s no grace period on interest — you’ll start accruing interest immediately after you make a purchase or cash advance. That said, it’s a good idea to pay off your balances quickly.
  • Avoiding fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $35.
  • Customer service. For support, call 1-800-634-9558 or access Build’s text message service by texting HELP to 88100 anytime.

Compare low score credit cards

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Surge Mastercard® Credit Card
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An unsecured credit-building card with a $0 fee on cash advances for the first 12 months, then 5% or $5. This is a rare offer among similar cards.
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
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Made for people with poor credit who want an unsecured credit card. It can help you build credit, but watch out for high fees and interest.
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Bottom line

The Build Card is a rare unsecured card that targets people with poor credit. However, it’s expensive and significantly hampered by its lack of a grace period on interest. That being said, a credit card designed for people with poor credit could be the first step in repairing or building your credit.

Frequently asked questions

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55 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    Ryan
    October 4, 2019

    How long does it take for payment (made from a checking account linked to the build card) to clear??

      Default Gravatar
      Ash
      October 5, 2019

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      If you have made the payment before 5:00PM ET, it will be processed the same day then reflect to your account the next business day. But payments made through Checking or Savings Account are held for 5 business days before it becomes your available credit.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Ash

    Default Gravatar
    Anonymous
    June 18, 2019

    How do you get invited to apply fort the Build credit card?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jhez
      June 19, 2019

      Hello,

      Thank you for your comment.

      FS card, the issuer of The Build Card, actively scopes out “deep subprime” borrowers with credit scores of between 300 and 600 rather than shy away from customers with poor credit. Hence, you can’t apply for The Build Card on a whim, you must be invited by FS Card. After you receive your offer code, click the Respond To Offer link on The Build Card website.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    Glenda
    June 21, 2018

    Does the Build Card offer credit increases?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      June 21, 2018

      Hi Glenda,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      If you’re asking whether Build Card allows for an increased credit limit, then the answer is yes. The minimum credit limit for this card is $500. You can request for a higher credit limit by getting in touch with them.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    Lorraine
    February 8, 2018

    How do I apply for the Build Card I want to bring my credit score up

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Roslyn
      February 9, 2018

      Hi Lorraine,

      Thank you for your inquiry about the Build Card.

      Unfortunately, you can’t apply for this credit card without an invitation from the lender, FS Card. They typically send invitations to select borrowers with credit scores around the 550 to 600 mark.

      There are several other cards you can apply to if you’d like to improve your credit score. Credit One Bank and indigo are a few options for unsecured credit cards. Primor, OpenSky and First Progress Select are a few good options for secured cards.

      You can also learn more about improving your credit score from these guides:

      Credit Repair
      5 ways a secured credit card can help rebuild your credit

      I hope this information helps you make an informed decision.

      Cheers,
      Roslyn

    Default Gravatar
    Dante
    November 6, 2017

    Is there a fee to use cash advance at an atm?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joanne
      November 7, 2017

      Hi Dante,

      Thanks for contacting finder.

      The cash advance Fee is $10 or 3% of transaction, whichever is greater. Keep in mind that you’ll start accumulating interest on your purchases and cash advances immediately. This is a big difference from other cards, which typically offer grace periods of 20 days or more. To avoid accruing too much interest, it is best that the card owner do not carry a balance on the card for long.

      Best Regards,
      Joanne

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