Reflex Card Review: An Expensive Unsecured Card to Build CreditCredit Cards for Bad Credit
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- Reflex Mastercard®
- Basics: The Reflex Mastercard® is a high-APR card for consumers with limited or even poor credit.
- Pros: You may be approved for the Reflex Mastercard® with limited credit or bad credit, and it provides an opportunity to build or rebuild your score with reporting to major credit bureaus. Many applicants won’t have to pay a security deposit, and credit limit increases are available every six months for qualified cardholders.
- Cons: The Reflex Mastercard® has a high APR ranging from 25.90% to 29.90% and a $99 annual fee. There’s also a monthly maintenance fee of $10, although the monthly maintenance fee isn’t billed for the first 12 months. With such high fees and a low initial credit limit of $500, you’re not going to get a lot of purchasing power with the Reflex card. No rewards.
- WELCOME OFFER
There is currently no welcome offer.
- ANNUAL FEE
$99 + $10 monthly fee
- REWARDS RATE
• Reports to three major credit bureaus
• $0 Fraud Liability
• Possible credit limit after six months of on-time payments
• Free monthly credit score
• Mobile app for account management
The Reflex Card is an option for someone who either has a limited credit history or perhaps bad credit to rebuild their credit score. Most applicants will be approved, although some are required to pay a security deposit up to their credit limit.
This isn’t common with the Reflex Card as it is primarily an unsecured card, meaning most applicants won’t pay the security deposit.
Credit limit increases are available in increments of up to $500, with a maximum credit limit of $2,000 when the cardholder has a history of on-time payments.
The Reflex Card has an annual fee, as well as a monthly maintenance fee, making it an expensive option. The interest rate is also high, and there is a late payment fee, so if someone is not able to keep up with their payments, using the Reflex Card could actually end up creating more financial difficulties for them.
After the first year, a cardholder would be paying around $220 just in the annual fee and the maintenance fee. That doesn’t take into account the maximum 29.90% APR on balances, and the maximum $40 late fee.
Reflex Card Benefits
There are very few benefits of the Reflex card. It’s a simple card that doesn’t have much to offer unless you have bad or limited credit.
Approval with Bad Credit
There is no minimum credit score required to be approved for the Reflex card, and for many applicants you may be approved without having to pay a security deposit. That makes it appealing for someone who wants to work on building their credit, but doesn’t necessarily have the cash set aside for a secured card.
Potential Credit Limit Increase After Six Months
For borrowers who make on-time payments for six months, there is automatic eligibility for a credit limit increase. That initial credit limit increase could bring your total credit limit up to $1000 after six months.
When you use the Reflex card, there are opportunities to build or boost your credit, which is one of the primary benefits of this card.
For example, Continental Finance, which is the issuing card company, reports all payments you make on your card to the three major credit bureaus which are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
When you have a Reflex card, you also get access to a free monthly credit score so you can keep up with your finances and track your progress.
Reflex Card Fees
The Reflex card is expensive and comes with a lot of fees. These fees are something consumers need to think carefully about before accepting a card offer.
Annual Fee: $99
The Reflex card has a high annual fee of $99. With a maximum initial credit limit of only $500, this significantly reduces your purchasing power.
What this means is that if you get the $500 credit limit, then you’re charged the annual fee, you will only have an initial available credit limit of $401. To get an additional card you pay a $30 fee, so that would then take your initial credit limit down to $371.
Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
There is a foreign transaction fee of 3% of the total transaction in U.S. dollars. Transaction fees aren’t billed for the first 12 months after you open an account.
The Reflex card is one of the few cards for bad credit that allow for foreign transactions.
Cash Advance Fee: Either 5% or $5
If you use the Reflex Card for a cash advance, you pay either 5% of the amount of the cash advance or $5, whichever is greater. Again, like the foreign transaction fee, cash advance transaction fees aren’t billed for the first 12 months after opening an account.
Late Payment Fee: $40
If you miss a payment or you’re later, there is a $40 fee, in addition to the interest you pay on the purchase.
Monthly Maintenance Fee: $10 a Month
There is one more fee to be aware of with the Reflex card, which is the monthly maintenance fee, charged on top of the annual fee.
The monthly maintenance fee is $120 a year, billed at $10 a month. You don’t have to pay this for the first 12 months after you open an account.
While the Reflex Card is expensive when it comes to fees, it may be the only for someone who wants to work on their credit and doesn’t have the cash for a secured card.
Who the Reflex Card Is Good For
While the Reflex is expensive and has a high APR, there are some people who might feel it’s a good option for them.
The Reflex card is good for someone with bad credit, or perhaps no credit history who wants to build their score. It can be a good card to regularly track your progress thanks to the credit reporting and free monthly score.
Plus, since the limits are fairly low, you may be able to keep yourself from getting into too much debt, while still being able to build a history of on-time payments.
No Cash for Security Deposit
Since the Reflex card is not a secured credit card option, if you want to build your credit without paying a deposit, it may be good for you. Not all applicants are approved without a deposit, however.
Committing to Responsible Spending
If you spend responsibly and understand the importance of on-time payments, the Reflex card may work well for you. If you can’t commit to that, however, you may find that you get into more financial trouble with this card, because the fees and APR will add up quickly.
Who the Reflex Card Isn’t Good For
Fair to Excellent Credit
If you have good or even fair credit, the Reflex is probably not good for you. This card’s fees and APR make it unappealing if there’s the potential that you could qualify for a better card.
Anyone who wants to earn rewards by using their card should skip the Reflex. There are no rewards associated with the Reflex Card.
Cardholders who can’t commit to on-time payments or who carry a balance should likely avoid the Reflex.
This card could end up causing them more financial damage because of the high APR and high fees, including late fees. If you carry a balance, this will also be an even more expensive card.
Reflex Card Pros and Cons
Reflex Card Pros
- Easy Approval: If you don’t have a strong credit history, you can still likely be approved for the Reflex Card. The card company does report to the three major credit bureaus, so it’s possible that you would be able to build a stronger credit history with this card and then hopefully be approved for a better card.
- Potential Credit Limit Increase After Six Months: While the initial credit limit maximum on the Reflex Card is $500 if you make six months of on-time payments you automatically become eligible for an increase in your limit up to a maximum of $1000. Beyond the first six months, if you continue to make on-time payments, you may be approved for a maximum limit of $2000.
- No Security Deposit Possible: With many credit cards for bad credit applicants, you have to pay a security deposit. That’s not the case with the Reflex Card, although some applicants may have to.
- Instant Approval Possible: For some applicants, there is instant approval for the Reflex Card.
Reflex Card Cons
- High APR: The APR on the Reflex card is 25.90% to 29.90%. This is higher than many other cards, including even other cards geared toward consumers with bad or no credit.
- Annual Fee: The annual fee for the Reflex Card is $99.
- Maintenance Fee: In addition to the $99 annual fee, there is also a $10 monthly maintenance fee, totaling $120 a year. It’s not billed for the first 12 months, but after that time, you’re essentially paying $220 just to have the card, and this doesn’t include the interest on purchases or other fees. If you only have a $500 limit, that leaves you with minimal spending power—only around $280.
- Other Fees: With the Reflex Card, there is a 5% or $5 cash advance fee, whichever is greater. There is also a late payment fee of up to $40.
- Low Limits: The initial maximum credit limit is only $500, and the total maximum credit limit available with this card is $2000.
- May Require Security Deposit: While the Reflex Card is largely marketed as an option for people with bad credit who don’t want or aren’t able to pay a security deposit, in reality, some applicants may be required to pay a security deposit up to the credit limit they’re offered.
Reflex Card Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the minimum credit score for approval with the Reflex Card?
The Reflex Card doesn’t have a minimum credit score for approval, and you may be approved with bad credit, but at the same time, you might also have to pay a security deposit. If you have fair credit, you might avoid applying for the Reflex card because your credit report will reflect that you applied for a card, and there may be better cards out there for you.
- What do you need to apply for the Reflex Card?
To apply for the Reflex Card, you will need to provide some general information such as your social security number and your date of birth. You’ll also have to provide a physical address and you can’t use a P.O. Box to apply. You also need a checking account to get a Reflex card.
- Can you manage your Reflex account online?
According to the issuer of the Reflex Card, you can enroll in Online Banking, which will let you make a payment on your card, receive online statements, view previous transactions, and view your payment history. You can also view your balance.
- How long does it take to receive a decision once you apply?
After you apply for a Reflex Card, you will often be provided with a decision instantly. However, if the card issuer feels they need more information to make a decision, it could take up to 30 days. If you are approved, you will receive your card by mail within three business days.
- What is the maximum credit limit if you’re approved for a Reflex Card?
When you’re initially approved for a Reflex Card, the maximum credit limit you’ll have access to is $500. After six months of on-time payments, you may get an automatic increase, bringing your credit limit to $1000. The highest available credit limit with the Reflex Card is $2000.
Alternatives to the Reflex Card
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Ashley is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill where she studied journalism. She has worked as a journalist, content creator, and copywriter for nearly a decade, with a focus on personal finance, real estate, and healthcare. She now lives in Knoxville with her husband and young kids. During her free time, she enjoys traveling and enjoying the outdoors in East Tennessee.