In this Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card review, we’ll go over the card fees, take a look at the card’s credit score requirements, compare the card’s pros and cons, and more.
This Mission Lane Credit Card Review Contains:
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Let’s dive in.
This card is best for:
- People with Poor credit (credit score under 580)
People with poor credit tend to be Mission Lane’s target audience and those who would benefit most from their credit structure.
It opens the opportunity for those with poor credit to improve their credit score with Mission Lane.
- People with a fair credit score like young people
Additionally Mission Lane is an excellent card for those with a fair credit score like young people, college students, and anyone who doesn’t have prior credit card experience.
With the rising awareness of the financial stress associated with credit card debt, Mission Lane is a modern fintech venture allowing one to build better credit by making timely payments while not trying to bait gimmicky rewards.
Mission Lane is great for this demographic because it is very attainable with bad credit, and also increases cardholders’ credit scores with timely payments.
How to Apply for the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
There’s currently no way to apply for a card even if you meet Mission Lane’s requirements. The only way to stand a chance of getting a card is to have been contacted by Mission Lane.
Alternatively, you can apply for the card on their website and join the waitlist. However, this doesn’t guarantee approval.
Mission Lane’s goal is to help those with Bad credit (a score below 580) and you can apply if you fall into that category. However, if you have a Fair score (580-669) your chances of approval are even higher.
Improving your Credit Score
Mission Lane also reports your credit activity to all three major credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Users can effectively build a solid credit line over time by making regular payments and avoiding maxing out the card.
Increasing your Credit Limit
Additionally, Mission Lane offers cardholders a credit limit increase after making the first six payments on time. Initially, cardholders have access to a credit limit of $300.
While this is within the ballpark for an unsecured credit-building card, Mission Lane will check your recent payments and credit history every year to determine whether you’re eligible for a credit line increase.
Often, an unsecured credit card can come with exorbitant monthly fees and hidden fees. The Mission Lane Credit Card, on the other hand, simply includes an annual fee between $0-59.
The Mission Lane Visa also has no balance transfer APR, return payment fee or overdraft fee. Additionally, there are no activation or monthly maintenance fees, and there are no increases to the annual fee each year, as is the case with many competing cards.
There’s also no need to put down cash for a security deposit.
In comparison, a similar credit building card like the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit carries an annual fee of $75 in the first year before bumping up to $99 after that.
The Mission Lane Classic Visa card does have a cash advance fee of 3% or $10, whichever is higher, along with a late fee of up to $35 if you are late on a payment.
What’s a cash advance fee?
It’s a charge levied by the card issuer when you use the credit card to obtain cash.
Why the lack of fees?
The absence of fees is rooted in Mission Lane’s understanding that there’s no one-size-fits-all path to sound finances and that one’s credit score does not tell the whole story.
A mere credit score does not provide the background story of the college student struggling to pay off loans or the single mother working multiple jobs to provide for her kids.
Mission Lane believes it’s not the numerical representation of one’s responsibility, nor does it capture one commitment to paying off debt and being financially responsible.
This phenomenon is precisely why the Mission Lane Visa Credit Card utilizes technology to look beyond a credit history to evaluate one’s financial situation and ultimately fit their unique needs.
As this is a card geared towards building credit, the card doesn’t come with a host of benefits. However, you still get access to Visa’s zero liability fraud coverage (accepted globally).
This protects cardholders from any fraudulent charges. Promptly call the bank as soon as you notice a fraudulent charge and the issuer will cover it at no expense.
Users also gain access to credit card services like an auto rental collision damage waiver. This covers damage due to collision or theft when renting a car with the card. This is only available to those who decline the rental company’s insurance.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and drawbacks of the Mission Lane Visa Credit Card:
Here are the advantages of the Mission Lane Visa Credit Card:
- Online credit education tools - Cardholders have an opportunity to educate themselves on being financially responsible at no extra cost. A large part of Mission Lane’s goal is to be a short-term landing spot for those with poorer credit so they can build with them to ensure future success.
- There’s no interest on purchases when paying in full and on time, serving as an excellent incentive for their customers to build healthy financial habits before moving on.
- Access to the Mission Lane app - Through the Mission Lane iPhone App, users can easily track spending, check their credit history and account balance, and make payments through their smartphone.
- No hidden fees - Unlike many competing unsecured cards, Mission Lane doesn’t charge any hidden fees like a balance transfer fee or an overdraft fee.
- An opportunity to build credit - Fortunately, the issuer will review your available credit line after six months of making on-time payments to see if you’re eligible for a higher credit limit.
There are many benefits to receiving a credit line increase. Having access to a higher credit limit could help lower your credit utilization rate and provide access to better rates and larger loans.
Here are some disadvantages of using the Mission Lane Visa Credit Card:
- High variable purchase APR - The Mission Lane Visa Credit Card includes an above-average interest rate of 29.99%. This applies to a cash advance as well and is considered high even among credit building cards.
As a result, it’s highly recommended that you avoid making a cash advance or carrying over a balance from the previous month, as it can end up being very costly. If you overdraft your account or make payments late, you can lose out on higher credit lines.
- Annual fee - While the $0-59 yearly fee is cheaper than some competitors, it may be pricey if the ultimate goal is just building a credit score. In this case, you may want to consider a secured credit card like the Merrick Bank Secured Visa over an unsecured credit card.
- No rewards - While it’s not uncommon for credit building cards like the Mission Lane Credit Card to forego a rewards scheme, it’s not unheard of. The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit, for example, offers a 1% cash back reward on certain purchases.
The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa Credit Card may also be a better option if you prefer a rewards card.
- Applications typically accepted by invitation only - Currently, the issuer only accepts applications on a limited basis through invitations. There’s the option of joining the waitlist to stand a chance at getting a card when the issuer makes it available to the public.
However, if you don’t have an invitation and would like to apply for this card, you can apply via a partner like Clyde. Click here to apply now!
Here are some alternatives to the Mission Lane Visa Credit Card
Next, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions.
1. What is the minimum credit score required to apply for a Mission Lane Visa Credit Card?
You can apply for the Mission Lane Visa Credit Card with a bad credit score (score below 580). However, your chances of approval increase if you have a fair credit score.
2. What is the minimum security deposit required?
Since the Mission Lane Credit Card isn’t a secured card, it has no minimum security deposit.
3. What is the Intro Annual Fee?
The Mission Lane Visa Credit Card does not offer an intro annual fee at the moment. Please check the terms for more details.
4. What is the annual fee?
Mission Lane charges an annual fee between $0-59 for the Visa Credit Card.
5. What is the regular APR?
The variable APR ranges from 3.25% to 29.99%.
6. What is the late fee?
The maximum late fee charged is $35.
7. Is there a foreign transaction fee?
Yes, there is a foreign transaction fee that applies to merchants based outside of the U.S. This fee is 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of the transaction.
Now that we’ve gone through some FAQs, let’s take a deeper look at Mission Lane:
What is Mission Lane?
Mission Lane began as the credit card division under San Francisco-based LendUp, a financial tech company. In December 2018, Mission Lane separated from LendUp as a standalone credit card company.
By September 2019, Mission Lane had raised over $500 million in debt-equity from industry leaders to impact 100 million U.S. adults with lower credit scores or no credit score at all.
By July 2020, the West Coast-born credit card start-up planted its headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, leasing a 20,000 square foot office space in the historic Scott’s Addition.
Shane Holdaway founded the LendUp card, otherwise known as the Mission Lane Visa Credit Card, in 2019 to help transform how people who are working to build or rebuild their ‘credit credibility’ make progress in their lives.
Before Mission Lane, Holdaway held positions as the CEO of Barclays US Consumer Bank, President of Capital One Canada, and was a consultant at McKinsey & Company.
The story of the Mission Lane Credit Card began with the founders’ realization that nearly one-fifth of the adult population in the U.S. doesn’t have access to a clear line of credit.
By clear, Mission Lane means a line of credit that does not include draconian fees and only increases one’s accumulated debt.
The absence of fees regarding the Mission Lane Credit Card is paramount to its mission of paving a better way forward for its customers through improving their credit report, boosting income, and preparing for the financial burdens of tomorrow.
On May 24th, 2021, Mission Lane announced it bought Honeydue, a fellow purpose-driven financial technology company, to expand its debit and digital banking capabilities.
Honeydue, incorporated as WalletIQ, is a technology company that provides digital applications and banking services to help consumers manage their finances and develop stronger financial literacy and habits.
While this card issuer (Mission Lane) currently offers a variety of market-leading credit cards and financial tracking tools, it will leverage Honeydue’s strong digital banking to bring additional innovative and transparent products to consumers, such as a debit card.
Holdaway said, “as we experience record growth and explore additional ways to have a positive impact on our customers’ lives, we’re excited to bring in a team of people from Honeydue that have deep experience using technology to make finance more transparent and accessible.”
Holdaway takes pride in the acquisition, relaying, “Mission Lane and Honeydue share a goal of improving people’s lives by reducing financial stress.”
Honeydue has over 500,000 registered users and operates in six countries, making acquisition significant for Mission Lane.
Honeydue allows its consumers to open bank accounts and debit cards while keeping track of other bills and accounts. Users can also share this information with others, such as family members.
As part of the acquisition, Eugene Park, CEO and co-founder of Honeydue, will join Mission Lane as the Head of Product for Mission Money, Mission Lane’s upcoming debit card offering.
Park founded Honeydue in 2016 after spending eight years leading engineering and application development at Flixster. He brings deep experience in multi-user management and building award-winning personal finance management tools that are highly rated for their product design and user experience.
“When we founded Honeydue, we wanted to eliminate some of the issues that intimidated people about finance, so we worked to eliminate fees, minimums, and other requirements that caused stress and confusion," said Park. "There is no other company that shares our vision more than Mission Lane, and we are excited to join with them to reach more consumers than ever."
Recent Advancements and Milestones
In early 2021, Mission Lane announced that it added its one-millionth customer to its market-leading credit card franchise, just over two years after launching as a standalone credit card company.
It also added Krishna Venkatraman as Chief Data Science Officer and Zeenat Sidi as Business Head of Digital Banking & Financial Services to its growing executive team.
Mission Lane is a purpose-driven financial services company that leverages advanced technology, data analytics, and machine learning to provide a dignified customer experience to people working hard to build or rebuild their credit reports and improve their financial lives.
Mission Lane had previously been known as the LendUp credit card when it operated as the credit card division of LendUp.
Mission Lane's credit cards have terms that are better and easier to understand than most of the alternatives available to people with fair credit or limited credit history.
The company's digital self-service tools also make it easier for customers to stay on top of their accounts, further helping them improve their credit scores.
Additionally, with access to a higher credit line with on-time payments, the card is great for reducing your credit utilization rate as well, allowing you to take strides in your credit journey.
To date, the Mission Lane Visa Credit Card issuer has delivered over a million of their best-in-class, mobile-first credit cards, earning top ratings among Mission Lane credit card reviews on CreditKarma for their market segment.
If this card sounds like the right fit for you, you can apply online here.