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Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card: A Credit Building Card With an Annual Fee

Improve your credit score overtime by paying your monthly bill on time.

CNET’S PICK
Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card

Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card

5.1/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0 – $59
APR
26.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
Rewards rate
N/A This card doesn’t offer cash back, miles, or points
Rewards Rate
N/A

Our take

If you have a limited credit history or poor credit but you want the chance to improve your credit score, the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card should be on your radar. This unsecured credit card doesn’t have a lot of perks, but it does give people with less-than-perfect credit the chance to improve their credit score over time with responsible use.

There are some caveats to keep in mind, though. The card has an annual fee of $0 to $59, and you won’t know which level of annual fee you’re assigned unless you get prequalified online. You’ll likely qualify for a relatively low credit limit, but again, that depends on your current credit score and other personal details.

On the upside, the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card doesn’t have any hidden fees like some other credit cards for bad credit. And since it’s an unsecured credit card, you won’t have to come up with a few hundred bucks to put down as collateral like you would for a secured credit card.

Ultimately, we feel the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card is a good option for consumers who want a no-frills unsecured credit card to build credit over time. Those with a good credit score and people who want to earn rewards should look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Easier to get approved for than some other unsecured credit cards

  • Does not require a cash deposit like secured credit cards do

  • No hidden fees apart from an annual fee of $0 to $59

Cons

  • No rewards or major cardholder benefits

  • It has a high APR

  • There are foreign transaction fees

Who this card is best for

  • People with limited credit or lower credit scores: The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card is for people who want to build credit through responsible credit card use but may have trouble qualifying for other cards due to their credit history. To get the best results with this card, pay your bill on time and keep your balance low.
  • Consumers with imperfect credit who don’t want a secured credit card: The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card is an unsecured card, meaning it does not require a cash deposit as collateral. This means cardholders can begin building credit without having to put down a hefty deposit to get a secured card.
  • Anyone who wants to check their approval odds for a credit card before they apply: One major benefit of the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card is the fact you can get prequalified online without a hard inquiry on your credit reports. This lets you check your approval odds -- and what your annual fee will be -- before you apply.

Who this card isn’t best for

  • Those with good credit who can qualify for better cards: If you have a good credit score, you can qualify for a card with rewards and a selection of cardholder perks. Some credit cards for good credit even offer 0% introductory APR on purchases, balance transfers or both for a limited time.
  • People who don’t want to pay an annual fee for a credit card: The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card can charge an annual fee of up to $59. If you’re fee-averse, look for credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee at all.
  • Anyone who wants to carry a balance from one month to the next: If you can’t avoid carrying a balance, the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card isn’t for you. The ongoing variable APR can be as high as 29.99%.

A closer look at the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card

Rates and fees

The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card comes with a variable APR of 26.99% to 29.99%, so you won’t want to carry a balance. You can also be charged an annual fee of $0 to $59, which isn’t unusual for a subprime credit card but is still an added cost some consumers might like to avoid.

Other fees to watch out for include a cash advance fee of 3% (minimum $10), a foreign transaction fee of 3% and a late payment fee of up to $35.

No security deposit needed

Where secured credit cards require a cash deposit as collateral (usually starting at $200), the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card doesn’t require any such deposit. But given that most secured credit cards’ security deposits are refundable after a period of responsible behavior, while the Mission Lane Visa’s annual fee isn’t, you might be better off, in the long run, getting one of our best secured credit cards instead if you have some money to spare up front.

Potential credit limit increase

According to Mission Lane, the company evaluates your account in as few as seven months to see if you’re eligible for a higher credit line than you started with. Factors that can help you secure a credit limit increase include a history of on-time payments, whether you’ve maxed out your card, either currently or in the past, and whether you have sufficient income to pay for a higher credit limit. 

Prequalification

Mission Lane makes it possible to get prequalified for its cards online without a hard inquiry on your credit reports. This can help you see what your card offer and annual fee will be, which could aid in your decision to move forward with a full application.

Just keep in mind getting prequalified for a card doesn’t guarantee you’ll get it. It’s a good way to check your chances of approval, but you’ll still need to submit a full application, which will result in a hard credit check. Hard checks typically will lower your credit score by a few points temporarily.

Alternative cards

Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card

The Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card, issued by WebBank, is an unsecured credit card geared toward people with imperfect credit, and it comes with many of the same features as the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card but -- as the name suggests -- it has no annual fee. 

The Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Credit Card comes with a low starting credit limit of $300 (maximum $5,000), but it reports to the three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- to help you build credit with responsible use. You may even be able to get a credit limit increase by linking your bank account. This card also earns 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants. However, it comes with a high variable APR of 25.24% to 34.74%.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card* is another no-frills unsecured credit card worth checking out. This card is available for people with fair credit, which typically includes FICO scores from 580 to 669.

While this card doesn’t offer any rewards, it does help build credit with no annual fee. Cardholders can also qualify for a credit line review (and potentially a higher credit line) in as little as six months with responsible use. This card does have a high variable APR of 29.99%, however, so you won’t want to use it to carry long-term debt.

The bottom line

The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card can be great for people who want to build credit without putting down a cash deposit for a secured credit card. This card doesn’t offer many benefits, but that’s common for credit-building cards. The point of having the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card is using it to improve your credit over time, at which point you can apply for a different credit card that offers the perks and features you really want.

 

That said, you can also look at other credit cards for bad credit if you’re intimidated by this card’s potential annual fee (up to $59) or you want the chance to earn rewards.

FAQs

The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card is an unsecured credit card, so it does not require a security deposit or any other type of collateral.

The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card may charge an annual fee of up to $59 for some cardholders. You can find out if you’ll have to pay this fee by entering the basic information required to see if you’re prequalified. At that point, Mission Lane will show you the card offer you may be eligible for, and you can decide whether you want to get the card.

The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card doesn’t list a minimum credit score requirement. However, this card is geared toward people with a limited credit history and poor or fair credit. Under the FICO scoring model, a “poor” credit score ranges from 300 to 579 and a “fair” credit score ranges from 580 to 669.

*All information about the Capital One Platinum Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Holly Johnson is a credit card expert and writer who covers rewards and loyalty programs, budgeting, and all things personal finance. In addition to writing for publications like Bankrate, CreditCards.com, Forbes Advisor and Investopedia, Johnson owns Club Thrifty and is the co-author of "Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You'll Love."