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Deserve Credit Cards

3 min read
Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Sep 24, 2019 | Updated Nov 08, 2019

Deserve (formerly known as SelfScore) is a newer credit card issuer focused on providing credit cards to people with fair credit and people who don’t already have significant positive credit history established on their credit reports, like international students.

There are three Deserve cards issued by Celtic Bank, which are all Mastercards: Deserve Pro, Deserve Edu, and Deserve Classic. None of them have annual fees or foreign transaction fees.

Who Are the Deserve Cards For?

The three Deserve credit cards are designed with different types of people in mind:

  • People without much of an established credit history, or none at all (Deserve Classic)
  • Students with limited or no credit history, both in the U.S. and abroad (Deserve Edu)
  • Employed people with an established credit history, around the range of fair/average credit at least (Deserve Pro)

You can qualify for the Deserve Classic or Deserve Edu without any established credit, because Deserve will check more than the typical creditworthiness factors when you apply (more on that in the next section).

The Deserve Edu is rare in that it doesn’t require an SSN to apply, meaning international students are free to apply (with some requirements). If you do get an SSN later on, you should provide it to Deserve so your card activity can help you build credit.

The Deserve Pro breaks the mold, and will require more of an established credit history and likely some income. But in return you’ll also get better rewards and perks than the other Deserve cards

Unlike secured cards, which are often the best options for people with limited or no credit history, the Deserve cards don’t require security deposits to be approved and establish credit limits.

How to Apply for a Deserve Credit Card

Whereas issuers usually determine an applicant’s creditworthiness by relying on scoring models such as FICO, this isn’t as effective when assessing those with little to no credit history. If you do have a credit history, Deserve will pull it with a hard inquiry, but this won’t be the only information it uses when deciding whether or not to approve you for a card.

In addition to the traditional criteria, Deserve will also consider other personal information in its underwriting process, to determine an applicant’s potential to successfully use the card responsibly and pay off balances. This information includes:

  • Education
  • Current financial wellness
  • Future employability
  • Monthly income, housing expenses, and available assets

If you’re an international student and do not have a Social Security number, you must provide a passport, student visa, I-20 form, and proof of a U.S. bank account.

Take note that Deserve will need to connect to your bank account to verify your balance. If you have privacy or security concerns this might worry you, but it seems logical because Deserve bases its decision on more than just an applicant’s credit history.

Deserve Pro Mastercard

The Deserve Pro card earns unlimited cash back rewards: 3% on travel and entertainment, 2% at restaurants, and 1% on everything else.

Deserve Pro Mastercard

Deserve Pro Mastercard

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.49%–24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Deserve Edu Mastercard

The Deserve Edu card is designed for college students, including international students. It provides 1% cash back for every purchase and includes a statement credit for an Amazon Prime Student membership.

Deserve Edu Mastercard

Deserve Edu Mastercard

Our rating
Min. credit levelNo Credit
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR20.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Deserve Classic Mastercard

This is the oldest of the Deserve credit card offers. With no annual fee and no rewards, it’s designed mostly for helping people with no credit scores or low scores to build up their credit history.

Deserve Classic Mastercard

Deserve Classic Mastercard

Our rating
Min. credit levelNo Credit
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Deserve Credit Card Features

Cardholders may receive the following perks with their new Deserve Mastercard credit card:

  • Amazon Prime Student: Deserve Edu cardholders will receive a credit towards a 12-month Amazon Prime Student membership.
  • Priority Pass Select: Deserve Pro cardholders will receive a complimentary one-year membership after making $1,000 worth of purchases within 90 days of activating the card.
  • $100 Feather subscription discount: Get $100 off your furniture rental subscription when you sign up using your Deserve card.
  • $45 statement credit for Mint Mobile
  • $10 statement credit for a Lemonade insurance subscription
  • Mastercard Platinum benefits: Cell Phone Insurance, Price Protection, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Roadside Assistance, and more

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