The Mercury Credit Card or Mastercard is issued by First Bank & Trust. The card was created a few years back when Barclays sold about $1.6 Billion in “risky” credit card balances to CreditShop, who then created the Mercury Card.
Despite all the uncertainty surrounding this interesting credit card, one thing is known – it’s a good no annual fee card for building your credit.
Mercury Credit Card Key Specs:
Regular APR: 25.65% to 28.65% at the time of publishing this review (variable)
Initial Credit Limit: Varies
Credit Reporting: Reports to all three major credit bureaus
Fraud Liability: $0 fraud liability and protection
Annual Fee: $0
Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
Late Payment Fee: Up to $38
Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 4% of the amount of balance transfers, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of cash advances, whichever is greater
Sign-Up Bonus: Unknown – assumed to be $0
Rewards: Unknown – some users state there are rewards, others don’t
Credit Card Application: You can only apply with an invitation and reservation code
Customer Service: Per their website, cardholders can call 866-686-2158 for Mercury customer service agents to assist them 24/7
As previously mentioned, this card is best for someone with a fair credit score, which is a step above very poor credit (bad credit) and no credit. At least, from what we can gather, it seems like people with fair scores are getting the ones getting sign-up codes to apply.
Since this card has no annual fee, it can be a good option to build your credit score from fair to good, and hopefully even higher. Specifically, there are three components of your credit score that this card can help build:
You don’t have to worry about canceling this card since there is no annual fee, which builds your credit history
You will get an additional credit limit with this card, helping to lower your credit utilization
If you make your credit card payments on time and in full every month, as you should, it will help build your payment history.
Mercury Card Pros
No Annual Fee: The Mercury Credit Card and Mastercard offer no annual fee, making it a great low-cost card to help build credit in the long run.
Multiple Smaller Perks: Mercury cardholders receive other perks as table-stakes for a mid-tier credit card:
Free FICO Score: You can also check your score for free with Credit Karma, or you can get a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. This is a nice thing for a card to offer, but not a game changer.
Fraud Protection: This is an awesome perk to protect against credit card fraud, but is standard with most cards these days.
Mobile App: They have a mobile app, but again, an app isn’t groundbreaking and it’s another feature that is commonplace with most credit cards.
Merchant Acceptance: Most merchants accept Mastercards nationwide.
High Interest: The Mercury Credit Card has a relatively high interest rate, or APR (annual percentage rate). At least, it’s a higher interest rate than most similar cards.
Foreign Transaction Fee: If you’re not traveling internationally, the 3% foreign transaction fee won’t matter to you. However, the 3% fee will add up for someone who is planning to use this card abroad.
Sign-Up Code Required: Even if you are interested in the Mercury Card, you cannot just go out and apply for it. Remember, it’s the most exclusive mid-tier credit card out there. You need to wait for Mercury to select you to even get the opportunity to apply.
Difficult to Find Information: Last, and most importantly, this card is too mysterious for my liking. The cardholder agreement available online is vague, leaving out crucial pieces of information, like whether or not they have a rewards program.
The Mercury Credit Card is a fine card for someone with fair credit who wants to improve their credit score. Also, it seems as though their pre-approved offers and sign-up codes are not exactly as good as they sound. Some people reported getting denied for the card after supposedly being pre-approved – which dings your credit in the short term.