Review of the Deserve Pro Mastercard
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The Deserve Pro Mastercard is currently available by invite only, but you can request an invite.
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The Deserve Pro Mastercard provides a way for people with limited or fair credit to start earning some cash back.
That’s because Deserve will check more than just your typical credit and financial information, setting it apart from other card issuers. If you don’t meet the traditional lending requirements, this card provides a way to start improving your credit.
You’ll get 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, with 2% cash back at restaurants.
You’ll get a Complimentary one-year Priority Pass Select membership for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days ($27 lounge entry fee per person), which provides access to airport lounges around the world.
This card also comes with some other perks and rebates, along with basic shopping and travel protections.
The Deserve Pro is a pretty good option for anyone with less-than-great credit who wants to earn some rewards with a no annual fee card. With it you can build your credit and get a bit of cash back at the same time.
Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Deserve Pro 4 out of 5 Stars in large part because of the unique approval system used by Deserve. This card does require some established credit history, but it will also check factors like your education and earnings potential. For people who can’t qualify for other cards, this could provide a way to keep building up more of a traditional credit history.
Unlike most cards for people with poor or fair credit, you’ll get some cash back rewards with this card: up to 3% back on certain purchases. They might not be the most valuable bonus categories, but they’re not bad.
It’s a Platinum Mastercard, so it also comes with some basic shopping and travel protections. Nothing too special, but they could help out if you get in a jam.
Overall, this card provides a good way for people with fair credit to improve it while earning rewards. And it’s accessible to a wider group of people than most cards, so it might be one of few options for many people.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Consider the Deserve Pro Mastercard if you’ve had trouble getting other cards, but still have some established credit history. It will consider more than just your credit history and current financial status when you apply. If you also have a decent education and job prospects, you’ll have a much better chance of being approved.
- Use this card to earn cash back on your travel, entertainment, and restaurant purchases. Look into some other reward credit cards to earn rewards on other types of purchases.
- Complimentary one-year Priority Pass Select membership for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days ($27 lounge entry fee per person). Use the code you receive to sign up for Priority Pass.
- You don’t need to worry about cashing in your rewards because they will be automatically redeemed whenever they reach a value of $25.
- Tell your friends about the Deserve credit cards, because you’ll earn a $30 statement credit for every friend you refer who successfully applies for one. Plus a bonus $200 if you refer 10 friends in total.
- If you’re a student, even an international student, check out the Deserve Edu Mastercard (Review).
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
The 3% and 2% cash back bonus categories are only available for the first $500 you spend across all those categories every billing cycle. That means you’ll only earn those rewards on the first $500 you spend every month on any combination of travel, entertainment, and restaurant purchases. After that limit is reached, 1% cash back will be earned in those categories instead.
For example, if you spend $100 at restaurants and $400 on travel, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on the rest of your purchases that month.
The Travel and Entertainment category includes:
|Hotels||Airlines||Car Rentals||Tourism||General Entertainment|
You may also receive promotional offers of extra bonus categories to earn cash back in for a limited time. Look out for these offers if you’re a cardholder.
The complimentary Priority Pass Select membership provides airport lounge access and is an interesting and unique bonus offer, good for travelers who spend a lot of time at airports. After meeting the spending requirement you’ll be given a unique code to use to sign up for Priority Pass Select, and you must sign up within two billing cycles.
Take note that lounge entry will cost $27 per person, which is discounted from the normal $32 fee. You must use your Deserve card as the primary payment method for Priority Pass charges, and your card must be on file with Priority Pass and in good standing at the time of lounge visit.
Your cash back will be automatically redeemed every billing period, as statement credits in increments of $25.
Redemptions are not available if your account is delinquent, over the credit limit, or closed. If you have cash back but your account is ineligible to redeem, the cash back will be reconsidered next billing period.
Cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
This card comes with some basic shopping and travel protections. It’s important to note, however, that you won’t be able to add authorized users to your account like you can with most credit cards.
Late Payment Waiver
Your first late payment will be waived as a courtesy.
Refer Friends for Statement Credits
Refer a friend to get a Deserve credit card and you will receive a $30 statement credit for every approval. If you refer 10 friends you’ll get a $200 bonus, for a total of $500 in statement credits.
Lemonade Insurance Rebate
Get a $10 statement credit after making three consecutive payments for Lemonade Renters and Home Insurance. This credit is only available once.
Feather Furniture Rental Rebate
Get a $100 discount on your first month’s rental from Feather. To get the credit, pay with your Deserve card and use promo code “DESERVE100”.
Doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for eligible purchases, up to a maximum of 12 additional months.
If you find an item you bought with the card being advertised for a lesser price within 60 days of the purchase, you can be reimbursed for the price difference.
Cell Phone Insurance
Charge your monthly cell phone bill to your Deserve card to get up to $600 in coverage against damage and theft.
Travel Assistance Services
Provides emergency and non-emergency assistance when you’re traveling more than 50 miles from home. Cardholder is responsible for any third-party costs. Call 1-800-Mastercard for help, including pre-trip information like what documents and immunizations you might need.
If you have a problem on the road, call 1-800-Mastercard to get help like towing and fuel delivery. Cardholder is responsible for any third-party costs, but you may save money with pre-negotiated fees.
Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined.
You are not held responsible for unauthorized transactions on your card.
ID Theft Protection
Provides access to identity theft resolution services if your identity is compromised.
The Costs & Fees
|Regular Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|17.49%–24.49% Variable||Not Applicable||Not Applicable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$0||None||Not Applicable||Not Applicable|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||Up to $25; first fee waived||Up to $37|
There’s no annual fee with this card. Although there’s no 0% intro offer on interest rates, you can completely avoid interest on purchases by paying your balance off in full each billing period.
You won’t be able to use this card for balance transfers or cash advances. We recommend avoiding cash advances in general, but if you want to transfer a balance see our choices for the best balance transfer credit cards.
You won’t be charged extra for foreign transactions with this card, so you can use it outside the U.S. without being charged extra. There may be better choices for you, however. Look into some travel credit cards to find better options for spending while traveling abroad.
What is the Credit Limit?
The Deserve Pro has a maximum credit limit of $10,000. Your credit line will be determined by your creditworthiness, including credit scores and income.
The Bottom Line
There are several Deserve cards, and the Deserve Pro Mastercard is the most rewarding.
With 3% and 2% bonus categories, it gives people with average or limited credit a way to earn some cash back on their purchases. And the Priority Pass Select membership is a very rare find on a no annual fee card, although each lounge visit will still cost $27.
With limited credit comes limited options. But since Deserve will check more than the usual factors for applicants, more people will end up being approved for this card. And although it may not have the most useful reward categories, it’s a good no annual fee offer for people without a strong credit history.
And check out some other alternatives to the Deserve Pro below, which offer cash back in different bonus categories.
How to Apply for the Deserve Pro Mastercard
The Deserve Pro Mastercard is not currently available for new applicants.
Alternatives to the Deserve Pro Mastercard
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review): $95 annual fee, 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides and travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points per dollar on dining, select streaming, and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs); 2X points per dollar on other travel; good redemption options
- Discover it® Secured (Review): No annual fee, 2% back at gas stations and restaurants, Cashback Match: Double all cash back earned in the first year; awarded at the end of the first year
- Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review): No annual fee, up to 2% cash back on all purchases (must pay at least the minimum due on time), 0% APR for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
- 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
- Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Lyft rides (through March 2022)
- 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
- Select streaming services
- Online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
- 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for other Travel purchases
- 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
- Introductory bonus: 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
For this card the “dining” category does include bars, unlike the Deserve Pro. But you won’t get a bonus category for “entertainment” with the Sapphire Preferred.
Your points will be worth 1 cent each when redeeming for statement credits. But if you redeem them for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards you’ll get a 25% bonus. That means each point will be worth 1.25 cents, which is a pretty good deal. For 3X point category purchases, that comes out to be 3.75% cash back.
You can also transfer your points to a variety of frequent traveler programs at a rate of 1:1. This is the best way to redeem your points when you can, because you’ll be able to find deals that can provide the equivalent of up to 6% cash back, and maybe more. The exact values you get will vary depending on the date, merchant, and other circumstances.
The set of frequent traveler programs includes both airlines and hotels:
|AIRLINE TRAVEL PARTNERS|
|Aer Lingus AerClub||British Airways Executive Club||Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM||Iberia Plus||JetBlue TrueBlue|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards||United MileagePlus||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
|HOTEL TRAVEL PARTNERS|
|IHG Rewards Club||Marriott Bonvoy||World of Hyatt|
So this is a great card for travelers to earn points on those travel and dining purchases. You’ll have some better cash back opportunities if you redeem your points either through Chase Ultimate Rewards or transfer them to an airline or hotel partner. This will let you earn more than you can with the Deserve Pro, but you’ll also need to pay a fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an annual fee of $95. There’s also an upgraded version of this card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review). It has a steep annual fee of $550, and is meant for people who travel every year and spend plenty of money when they do.
It comes with perks like:
- 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
- 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for travel and dining
- Introductory bonus: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- 50% point bonus when redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- $300 annual travel credit
- $100 application fee credit for Global Entry
- Access to over 1,000 Priority Pass™ Select airport lounges
This card has the potential to be very rewarding, but it’s not designed for the average card user. These rewards and benefits will only pay off if you travel relatively often.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
So there’s no annual fee and you’ll get the same 2% cash back rate at restaurants, just like the Deserve Pro. Instead of entertainment or travel, you’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations.
The cash back match for all cash back you earn in the first year is unique to Discover cards and doesn’t require a minimum spend; rather, there’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn and your rewards will never expire.
You won’t find any fancy benefits, but it does report to all three major credit bureaus, you can see one of your FICO Credit Scores for free, and you can tap to pay at checkout. Not every card today is contactless, but it has shown to be a perfect feature for a pandemic.
It’s a secured card so you’ll have to put down a refundable security deposit after you’re approved. Discover will start reviewing your account after eight months and if you’re eligible, they’ll return your security deposit and upgrade you to an unsecured card.
The Discover it Secured may be less rewarding and lacks the benefits you’d find on an unsecured card, but it’s likely easier to get than the Deserve Pro, and more forgiving if you’re trying to get your credit in order. You won’t incur any late fees on your first late payment, and paying late won’t raise your purchase APR (but there are other consequences). In time, as you improve your credit, you’ll eventually be able to qualify for more rewarding cards.
Unlike the other cards on our list, it offers the same reward no matter where you shop:
- 2% cash back on every purchase you make
- 1% back at the time of purchase
- 1% back when you pay those purchases off
So you won’t need to think about any bonus categories with this card. Whatever you buy, you’ll get 2% cash back as long as you pay your bills on time.
This card also has a 0% intro APR for 18 months on Balance Transfers. This is a pretty long offer compared to most cards, giving you quite a while to pay off a balance at no interest. After that your rate will be 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable).
The other benefits are a bit better than what you’ll get with the Deserve Pro. These include the Private Pass service, providing presale tickets and VIP packages to sports, concerts, dining experiences, and more.
This is a pretty straightforward card. While most cards only offer 1% back for those random, non-bonus-category purchases, the Double Cash provides 2% for everything. That makes it a good card to use in combination with others.
You could use the Double Cash and the Deserve Pro together, for instance. Just use the Deserve Pro whenever you’ll earn 3% or 2% back, and use the Double Cash for every other purchase. That will ensure you always get the highest reward possible, and it will split up your spending between the two cards.
Looking for other credit cards to earn rewards for more kinds of purchases? See our picks for the Best Reward Credit Cards.
How do you like your Deserve Pro Mastercard? Did you have an easy time being approved compared to other cards? Leave your own review of the Deserve Pro Mastercard below, we’d love to hear from you!
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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