Deserve Pro Mastercard Reviews - Ideal Cash Back Cards?
The Deserve Pro Mastercard is a rewards credit card with three different rewards tiers and a free yearly Priority Pass Select membership.
This card is unique because it combines a rewards structure similar to a cash rewards card with a perk most often associated with high-priced travel rewards cards: Priority Pass Select.
The bank issuing the card is Celtic Bank; they have three different Deserve credit cards tailored to varying level of credit scores. The Deserve Pro Mastercard is reserved for those with the best credit scores (700 and above).
In our review of this card, we’ll talk to you about how the card’s rewards work, what its benefits are, the Deserve Pro Mastercard’s rates and fees, and how it compares to other cash rewards cards.
We’ll wrap up with a section on the card’s pros and cons, as well as who we think the card is good for.
Pros: Free Priority Pass Select membership, no annual fee
Cons: Fewer rewards dollars than competing cards, high APR
Estimated Yearly Cash Rewards: $406
|Sign-Up Bonus||Annual Fee||Regular APR|
|Free Priority Pass Select membership||None||17.99% to 24.99%|
|Rewards Rate: 3% on travel/entertainment, 2% on dining, 1% on everything else|
As a rewards card, the Deserve Pro Mastercard will give you a certain amount of cash back for every purchase you make. Deserve calculates the rewards total for each purchase then, at the end of the month, it deposits into your rewards account all the cash you earned.
What sets most rewards cards apart is how you earn those rewards. Travel cards give rewards for travel-related purchases like airlines, transpiration and restaurants. Cash rewards cards tend to give one flat rate for every purchase.
The Deserve Pro Mastercard provides three different rewards rates:
- 3% on travel and entertainment
- 2% on restaurants
- 1% on everything else
This card’s fine print reveals that “travel and entertainment” purchases include the following:
- Car rentals
- General entertainment
The fine print offers no further explanation for the “general entertainment” section but, based on our research and experience, common purchases in this category are museums, tickets to performances, zoos and the like.
We believe you could spend around $3,700 a year in this category, based on spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This would result in 11,100 points, or $110 (one cent per point).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data indicates the average household spends about $3,365 eating out, which is 6,730 points, or $67.30.
The remaining 1% category will earn you 22,935 points, or $229.35 each year.
These three rewards categories combine for around $406 per year in cash back.
Deserve automatically redeems your points in increments of $25, the fine print states. You’ll see these rewards deposits appear as credits on your statement.
In addition to earning rewards on daily spending, you get something called a “sign-up bonus,” which is an incentive the credit card company gives you for spending a certain amount of money in the first three months you own the card.
The Deserve Pro Mastercard will give you a free year of membership in Priority Pass Select, a network of airport lounges to which you get free entrance.
Most credit cards will give you a sum of points or money as a sign-up bonus, so this card is a little different.
Also, while other cards give you complimentary Priority Pass Select for as long as you own the card, the Deserve Pro Mastercard gives you Priority Pass Select for one year. This one-year membership has a cash value of $99, according to the fine print.
In addition to yearly rewards, the Deserve Pro Mastercard provides you a series of benefits you get through Mastercard.
These benefits are helpful if you’re aware of them. Here’s a quick list that we’ll explain afterward:
- Baggage delay
- Extended warranty
- Cell phone insurance
- Car rental insurance
The baggage delay insurance covers you up to a certain amount of money if your bags are late more than 4 hours. You get this benefit only if you bought your plane tickets with your Deserve Platinum Pro. And, in most cases, the maximum daily payout will be $100 for up to three days. This covers the cost of any incidentals you purchase as a result of not having your bags.
The extended warranty benefit will add up to an additional 12 months of warranty on an item’s manufacturer’s warranty.
Your cell phone insurance covers stolen or damaged phones. Your deductible is $50 and you get up to $600 per claim with a maximum of $1,000 in claims per year.
The final benefit is car rental insurance, which covers theft or damage to your rental car. However, keep in mind that this benefit does not cover rentals of more than 15 consecutive days. Also, it doesn’t cover cards that have an MSRP of $50,000.
The following bullet points list this card’s rates and fees. After the list, we’ll talk about how each one of them affects you:
- Interest rate for purchases: 17.99% to 24.99%
- Cash advance/balance transfer fee: N/A
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Late fee: Up to $25
- Returned payment fee: Up to $37
- Annual fee: None
In our opinion, the most important rate on this list is the interest rate for purchases. This is known as an annual percentage rate or “APR.” This is what Deserve will charge you if you don’t pay off your balance every month.
So, if you have a $2,000 balance and you pay off $1,000, Deserve will assess your interest rate on that remaining balance. What your interest rate is depends on your credit scores, credit history and your income.
You won’t know what your rate will be until Deserve approves your application. When they do, you’ll get a single interest rate.
The following chart shows you how much three different interest rates will cost you per year based on five average yearly balances:
|17.99% APR for one year||20.99% APR for one year||24.99% APR for one year|
|$1,000 daily balance||$179.90||$209.90||$249.90|
|$2,000 daily balance||$359.80||$419.80||$499.80|
|$3,000 daily balance||$539.70||$629.70||$749.70|
|$4,000 daily balance||$719.60||$839.60||$999.60|
|$5,000 daily balance||$899.00||$1,049.50||$1,249.50|
The rates you see here are a bit higher than cash back rewards, as we’ll point out in our comparison section.
That’s important, especially since data indicates that if you use credit cards regularly, you’re most likely going to carry a balance.
As you can see, carrying a balance of $2,000 a year with a 20.99% APR will end up costing you more in interest payments than what you earn in cash rewards ($406).
It’s vitally important to pay off your balance every month. If you don’t, your balance could build and build to the point you’re paying nearly or more than $1,000 in interest each year.
Plus, carrying a balance hurts your credit score. The more of your credit limit you’re using, the more your credit scores will drop.
The other thing we want to point out about the rates and fees is that the card does not allow balance transfers or cash advances.
We advise against cash advances because they tend to have high APR’s and a separate fee. However, the absence of a balance transfer can be a drawback if you’re looking for a card that can give you an introductory APR. These intro offers won’t charge you interest on balances you transfer for 21 months, in some cases.
It’s a great tool to avoid interest payments on a balance and pay that balance off quicker.
As you’re looking around for a new credit card, it’s important to look beyond the card’s metrics and compare it to similar cards. This helps you see where the card is weak and strong when placed against competitors:
|Deserve Pro Mastercard||Citi Double Cash||Discover It Cash Back||Bank of America Cash Rewards||Capital One Quicksilver||Chase Freedom Unlimited||Chase Freedom|
|Sign-up bonus||Free Priority Pass Select||None||Match on first-year cash back (avg. of $425)||$200 after $1,000 spend||$150 after $500 spend||Match on first-year cash back up to $20,000 (avg. of $300)||$150 after $500 spend|
|Rewards rate||3%/2%1%||2%||1% with 5% quarterly bonuses||3%/ 2%/ 1%||1.5%||1.5%||1% with 5% quarterly bonuses|
|Yearly rewards on $30K spending||$406||$600||$425||$422||$450||$450||$425|
|Intro APR||None||0% for 18 months on balance transfers||0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers||0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers||0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers||0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers||0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers|
|Permanent APR||17.99% to 24.99%||15.74% to 25.74% (Penalty APR up to 29.99%)||14.24%–25.24%||16.24%–26.24% (Penalty APR up to 29.99%)||16.24%–26.24%||17.24%–25.99%||17.24%–25.99%|
When compared to the leading cash back cards, the Deserve Pro Mastercard falls short across a variety of consumer needs.
For those who are looking for a good up-front bonus, the card’s free one-year Priority Pass Select membership (valued at $99). The Discover it Cash Back matches your first-year rewards, which we value at $425. The Bank of America Cash Rewards has a $200 sign-up bonus.
Plus, all the cards you see in the chart have lower spending requirements to earn their sign-up bonus.
In addition to the card lagging behind in sign-up bonuses, it also falls short with APR. For example, both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver have lower APR’s. They also have the advantage of a 15-month 0% APR period for balance transfers and purchases.
The main advantage this card has over the competition is the Priority Pass Select membership. This is a great perk if you travel often.
However, remember that Priority Pass provides a standard membership for $69, which provides $32 visits. In theory, you could use the intro bonus from the Chase Freedom Unlimited to buy a year-long membership and two lounge visits.
If you’re a frequent traveler, the Deserve Pro Mastercard is the smarter choice. If you only fly once or twice a year, then other cards in the chart may be the smarter choice.
Our research indicates that, as a standalone credit card, the Deserve Pro Mastercard is an attractive choice. There is no annual fee, you get a year of Priority Pass Select for free and there are some nice benefits related to travel.
However, we think that the card’s overall profile lags behind the cards in our comparison chart. The APR is high for a cash back card. This wouldn’t be a problem if the Deserve Pro Mastercard was a travel card because travel cards have similar APR’s.
But, compared to travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier Card, the card’s travel perks are weak. You can’t transfer your points to airline or hotel loyalty programs, nor do you get any free-bag or priority-boarding benefits from airline cards like the United Explorer Card.
Overall, we think the Deserve Pro Mastercard is mediocre, at best. If you want to learn about your other options, take a few minutes to read through our rankings of the best cash rewards credit cards of 2019.
We rank the seven most popular cards, then provide rankings for the best cards for specific situations. It’s an in-depth article that will help you make the smart choice for your financial situation.