A credit card can be a life-saver in tight financial situations. Using your credit card is much faster and more convenient than applying for a loan.
By having a way to borrow some money right inside your wallet, you can borrow money anytime you want from virtually any location.
If you’re here, then you’ve probably come across the Mercury Mastercard and are still trying to make up your mind on whether it’d be the right choice for you.
In this Mercury Mastercard review, we’ll shed light on the perks and disadvantages of this credit card, in addition to the application process and the minimum eligibility criteria, so stick around.
At a Glance:
- Annual Percent Rate (APR): 25.90% – 27.90%
- APR for Cash Advances: 27.90% – 29.90%
- Annual Fees: $0
- Late Fees: Can be as high as $38
- Balance Transfer Fee: 4% of the total value or $5, whichever is more
- Cash Advance Fee: 5% of the total value or $10, whichever is more
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% per purchase
- Credit Limit: $1500 – $5000 (subject to increase over the initial value)
Pros and Cons of the Mercury Mastercard
- Handy mobile app
- FICO score tracking
- Easy, fully online application process
- Zero annual fees
- Free fraud protection
- Great for credit rebuilding
- Lots of supported merchants
- High interest rate
- High balance transfer and foreign transaction fees
Mercury Mastercard Requirements
Before we get into the ins and outs of applying for a Mercury Mastercard, let’s first make sure that you meet the minimum eligibility criteria.
Keep in mind, however, that there are no official prerequisites set by Mercury to apply for its Mastercard, which include:
- Getting a pre-approval letter from Mercury that contains your reservation code
- Having a credit score between 575 and 675
How to Apply for a Mercury Mastercard
Here’s how you can apply for a Mercury Mastercard in 4 easy steps:
1. Prepare a Reservation Code
Once it’s confirmed that you’re eligible to apply for a Mercury Mastercard, you should receive a letter that has a reservation code. Write it down on a piece of paper and submit it on Mercury’s official website by selecting the “respond to mail offer” option.
2. Submit Your Reservation Code
Once you click on “respond to mail offer”, you’ll be redirected to another page that congratulates you on being pre-approved for a Mercury Mastercard.
All you have to do at this stage is to enter the reservation code that you wrote down, along with the last 4 digits of your social security number.
3. Complete the Application Form
After submitting your reservation code, you’ll be asked to fill out an online application form that includes basic personal information, like full name, age, occupation, etc. You’ll also have to provide some information about your sources of income.
It’s worth noting that, in some cases, you might be required to provide proof of income and maybe a recent paycheck. You can either mail the documents or upload them to Mercury’s system.
4. Wait for Approval
Generally speaking, it should take around 4-5 days for you to get a response on your Mercury Mastercard application. In case of approval, your card will be mailed to you within a few business days.
Features and Benefits
Here’s a quick sum-up of the benefits that you get as a Mercury Mastercard cardholder:
The Mercury App
Mercury makes it super easy for you to track your spendings and manage your linked accounts and settle their statements through its mobile app. What’s more, it provides you with an overview of your transaction history.
Additionally, the app lets you take a look at your FICO score that’s updated monthly. This makes it easy for you to get an idea about where you stand and whether your credit score is on par with your financial goals.
On top of that, you can use the app to create e-statements and check your account’s information.
The app is available for download on iOS and Android. You can also track your balance through Mercury’s website with your laptop or desktop computer.
No Hidden Fees
One of the things that we really like about the Mercury Mastercard is that there are no hidden fees. What you sign up for is what you pay or get; no more, no less.
We also like the fact that Mercury doesn’t charge its cardholders any annual fees, making it an attractive option for those who want to improve their credit score without committing to any extra charges.
Get All the Perks of Mastercards!
Mastercards are widely used all over the world, with more than 40 million official merchants. This means that once you receive your Mercury Mastercard in your mailbox, you won’t have to carry any additional credit cards with you, even when traveling overseas.
Mercury offers free fraud protection on its credit card at no extra charges. This means if you ever lost your card or someone stole it, rest assured that you’ll be protected from fraud.
Mercury Mastercard Earnings
As a Mercury Mastercard cardholder, you have the chance to get 1% or 2% cashback on your purchases. You might also get $10 for every 1000 points earned.
However, Mercury doesn’t provide any official word on cashback benefits, so nothing is guaranteed. Nevertheless, many users reported that they started getting some cash back at some point.
What’s the Catch?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, Mercury isn’t going to charge you any hidden fees. However, just like any other credit card, the Mercury Mastercard isn’t flawless. Here are the negatives of this credit card:
High Interest Rate
One of the biggest downsides of the Mercury Mastercard is the high APR, which is estimated to be somewhere between 25.90% and 27.90%. The card is tailored for those who are trying to improve their credit score, which is exactly why Mercury charges such high interest fees.
It’s worth mentioning that the interest rate varies based on several variables, like your credit score at the time of applying for the card. Just make sure that you pay your statement regularly to avoid drowning yourself in debt, and even worse, lose your chance of rebuilding your credit.
Lack of Transparency Regarding Terms and Conditions
Another problem we have with the Mercury Mastercard is that the bank is very confidential regarding certain key information, like eligibility criteria, credit limits, and loyalty programs.
This might cause some trust issues from the cardholder’s end. You can get the information you need from other Mercury Mastercard cardholders, but it just makes the whole experience more complicated and less convenient.
High Foreign Transaction Fees
If you’re planning on using your Mercury Mastercard overseas frequently, expect to pay high foreign transaction fees that hover around 3%. It might not sound like much for those who rarely make any foreign transactions, but if you travel a lot, it can be a major problem.
High Balance Transfer Fees
Mercury charges $5 or 4% of the value of your balance transfer, whichever is greater. This implies that the Mercury Mastercard isn’t really made to be a balance transfer card that provides luxuries like long grace periods and 0% interest fees.
Mercury Mastercard Alternatives
Because of its high interest rate, the Mercury Mastercard may not be very appealing to all people, especially those who could care less about improving their credit score.
Here are some of the best alternatives to the Mercury Mastercard:
Merrick Bank Double Your Line Visa
The Double Your Line Visa from Merrick bank is made for those who want guaranteed increases to their credit limit. If you make your payments on time, you’ll become eligible for limit increases every 7 months.
Milestone Gold Mastercard
Do you have a bad credit history? Then the Milestone Gold Mastercard would be your best. It has low annual fees and prequalifying for it is far from difficult. Not to mention, its interest rate is pretty low compared to the Mercury Mastercard.
Just like the Milestone Gold Mastercard, the Destiny Mastercard is super easy to acquire for those who have a bad credit score. It’s actually made for those who are looking for a way to rebuild their credit.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
If your credit score isn’t bad but not that impressive either, the Capital One Platinum could be a good choice for you. It has zero annual fees, and you automatically qualify for credit increases after you make 5 consecutive payments on time.
Total Visa Unsecured Card
The Total Visa unsecured card is made for those looking for a way to repair their poor credit history. No matter how bad your credit score is, you’re most likely eligible to get a Total Visa credit card.
Capital One Quicksilver One Cash Rewards Credit Card
Another good offer from Capital One is the Quicksilver One Cash Rewards credit card. One of its strongest selling points is the 1.5% cashback that you get on every single purchase. It also offers credit limit increases every 5 months. However, you must pay an annual fee of $39.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Barclays Buy Mercury?
No, Barclays didn’t buy Mercury. The Mercury Mastercard is one of the products of the financial services company known as CreditShop that acquired a significant share of Barclays’ credit card business back in 2018.
This means that anyone who had a Barclays credit card was automatically switched to Mercury.
Who Issues the Mercury Mastercard?
The Mercury Mastercard is issued by First Bank & Trust. It was founded in 1980, and since then, it has served hundreds of thousands of customers through its personal and business banking services.
How Is My Mercury Mastercard’s Credit Limit Determined?
Mercury doesn’t share a lot about the process of setting your credit limit. It’s usually somewhere between $1500 and $5000. Most likely, the initial credit limit is determined by your credit score. Nevertheless, many users have reported that their credit limit started increasing a few months after receiving their cards.
It’s generally recommended that you pay your statements on time to boost your credit score and increase your chances of getting a higher credit limit. Some users reported that their credit limit increased from as low as $150 all the way up to $3000. It can either increase all of a sudden or gradually.
How Do I Contact Mercury?
To get in touch with Mercury, you can either send an email or give them a call at 866-686-2158. You can also reach out to them by traditional mail.
Is the Mercury Mastercard Worth It? The Final Say
Despite having a high-interest rate, the Mercury Mastercard has a solid reputation among cardholders. With zero annual fees and non-strict eligibility criteria, the Mercury Mastercard is one of the best credit cards you can apply for.
However, due to its high APR, high balance transfer, and foreign transaction fees, the Mercury Mastercard isn’t intended to be your long-term credit card. It’s more of a tool that you can use to rebuild your credit score, so you can apply for other credit cards and loans down the line.
In the end, we hope that you’ve developed a clear picture of what you’re signing up for when applying for a Mercury Mastercard.