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The 3 best Genesis Financial Solutions credit cards: For those with bad credit

What is the best Genesis Financial Solutions credit card? The Genesis FS Destiny Mastercard is ZDNet's top choice. But we compared the three credit card options altogether for people with bad credit.

When you have bad or poor credit, it can be challenging to get approved for an unsecured credit card. Compared to a secured credit card, an unsecured credit card doesn't require collateral or a deposit into a savings account for approval. Whether you're looking to build credit as a new user or rebuild credit after a bankruptcy or string of delinquencies causing your score to drop, a Genesis FS credit card may be the solution for you.

Genesis Financial Services offers credit to the non-prime market, which is users who can't qualify for prime rates because of their credit history. You can pre-qualify for Genesis FS credit cards without affecting your credit score, so you know what you qualify for and the terms. Genesis offers the option to customize your card design and all three credit bureaus receive payment data, which can help boost your credit score and establish you as a responsible cardholder. 

Genesis also offers Genesis credit, which extends second-look financing to consumers who don't qualify for prime lenders. Genesis created the Genesis Credit brand after the 2008 recession, when many saw their credit negatively impacted through no fault of their own, like job loss or health issues. The Genesis Credit belief is "no one should be turned away from financing based solely on a FICO score." Find out what Genesis FS credit cards and financial services has to offer and what you might qualify for.

Card Highlights
Intro BonusN/A
APR24.90%
Recommended Credit Fair/Poor Credit
Reward RatesN/A
Annual FeeN/A
Intro Purchase APRN/A

The Genesis FS Destiny Mastercard credit card is one solution for people with bad-to-poor credit looking to build a better credit profile. First, Electronic Bank issues the credit card. Depending on your credit history and other criteria, you can get approved for a $300–$700 unsecured credit limit on the Destiny Genesis FS credit card. 

This credit card comes with an annual fee, and you may also have to pay a monthly fee, which is considered set up and maintenance fees. Even if you charge nothing on the card, you'll still be responsible for paying these fees as long as the account remains active.

Your fee amounts and APR vary by the cardholder agreement you're approved for. If you're approved for a $300 Destiny Mastercard, your annual fee billed the first year and each year after is $35 or $59. You may also get approved with a $75 initial annual fee and then $99 each year after. The APR for this card is 24.9% or 29.9%, and the cash advance APR is 29.9% for all Genesis FS Destiny Mastercard credit cards with a $300 credit limit.

If you're approved for a $500 Destiny Mastercard credit limit, the annual and yearly fees are either $59 or $125. You could also be approved for a card with an initial annual fee of $125 and $49 each year after, plus a monthly fee of $10.40 after the first year, which amounts to $124.80 annually. The APR for cash advance and purchases are 29.9% or 35.9%, depending on your cardholder agreement.

The Destiny Mastercard also comes with a $700 credit limit, which comes with a 35.9% cash advance and an interest rate of 35.9%. This card comes with an annual fee of $175 for the first year and $49 each year after, plus a $150 annual fee billed monthly at $12.50 per month.

Pros:

  • Almost anyone can be approved
  • Approval up to $700 credit limit
  • Unsecured credit card
  • Can pre-qualify without affecting credit score
  • Low foreign transaction fee of 1%

Cons:

  • High annual fee
  • Separate monthly maintenance fee on certain cardholder agreements
  • No intro bonus
  • No other perks or benefits
  • High APR

Also: The best starter credit card for no credit

Card Highlights
Intro BonusN/A
APR24.90%
Recommended Credit Bad/Poor
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$35-$99
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details

The Genesis FS Milestone Gold Mastercard is issued by The Bank of Missouri and offers up to a $1,000 credit limit for those who qualify. Like the other Genesis Mastercards, the Milestone Gold has different cardholder agreements depending on your credit history and other qualifying data.

For those approved for a $300 credit limit, there are several cardholder agreements. You could qualify for a $300 credit limit with an annual and yearly recurring maintenance fee of $35 or $59. Another option could be a $75 initial annual fee with a $99 annual fee each year after. Each card comes with either a 24.9% or 29.9% APR for interest and cash advances. There is also a cardholder agreement with a 35.9% APR with a $75 initial annual fee and $49 each year after, plus a monthly maintenance fee of $8.25 per month billed after the first year, which totals $99 per year.

The Milestone Gold Mastercard also comes with a $500 credit limit with various cardholder agreements. You may be approved with a $59 annual and yearly fee each year after, with either a 24.9% or 29.9% APR and a 29.9% cash advance APR. This card also comes with a 29.9% APR with $75 initial annual fee and $99 annual fee each year after, or a $125 annual fee starting in year one. A $500 credit limit may also come with a $125 first year annual fee and $49 due each year after, plus a monthly fee of $10.40 billed per month for maintenance, totaling $124.80 per year. This cardholder agreement comes with either a 29.9% or 35.9% APR with a matching cash advance APR.

If you qualify for a $700 credit limit on the Milestone Gold Mastercard, you could be approved for one of three cardholder agreements. This credit limit comes with either a $35 yearly annual fee or a $75 first year annual fee and $99 each year after with a 29.9% purchase and cash advance APR. If your credit score is lower, you may qualify for a 35.9% APR with a $175 first year annual fee and $49 each year after, plus a $150 annual maintenance fee billed monthly at $12.50.

The Milestone Gold Mastercard also comes with a $1,000 credit limit for those who qualify. This credit limit features a $74 annual fee for the first year and $99 each year after, plus a 29.9% cash advance and purchase APR.

Pros:

  • Most with bad or poor credit approved
  • Pre-qualifying will not affect credit score
  • Can be approved for up to $1,000 credit limit
  • Potential for no monthly maintenance fee
  • Unsecured credit card
  • 1% foreign transaction fee

Cons:

  • May have monthly maintenance fees
  • May receive high first-year annual fee, reducing purchase power
  • High APR 
  • Highest fees for a low credit limit
  • May not qualify with bad credit
Card Highlights
Intro BonusN/A
APR24.90%
Recommended Credit Bad/Poor
Reward RatesN/A
Annual Fee$0 - $99
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details

Celtic Bank issues the Genesis FS Indigo Mastercard. This Genesis FS credit card has the best terms of the three, which typically means you have to have a better credit profile to be approved. You can be approved for a $300 - $1,000 credit limit with the Indigo Mastercard, and some consumers may qualify for no monthly fee and low APR.

There are several cardholder agreements you could qualify for with a $300 credit limit. You could be eligible for no annual or monthly maintenance fee with a 24.9% APR and 29.9% cash advance APR. This credit card also comes with an annual fee of $49 or $59 each year and either a 24.9% or 29.9% purchase APR with a 29.9% cash advance APR. The $300 credit limit also comes with a cardholder agreement for a $75 annual fee and $99 each year after, with either a 9.9%, 19.9%, 24.9%, or 29.9% APR.

The $500 credit limit comes with one of three cardholder agreements. You might qualify for a $59 annual fee with either a 24.9% or 29.9% APR and a 29.9% cash advance APR or a $125 annual fee with a 29.9% cash advance and purchase APR.

The Indigo Mastercard also comes with a $700 or $1,000 credit limit with a $59 annual fee and 29.9% cash advance and purchase APR. 

Pros:

  • The high potential credit limit
  • No monthly fee
  • Potential for a low APR of 9.9%
  • Unsecured credit card
  • 1% foreign transaction fee
  • Pre-qualifying won't affect your credit score

Cons

  • Those with bad credit may not qualify
  • Terms are cumbersome with low credit limit
  • Some credit limits come with high APR
  • No intro bonus
  • No perks or benefits

Also: 5 ways to improve your credit score without a credit card

What is the best Genesis FS credit card for you?

The best Genesis FS credit card is the Genesis FS Destiny Mastercard. But it also depends on your credit score and financial history. With various cardholder agreements for each credit card, most consumers with bad or poor credit can qualify. Genesis FS offers the option to pre-qualify without affecting your credit score, so you can find out what terms you qualify for before you apply, which will then show up on your credit report as a hard inquiry.

Genesis FS credit card

Credit limit

APR range

Annual fees*

Destiny

$300–$700

24.9%–35.9%

$35–$175

Milestone Gold

$300–$1,000

24.9%–35.9%

$35–$175

Indigo

$300–$1,000

9.9%–29.9%

$0–$125

*May also include monthly maintenance fees.

Which is the right credit card for you?

When deciding the right credit card for you from Genesis FS, consider the three options: Destiny, Milestone Gold, or Indigo Mastercard. Each card comes with its own credit limit and terms, including annual and monthly maintenance fees, cash advance and purchase APRs. 

The Destiny Mastercard comes with the lowest credit limit and highest APR and fee terms, so may be best suited for someone with bad credit. The Milestone Gold and Indigo Genesis FS credit cards come with more favorable terms, such as lower APRs and fees, and a credit limit of up to $1,000 for those who qualify.

If you're unsure which Genesis FS credit card is right for you, consider getting pre-qualified. You'll be able to see which card, credit limit, and terms you qualify for without impacting your credit score. Once you've decided which card fits your needs, apply for it. Don't forget that the annual and monthly maintenance fees lower your available credit limit, so plan purchases accordingly so you don't get hit with an overlimit fee.

What credit card uses Genesis FS?

Genesis FS uses Indigo and Milestone Mastercard to offer non-prime users credit cards. Genesis FS credit cards can be used to make purchases anywhere accepting credit cards with the Mastercard logo.

Is Genesis FS Card services legit?

Yes, Genesis FS Card Services is legit. The company has been operating for 20 years in the consumer financial services industry and is the largest non-prime servicing financier in the U.S. for merchants. In 2020, Tavant, a leader in the digital lending solutions industry, announced a partnership with Genesis to enhance the digital and mobile portal experience for customers using the most recent technology. 

What credit score do you need for Genesis credit?

As a part of the second-look financing market, you don't need an excellent, or "prime" credit score to get approved for Genesis credit. As a subprime or non-prime consumer, you can qualify for a Genesis FS credit card with a credit score below 669 to help you build your credit to a prime level. 

How did we choose these credit cards?

There are many criteria used to choose these credit cards, including:

  • APR: The annual percentage rate, or APR, is the amount of interest you pay on purchases made with the Genesis FS credit card. Your APR can range from 24.9% – 35.9%, depending on which card you get approved for. There is also a separate cash advance APR that you will pay if you take a cash advance against the credit limit of the credit card.
  • Benefits: Credit cards will often have benefits attached to the card you can use to enhance your experience. This can include balance transfers from another credit card, sign up bonuses, and earning points or miles that can be used for travel, shopping, and merchandise. The Genesis FS credit cards do not come with benefits at this time.
  • Fees: There can be several types of fees you are responsible for when you agree to a credit card plan. Annual fees, cash advance, foreign transactions, late payment, overlimits, and returned payment fees can be assessed to your Genesis FS credit card account. Make sure to read your card agreement details to understand which fees and the amounts that apply to you.

Are there alternative cards worth considering?

If you don't find a Genesis FS credit card that is the right fit, you can also consider:

  • Capital One Platinum: This credit card is for those looking to build good credit. It doesn't have an annual fee like the Genesis FS cards do unless you qualify for a no-fee Indigo credit card.
  • Discover it Secured: The Discover It card requires collateral or a deposit for approval but doesn't have an annual fee. You can also earn cashback on everyday purchases.
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