About Deserve Pro Mastercard

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Published on: Sep 27, 2018

The Deserve Pro Mastercard is a cash-back rewards credit card that provides three different ways to earn rewards and has a credit limit of up to $10,000.

Deserve is a relatively new credit card issuer who works with Celtic Bank, a financial institution based in Salt Lake City who typically lends to small businesses but also works with companies like Deserve to provide credit cards.

The two companies have combined to offer a credit card that has some substantial rewards that can rival some of the top credit cards in the cash back world.

In this review, we’re going to cover the card’s rewards, some of the benefits you get with it and the rates and fees you can expect. We’ll also provide a comparison of this card’s rewards to other popular cash back cards.

After that, we’ll provide some basic thoughts about the card’s pros and cons.

The Deserve Pro Mastercard’s Rewards

This credit card has three different levels of rewards depending on what type of purchases you make:

3x Cash Back on Travel & Entertainment: $132 per year

You’ll earn 3% on any travel an entertainment purchases you make. According to the card’s fine print, the following purchases qualify as travel and entertainment:

  • Hotels
  • Car rentals
  • Airlines
  • Tourism
  • General entertainment

The travel purchases listed are just part of the overall category. In most cases, parking, tolls and public transportation are included, too. As far as entertainment goes, Deserve’s fine print doesn’t go into detail.

However, there are other credit cards that give entertainment bonuses. For example, the Marvel Mastercard has an entertainment bonus that includes the following types of purchases:

  • Movie theatres
  • Video rentals
  • Game stores
  • Theater and concert performances
  • Amusement parks
  • Digital entertainment
  • Games and software
  • Music
  • Books
  • Toys

We can’t guarantee that these categories will earn you the triple-point bonus that entertainment purchases, but this list gives you an idea of what qualifies as an entertainment purchase.

Based on our calculations, we think that the 3x bonus on travel and entertainment purchases can earn the average household about $132 a year.

2x Cash Back on Restaurants: $62 per year

The second bonus category you have is 2% cash back on restaurant purchases. This category of bonus includes purchases you make at sit-down restaurants, fast food and cafes. However, bars are excluded from the bonus, the card’s fine print says.

Based on our research of household spending habits, we believe that you can earn $62 a year in this category.

1% Cash Back on Everything Back on Everything Else: $175

Any purchases that are not classified as travel, entertainment or restaurants, will earn 1% cash back. We believe that this category can earn you around $175 a year.

When you add this category up with the two other categories from which you get bonuses, we estimate that you can earn $369 in cash rewards if you can spend at least:

  • $2,900 on entertainment
  • $3,100 on restaurants
  • $1,500 on travel
  • $17,500 on everything else

When you compare the yearly rewards you get with this card to other cards, the rewards don't’ really stack up. The Citi Double Cash can earn you $500 a year and the Chase Freedom Unlimited can get you $375 a year.

The reason these cards earn more is that they use a single cash back rate for all purchases, which ends up earning you more in rewards than having a base 1% rewards rate with 2% and 3% bonuses.

Pro tip: The card’s fine print says that Deserve automatically deposits your cash rewards into your credit card account once your rewards balance hits $25.

The Benefits of the Deserve Pro Mastercard

Along with the cash rewards we listed above, the Deserve Pro has a series of benefits that come with being a part of the Mastercard network. Here are a few of the more pertinent ones:

  • Cell phone insurance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Price protection
  • Extended warranty

When we say these are the “pertinent” benefits, what we mean is that they’re the ones you’ll most likely use (there are a couple of other less-used benefits, too).

You can read about the details of all these benefits in the guide you get with your credit card. For now, we’ll talk about the cell phone insurance because that one applies to nearly everyone.

The insurance you get with your Deserve Pro allows for two claims per year, with up to $600 paid out per claim.

In order to get that claim approved, the following things have to happen to your phone:

  • Stolen
  • Damaged

If your phone is stolen, in order to file a claim, you’ll need to file a police report within 48 hours of the theft, Mastercard says.

If your phone is damaged, then you need to provide a repair estimate along with your claim.

You’ll also have to pay a deductible whenever you make a claim, which usually costs $25.

Finally, you can only file a claim for the phone if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Deserve Pro Mastercard.

The Deserve Pro Mastercard’s Rates and Fees

The rates and fees of a credit are sort of the opposite of the rewards and benefits. Interest rates and fees pull money out of your wallet, while rewards and benefits put money back in your wallet.

Here is a list of the Pro Mastercard’s rates and fees:

  • APR: 17.99% to 24.99%
  • Late fee: Up to $25
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $37

The card’s 17.99% low APR is considerably higher than other cash back cards. For example, the Discover it’s lowest APR is 14.74%, the Citi Double Cash’s lowest APR is 15.24% and the Freedom Unlimited’s lowest APR is 16.74%.

The card’s late fees are lower than the competition and its returned payment fee is standard.

Unlike the other cards we’ve mentioned, the Deserve Pro does not allow balance transfers or cash advances.

How the Deserve Pro Mastercard Compares to Other Cash Back Cards

An important part of deciding if a credit card is right for you is comparing the card to other similar cards to see how the yearly rewards stack up against the competition. In the table below, we’ve compared the Deserve Pro to three other cash cards based on five features shared by most cash rewards cards.

Deserve Pro Double Cash Freedom Unlimited Discover it Cash
Yearly Rewards $369 $500 $375 $375
Sign-Up Bonus $0 $0 $150 $150
0% APR None 18 months (balance transfers) 15 months 14 months
Annual Fee None None None None
APR 17.99% - 24.99% 15.24% - 25.24% 16.74% - 25.49% 13.74% - 24.74%

This comparison reveals three main flaws of the Deserve Pro. First, the card’s yearly rewards total is less than what you’ll get with the Double Cash, Freedom Unlimited and the Discover it Cash card.

Now, you can bump up your rewards total each year if you spend more than $1,500 a year in travel, for example. If you spend $2,000 a year, then you yearly rewards total goes up to $384.

The second weakness of the card is that you don’t get a sign-up bonus. The Double Cash doesn’t have one, either, but that card’s 2% rewards rate for all purchases makes it more valuable over the course of one year than the Deserve Pro.

Finally, the card’s lowest APR is at least a full 1% higher than the next closest card and more than 3% higher than the Discover card. And, the card doesn’t offer an introductory 0% APR, whereas the Discover it and Freedom Unlimited give you 14 and 15 months, respectively, with 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

In our opinion, the other cards in this list offer better rewards rates and interest rates than the Deserve Pro and, therefore, make them a better choice.

Pros and Cons of the Deserve Pro Mastercard

Based on our research, we believe the strength of the Deserve Pro is the fact that you can earn 3% on travel and entertainment purchases. Without them, this would be a below-average rewards card, simply because you wouldn’t earn that many rewards without it.

We also like that the late fee maxes out at $20, whereas other cards have late fees between $35 and $38.

However, the card’s drawbacks are numerous. It does not offer a sign-up bonus and it doesn’t have the yearly rewards rate to balance out the lack of a bonus. Also, you can’t make any balance transfers with this card.

Another weakness is that the card has no introductory 0% offer. These types of offers can be used to transfer high-interest balance from other credit cards, a move that could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year depending on what your interest rate is.

In our opinion, we think this is the ideal credit card for someone who spends at least $2,000 a year on travel, more than $3,500 on entertainment, and more than $3,500 on restaurants every year. Doing so will earn you around $395 in rewards each year, which make the card more valuable than the Freedom Unlimited and Discover it.

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