BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSMISSION LANE CASH BACK CARD REVIEW: SOLID REWARDS FOR LIMITED CREDIT

Mission Lane Cash Back Card Review: Solid Rewards for Limited Credit

It's a straightforward card with a flat rewards rate, no annual fee and no deposit required — ideal for someone whose goal is to build credit.
Jae Bratton Author Avatar
Nov 1, 2023 3:18 p.m. PDT
Edited by
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The Bottom Line

4.4

NerdWallet rating

It's among the most accessible and user-friendly cards for those with average credit. There's no upgrade path, though, and if what you really have is poor credit, you won't qualify.

Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card Image
Apply Now
on Mission Lane's website
on Mission Lane's website
Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1%-1.5%
Cashback
Intro Offer
N/A
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
26.99%-29.99% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1%-1.5%
Cashback
Intro Offer
N/A
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
26.99%-29.99% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Rewards rate

    1%-1.5%

  • Bonus offer

    N/A

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 26.99%-29.99%, Variable

    Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as few as 7 months.
  • Free, online credit score access for cardholders.
  • Instant decision on your application.
  • No interest on purchases when you pay in full and on time each month.
  • No security deposit required – get started today!
  • The coverage of Visa®.
  • Access your account anytime, anywhere with our mobile app.
  • If you are charged interest, the charge will be no less than $0.50.

Pros and Cons

Pros

No annual fee

Rewards

No security deposit

Automatic credit-limit reviews

Cons

Unclear credit limit policy

No upgrade path

Detailed Review

The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card, issued by TAB Bank, is a solid option for those with limited credit because it can take into account multiple financial factors beyond just your credit scores. You won’t have to pay an annual fee or a security deposit, and the card reports to all three credit bureaus. And by going through the company's low-stakes pre-qualification process, you’ll be able to see the exact terms you qualify for before you officially apply.

That includes your annual percentage rate, or APR, as well as your rewards rate, which can be up to 1.5% cash back.

Unlike some competing alternative credit cards with similar features, the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card lacks certain guardrails against overspending — but that may be good if you want to learn responsible spending habits that will go with you when you're ready to move on to a card with richer benefits and rewards. The bad news, though, is there's no upgrade path within the Mission Lane credit card portfolio. You'll have to look elsewhere.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card is aimed at applicants with at least fair credit (FICO scores of 630 or higher). Those with poor credit (FICO scores of 629 or lower) may qualify for a different version of the card — the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card — which doesn’t earn cash back. You’ll learn which Mission Lane offer you're eligible for after going through the pre-qualification process.

Empty Table Header

Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card

Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card

Annual fee

$0.

$0.

APR

The ongoing APR is 29.99%-33.99% Variable.

The ongoing APR is 26.99%-29.99% Variable.

Rewards

None.

Unlimited 1% or 1.5% cash back on purchases.

Security deposit

None.

None.

Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card: Basics

Card type: Alternative and starter.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Rewards: Unlimited 1% or 1.5% cash back, depending on your credit card’s terms.

Redemption: Cash back is automatically applied as a statement credit.

APR: The ongoing APR is 26.99%-29.99% Variable.

Foreign transaction fee: 3%.

Other benefits:

  • Roadside dispatch.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
26.99%-29.99% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
REGULAR APR
28.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$35
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
25.64% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Benefits and Perks

Accessibility

It may be easier to get the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card because of the company’s proprietary underwriting technology, which is used to gain a fuller, clearer picture of applicants’ unique financial circumstances. Mission Lane looks at multiple factors beyond credit scores, including payment history, income, credit usage and debt-to-income ratio. You may be asked to provide W-2s, 1099s, pay stubs or benefits documents to verify your income.

Fast pre-qualification process

To officially apply for the card, you'll have to submit to a "hard" credit check, which can knock points off your credit scores. But before you get to that point, the card issuer offers a pre-qualification process that gives you a sense of whether you'll be approved — and, therefore, whether the hard inquiry will be worth it. The pre-qual process requires information such as your annual income and Social Security number. The issuer will provide a decision in about a minute. If you qualify for the card, you’ll receive details about the annual fee, APR and rewards rate you qualify for. You can choose to decline the offer if you don’t like the terms, and because pre-qualification initiates only a soft inquiry, your credit scores won’t be affected.

No security deposit

Plenty of credit cards targeting consumers with less-than-ideal credit require a security deposit, which typically becomes your credit limit. Security deposits tend to be a minimum of $200 to $300, which can present a significant barrier for some applicants.

The Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card is an unsecured card, meaning you won’t have to put down a security deposit to get it. And unlike a lot of secured cards, your credit limit isn't necessarily fixed and unchanging.

Potential for credit limit increase

The issuer automatically considers increasing your credit limit at least once within the first 12 months of your opening an account. Cardholders may be eligible for a credit line bump if they’ve made their first seven payments on time, among other requirements.

Rewards

You can earn up to 1.5% cash back on purchases made with the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card, which keeps it competitive with others in its class, such as the Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card. Redemption is limited to a statement credit, but those rewards are automatically applied without any work on your part, and earnings aren’t capped.

🤓Nerdy Tip

As a cardholder, you'll also have access to Mission Lane Junction. Available on the Mission Lane website, the Junction is a hub of resources meant to educate and empower. It contains articles on topics from unemployment to paying off debt, plus stories from Mission Lane cardholders about how they overcame various financial roadblocks.

Drawbacks and Considerations

Vague credit limit policy

The issuer does not disclose the maximum credit limit for the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card, if any. Among similar cards, the Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card advertises credit limits from $300 to $5,000, while holders of the Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card can get a credit line as high as $10,000. Credit limits for the Prosper® Card range from $500 to $3,000.

Without knowing the maximum credit limit, it’s difficult to estimate the potential for earning cash back with the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card. There’s a meaningful difference between 1% cash back on $500 in purchases ($5) versus $1,000 ($10). 

Higher credit limits can also help lower your credit utilization ratio. In general, it's best for your credit scores if you use less than 30% of your available credit. It’s easier to go over that threshold with a credit card that has a $300 credit limit, for example, than one with a $1,000 limit. You may want to look at other cards that are more transparent about their credit limits if you want to minimize the impact of credit utilization on your credit score.

No upgrade path

As of this writing, Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card holders have no way to graduate to another card with more robust rewards or benefits. Responsible credit use is rewarded only with credit limit increases, but as mentioned above, it is unclear what the maximum credit limit is on a Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card.

How To Decide If It's Right For You

Best suited for someone who wants to build their credit, the Mission Lane Cash Back Visa® Credit Card can help you do just that and earn cash back at the same time. Without spending caps, bonus rewards categories and annual fees to remember, the card should be easy to manage for those who don’t want that stress in their lives.

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Alternate Pick: Upgrade path
Potentially fast credit limit increase

This card doesn't earn rewards, but because it's a Capital One product, you might eventually be able to upgrade to a different card in that issuer's portfolio and start earning rewards even higher than 1.5% back. Either way, there's no annual fee or deposit required, and you can be automatically evaluated for a credit limit increase in as little as six months.


Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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