Destiny Credit Card Review: Qualifying for a credit card can be challenging if you have bad credit or no credit history. Without one, it’s nearly impossible to build your credit. This is why secured credit cards, like the DestinyTM Mastercard from Continental Finance, are aimed at people looking to build or rebuild their credit scores.
But is the Destiny Credit Card right for you? In this post, I have analyzed the fees, fine print, perks, eligibility, and more to help you decide.
How the Destiny Mastercard Works
The Destiny Card is slightly different from traditional credit cards because it is secured. Here’s an overview of how it functions:
- Refundable Deposit – The card requires an upfront security deposit of at least $200, which becomes your credit limit.
- Credit Line Increases – After making 5 on-time monthly payments, you can request a credit line increase.
- Build Credit History – Responsible card use is reported to Equifax and TransUnion.
- Graduate to Unsecured – Show improvement during the first year and you may graduate to an unsecured card.
The refundable deposit gives you access to a line of credit to start establishing positive payment history, the most important factor in your FICO Score.
With responsible use, the Destiny Card helps build your credit back up over time. The better your score becomes, the higher your chances of “graduating” to an unsecured credit card.
Top Features and Benefits
Despite being a secured card, the Destiny Mastercard does come with some nice features:
No Annual Fee – There is no cost to open or keep the account active each year.
Online Account Access – You can manage payments, check your balance, and more 24/7 via their online portal.
Balance & Payment Alerts – Opt-in to receive notifications when certain account activity happens via email or text.
Fraud Monitoring – Unauthorized charges triggers alerts of possible identity theft or fraud.
While basic, these features enhance usability and security without increasing costs – helpful for those rebuilding credit responsibly.
What Credit Score is Needed?
Here is the lowdown on what credit scores qualify for the Destiny Card:
- Poor (300-579) – Almost guaranteed approval if income requirements met (more below). Ideal for those needing a second chance.
- Fair (580-669) – High approval odds. Having some positive history helps – like a prior secured card or utility payments.
- Good to Excellent (670+) – Select another card first unless needing to establish a credit history for the first time.
Meeting these thresholds doesn’t guarantee approval. Other eligibility factors play a role too…
Destiny Credit Card Requirements
In addition to your credit score, you must meet these requirements for a high chance of approval:
- 18 years old or older
- Valid Social Security Number
- Verifiable income source
- Gross monthly income of at least $1000
As long as you meet these criteria – especially the monthly income – people across all credit ranges stand a strong chance of getting approved.
However, if your income fluctuates and is less dependable (like most gig economy jobs), approval odds go down considerably even with a very high credit score. So steady verifiable income helps significantly.
Fees to Know Before Applying
While there is no annual fee, you should understand the other charges possible with the card:
Refundable Security Deposit – $200 minimum that becomes your starting credit limit.
Balance Transfer Fee – 3% fee for transfers from other credit cards. Cash advances do not have a fee.
Foreign Transaction Fee – None! Use the card abroad with no extra charges.
Late Payment Fee – Up to $35 if your minimum payment is not received within 15 days of the due date.
Overlimit Fee – None. However, transactions over the card limit may be declined.
Cash Advance Fee – Either $6 or 4% of the advanced amount – whichever is greater. High cash advance APR applies too.
Return Payment Fee – Up to $35 fee assessed if your payment doesn’t process.
While not always ideal, these fees are generally lower than competitors. However, late or returned payments negatively impact credit scores, so avoid them whenever possible. Overall though, the secured card helps users rebuild credit at a reasonable and transparent cost.
How, Why and When to Use the Destiny Mastercard
Using credit cards responsibly allows you to unlock better credit. Here’s when and how to leverage the Destiny Card to maximize results:
Establish Credit History – With no prior credit accounts, the Destiny Card helps build positive history. Maintain a 1-9% credit utilization ratio for maximum scoring impact.
Accelerate Score Gains – Increase your score faster by keeping balances extremely low using the card lightly at first. Ask for credit line increases every 6 months.
Build Savings – Use it in place of your debit card and pay off monthly. Funnel those cashback savings into high yield accounts.
Consolidate Debt (with caution) – Those with higher scores can transfer balances from cards with unfavorable rates to save on interest. Pay down aggressively.
No matter how you choose to use it, keep things modest and make payments in full and on time. Stay disciplined, and your credit score will reflect responsible habits over time.
Alternatives to Consider
While a decent secured card overall, make sure you evaluate other options before applying especially if wanting to maximize rewards and cashback with time:
Capital One Platinum Secured – No annual fee and cashback on hotels and car rentals after qualifying.
Discover it Secured Card – Cashback MatchTM doubles rewards after year 1 with responsible account management.
OpenSky Secured Visa – Easy approval odds but no additional benefits offered. May graduate to unsecured card.
I recommend checking your approval odds and comparing terms across multiple cards. Each situation is unique, so evaluate which checks the right boxes for your needs.
Who Should (and Should Not) Apply
Now for the big question: Is the Destiny MastercardTM a good option for you?
You should apply for the Destiny Card if:
- Your credit score is 579 or below
- You need to establish a credit history
- Your income is $12,000+ yearly
- You maintain financial discipline
However, DO NOT apply if:
- You plan to carry debt month-to-month
- Your income is unstable
- You tend to make late credit card payments
- You want luxury travel perks and cashback
Building credit takes diligent financial habits over time. Make sure you’re ready before obtaining any credit product.
Next Steps and How to Apply for the Destiny Mastercard
If after reviewing the pros/cons and eligibility criteria the Destiny Card seems suitable for your situation, here is how to apply:
- Pre-Qualify – Submit basic personal details online to confirm approval odds. No credit check performed.
- Begin Application – If eligible, finish the full application including your Social Security Number for ID verification.
- Accept Terms – Carefully review all disclosures and terms before accepting the offer.
- Fund Your Account – If approved, fund your security deposit within 60 days to activate the card upon receipt.
Once approved, use the card lightly for routine expenses you can pay off monthly. With diligent financial habits, you can leverage the Destiny Card as a stepping stone to prime credit.
Tips to Get the Most from Your Destiny Card
Now that you’ve been approved and activated your Destiny Mastercard, let’s discuss best practices to accelerate your credit building efforts. Applying responsible habits allows your score to rise steadily over your first year with the card.
Make Payments on Time
Payment history carries the most weight in calculating credit scores. Set up autopay or calendar reminders to pay at least the minimum early. One 30+ day late payment can devastate recent progress.
Keep Utilization Under 30%
Don’t “max out” your card. Experts recommend keeping usage under 30% of your credit limit. Pay off larger purchases quickly to avoid reported high balances.
Limit Balance Transfers
While you can transfer balances from high-rate cards, do so cautiously. Adding too much debt versus your limit triggers high utilization warnings lowering your score.
Request Periodic Increases
Every 6 months, ask for a higher credit limit assuming on-time payments. This maintains favorable utilization ratios as your balances grow.
Graduate to Unsecured
Meet usage and payment obligations diligently during your first year and you may qualify for an unsecured card. This offers more flexibility and higher limits.
Layer In Other Credit
As your scores rise into the good range, consider adding “credit mix” like a second card or installment loan. Diversity and responsible management across credit types boosts scores exponentially.
The key across all tips is financial prudence. Use credit as a strategic tool, not a lifestyle subsidy. Stay diligent in keeping debt low and payments on time.
Before you know it, you’ll grow from credit building to leveraging credit strategically towards your financial goals.