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The Reflex Mastercard® is an unsecured credit card with an initial credit limit of $300–$1,000. Although it’s geared towards people who want to build credit, it doesn’t require a security deposit as many similar cards do. However, it has expensive annual fees of $75–$99, monthly fees on some accounts, and a high APR.
Unlike many credit cards for bad credit, the Reflex Mastercard® credit card is unsecured. This means you don’t have to put down a security deposit, and your credit line doesn’t depend on the deposit you pay.
This credit card gives you an initial credit line of $300–$1,000. You can then double your credit limit if you make six on-time payments, meaning you could have a credit limit as high as $2,000 after 6 months.
This might sound like a good deal, but the card isn’t worth it overall. The Reflex Mastercard® has annual and monthly fees totaling $75–$219, and the APR is very high at 24.99%–29.99%, so you’ll rack up interest charges if you don’t pay off your balance at the end of each month.
Although the Reflex Mastercard® reports credit activity to all three major credit bureaus, making it a viable option for building credit, it’s still an overly expensive card with minimal benefits. There are much better offers on the credit card market, even for bad-credit borrowers, so shop around before you commit to the Reflex Mastercard®.
Reflex Mastercard® Important Details
Basic Card Details
- Credit card issuer: Celtic Bank
- Credit card servicer: Continental Finance
- Regular APR: 24.99%–29.99% (variable)
- Annual fee: $75–$99 for the first year; $99 after that
- Monthly maintenance fee: $0 for the first year; $0–$10 per month ($0–$120 per year) after that
- Security deposit: N/A
- Grace period: 25 days
- Initial credit limit: $300–$1,000
- Credit limit increases available up to $2,000.
- Double your initial credit limit by making on-time payments for the first 6 months.
- Cash advances are available.
- Foreign transactions are available.
- Balance transfers are not available.
- $30 fee for additional cards.
- Credit reporting to three credit bureaus.
- Free credit scores for account holders.
- Mastercard® zero liability protection.
- Option to join the Continental Credit Protection program (which cancels some or all of your debt if you lose your job, become disabled, or pass away).
Reflex Mastercard® Feature Breakdown
In this section, we’ll look at some of the most important features of the Reflex Mastercard® credit card to see how it compares with other cards for less-than-perfect credit holders.
- Annual fee: $75–$99 for the first year; $99 after that
- Monthly fee: $0 for the first year; $0–$10 per month ($120 per year) after that
- Cash advance fee: $5 or 5% (whichever is greater)
- Foreign transaction fee: 0%–3% (depending on your creditworthiness)
- Late payment fee: Up to $41
- Returned payment fee: Up to $41
- Additional card fee: $30 (one-time fee for adding an authorized user to your account)
Exorbitant fees are the greatest downside of the Reflex credit card. Given how much the card charges in fees, there aren’t enough benefits to justify the expense. While many cards for bad credit or no credit come with high APR and an annual fee, don’t settle for such an expensive card before researching other options.
- Regular APR: 24.99%–29.99% (variable)
- Cash advance APR: 24.99%–29.99% (variable)
- Minimum interest charge: None
The Reflex Mastercard® credit card gives you a 25-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 off your balance 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 during the grace period.
The Reflex Mastercard® credit card doesn’t give you any rewards.
Generally, rewards cards aren’t available to applicants with poor credit or limited credit histories. However, cards that offer cash back and rewards points do exist for borrowers with lower credit scores. So if rewards are important to you, keep looking around to find an accessible cad that offers them.
In terms of benefits, the Reflex Mastercard® credit card offers the standard credit card fare of $0 fraud liability protection and free access to your VantageScore 3.0 credit score from Experian when you sign up for e-statements.
In addition, you can choose to join the Continental Credit Protection program by paying $0.99 for every $100 you have in debt. This program allows you to cancel some of your debt if you lose your job or become disabled (in which case the program will cover up to 12 consecutive minimum monthly payments for you).
If you pass away, the program will also pay off in full any outstanding balance you have on your card.
A cash advance is when you use your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM. Cash advances are allowed on the Reflex Mastercard® credit card, but only after the account has been open for 95 days.
The cash advance fee is either $5 or 5% of the amount of each advance—whichever is greater. The cash advance APR is the same as the purchase APR at 24.99%–29.99%, but doesn’t feature a no-interest grace period.
A balance transfer is when you move debt from one credit card to another (which is a common form of debt consolidation). The Reflex Mastercard® doesn’t offer balance transfers, so look for other cards if you need to move balances between credit accounts.
Initially, the Reflex Mastercard® will give you a credit limit of $300–$1,000. However, the card issuer will also take your annual fee from your credit limit. That means when you first receive your Reflex Mastercard®, if you get an initial credit limit of $500 (for example), you’ll have just $401–$425 available in your initial credit line (or even less if you get an extra card for someone else).
Credit Limit Increases
The Reflex Mastercard® website says that you can double your credit limit after 6 months by making the first six monthly minimum payments on time.
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; some lenders only report to one or two of the major credit bureaus, if any. Fortunately, the Reflex Mastercard® reports to all three credit bureaus, helping you to improve your credit score quickly.
Because the Reflex Mastercard® reports to all three credit bureaus, it’s an adequate card for credit building. However, you need to keep up with your monthly payments to benefit your credit score; your credit will suffer if you make late payments or miss paying your bills altogether.
Credit Score Requirements
Continental Finance has the Reflex Mastercard® credit card listed as a card for people with bad credit. FICO scores under 580 are considered to be “bad” or “poor,” so even if your score is lower than this, you may still be eligible for the card. 1
Application and Approval
You can apply for a Reflex Mastercard® credit card:
- By calling (866) 513-4598
- By first prequalifying online
- By returning the acceptance certificate you got with a pre-selected offer in the mail
When you apply, you’ll have to give the following information:
- Your full name
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
- Your address (no P.O. boxes)
The credit card issuer will use this data to check your credit. They’ll then use the information from the credit check along with other information (e.g., your monthly income) to decide whether they’ll approve your application and, if so, which borrowing terms they’ll offer you.
In most cases, according to Celtic Bank, you should get an instant decision on your application. However, some applicants may have to provide additional information to help with the decision, in which case the application could take up to 30 days.
Once Reflex Mastercard® approves your application, your new card should be in the mail within 3 business days.
Managing Your Account
You can log in to your Reflex Mastercard® credit card account online to:
- Make a payment
- View previous statements
- View recent transactions
- View payment history
- View your balance and other important credit info
- Enroll for online credit card statements
You can also call (866) 449-4514 to hear automated information about your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
As well as making payments online, you can pay:
- Over the phone: To make a phone payment, call (800) 518-6142 from 7 am to 12 am on weekdays, or 8 am to 8 pm on weekends (EST).
- By mail: You can send payments by mailing them to the address listed on your monthly billing statement.
If you need help with your Reflex Mastercard® credit card, you can call customer service at (866) 449-4514. They’re available 7 am to 12 am on weekdays or 8 am to 8 pm on weekends (EST).
For general inquiries and correspondence, you can also write to:
P.O. Box 3220
Buffalo, NY 14240-3220
Lost or Stolen Cards
If your Reflex Mastercard® credit card is lost or stolen, call (800) 556-5678 to report it.
Should You Get the Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card?
Compared with many similar cards for credit building, the Reflex Mastercard® offers a reasonably good maximum initial credit line. However, it has very high fees and APR, no rewards, and minimal benefits. You’ll likely be able to find much better cards even if you have bad or limited credit, so the Reflex Mastercard® is worth considering only if you’ve run out of other options.
Before you apply for the Reflex Mastercard®, check out some other credit cards available for lower credit score ranges, including:
Keep in mind that secured cards require a security deposit, and this often determines your initial credit limit. While secured cards can sometimes be more expensive than the Reflex Mastercard® in the short term, if you can find ones without annual fees, they will likely cost less in the long term if they don’t have annual or monthly fees.
Who is this card for?
- Low credit score holders who can’t afford a deposit: If you need a credit card as a way to get a short-term loan, the Reflex Mastercard® credit card is one solution (albeit probably not the best one). Your annual fee will come from your credit line, so you won’t have to pay anything until your first monthly bill. If you’re having cash flow problems now but anticipate having more funds in the near future, you might consider this card.
- Holders of lower credit scores who want a credit boost: One advantage of the Reflex Mastercard® credit card is that it’s accessible for people with bad credit. If you’re a bad credit holder who has been rejected for other cards, you may still qualify for the Reflex Mastercard®, so you can use it to start building your credit score by paying your monthly bills in a timely manner. Once you boost your credit score, you’ll then be eligible for better credit cards.
To decide whether the Reflex Mastercard® credit card is right for you, take a look at how it measures up against other cards for low credit scores.
Reflex Mastercard® vs. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Both the Reflex Mastercard® and the Capital One Platinum Secured credit card are designed for building or rebuilding credit. However, whereas the Reflex Mastercard® is unsecured, the Capital One Platinum Secured card is secured, so it requires a deposit paid upfront.
The minimum deposit for the Capital One Platinum Secured credit card is $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit history. The Reflex Mastercard®, on the other hand, charges an annual fee of $75–$99 in the first year. But whereas security deposits are one-time and refundable, annual fees are never refunded and continue to be charged year after year.
Moreover, the Capital One Platinum Secured has several notable advantages over the Reflex Mastercard®:
- No annual fee
- No monthly fee
- No foreign transaction fees (whereas the Reflex Mastercard® normally has foreign transaction fees)
- Flexible due dates
- Balance transfers are available
The Capital One Platinum Secured card charges much less in fees and even lets you upgrade to an unsecured credit card if you use your credit responsibly. If you’re upgraded to an unsecured card, you’ll get your deposit back.
We recommend seeing if you’re pre-approved for the Capital One Platinum Secured credit card before applying for a Reflex Mastercard®.
Reflex Mastercard® vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
If you’re looking to build credit and are willing to pay a security deposit, we highly recommend the Discover it® Secured credit card as an alternative to the Reflex Mastercard®. Both cards are suitable for bad credit and report to the three major credit bureaus.
Apart from the fact that the Discover it® Secured card requires a deposit, there are a few important distinctions between the Discover it® Secured credit card and the Reflex Mastercard®:
- The Discover it® Secured card’s initial credit limit depends on how much you pay for your security deposit (with a minimum deposit of $200).
- The Discover it® Secured card has a lower variable APR (23.24%).
- The Discover it® Secured card doesn’t charge annual or monthly fees.
- The Discover it® Secured card offers cashback rewards.
The major appeal of the Reflex Mastercard® credit card is that, compared with the Discover it® Secured credit card, you’ll pay less money upfront. However, although this might be nice in the short term, the Discover it® Secured card will give you a much better deal in the long run, including money back through rewards.
Reflex Mastercard® vs. Aspire® Credit Card
The Aspire® Credit Card is another unsecured credit card for people who need to improve their credit scores. It has many features in common with the Reflex Mastercard®, like:
- No deposits required
- An initial credit limit of up to $1,000
- No fees for account opening or credit limit increases
- The ability to make foreign transactions
- The ability to do cash advances (with 5% transaction fees)
- No monthly fees in the first year
However, there are also important differences between the two cards:
- The Reflex Mastercard® has a high APR of 24.99%–29.99%; the Aspire® Credit Card sometimes has an even higher rate (although this ranges from 22.74%–36%, depending on your creditworthiness, so it could also be lower).
- The Aspire® Credit Card has foreign transaction fees of 3%, whereas the fees are potentially lower for the Reflex Mastercard® (at 0%–3%, depending on your creditworthiness).
- The Aspire® Credit Card allows balance transfers, whereas the Reflex Mastercard® does not.
The annual fees and monthly fees for the two cards are also a bit different:
- The annual fees for the Reflex Mastercard® are $75–$99 in the first year; for the Aspire® Credit Card, they may be even higher at $49–$175 in the first year (although they may also be lower).
- The Aspire® Credit Card charges much lower annual fees ($0–$49) after the first year than the Reflex Mastercard® ($99).
- After the first year, the Reflex Mastercard® has maintenance fees of $0–$10 per month (or $0–$120 per year), whereas the Aspire® Credit Card has potentially even higher monthly fees of $5–$12.50 ($60–$159 per year).
The total annual and monthly fees for these cards will likely be similar: in the first year, you’ll pay $49–$175 for the Aspire® Credit Card and $75–$99 for the Reflex Mastercard®; after the first year, the Aspire® Credit Card could be cheaper, at $60–$208 a year, than the Reflex Mastercard® (with annual and monthly fees totaling $99–$219 per year). However, you won’t find out the exact fees you’ll pay for each card until you apply.
In terms of fees and in general, these two credit cards are similarly unfavorable. As such, we recommend that you avoid them both altogether and look elsewhere for better deals.