The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® is designed for working professionals who haven’t yet established a credit history in the US. If you have a stable income and are looking for a starter credit card that doesn’t require a security deposit, the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® is a good option with reasonable rewards and a few extra perks.
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The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® is one of two Deserve® credit cards available to borrowers without an established credit history. It’s an uncomplicated, accessible card for people newly employed in the US or other professionals who haven’t yet established their credit.
Many credit cards available to borrowers without credit are secured credit cards (meaning they require security deposits to open an account). However, the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card is unsecured. There are also no monthly maintenance fees, account opening fees, or annual fees. These factors make it a low-cost option for credit builders.
The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® offers a rewards rate of 1%–3% and is a decent credit card for international use (as there are no foreign transaction fees and Mastercard is widely accepted). However, rewards are capped, you may be offered a high interest rate (aka APR), and the card lacks some functionality, like cash advances and balance transfers.
Deserve® PRO Mastercard® Important Details
Basic card details
- Credit card issuer: Celtic Bank
- Regular APR: 18.24%–25.24% (variable)
- Annual fee: $0
- Rewards rate: 1%–3%
- Grace period: 23 days
- Occasional promo offers for additional cash back (although Deserve doesn’t give many details about these).
- Free Priority Pass membership for a year (giving you access to airport lounges).
- Cell phone protection up to $600.
- Credit reporting to TransUnion and Experian.
- Cash advances and balance transfers are unavailable.
- Various World Mastercard® Benefits (e.g., fraud protection and travel services).
- iPhone app for account management.
Deserve® PRO Mastercard® Feature Breakdown
Let’s explore some of the most important features of the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card to help you determine if it’s the right fit for your needs:
The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card has no annual or monthly fees. Other possible fees are as follows:
- Late payment fee: Up to $25
- Returned payment fee: Up to $37
- Foreign transaction fee: 0%
If you don’t pay off the balance on your Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card in full each month, your charges will accrue interest.
- Regular APR: 18.24%–25.24% (variable)
- Minimum interest charge: $1
The APR you’re offered within this range will depend on your creditworthiness.
The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card gives you a 23-day grace period (beginning on the first day of the new billing cycle). The grace period allows you time to pay your bills in full without racking up any interest charges.
If you pay your bills in full by the due date, your purchases during the grace period won’t accumulate interest. However, if you carry a balance from previous billing cycles, you’ll have to pay interest on any charges you make to your card in the grace period.
The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card gives you the following cashback rewards:
- 3% on travel (e.g., hotels, car rental, airlines, tourism, and general entertainment)
- 2% on restaurants
- 1% on everything else
However, the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® has rewards caps per billing cycle. In the 3% and 2% categories, the higher rewards rates apply only for up to $500 in combined spending per billing cycle. Once you’ve spent $500 on travel and restaurant purchases, the 1% rate applies for the rest of your spending in those categories for the remainder of the billing cycle.
The following purchases aren’t eligible for cash back:
- Foreign currency or travelers’ checks
- Wire transfers (or similar cash-like transactions)
- Lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, or similar betting transactions
- Interest and fee payments
Once you’ve accumulated cashback rewards from your Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card, you can redeem them as a statement credit (i.e., a credit to your account that gets deducted from your card balance).
Rewards must be redeemed in increments of $25.
If you open a Deserve® PRO Mastercard® account, you’ll get the following perks:
- Priority Pass membership: This is a global membership program that lets you access a network of airport lounges, restaurants, and mini-suites for $27 per visit. You’ll get one year’s free membership (worth $99) when you spend $1,000 on your Deserve® PRO Mastercard® in the first 90 days after you open your credit card account.
- Cellphone insurance: This gives you up to $600 of coverage for your cell phone.
- Mastercard® World benefits: These benefits include fraud and ID theft protection, emergency assistance for lost or stolen cards, travel services, and discounted airport concierge services.
- Other perks: Other offers include a $10 statement credit if you use your card to pay for Lemonade insurance, and a $100 discount when you use your card to subscribe to the furniture rental company Feather.
Cash Advances and Balance Transfers
The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card doesn’t allow cash advances or balance transfers.
Therefore, you won’t be able to use your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM or transfer debts from this card to another (a common method of debt consolidation).
Deserve doesn’t give specific information about its credit limits, so how much you can initially spend on the card is unknown until you qualify. However, Deserve says that credit limit increases are given from time to time.
Credit limit increases are often based on responsible use, so pay your credit card bill on time each month to remain eligible for a higher amount of credit on your Deserve® PRO Mastercard® in the future.
Credit reporting is an important part of building credit, as your credit report is based on the information your lenders send to the credit bureaus. Lenders aren’t legally required to report your credit history, so look for credit cards that advertise credit reporting.
The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card reports to major credit bureaus TransUnion and Experian but not to Equifax. Although this will help you to build credit, cards that report to all three credit bureaus can help you build credit even faster.
If you get a Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card, it’s important to keep up with your monthly payments so that your Experian and TransUnion credit reports don’t reflect irresponsible borrowing.
Credit Score Requirements
You don’t need a credit score or credit history to qualify for a Deserve® PRO Mastercard®. This means that many people who are new to credit are eligible.
Application and Approval
Deserve says that it takes Deserve® PRO Mastercard® applications from professional immigrants who have H1B or L1 visas and can provide paperwork to verify their employment and earnings—as well as from permanent residents and US citizens.
To apply for a Deserve® PRO Mastercard®, you’ll need an invite, which you can request online. If you’re a US citizen or permanent resident with a Green Card, Deserve may ask for your Social Security number and a US bank account to link with your credit card account.
Once you’ve supplied all the required information and documents, Deserve will process your application. You’ll need to wait for up to 3 business days for them to offer you a Deserve® PRO Mastercard® or reject your application.
Managing Your Account
You can manage your Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card account (e.g., making monthly payments) online by going to their website and logging into your account. They also offer an iPhone app, but unfortunately no Android version.
Alternatively, you can mail your payments to the address on your account statement or call customer service.
If you need help with your Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card—including with the status of your application or with a lost or stolen card—the phone number for customer service is (800) 418-2362.
You can also email customer service at [email protected] or send mail correspondence to:
PO Box 57780
Murray, UT 84157
Should You Get the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® Credit Card?
The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card is a good credit card if you’re a foreign professional who wants to build credit in the US. However, it’s a relatively basic card with low monthly caps on rewards above a 1% rate. If you qualify for other credit cards, considering looking for alternatives that offer:
- Introductory 0% APR
- Welcome bonuses (e.g., bonus points or miles)
- Balance transfers and cash advances
- No caps on cashback rewards
- Credit-building tools (e.g., access to free credit scores)
Who is this card for?
- Newly immigrated professionals who want to build credit: If your credit card options are limited by your credit history, the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® is a reasonable card for starting to establish your credit in the US. You can use it to improve your credit score so that you can access better loans and credit cards in future.
- Recent graduates: The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® is also a good way for newly employed professionals to start establishing credit without needing to put down a security deposit.
To determine whether the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® is the right credit card for you, take a look at how it measures up against similar cards on the market.
Deserve® PRO Mastercard® vs. Discover It® Secured Credit Card
The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® credit card and the Discover It® Secured credit card are both available to people with limited credit histories, and both offer cashback programs with no annual fees or foreign transaction fees.
However, unlike the Deserve® PRO Mastercard®, the Discover It® Secured credit card requires a deposit ($200 minimum), with the amount you put down determining your credit limit. The other major disadvantage of the Discover It® Secured card is that it has much less coverage outside the US compared with the Deserve® PRO Mastercard®, which gives you great international coverage.
If these drawbacks aren’t a problem for you, the Discover It® Secured credit card does include a generous welcome bonus, which could make it worth your while to apply: at the end of your first year with the card, Discover doubles whatever cash back you’ve earned.
Deserve® PRO Mastercard® vs. Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card
Like the Deserve® PRO Mastercard®, the Petal® 2 Visa® is a great no-deposit starter card, and the two cards have several features in common:
- Both credit card issuers take your employment and income into account rather than relying on your credit score.
- Both have no annual fees or foreign transaction fees.
- Both have rewards programs.
- Neither offers cash advances or balance transfers.
- Both offer good coverage outside the US (as both Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted internationally).
However, the Petal® 2 Visa® has several advantages:
- No late and returned payment fees.
- More ways to redeem cash back (the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® offers redemption only as statement credits).
- Reporting to all three credit bureaus, meaning faster credit building.
- No need for a Social Security number—just an ITIN (whereas you need an Social Security number for the Deserve® PRO Mastercard®).
Deserve® PRO Mastercard® vs. OpenSky® Secured Visa®
Like the Deserve® PRO Mastercard®, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® does not require a credit check to apply, but does require a Social Security number.
One notable advantage of the OpenSky® Secured Visa® is that it allows cash advances, which the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® does not. If you plan to withdraw money from an ATM using your credit card, consider the OpenSky® Secured Visa® or other cards with cash advance capabilities.
Although it allows cash advances, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® has several notable disadvantages:
- Security deposits: You’ll need to provide a security deposit to get an OpenSky® Secured Visa® (although this can be as little as $200).
- Credit limits: The OpenSky® Secured Visa® will give you a credit limit equivalent to the security deposit you pay. This means that, even to get a relatively small credit limit of $1,000, you’d have to deposit $1,000.
- Cashback rewards: The OpenSky® Secured Visa® doesn’t give you rewards, whereas the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® does.
- Fees: The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® has a $35 annual fee plus foreign transaction fees.
- Perks: The Deserve® PRO Mastercard® welcomes new cardholders with free cell phone insurance and Priority Pass membership. The OpenSky® Secured Visa® doesn’t give you any such perks.
Because of these features, for most people, the Deserve® PRO Mastercard® will be a better bet than the OpenSky® Secured Visa®.