Updated Feb 09, 2021 | Published May 20, 2020 • 12 min read
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Designed for those moving or newly moved to the U.S., the Jasper Mastercard (rebranded from the CreditStacks Mastercard) provides a way to get your feet wet in the world of credit cards. With no credit scores required and some useful benefits and protections, it’s a helpful way to get a handhold in your new home.
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Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Jasper Mastercard®4 out of 5 Stars, because it reduces some of the traditional barriers for people who have just moved to the U.S and are new to credit. It doesn’t have stellar rewards and benefits, but it’s a simple, potentially free way to establish a credit history.
Why We Like It
No credit history, credit scores, SSN, or ITIN needed to apply (but SSN must be provided within 60 days of card activation, and applicants living in the U.S. for at least a year must provide an SSN and undergo a credit check when applying)
The application process can be started up to 60 days before your planned start date at your new job
A credit limit of up to $5,000 for all approved applicants
Up to 6% cash back on every eligible purchase (terms apply)
No annual fee
No foreign transaction fee
Mastercard benefits, along with some shopping and travel protections
Why It Could Be Better
Maximum credit limit of $5,000 (which isn’t too bad for a card designed for limited or no credit)
Only 1% cash back unless you successfully refer people to get a Jasper card
The Jasper Mastercard is a rather unique credit card. It was originally designed for professionals recently relocated to the U.S., but it could be a good option for any professional in the U.S. with limited or no credit.
It’s tough to start building credit from nothing, because credit cards and other financial products typically require an established credit history to qualify.
Without a U.S. credit history and Social Security number (or ITIN), you can’t apply for most credit cards. But the Jasper Mastercard is different. It doesn’t require a credit history to be approved, and has other features that make it easier to get than most cards (applicants living in the U.S. for more than a year will need to submit to a credit check, however).
You won’t need an SSN to apply for this card, although you’ll need to get one within 60 days of card activation and provide it to Jasper. When applying you’ll need to submit your passport and visa information, along with proof of income in the U.S., including a work address. But if you’ve been living in the U.S. for at least a year, you will need to provide an SSN while applying.
Anyone can start the initial application process to see if he or she is pre-qualified. Full applications are available for those expecting to begin a new job in the U.S. within 60 days.
“Essentially, we help high-quality immigrants, professionals that relocate to the U.S., get access to a credit card on the day they land in the country, which is revolutionary, because up until now it took several months and quite a lot of pain in order to be able to get that first quality credit card.”
Jasper (previously known as CreditStacks), a fairly new company based in San Francisco, California, was the judges’ winner of the 2018 PitchIt competition, at the LendIt Fintech financial services conference. Their card is issued by WebBank.
Should you be using the Jasper Mastercard to establish a credit history and lay down a record of positive payments? Keep reading to learn more about this card and find out.
If you’re an international student in the U.S. for college, you can check out the Deserve Edu Mastercard (Review). It doesn’t require an SSN, provides 1% cash back and a free year of Amazon Student, and has no annual fee.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
Calling all professionals: Apply for the Jasper card if you’re an employed professional who will be starting a new job in the U.S. within 60 days, or if you’re already in the U.S. If your move date is more than 60 days away you can check to see if you’re pre-qualified.
Enjoy responsibly: Use this card responsibly to start building a credit history in the U.S. since Jasper reports to Equifax and TransUnion.
You won’t initially need a Social Security number: An SSN isn’t needed to apply, but applicants will eventually need to get one and report it to Jasper.
Refer your friends and bump up your rewards: Refer your friends to get a Jasper card to increase your cash back by 0.5% for 12 months per successful referral, up to a maximum of 6%.
Take advantage of your card when you travel: See if the Mastercard benefits will be helpful when traveling, like the Travel & Lifestyle services and Priceless Cities offers.
Work your way towards stronger cards: After establishing a solid credit history of positive payments you’ll be able to qualify for more valuable reward credit cards, with higher credit limits and better perks. But don’t cancel this card, because it can continue to help your credit scores and there’s no annual fee to pay.
If you’re new to the U.S. and looking for more ways to build credit, take a look at credit builder loans in addition to credit cards. They’re a type of installment loan that require you to pay the loan back before you can access it, which lets you establish a credit history.
Up to 6% cash back on every eligible purchase (terms apply):
1% cash back to begin
0.5% extra cash back for 12 months per approved referral
This unique rewards program allows you to increase your cash back by referring your friends to Jasper — what’s good for Jasper can be good for you. Use the unique referral link you can find in the Jasper app.
Your 0.5% cash back boost will be applied as soon as the person activates his or her new card, and it’ll last for 12 months. You should receive a notification in the app.
To get to 6% cash back, you’ll need to successfully refer 10 people in a 12-month period. This might be tough, but it’s not a bad system for a card designed primarily for building credit.
You’ll earn cash back as long as your account is in good standing (i.e., not delinquent).
Some other credit card issuers, like Chase and American Express, sometimes provide one-time bonus points or cash back for successful referrals.
The cash back you earn will be automatically redeemed as a statement credit each month, starting after three months of on-time payments. Your account must be active and in good standing.
The Jasper Mastercard comes with some basic shopping and travel protections that are common to many cards.
More than that, however, the Jasper card also comes with a few travel perks that are rarely found on cards like these. They can make the card more worthwhile, although you’ll need to explore them a bit to learn how to use them.
Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services: You’ll have access to a wide variety of convenient and money-saving offerings through Mastercard’s travel services. These perks can include discounts and upgrades at hotels and airlines, and 24/7 access to a travel advisor.
Priceless Cities: Cardholders can find exclusive events and experiences in over 82 countries around the world through the Priceless Cities service. There are many different types of experiences to choose from, ranging from the fairly inexpensive ($28) to the extravagant ($12,000).
Mastercard Airport Concierge: A 15% discount is available for Mastercard Airport Concierge services, providing speedy escorts through airports.
Price Protection: If you make a purchase with your card and find that same item being advertised for a lesser price, you may be eligible for reimbursement for the price difference. You must purchase the item entirely with your card.
Purchase Assurance: Your eligible purchases are covered for 60 days against damage, loss, and theft.
Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re unsatisfied with a purchase within 60 days and the merchant refuses to take it back, you may be eligible for reimbursement.
Extended Warranty: Eligible manufacturer’s warranties of one year or less can be doubled by up to one additional year.
Cellular Wireless Telephone Protection: Pay your cell phone bill with the Jasper card to get coverage against damage and theft.
MasterRental Collision Damage Waiver: Eligible rented vehicles are covered against damage and theft, as long as you decline the rental company’s own insurance.
Travel Accident Insurance: Cardholders, their spouses, and dependent children are covered against accidental death and dismemberment when traveling by common carrier.
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption: If a trip is cancelled or interrupted for an eligible reason, you can be reimbursed for certain costs.
Baggage Delay Insurance: Emergency purchases of essential items are covered if your bags are delayed by four hours or more while traveling.
Lost or Damaged Luggage Insurance: Provides reimbursement for lost checked or carry-on luggage, and personal property contained therein
Mastercard ID Theft Protection: Help contacting the authorities and restoring your identity if you become a victim of identity theft
Mastercard Identity Theft Alerts: Get notified if Mastercard detects that your personal information is being bought or sold online.
The Terms & Fees
Balance Transfer APR
Cash Advance APR
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Cash Advance Fee
5%, $10 minimum
Returned Payment Fee
Up to $27
Up to $27
The Jasper card has simple terms and fees. There’s a pretty low purchase APR, although we recommend always paying your balance in full each billing period. This will do several things for you at once:
There’s no annual fee to use the Jasper Mastercard, and no foreign transaction fee for using it outside the U.S. This makes sense for a card designed for people moving from another country. Some other cards will charge a fee of up to 3% for those purchases.
What Is the Credit Limit of the Jasper Mastercard?
The Jasper Mastercard will come with a credit limit of up to $5,000 for all approved applicants.
This is a pretty high possible credit line for a card designed for people with limited or no credit history.
The Bottom Line
The Jasper Mastercard® is designed in large part for professionals who have just moved or will be moving to the U.S. — but if you’re already here and you have limited or no credit, it could be a good pick for you too.
It’s hard to break into the world of credit when you’re starting with nothing but your good name and money in the bank, but you have an option with Jasper.
In most cases you’d need to start with a secured card, but this card offers an unsecured line of credit up to $5,000. There are some decent travel benefits too, which could make a tour of the U.S. more interesting.
The spending rewards are minimal, but you can bump them up if you know some people who could use a good way to build credit in the U.S.
The Jasper card can be used to improve your credit completely for free because there’s no annual fee. As long as you avoid interest charges and other fees, it can help you establish a credit history at no cost whatsoever.
If you don’t have a Social Security Number, or at least an ITIN with a U.S. address, it’ll be very hard to find another U.S. credit card you’ll qualify for. It might be impossible. But if you do have an SSN there is a world of options available to you. Check out some alternatives to the Jasper Mastercard below.
When you apply, you’ll authorize Jasper to check your credit reports if necessary, so you may see a hard inquiry.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Jasper Mastercard?
For the Jasper Mastercard, you won’t need to have a credit history or credit scores to be approved.
It’s designed mainly for professionals who have recently moved to or are planning on relocating to the U.S., and as such don’t yet have any established credit. If you’re already in the U.S. and haven’t yet built up your credit, it could work for you too. Therefore, it has more lax requirements than most cards, so you’re more likely to be approved.
If you’ve been living in the U.S. for some time and do have a credit profile, Jasper will check it with a hard inquiry when you apply.
Qualifications and Requirements
Must be 18 to apply
Personal information: Education history, passport and/or visa information, email
Financial information: Total annual income, employer name, job title, past employment history
Must be a resident of the U.S., or moving to the U.S. within 60 days
No SSN needed to apply, but must provide one within 60 days of card activation (applicants living in the U.S. for at least a year must provide an SSN when applying)
No credit history needed to be approved (applicants living in the U.S. for at least a year must undergo a credit check when applying)
Because this is a secured card, you’ll be required to make an initial deposit. The minimum deposit you can make is $200, while the max is $2,500 (depending on your creditworthiness). Your credit line will be equal to your deposit. So the Jasper card can have a higher credit limit, with its cap of $5,000, and doesn’t require any deposit.
You’ll get more protections with the Jasper Mastercard, considering the Discover card offers basically none. There’s a free credit monitoring tool, but you don’t have to be a cardholder to use it — anyone can sign up.
FICO Credit Scorecard: Access your FICO Score 8 whenever you’d like for free, based on your TransUnion credit report.
Free Social Security number alerts: Discover searches for your Social Security number on thousands of risky dark web sites and will alert you if your information was compromised.
New account and inquiry alerts: Get notified of new accounts and credit inquiries on your Experian credit report.
Cash at Checkout: At eligible retailers you can get cash at checkout. The extra cash will be counted as part of your purchase.
Refer a Friend bonus: Earn a $50 statement credit bonus for every friend you refer who’s approved, up to 10 friends per year. If your friend makes a purchase within three months of opening the account, he or she will earn a $50 bonus too.
Security deposit: $200–$2,500
Purchase APR: See Terms
Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
Uniquely, Citi doesn’t require you to have a bank account in order to apply and make your initial security deposit. That initial deposit runs from $200 to $2,500, so the max credit limit is a bit lower than the Jasper’s $5,000. The Jasper card, as it isn’t a secured card, requires no deposit.
You won’t get as many travel protections as you would with the Jasper card, but you will be able to view your FICO Bankcard Score 8 based on your Equifax credit report. That’s a pretty useful perk, especially when trying to improve your credit scores.
The security deposit here is a bit different than other secured cards. You’ll be asked to make a deposit of one of three amounts from a valid bank account:
But no matter what you’re asked to put down, your starting line of credit will be $200. You can, however, pay more to increase it, up to $1,000. And after your first six months, you’ll be automatically considered for a higher credit line, a handy feature for a card like this with a low limit.
The maximum limit is a far cry from what the $5,000 limit the Jasper card offers, and it will require you to have a Social Security number. However, you will be able to monitor one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report. But you’ll have fewer shopping and travel protections.
There aren’t any impressive benefits or rewards attached, but since there’s no annual fee it provides another virtually free way to build your credit (as long as you avoid other fees). And after your first six months, Capital One will automatically consider you for a credit line increase, a great feature for a card designed for this credit level.
The shopping and travel protections it offers are pretty close to the Jasper Mastercard. And, you can monitor one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report, something the Jasper card doesn’t offer.
Like most cards, it isn’t as easy to be approved for the Capital One card as it is for the Jasper card. You’ll need a Social Security number and probably some credit history, but it’s another good option for those with a bit more established credit.
Higher credit line: The issuer will consider increasing your credit line in as little as six months.
Capital One CreditWise: Free access to one of your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, based on your TransUnion credit report
Price Protection: Reimbursement for eligible purchases you make entirely with your card if you find the same item being advertised for a lesser price
Extended Warranty: Eligible purchases will have their manufacturer’s warranty doubled by up to one additional year. This benefit applies to warranties of one year or less.
Travel and Emergency Assistance: Provides help in case of an emergency while traveling
Travel Accident Insurance: Provides up to $100,000 in coverage for you and yours when traveling by common carrier
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Coverage for eligible rented vehicles against damage and theft
Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 26.99% (Variable)
No foreign transaction fee
Annual Fee: $0
Pay no annual fee
Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you’re all set
Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee – and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this
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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