About Deserve Classic Mastercard

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff Published on: Nov 2, 2017

The Deserve Classic is a credit card designed especially for consumers with low credit who don’t want a card that requires a security deposit or a co-signer.

The Classic is the base level credit card in the Deserve MasterCard line, which includes two other credit cards that are pitched as a step up in features and rewards compared to the Classic.

Now, if you’re struggling with low credit scores or you’re a credit invisible (no credit score at all), the credit card world can be a little harsh. Credit card issuers know that you’re in a tight spot and, rather than giving you cards that have value, they tend to give you cards with annual fees and other fees.

Their thinking is that you’re a bit of a risk since you don’t have a good credit history or any credit history. So, they want to take a little cash from you every year to make sure they’re good to go just in case you don’t pay your bill.

In that sense, cards like the Deserve Classic are a little frustrating because it seems like they’re more concerned about getting your money than they are about giving you money.

As annoying as that is, it’s how the credit card game is played. And here’s the key: You can win. It might take you a few months or years to build your credit scores, but you can have success as long as you pay your bill on time every month.

Doing so proves to credit card issuers that you’re responsible and, as in the case of the Deserve cards, can get you an upgrade to a credit card that gives you rewards.

In this review, we’re going to explain what the Deserve Classic offers so that you can understand what you’re getting yourself into and, hopefully, set you down a path that leads to credit cards with better rewards and features.

Pro tip: The credit limit on this card goes up to $1,500.

The Deserve Classic’s Rates and Fees

In our opinion, a credit card’s rates and fees are one of its most important features, but that importance is even more elevated when we’re talking about credit cards for low or no credit. Why? Because this is the way, as we mentioned earlier, credit card issuers get cash up-front to ward off the risk that you might not pay your balance.

The goal here is to help you know what you’re getting into so that you’re aware of the cost of owning a card – the real cost:

  • APR: 23.99%
  • Deposit: None
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Annual fee: $39
  • Late payment fee: Up to $25
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $37

The Deserve Classic’s fee structure is, based on our research of multiple cards for people with low or no credit, one of the best.

The reason we say this is that the card’s annual fee is reasonable, the APR is average for cards of this type, the late fee is lower than normal and you get your first late fee waived.

Balance transfers and cash advances aren’t available on this card which, in our opinion, is a good thing because it really limits your spending to day-to-day purchases. Cash advances come with high APR’s and, along with balance transfers, could induce you to increase your balance to the point where you can pay all of it every month.

When that happens, you’ll end up paying interest on your purchases until your entire balance goes down to $0. The 23.99% is average for these types of cards but, compared to cards for people with excellent credit, are super high.

The Deserve Classic’s Rewards

“Rewards” is a term we use to describe something that a credit card gives you for spending money. For example, many of the best cash rewards cards give you a cash bonus if you can spend $500 in the first three months of owning the card.

These same cards give you a percentage of cash back every time you make a purchase. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

We’re telling you this for two reasons. First, to show you what the industry standard is for rewards. Second, to show you what’s possible because the Deserve Classic doesn’t offer any rewards.

Yes, it’s disappointing, but it’s a common omission with credit cards designed for people with low or no credit.

Just to give you an idea of what’s possible within the Deserve line, the Deserve Edu has a 1% cash back rate and the Deserve Pro offers 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, 2% back on restaurants and 1% cash back on everything else.

Don’t get discouraged – credit takes time to build and one day you’ll move up from a card with no rewards.

The Deserve Classic’s Benefits

Rewards and benefits are pretty much what makes a card worth your time or worth a goodbye. While the Deserve Classic doesn’t have anything in the way of rewards, it does have a surprisingly good set of benefits available through the MasterCard Platinum benefits program.

Rental Car Insurance

A common benefit among credit cards, the Deserve Classic’s rental car insurance is technically known as “collision damage waiver”, or CDW. This is a complimentary service in which MasterCard’s insurance company will cover any rental car you rent with your Deserve card.

When you’re getting the car online or in person, be sure to waive the insurance offered by the rental agency.

This benefit is good for a car rental of 15 consecutive days. Anything over that won’t be covered, though, nor will cars with an MSRP of $50,000 or higher.

Price Protection

One of the lesser-known benefits of the MasterCard program is price protection. So, let’s say you use your Deserve Classic to buy a TV and two weeks later it goes down in price.

You can fill out a claim form with evidence of the new price and the receipt from your old purchase and, if everything checks out, you’ll be reimbursed by MasterCard’s insurance company for the difference in price.

Remember, though, this only applies to purchases you make with your Deserve card.

Extended Warranty

Nearly every item you buy comes with some sort of warranty.

The MasterCard extended warranty program matches the warranty of items you purchase up to a certain limit. The Deserve Classic covers up to one additional year of an item’s warranty.

So, if you buy something with a one-year warranty, you’ll get another year added to it. If the warranty is six months, you get an extra six months.

However, if the item’s manufacturer’s warranty is longer than a year, you won’t get any extended warranty.

ID Theft Protection

If someone steals your credit card information and uses it to make purchases, you won’t be liable purchases if you report them to MasterCard within a reasonable amount of time.

This is different than debit cards, which make you liable for a modest portion of what’s fraudulently bought.

Public Opinion About the Deserve Classic Mastercard

There aren’t many reviews of the Deserve Classic and we think that’s a shame, particularly because this card provides a very strong set of features, benefits and fees as compared to some of the card’s we ranked in our article on the best credit cards for people with bad credit.

The annual fee is lower than many of its competitors and the lack of a foreign transaction fee is a big plus. Also, the benefits package this card offers is among the best in the world of credit cards for people with low or no credit.

Pros of the Deserve Classic Mastercard

This credit card’s strengths are its low annual fee, the waiver on the first late payment and the fact that you get all the benefits that come with the MasterCard Platinum program.

We’d also like to point out that the card has no foreign transaction fee and that its late fees are among the lowest not just among cards for people with low credit scores, but among all credit cards.

We also like how this card doesn’t require a deposit that many secured credit cards do, meaning you won’t have to front money from your own pocket in order to open the account.

Cons of the Deserve Classic Mastercard

This credit card’s lack of a rewards program is really what keeps it from being the hands-down best credit card in the low-credit or no-credit category. The Discover it Secured sets a very high bar with its 2% cash back on gas and restaurant purchases and 1% on everything else.

Who This Card Is Good For

Based on our research, we believe this credit card is an excellent fit if you have no or low credit and not enough money to make the $200-$300 deposit required to open certain secured credit cards.

This card is also a good fit for someone who travels outside of the United States a lot while rebuilding their credit; the Classic’s lack of a foreign transaction fee means you won’t be paying a percentage to MasterCard every time you buy something abroad.

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