Surge Mastercard® Credit Card review
You can apply with fair credit, but beware of sky-high fees and interest rates.
- Get this card if you have a low credit score and want an unsecured card.
- Pick something else if you don’t want to pay high fees or interest.
- Apply with a credit score of 580 or higher.
$75 to $99
25.9% to 29.99% variable
Minimum Credit Score
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
The Surge Mastercard® Credit Card is an unsecured card available to consumers with damaged credit. It has a $75 to $99 annual fee. It also has a $0 to $10 monthly maintenance fee starting the second year, which could add up to as much as $120 annually. Purchases and cash advances attract a 25.9% to 29.99% variable APR.
While these costs aren’t unheard of for unsecured subprime cards, they’re extremely expensive. Meanwhile, there are secured cards you may qualify for that have much lower annual fees.
To its credit, the Surge Mastercard® Credit Card has a grace period on interest, unlike some other subprime unsecured cards. That means you can avoid interest payments if you pay off your card balance in full each billing cycle. Furthermore, Continental Finance, the card servicer, will report your payment history to the three major US credit bureaus, which is vital for improving your credit score.
These features aren’t spectacular, however; in fact, they’re standard in the vast majority of cards. Strongly consider comparing more credit cards before settling on this one.
How to apply for the Surge Mastercard® Credit Card
- Select Apply now.
- Complete the application form with details like your name, address, contact information and annual income.
- Review your application and submit it.
What credit score do I need?
You can apply with limited, fair or even good credit. Continental Finance markets this card as a tool that helps you build or re-establish credit.
The Surge Mastercard® Credit Card isn’t necessarily an unsecured card
While the card is marketed as an unsecured card, you may be required to put down a security deposit depending on your credit. Continental Finance doesn’t state how you might get this deposit back while you’re a cardholder. That’s a contrast to a provider such as Discover, which will review your account starting at eight months to see if it can return your deposit.
Surge Mastercard® Credit Card drawbacks
- Annual fee: $75 to $99. This is a very high annual fee, especially for a card that doesn’t offer rewards. If you don’t want to pay this cost, consider a secured card, which can be a lot cheaper. The $75 to Surge Mastercard® Credit Card annual fee will be deducted from your credit limit each card year. If you start with a $500 limit, for example, it will drop to $401 immediately.
- Monthly maintenance fee: $0 to $10 starting the second card year. Starting your second card year, Continental Finance will charge up to $10 every month as a maintenance fee, which adds up to as much as $120 a year. This is highly unusual for most credit cards, and it can get expensive. As with high annual fees, however, monthly maintenance fees aren’t unheard of with subprime cards. To avoid these costs, look into secured cards.
- You may be required to put down a security deposit. Continental Finance will review your application for an unsecured card. However, it may approve you for a secured card instead. In that case, you may need to put down a refundable deposit of $50, $100, $150 or $500. Continental Finance may use this deposit to pay off your balance if you don’t pay your card bill.
- High interest. Your purchase and cash advance APR will be 25.9% to 29.99% variable, which is an extremely high rate. Strongly consider paying off your balance in full each month, or you could find your interest multiplying faster than you expect.
- Penalty and transaction fees. You’ll pay up to $40 per late payment and up to $40 per returned payment. These are standard across the credit card industry. After the first 12 months, you’ll pay the greater of $5 or 5% per cash advance and a 3% fee per foreign transaction.
Surge Mastercard® Credit Card benefits
- Apply with credit of any type. Continental Finance, the card servicer, markets this card to consumers with all levels of credit — good, bad and limited.
- Payment history reported to the three major bureaus. As you pay your card bills, Continental Finance will report your payment history to the three major US credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. With consistent on-time payments, you’ll steadily build your credit.
- Receive a starting credit limit of $300 to $750. This is a good starting limit for a subprime card. However, watch out for the annual fee, which will reduce your available credit right away.
- Get a decision on your application quickly. Continental Finance advertises a quick application process. Because you can apply online, you may receive an immediate decision on your application. If Continental Finance needs to review your application further, allow 7 to 10 business days to hear back.
- Transaction fees waived for the first 12 months after account opening. For the first 12 months, you won’t pay cash advance or foreign transaction fees. Still, strongly consider avoiding cash advances, as they’ll accrue interest right away.
Compare secured cards
If this card isn’t right for you, compare other secured cards on the market. Consider factors such as fees, APR, security deposit requirements and if the card offers any additional benefits you might find useful.
You can apply for the Surge Mastercard® Credit Card even if you have low to fair credit. However the card comes with steep fees and interest, and you’re not guaranteed to get the unsecured version. For this reason, you could find a better card that serves your needs.
Strongly consider a secured credit card instead, which you can get by providing a refundable security deposit.