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Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® Review: Fees, Fees, More Fees

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® review
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® aims to serve people with low credit scores and/or limited credit history.
  • What we think: The Reflex Platinum Mastercard is an option if you can’t get approved with another credit card and want to build credit, but with the high annual fee, high APR and no rewards, you’ll be losing money in the long run even if you pay the statement balance off monthly.
  • It has some pros, like reporting to all three credit bureaus, so you can build credit.
  • Cons include high APR (35.90% fixed), lots of fees and a relatively low initial credit limit.
  • You may be better off with secured credit cards that help build credit but have lower (or no) fees.
SUMMARY

The sometimes bitter truth about credit is that you have to have some to get some. This can be a major hurdle for young adults or individuals looking for a financial rebirth, but the good news is that help is available in the form of the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®.

The Reflex credit card caters to people with less-than-ideal credit.

Perhaps you’re looking for a starter credit card to establish credit for the first time. Or maybe you spaced on payments in the past, were sent to collections, and are now looking to rebuild your credit.

The Reflex Mastercard might help you turn your financial woes around, but there are some major caveats requiring your attention before you apply and activate.

In this Reflex credit card review, we’ll look at some big questions and important topics, including:

  • Reflex Platinum Mastercard review: Is it worth it?
  • How does the Reflex Platinum Mastercard compare?
  • Is the Reflex Platinum Mastercard right for me?
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can qualify with limited credit
  • Helps build credit with responsible use
  • No security deposit needed

Cons

  • No rewards
  • High APR
  • High annual fee
Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®
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Key Information
No rewards. Has a higher credit limit available than some cards in its category. $75-$125 annual fee.

Is the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® worth it?

With a credit limit of up to $1,000, the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® can be a tempting option if your credit score is too low for you to qualify for a more traditional, lower-APR card. But there are pitfalls galore, and if you’re not careful, you could end up in a worse spot than where you started.

The biggest concerns are the high APR and mandatory monthly maintenance fees. An interest rate of 35.90% is well above the national average, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything much lower until your credit improves.

The big catch, though, is that maintenance fee. A standard charge of $150, delivered at $12.50 per month, means you can spend absolutely nothing and still end up with a balance at the end of each cycle. You’ll need to pay that off or face mounting interest charges.

The bottom line is that this credit card can be useful if you’re not eligible for much else and need a credit card to build credit.

To get the full picture, check out these pros and cons.

  • Open to applicants with poor/limited credit history
  • Reports to three major credit bureaus, so it can help you build your credit
  • Cardholders can access their Vantage 3.0 score through Experian once they sign up for e-statements
  • Application process is quick and easy
  • Card can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted
  • High annual fee
  • High APR
  • Relatively low initial credit limit
  • You must have a checking account
  • There’s a $30 fee for each additional user/card

Learn more about the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® benefits

The biggest benefit of the Reflex card is that you’ll have an opportunity to rebuild or establish your credit. Many credit cards with stellar terms, shiny perks and bountiful reward programs are only truly available to people who already have great credit. Sure, you’d like to pay nothing for the card and have interest rates in the single digits just like everyone else. But that’s not realistic for those with poor or fair credit scores, which according to The Ascent, is 25% of Americans.

With this Reflex card, you can spend and pay off small amounts every month to prove that you’re creditworthy. Because Reflex reports to all three major credit bureaus, those on-time payments will form a paper trail. If you avoid other sources of debt and keep your spending under control, over time you should see your credit score rise. Ultimately, that will make you eligible for more cards — including those shiny rewards deals that help you score free trips and visits to those swanky airport lounges.

Other key benefits include:

1

Qualify with limited or no credit history.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never had a credit card before or you’ve made some mistakes and have a credit score hovering around 600. This card is made with you in mind, so you can still apply and are even likely to be approved.

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2

The card doesn’t require a security deposit.

Many credit-building cards are secured credit cards. You must make a deposit to open an account, and your credit limit is equal to that deposit. You won’t have to do that with Reflex, which is a perk if you don’t have the extra cash to invest yet.

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3

It reports to the three main credit bureaus.

Credit cards only help your credit score if your payments are reported to the bureaus responsible for tracking credit. Reflex reports to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, putting you in the best position to raise your profile.

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4

You can access your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian.

Once you activate your Reflex card and sign up for e-statements, you’ll be eligible to keep tabs on your credit score.

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Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® rewards

As a credit-building credit card, the Reflex Platinum Mastercard is pretty bare-bones in the rewards department. You won’t get any points for booking travel or buying dinner. In fact, there are no points at all, and there’s no welcome bonus either. Instead, your reward is building up your credit — assuming you spend correctly and pay on time, of course.

Fees, rates & limit

The most important aspects of a low-credit credit card are the fee table, rate schedule and credit limits. These factors are how you’ll determine whether the card fits into your overall financial picture and how the Reflex Mastercard stacks up against similar credit-building credit cards.

Fees

Fee type Fee amount
Annual fee $75-$125
Monthly maintenance fee Up to $150 annually, billed at $12.50/month
Additional card fee $30
Foreign transaction fee 3% per transaction (charged in U.S. dollars)
Cash advance fee 3% of the transaction, or a minimum of $10
Balance transfer N/A (card does not allow balance transfers)
Penalty APR N/A

Interest rates

The Reflex Platinum Mastercard comes with an ongoing interest rate of 35.90% fixed APR. This rate also applies to cash advances.

According to the Federal Reserve, the average interest rate for credit cards in the United States is 22.75% variable APR as of Novemeber 2023. The Reflex rate of over 35% is much higher than the national average, but that’s par for the course when you’re talking about a credit card intended for those with low credit. The better your credit score becomes, the easier it will be to access credit cards with more attractive interest rates.

Here’s a quick snapshot of Reflex Platinum Mastercard interest rates:

Credit limit

The Reflex card’s status as a potential credit-building tool for people just establishing or looking to repair their finances means you won’t get sky-high limits. Instead, Reflex offers an initial credit limit of $300 or $1,000. The limit you’re offered upon application approval depends on several factors, including your credit score and existing income-to-debt ratio.

The good news is that you do have the opportunity to increase your credit limit. If you make your first six monthly minimum payments on time — no skipping, no paying less than the minimum amount required — the upper limit of credit availability could double. That translates to a possible credit limit of $2,000.

How the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® compares

Credit cards don’t exist in a vacuum. Before you decide to apply for a Reflex card and put all your textbooks for this semester on your shiny new Mastercard, you must understand how this source of credit stacks up against similar offerings from other institutions.

In general, Reflex has a higher APR than other cards — even cards for bad credit. It also has a relatively low max credit limit, as well as monthly maintenance fees and an annual fee that can add up quickly.

Here’s how it stacks up against a couple of other popular cards in the same category.

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® vs. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card offers credit equal to the deposit you make when you open the account. If you fund the account with a $500 transfer, you can make purchases up to that $500 limit. If you make your payments on time, you may eventually be eligible for an unsecured card, and you can build your credit in the meantime.

The OpenSky Secured Visa has an annual fee of $35 and a regular interest rate of 25.64% variable APR, which is significantly lower than the APR you get with the Reflex card. Unlike the Reflex card, you do not have to have a checking account to apply for an OpenSky Visa, and there’s no credit check, either.

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® vs. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Capital One also has a secured card option. You can open a Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card account with a minimum deposit of $49, $99 or $200, any of which will net you a $200 card limit — provided you qualify for the lower deposit amount, of course. Once you’re approved for the card, you can up your deposit to as much as $1,000 to increase your spending limit.

Even better, Capital One extends an extra-special perk to the financially strapped by allowing installment payments of your initial deposit. You have 35 days to pay your full deposit and you can pony up just $20 at a time. Pay all your balances on time, and you’ll get another incentive for good behavior in the form of a higher credit limit — and no, you won’t need to deposit any more money.

Unlike the Reflex Mastercard, this card also has no annual fee.

Is the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® right for me?

The Reflex Platinum Mastercard could be a good fit for you if you have no credit history or a bad credit score and want to work on improving those stats. In most cases, the people who get these cards aren’t eligible for cards that have more favorable terms. That makes the high APR and stacked fees more palatable.

But this card is only truly worth the fees if you commit to limited spending, always pay your balance on time and can’t get another card with better terms. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your credit more than helping it.

If you have bad credit and aren’t completely convinced the Reflex card is the best credit card for you, there are other options.

Check out these reviews to see if one of these cards better suits your needs.

How to apply for the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®

It’s always nice when additional credit is available at your fingertips, and that’s the case (at least potentially) with the Reflex Mastercard.

You can learn more and apply online for the Reflex Platinum Mastercard in less than a minute using the preapproval form. To make things go even faster, assemble the necessary paperwork and personal information before opening the Reflex credit card application.

You’ll likely need to provide your:

You are also required to have a checking account.

If you’re approved, you should receive your new card in as little as three business days. You’ll still need to activate the card, but that just requires a telephone call and quick navigation of Reflex’s automated activation system.

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FAQs: Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®

Is the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® a good credit card?

The Reflex Platinum Mastercard is a good credit card if you’re hampered by poor credit and need a way to rebuild or establish a solid credit history. The fees are high, but it may be worth it if you can achieve a higher credit score that will yield a lower future interest rate when you’re ready to buy a car or a home.

What credit score do I need for the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®?

Because the Reflex credit card was built for consumers with poor or limited credit, you may be approved even if you have a score under 600. While there are no concrete credit score parameters set by Reflex, most sources report FICO scores of 580-669, and VantageScore ratings of 601 to 660 are the lowest scores accepted.

What is the highest credit limit for the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®?

Your initial credit limit with the Reflex Mastercard is $1,000. However, if you pay on time for at least six months, you may be able to double that limit to $2,000.

What bank issues the Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®?

The Reflex credit card is issued by Celtic Bank but managed by Continental Finance.

Alana Luna (Musselman)
Alana Luna (Musselman) Writer & Content Strategist

Alana Luna (Musselman) is a versatile storyteller with over a decade of writing experience. She is passionate about helping people build their business through unique and engaging content. Some examples of her current freelance projects include building content strategies for small businesses, completing industry research to build case studies, crafting buyer guides and more.

She has a passion and keen ability to simplify complex ideas through storytelling to make it easier for readers to understand hard-to-digest information. As such, Alana’s writing holds strong three principles – content that educates, engages and entertains.

Apart from her contributions to LA Times Compare, Alana has freelanced and ghostwritten for large publications and prestigious brands such as Orbitz, Groupon, Amazon, JCPenney, Walmart and more.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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