Credit Builders

Milestone Credit Card: Benefits, Rewards, Fee, How to Apply

The Milestone Gold Mastercard is a unique credit card specifically targeting those with no prior credit history or those looking to rebuild their credit from past mistakes. With responsible use, it has the potential to help consumers build or re-establish credit to pave the way for approval of better credit products down the road.

Overview of the Milestone Credit Card

Milestone Credit Cards
Credits: Milestone

The Milestone Gold Mastercard is issued by The Bank of Missouri, with servicing and account management handled by Genesis FS Card Services. It’s designed for new credit users with limited histories, with credit limits ranging from $300 to $1,000 upon approval. The relatively low credit limit helps prevent cardholders from getting into debt beyond their means.

Key features of the Milestone card include:

  • No annual fee
  • Online account access for statement reviews
  • Ability to add an authorized user for free
  • Reports cardholder payment history to all three major credit bureaus on a monthly basis
  • Target Audience and Typical Credit Profile Requirements

The Milestone card is intended primarily for those new to credit or those working to rebuild their credit from past issues. Typical approved applicants have credit scores around 550 or below and have limited entries in their credit files.

Having no prior credit history will not necessarily preclude approval, as the card allows consumers to start building a history. Credit limits and exact card terms will vary depending on the applicant’s particular qualifications.

Benefits of the Milestone Credit Card

Credits: Canva

While light on perks and rewards like traditional credit cards, the Milestone card offers a few advantages specifically for its target demographic of credit builders:

Helps Build or Rebuild Your Credit History

The major benefit of the Milestone card is the ability to build or rebuild your credit history through responsible account management. Each month, Genesis FS reports your payment activity to all three major credit reporting bureaus.

On-time payments over several months and keeping balances low results in positive history that can incrementally improve your credit score over time.

Soft Credit Pull Pre-Qualification Process

Those interested can easily check if they pre-qualify for the Milestone card via a soft credit inquiry that does not affect your credit score. This allows you to check your preliminary approval odds before having to formally apply. They also provide a pre-qualification tool on their website.

Getting pre-qualified permits you to gauge if the card is a viable option free of negative credit impacts for now. If the Milestone card does fit your current credit standing based on the pre-qualification outcome, you can then move forward with the full application.

Payment History Reporting to All Three Credit Bureaus

As mentioned earlier, responsible use of the card establishes positive credit history as your payments get reported to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion each month.

This broad payment reporting pattern helps build your overall credit file across all three bureaus at the same time. That is extremely valuable in working to improve your scores with all of them in parallel.

Rewards and Features

Credit Card
Credits: Canva

As a credit building focused card, the Milestone card is light on extra perks and benefits. But it does come with a handful of useful ancillary features.

Understanding the Rewards (or Lack Thereof)

It’s important to note that the Milestone card does not come with any kind of rewards program or ability to earn cash back, points or miles. Since it is targeted as an entry-level credit builder, the primary features focus on credit reporting capabilities and monitoring tools.

Additional perks and features

While light on rewards, the Milestone card does come with some basic protections and security capabilities that are becoming standard across most credit card products:

  • $0 Fraud Liability
  • Secure Online & Mobile Account Access
  • Suspicious Activity Monitoring
  • Lost/Stolen Card Replacement

There are also some convenient account management features like online statements, recurring payments, balance transfers and 24/7 cardholder support should any issues arise.

Fees and Charges

Milestone Credit Card
Credits: Milestone

The Milestone card needs to be used carefully and judiciously to minimize costs while rebuilding credit. Late payments often trigger fees and penalty rate hikes.

No Annual Fee

Fortunately, there is no annual fee to open or hold the Milestone account, avoiding that potential cost. As long as you pay on time every month and avoid paying interest fees, Milestone credit building is available at no cost.

Interest Rates and Penalty Impacts

The standard variable purchase APR is currently 24.40% as of February 2024 based on the prime rate plus a margin of 21.15%. This rate also applies to balance transfers.

Should a cardholder triggers a penalty, such as a late payment, the penalty APR rises to a steep 29.40% – one of the highest among credit builders. Going 60+ days late can also trigger the penalty rate for the next 6 statement cycles.

Cost Comparison Relative to Similar Credit Building Cards

Compared to other starter credit cards, the Milestone card’s fees are reasonable as long as it’s managed prudently. But penalties for mistakes can add up quickly. Generally it remains a low-cost option as long as you avoid interest charges. Paying late negates much of the value unfortunately.

How to Apply for the Milestone Credit Card

Milestone Gold Mastercard
Credits: ValueWalk

If your credit background checks the boxes covered earlier, here is an overview of what to expect from the application process:

Step-by-Step Application Guide

The application form is accessible online from Milestone’s website. It offers a secure submission process typically taking just a few minutes to complete. Required inputs include:

  • Contact Information
  • Employment Details
  • Total Household Income
  • Housing Payment Expenses
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth

After submission, you receive an instant decision for a credit line between $300 to $1,000 based on your qualifications.

Documents and Information Required

To complete the application, have personal identification details handy like your SSN and DOB at minimum. Also prepare to provide accurate current employment status, total income from all sources, monthly housing payments, and estimate of financial obligations.

Supplying accurate inputs that can be verified helps smooth the approval process. Attempts to embellish financial qualifications can slow decisions or trigger fraud alerts resulting in denials.

Tips and Strategies to Improve Approval Odds

  • Apply confidently by double checking all application details provided are correct. 
  • Input an annual income exceeding $10,000 if possible, as that threshold often improves instant approval chances. 
  • Also ideally have no collections or public records related to financial matters in the last 12-24 months.

Utilizing the pre-qualification too in advance can help set expectations before formally applying.

Managing Your Milestone Credit Card

Customer Care
Credits: Canva

Once approved and your card arrives, you can access your Milestone account online or via mobile app to monitor activity, set up recurring payments and more.

Online & Mobile Account Access

Log into your account dashboard online or in the Milestone mobile app to review available credit, check balances, see recent charges, make one-time payments and set up autopay directly from a bank account.

Standard capabilities like locking your card if lost, transaction notifications, biometric login are also all included in the app.

Helpful Customer Service Channels

The Genesis FS support team can be contacted for any billing questions, account management needs or other inquiries. Support avenues include email, live online chat and their toll-free number (1-877-486-3442) with 24/7 availability.

Avoiding Common Credit Pitfalls

As a credit builder, it’s imperative to avoid missteps that can quickly counteract your efforts through penalties. Set up autopay through your checking account for at least the minimum amount due each month.

Additionally, review statements regularly and pay on time always to avoid costly late fees and penalty jumps. It’s also wise to limit overall card usage to 30% or less of your credit limit before paying down the balance each month.

Who Should Consider the Milestone Credit Card?

Credit Card Owner
Credits: Canva

The Milestone credit card certainly will not be a fit for everyone. Here is a closer look at the ideal candidate profile and scenarios where applying makes the most sense:

Ideal Candidate Profile for the Milestone Credit Card

First time credit applicants with no negative records make ideal candidates. Those with past credit challenges but who are now committed to rebuilding responsibly also can potentially qualify and benefit.

Other potentials well-suited include new US residents hoping to establish domestic credit history and consumers who have had no activity establishing files. Young applicants may also have success.

When It Makes Sense to Apply for This Card

If you need to establish starter credit history but don’t yet qualify for unsecured cards, the Milestone card can provide an accessible starting point. After using the card judiciously for 6-12 months, you can then “graduate” to more useful rewards cards.

The pre-qualification tool also makes it easy to check your approval odds without credit bureau impacts first. This allows you to assess if the card is right for you now before applying.

Alternatives to the Milestone Credit Card

Deserve EDU Mastercard
Credits: Teak

While the Milestone offer is compelling for some based on its credit building focus, a few other comparable options exist too:

Comparing with Other Starter Credit Card Products

The Deserve EDU Mastercard targets students specifically, offering cash back rewards in addition to credit building features. The Petal Visa is another alternative, evaluating applicants more holistically than only weighing credit scores.

The Fit Mastercard works similar to Milestone for credit building purposes. Several major banks also offer secured card products that convert to standard cards over time.

Pros and Cons Relative to Similar Cards


Milestone enjoys widespread availability nationwide, while some competing credit builders have geographic restrictions or target narrow demographics only.


 It’s hard 29.99% penalty APR is steeper than some other beginner cards if mistakes occur. Other aspects like cash back rewards, fees, credit limits could be better or worse with alternatives when compared head to head.

Analyze aspects like rewards potential, fees, credit limits, georgraphic availability carefully before finalizing your card selection.

Final Thoughts on the Milestone Credit Card

Credit card and Lock & key
Credits: Canva

The Milestone Gold Mastercard can serve as an accessible starting point for credit building beginners. It allows individuals with no current entries or adverse histories the ability to establish starter credit files.

All while providing credit monitoring tools and recurring reporting to all major bureaus. The lack of an annual fee also avoids that barrier to entry.

Rebuilding or bootstrapping credit history from no accounts certainly takes time and diligent effort. But doing so opens up financing opportunities down the road that can be extremely valuable.

The Milestone card makes it possible to embark on that journey at little or no cost. Allowing consumers not yet qualifying for traditional unsecured credit a way to get started.

In closing, the Milestone credit card deserves consideration for those needing to establish or reconstruct credit histories based on its targeted capabilities. Just be certain to weigh all card options against your specific position and plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Milestone cards have a low credit limit typically between $300 to $1,000 based on your credit qualifications at approval.

The Bank of Missouri issues the Milestone card but servicing is provided by Genesis FS Card Services.

Check your Milestone application status by logging into your account online or calling customer service at 1-877-486-3442.

You have several options to pay your Milestone bill:

  • 1. Mobile App: Use the Milestone mobile app.
  • 2. Online Account Portal: Log in to your account online.
  • 3. Mail: Mail a check to the provided address.
  • 4. Phone: Pay over the phone.
  • 5. Autopay: Set up automatic payments

Approval is possible even with poor credit scores below 550. Additionally, no credit history is required if you have an income over $10,000, which improves your odds of approval.