The AvantCard is not one of our highest rated bad credit credit cards. You can consult our list of best credit cards for bad credit for what we think are better options.
Full review of AvantCard
No security deposit required
Relatively low credit limit
Annual fees are likely
No rewards or other benefits
Problems with customer service
- No security deposit required: A secured card, the usual solution when you are rebuilding your credit or building your credit from scratch, requires its cardholder to set up an amount equal to their desired line of credit, at least initially. The AvantCard, on the other hand, gives you a limit without such a security deposit. As with most other credit cards, the company reviews your application and grants a credit limit of between $ 300 and $ 1,000.
- No foreign transaction fees: Many credit cards require you to pay a percentage when you use your card outside of the United States or when you buy from merchants overseas in their local currency. The fee can be 3% (or more) of each transaction. The AvantCard does not have such fees, which is very unusual for a credit card, and therefore can be a good choice when traveling abroad or doing business with foreign suppliers.
- Prequalification available: When considering a new credit card, you should submit a complete application and do a credit check before you know if you are eligible to receive it. If your application is denied, then you have suffered another, albeit minor, strain on your credit score and you have not received any cards in return. According to myFICO, just one hard credit check can lower your credit score by five points. The AvantCard allows you to apply without a prior credit application and to get at least an indication of the terms under which you could get the card, including your probable credit limit and annual fees. However, assuming the information is favorable and you decide to agree to these terms, you still need to be fully investigated in order to be officially approved for the card.
- Relatively low credit limits: AvantCard’s maximum initial $ 1,000 line of credit is lower than the relative standard of at least $ 2,500 offered by many secured cards – provided, of course, that you are willing to guarantee that upper limit. with a deposit of an equal amount. Avant says that he will review your line of credit from time to time, and may increase it, and that you can also request an increase, which may or may not be granted. Still, if you have more than $ 1000 for a security deposit, a secure card will allow you to charge a card more, at least initially, than the AvantCard will.
- Annual fees are likely: In theory, you could get the AvantCard without paying an annual fee. However, the company says the fees can go up to $ 59 for applicants with less desirable credit and financial details.
- No card benefit: The AvantCard does not offer any advantages to cardholders, such as travel extras. While this is not atypical for a card designed for people with poor credit, there are cards available that offer more robust benefits. For example, the Deserve PRO Mastercard has no annual fee, but it does offer benefits like secondary car rental insurance and cell phone protection.
- No rewards or one-time offers: The AvantCard has no rewards, so you cannot earn points, miles or cash back on your purchases. It also does not offer a one-off offer as an incentive to get the card. This is a major drawback compared to some of the alternatives in this card. For example, the Discover it Secured card, which requires a security deposit, allows you to earn 2% cash back on up to $ 1,000 in gas and food expenses each quarter. And you’ll get unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. If you spend $ 5,000 per year with the Discover it Secured card – $ 1,000 in combined spending per quarter at gas stations and restaurants to earn 2% cash back and $ 250 at 1% each quarter on all other purchases – you will earn $ 90 in rewards. Plus, after your first year, Discover will match the full cash back you earn, giving you $ 180 back. This reward is a good bonus for a beginner’s credit card.
- Problems with customer service: Avant’s customer service falls short of the credit card industry standard in several ways. Its staff are only available at certain times. This contrasts with most of the large card issuers, which offer 24 hour customer support. In addition, there is cause for concern about the satisfaction of Avant’s customers. The company is not included in the JD Power credit card studies. However, it was noted in JD Power’s 2020 Consumer Loan Satisfaction Study. In this study, Avant ranked 13th out of 14 lenders and scored significantly below average.
The AvantCard offers an alternative to a secure card for the approximately 26 million Americans – 11% of adults – who have no credit history, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Millions more have poor credit, making it difficult for them to qualify for a loan or credit card.
Since it does not require a security deposit, but instead gives you access to a revolving line of credit, the AvantCard is more suitable for those who may have limited funds than a secured card. Yet, as with secure card issuers and most cards in general, Avant will share your account and payment information with the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Provided you make all of your payments on time, your positive payment history will help you build or repair your credit score.
It’s also a smart option if you don’t have a credit card and plan to travel internationally. It doesn’t charge an overseas transaction fee, so you can use it outside of the US at no additional cost.
The AvantCard does not offer any benefits other than a mobile app that you can use to manage your account and make 24/7 payments.
Customer support and service are especially important if you are new to credit cards. As a new, small, niche company, Avant was not included in the 11 national card issuers or the 11 regional issuers ranked in the most recent JD Power credit card satisfaction survey. However, the company is listed in the JD Power 2020 US Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study. In this study, Avant was ranked 13th out of 14 lenders and scored significantly below average.
Avant offers telephone support by calling 1-855-752-7012. You can also email [email protected], and they agree to respond within three business hours, a promise they kept with Investopedia’s request.
However, where most transmitters have 24/7 customer support, Avant’s is only available during certain hours:
- Monday to Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Central
- Saturday to Sunday: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central
If you face an issue outside of Avant’s hours of service then, such as a lost or stolen credit card, that limited availability can be a major issue.
The AvantCard takes no responsibility for unauthorized charges, a standard feature of all credit cards.
Fees to watch out for
If you are considering applying for the AvantCard, there are two fees (in addition to the likely annual fee) that you should first be aware of. Neither is unusual for the industry, but a first-time cardholder might not be aware of:
- Late fee: If you miss any of your monthly payments, Avant will charge you a late fee of up to $ 39.
- Cash advance fees: While this card offers the same APR for cash advances as it does for purchases, be sure to pay attention to the cash advance fee. You will pay $ 10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. If you took out a cash advance of $ 250, that means you will pay $ 10 in cash advance fees.
If you have no credit, or a problematic credit history, and want to build a solid credit history, the AvantCard is an alternative to a secure credit card. You can access a revolving line of credit without having to deposit a security deposit.
However, the card does not offer any rewards or benefits, has a limited line of credit (at least initially), and Avant’s customer service could be a major drawback. If you are looking for a card with more features and accessibility, you might be better off with a secure card.
For example, Discover it Secured, from a company highly rated by JD Power, offers rewards, a low interest rate APR offer, and a first year consideration of the cash back you earn. And if you use the card responsibly, you can get your security deposit back and automatically be approved for an unsecured card in less than a year.
If you are looking for a secure card that offers a lower current APR, there is the Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured credit card which charges a fixed APR of just 9.99% with an annual fee of $ 49.