The Destiny Credit Card is a credit card specifically marketed to people with bad credit or no credit history. With an easy application process and no credit check, it seems like an ideal way to start building your credit if you have limited options.
But is the Destiny Credit Card really the best choice for rebuilding your credit? Or does it come with too many fees and drawbacks to justify getting one?
This comprehensive review will walk through all the key details of the Destiny Credit Card so you can determine if it’s the right card for your situation.
Overview of the Destiny Credit Card
The Destiny Credit Card is an unsecured credit card issued by Continental Finance, the lending arm of NetCredit. Here are some quick facts to know about the card:
- Available to applicants with bad credit (typically under 670 FICO score)
- No credit check required to apply
- Credit limits range from $300 to $1,000
- Annual fee of $75 in the first year, $48 after that
- 24.90% variable APR on purchases and cash advances
- Reports are sent monthly to all three credit bureaus
The main draw of the Destiny Card is that it’s accessible to people unable to qualify for other unsecured cards due to poor credit. It can help establish a positive payment history and raise your credit score over time.
But it comes at a cost – the fees on this card are higher than average compared to other options for bad credit.
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Destiny Credit Card Benefits
Here are some of the main benefits that come with the Destiny Credit Card:
The Destiny Credit Card offers guaranteed approval regardless of your credit score. As long as you meet the basic eligibility criteria, you will be approved.
This makes it easy to get started rebuilding your credit right away. Other unsecured cards often deny applicants with very low scores.
No Credit Check
No credit check is required to complete the Destiny Card application. This is known as a “soft inquiry” that does not impact your credit score.
Many credit cards require a hard inquiry to check your credit report, which can ding your credit score by a few points. The Destiny Card avoids this downside.
Reports to All Three Credit Bureaus
The Destiny Card reports your monthly payment history to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. This helps establish a positive credit history with all three major credit bureaus.
Some credit cards only report to one or two bureaus. Reporting to all three results in faster credit score improvement.
Online Account Access
Managing your account online is simple with the Destiny Card. Check your balance, make payments, set up autopay, and more through your online account dashboard.
You can also access your monthly statements digitally to easily track your monthly spending and payments.
The Continental Finance mobile app allows you to manage your Destiny Credit Card account on the go. Get account alerts, make payments, view transactions and more.
The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Mobile access makes it easy to stay on top of your account.
Destiny Credit Card Drawbacks
While guaranteed approval and no credit check are nice benefits, there are some significant drawbacks to the Destiny Credit Card that you need to watch out for:
The Destiny Card comes with a 24.90% variable APR. This is nearly 10% higher than the average credit card APR.
If you carry a balance month-to-month, interest charges add up quickly at such a high rate. This can negate any credit score improvement.
There is a $75 annual fee for the first year and a $48 annual fee each year after that. Annual fees take a chunk out of your available credit.
Some secured cards for bad credit don’t charge annual fees at all. The fees on the Destiny Card are quite high in comparison.
Low Credit Limit
The maximum credit limit on the Destiny Card is $1,000. But most cardholders receive a limit between $300 and $500.
This low limit makes it hard to keep your credit utilization low. High utilization drags down your credit score.
The Destiny Credit Card does not offer any rewards, cash back, or points on your spending. Many mainstream cards today provide at least 1% back.
If you want to earn something back for your spending, this isn’t the card for you. It’s solely for rebuilding credit.
Foreign Transaction Fee
You’ll be charged a 3% fee on any transactions made outside the United States with the Destiny Credit Card. Most cards these days do not charge foreign transaction fees.
Destiny Credit Card Fees
Here is the full rundown of all the Destiny Credit Card fees to watch out for:
- Annual Fee: $75 for 1st year, $48 for every year after that
- Monthly Fee: $0 for 1st year, $72 annually after that
- APR: 24.90% variable on purchases and cash advances
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3% or $5 minimum
- Cash Advance Fee: 5% or $5 minimum
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of transaction amount
- Late Payment Fee: Up to $40
- Returned Payment Fee: Up to $40
As you can see, the annual, monthly, cash advance, and foreign transaction fees really add up. Factor these fees into your decision before applying for this card.
Who Should Get the Destiny Credit Card?
The Destiny Credit Card is best suited for consumers in the following situations:
You Need Your First Unsecured Card
If you have no credit history and cannot qualify for a regular unsecured card, the guaranteed approval from the Destiny Card makes it easy to get your first real credit card.
While you may qualify for a secured card, those require a refundable deposit. The Destiny Card does not require an upfront deposit.
You Have a Recent Bankruptcy
A bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7-10 years. If you filed for bankruptcy recently and need to prove you can make monthly payments again, the Destiny Card is a good option.
It provides an unsecured card when traditional lenders will still deny you. Making on-time payments helps demonstrate that you’ve recovered financially.
You Need Major Credit Repair
The Destiny Credit Card is essentially a credit repair card. If you have severe credit damage such as foreclosure, short sale, repossession, or collections, it can be nearly impossible to qualify for an unsecured card with a reasonable APR.
In that case, accepting the high fees of the Destiny Card in exchange for guaranteed approval can make sense as a credit repair tool.
You Cannot Get Approved for Any Other Cards
If your credit score is very low (below 600) and you cannot qualify for any other unsecured cards, the Destiny Credit Card is likely your only option if you need to start rebuilding credit with a traditional card right away.
Sometimes you have to accept higher fees in exchange for approval when no one else will approve you.
Alternatives to the Destiny Credit Card
While the guaranteed approval of the Destiny Card is nice, the high fees and lack of rewards make it a tough sell. Here are some alternative options to consider first:
Secured Credit Cards
Rather than paying ongoing fees for an unsecured card, secured credit cards let you provide a refundable security deposit that becomes your credit limit. This allows approval for people with bad credit.
Once you improve your score, you can graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit back. Avoiding fees while building credit can be a smarter route.
Some of the top secured cards include the Capital One Platinum Secured Card, Discover it Secured Card, and OpenSky Secured Visa.
Credit Builder Loans
Credit builder loans allow you to make fixed monthly payments in order to build your credit. The loan proceeds are held in a savings account as collateral until the loan is repaid in full.
These loans report on-time payments to the credit bureaus each month, just like a credit card, but they are more affordable. Interest rates are usually around 15% APR, and there are no fees.
Some credit builder loans to consider include loans from Self, Credit Strong, and SeedFi.
Become an Authorized User
Asking a family member or friend with good credit to add you as an authorized user on their credit card is an easy way to build credit without fees.
Their positive payment history will be added to your credit reports to help increase your scores. Just be sure they actually have good credit and pay on time.
Tips for Using the Destiny Credit Card
If you decide to open the Destiny Credit Card, make sure to follow these tips to avoid issues and maximize your credit building:
- Always pay your full monthly bill on time to avoid late fees and interest charges. Set up autopay through your account.
- Ask for a credit limit increase after 5-6 months of on-time payments. This can help improve your utilization.
- Keep your utilization below 30%. Don’t max out your small credit limit.
- Only use the card for small purchases that you can pay off each month. Don’t overspend just because you have the card.
- Check your monthly statements closely, and report any fraudulent charges immediately. Don’t risk your credit with unauthorized activity.
- Sign up for account alerts to monitor activity and be notified about important changes. Don’t let issues slip through the cracks.
- Pay down balances on other credit cards first, if possible, before using this card. Reducing overall utilization helps.
- After 12 months of perfect payments, request a product change to a card with better terms if offered.
- Once your credit is rebuilt in about 2 years, apply for a new card with better rewards and close the Destiny card to avoid more fees.
- Avoid additional hard inquiries on your credit reports until your scores improve. Too many dings can offset your rebuilding progress.
- Keep old accounts open unless they have fees to build a longer credit history. Closing accounts hurts length of history.
- Check your credit reports regularly to make sure the card is being reported properly without errors. Dispute any inaccurate information.
The Destiny Credit Card makes it easy to get approved but charges very high fees in exchange for guaranteed approval. Take the time to consider all your options before completing an application. With the right approach, you can build your credit effectively without overpaying fees.
Carefully compare the pros and cons of the Destiny Card and alternatives like secured cards to pick your best route for credit improvement. Monitor your credit reports, keep utilization low, and maintain on-time payments to see your scores rise.
With some discipline and smart credit habits, you can achieve an excellent credit score and qualify for great rewards credit cards a few years down the road. The journey starts by choosing the right card to kickstart your credit building as affordably as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Destiny Credit Card run a hard credit check?
No, the Destiny Credit Card only runs a soft credit inquiry when you apply. There is no hard credit check. Applying does not hurt your credit scores.
How long does it take to build your credit with the Destiny Card?
It typically takes about 1-2 years of consistent, on-time payments to rebuild your credit with the Destiny Credit Card. Credit improvement is gradual. Don’t expect an immediate boost in just 3-6 months.
Can the Destiny Credit Card help establish credit history?
Yes, if you have no credit history at all, the Destiny Card can help you establish a payment history with the credit bureaus and build credit from scratch.
Does the Destiny Credit Card graduate?
The Destiny Credit Card does not graduate to an unsecured card on its own. Your credit limit is not backed by a security deposit. It starts as an unsecured card.
Can you pay the Destiny Credit Card bill in cash?
No, the Destiny Credit Card does not accept cash payments. You have to pay your bill online, through the mobile app, by phone, or by mailing a check or money order.
Is the Destiny Credit Card Right for You?
The Destiny Credit Card can be an effective tool for rebuilding your credit from bad credit or no credit. For people who struggle to get approved for any other unsecured cards, it provides a credit-building lifeline.
However, the high fees, low limit, lack of rewards, and costly APR mean it should not be plan A. Exhaust secured card options first, and also consider becoming an authorized user or using alternative credit building loans.
Only apply for the Destiny Credit Card if you have no other way to establish a positive payment history with the credit bureaus on your own. Use it strategically for 1-2 years, paying carefully and on time. Then graduate to a better card and reap the rewards of good credit.
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