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Surge Mastercard®
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On Surge's secure site
No Security Deposit Required
A true credit card with no need to put down a security deposit
Improve Your Credit
Boost your credit score with responsible use
Mastercard Network
Use your card wherever Mastercard is accepted
Card Network
Annual Fee
$75 - $99
Credit Score Needed
Fair, Bad, Limited / None
Offer Details
  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)

  • All credit types welcome to apply!

  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From Experian* (When you sign up for e-statements)

  • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000* (subject to available credit)

  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus

  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score

  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds

  • Free online account access 24/7

  • Checking Account Required

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All content is written by editorial staff or writers engaged by the site, not by marketers/sales staff. Editors responsible for producing the content are not in contact or affiliated with any advertiser and are not compensated based on success of the affiliate links. All decisions regarding recommendations are determined separately from advertising relationships. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Surge Mastercard® Review

In this Surge Mastercard® review, we’ll look at who should use the card, what fees you can expect, the pros and cons, and more. 

Let’s dive in.

Who is the Surge Credit Card for?

The Surge Mastercard, issued by Celtic Bank and serviced by Continental, is an unsecured credit card specifically designed for people with no or a poor credit rating. 

This card reports to each central credit bureau every month, allowing the cardholder to build or rebuild their credit scores by having a good credit report. Some other factors the card issuer takes into consideration include your income, debts, and overall creditworthiness.

It’s also worthwhile to point out that the Surge Mastercard requires a checking account.

Surge Credit Card credit score requirements 

Considering that the Surge Mastercard is for people with poor credit, qualifying for the card is relatively easy. As a result, even those with a bad credit score (300+) can apply.

Though bear in mind that the lower your credit score is, the more fees you’ll likely have to pay. In other words, a person with fair credit will likely pay less fees than one with poor credit.

Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about credit scores or want to track and improve yours, check out Credmo

Now, let’s look at what kind of fees you can expect: 

Surge Credit Card fees

The annual fee varies from $75 to $99 based on your credit score: the higher your credit score, the lower your costs. 

In addition to the annual fee, after the first 12 billing cycles, the card issuer also charges a monthly maintenance fee between $0 and $10 (based on your creditworthiness). This can add as much as $120 to your bill annually. As a result, the cardholder can be responsible for up to almost $220 every year. 

There’s also a one-time $30 fee if you want to add an authorized user. And, if you use the card abroad there's a foreign transaction fee of up to 3%. Late payment and any returned payments both have a penalty fee of up to $40. 

Note that this card doesn’t support balance transfers, the upside to no balance transfers is one less fee to worry about.  

Surge Credit Card APR

Although the Surge Mastercard can be a good credit card for building credit, it has a high annual fee and a variable APR (Annual Percentage Rate) of 24.99% – 29.99%, which applies when making a purchase and a cash advance. This is an above-average interest rate, as such, it’s best to avoid making a cash advance wherever possible. 

As such, it’s best to avoid carrying a balance whenever possible. 

Fortunately, this card provides a 25 day grace period to pay your statement balance without any interest charge.

Surge Credit Card benefits 

Since this card’s primary purpose is to help those with less than perfect credit improve their credit report, it doesn’t offer too much in the way of benefits. However, there are a few perks associated with the Surge credit card. 

When you sign up for e-statements, you gain free monthly access to your VantageScore credit score from Continental Finance. With these statements, you can track the effects of responsible card usage in your credit history and watch your credit score improve. 

Additionally, you can check if you’re pre-qualified for the credit card without any impact on your credit score. This whole process is instant, often taking less than a minute. 

Cardholders can also enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability. This ensures cardholders are only responsible for the charges they incur. Continental Finance bears the responsibility for any fraudulent transactions.

Next, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of the Surge Mastercard Credit Card:

Pros and cons of the Surge Credit Card

Let’s have a look at a few of the pros and cons of the Surge Mastercard credit card: 


Here are some of the card’s advantages that most Surge credit card reviews point out: 

  • Potential credit limit increase - You may qualify for a credit limit increase after making the first six monthly payments on time. However, you have to request that they check your account rather than them offering automatic credit line reviews.

  • Mobile app - You’re able to manage your account through the Continental Finance mobile app, which is available for both Android and iPhone. Through the app, you can manage your credit card account, view your transactions, make payments, edit your contact info, and report a lost or stolen card.

  • Potentially high initial credit limit - The credit card company offers an initial credit line of $300 to $1,000 based on your creditworthiness. Although an initial credit line of $200 or $300 is a relatively low credit limit for a credit building card, $1,000 is certainly considered above-average. If you qualify for the higher credit limit, the Surge credit card can be a great tool for building credit.

    A high credit line will help you lower your credit utilization rate.

    Credit utilization refers to the amount you’ve borrowed relative to your total available credit. The lower your utilization, the better it is for your credit score.

  • Effectively build your credit score - The Surge Mastercard reports cardholders’ card usage to each credit bureau, including Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. All lenders will check your credit report through these three organizations.


Here are a few drawbacks that many Surge credit card reviews highlight:

  • High fees - As an unsecured card for people with less-than-perfect credit, the Surge Mastercard credit card charges several fees. Aside from a steep annual fee, you may be subject to a monthly fee as well. Then there are extra costs for adding a cardholder, making a foreign transaction, missing a payment, and having a payment returned. This is far more than a secured card would charge.

  • Higher than average APR - This credit building card includes a variable interest rate of up to 29.99% is considerably higher than the national average of 16.30% as of Q2 2021. Although many credit building cards charge high APRs, they tend to max out at 25%. As such, it’s best to pay this card off in full every month to avoid costly interest charges.

Now that we’ve compared the pros and cons, let’s have a look at some alternatives: 

Alternatives to the Surge Credit Card

Here are a few similar cards that many Surge credit card reviews recommend: 

Wrapping up

Rebuilding your credit history can be complicated, but the Surge Mastercard can be an effective solution to this. 

However, before applying to the bank advertiser, it’s essential to be aware of the costs involved and the potential for a low credit limit. 

The credit card company charges an annual fee, monthly maintenance fee, late payment fee, and high APR. However, this card does have benefits that may appeal to those with poor to fair credit looking to improve their credit rating.

With a potentially high initial available credit, a potential credit line increase, and monthly reporting to major credit bureaus, opening a credit card account with Celtic Bank for the Surge card could be worth considering if you’re trying to establish a strong credit profile. 

You can apply for this card here.

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