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Eastman Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Eastman Credit Union’s checking account options

ECU Beyond Free Checking

A tiered checking account with very few fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.10%
$10,000
0.15%
$25,000
0.20%
$50,000
0.25%
$100,000
0.30%
$200,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

The ECU Beyond Free Checking is not a bad account. It has no minimum balance requirements, no minimum opening deposit and won’t sock you with ATM fees when you use an out-of-network ATM unless they’re charged by the ATM owner.

The APY on this Eastman Credit Union account isn’t the best, but sometimes it can be exciting that a checking account offers dividends at all. Typically, you hold money in a checking account only to spend it throughout the month, so while you can find special deals and great rates outside of Eastman Credit Union, you will also find some financial institutions offering 0.00% APY on their checking accounts. The credit union’s rates are fairly standard though not the highest on the market.

Overdraft fees on all accounts at Eastman Credit Union are either $5 or $30. If you sign up for overdraft protection, you will be charged $5 every time the credit union has to pull funds from your savings account to cover your purchase. If you sign up for overdraft protection plus, you will be charged $30 every time you overdraw, but the credit union will allow you to make purchases until your account is -$500. Not that the $30 fee will reduce the amount available ($500) to pay other items. If you don’t sign up for any of these protections, you will be charged $30 every time you overdraw, and on top of it, Eastman will not allow the purchase to go through.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Beyond Free Checking

You can apply for Beyond Free Checking online or by visiting your local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s checking account compares

The ECU Beyond Free Checking does not offer the best rates on the market, but they’re not the worst either. Aided by no minimum balance requirements and limited fees, this account is worthy of your consideration as you compare other checking accounts.

Eastman Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings

This account is required to establish your membership at Eastman Credit Union.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

Eastman Credit Union’s Regular Savings account doesn’t offer even close to the highest APY on the market, but that’s not the real reason to open one of these accounts. In order to establish membership at the credit union, you must have a savings account to access any of their other accounts, making things like lackluster APY and relatively low fees a moot point.

Because it is a savings account, certain terms are dictated by federal regulation. Specifically, Fed Regulation D says that you can make up to six certain withdrawals/transfers from a savings account per month. If you do go over, Eastman Credit Union will charge you an $8 excessive withdrawal fee for any transaction over six in any given month. You also risk having your account shut down, which could result in a loss of membership with this particular account.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Regular Savings Account

You can open this account online or in person.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Christmas Club Account

An account that empowers you to save for the holidays but recognizes you might need cash for early shopping.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Early withdrawal fee: $10, if you withdraw before September
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

Saving for the holidays? It’s really easy to dip into that savings pot when something like a big back-to-school sale or an opportunity to take a long weekend trip pops up. The Christmas Club Account is built specifically with this situation in mind.

You can stash money in your Christmas Club Account all year, and then during the first week of November, everything you’ve saved will be disbursed to your regular savings account. To encourage you to keep money in your account throughout the year, you will be charged a $10 fee when you withdraw. The only exceptions are withdrawals made in September and October, for which there are no fees.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Christmas Club Account

You can open a Christmas Club Account online or at your local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Stash Your Cash Account

A club account that allows you to save for more than just the holidays.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

The Stash Your Cash Account is similar to the Christmas Club Account, except that you can use the money you’re saving for any purpose, whether that be vacation or a wedding. You can also set the date that your funds will be released to your Regular Savings, making the account flexible to match your individual financial goals.

Remember that both this account and the Christmas Club Account are still savings accounts, so if you do have to make early withdrawals/transfers, make sure you’re planning ahead to avoid making more than six per month.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Stash Your Cash Account

You can open this account by visiting your local branch. If there is no branch local to you, call (800) 999-2328.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Health Savings Account

A tax-sheltered account for your health care costs.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

If you have a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), you can put up to $3,450 into a Health Savings Account (HSA) in 2018 — $6,900 if your HDHP offers family coverage.

These contributions are tax-deductible, and earnings are tax-free when you take the money out for qualified health expenses. You can also enjoy tax-free withdrawals if you are disabled or at least the age of 65.

The fact that the credit union offers this type of account is fairly unique. If you have an HDHP and no other insurance, it’s a good way to shelter the dollars you spend on health care costs from the IRS, and since the money is carried over from year to year, it can also serve as an extremely tax-effective retirement account if you don’t end up needing the money for health-related expenses. Granted, if you open it with Eastman Credit Union, the dividends won’t be enough to keep your money from losing value to inflation.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Health Savings Account

To get the process of opening an HSA started, call (800) 999-2328.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Eastman Credit Union offers a pittance of an APY when compared with the best savings accounts on the market, yet each account it does offer serves a very unique purpose that may put it beyond dividend comparisons.

The Regular Savings account is required to open any type of account at Eastman Credit Union, whether or not you’re a fan of the APY. Christmas Club and special savings accounts exist to enforce self-discipline rather than to rake in extra money through dividends, and HSAs are a way to become more tax efficient with your health care spending.

Rather than comparing these accounts with those with the highest savings rates, you’ll be better off digging in deep and comparing them with accounts at other financial institutions that help you achieve the same goals.

Eastman Credit Union’s CD rates

Investment Certificates

Fairly competitive certificates with an opportunity to increase your APY.
TermAPYMinimum Opening Deposit
1-3 Months0.30%
$2,500
3-6 Months0.50%
$2,500
6-12 Months0.65%
$2,500
9 Months2.25%
$2,500
12-24 Months1.25%
$1,000
18-19 Months2.40%
$1,000
24-36 Months1.30%
$1,000
36-48 Months1.35%
$1,000
48-60 Months1.40%
$1,000
60 Months1.45%
$1,000
72 Months1.50%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies based on desired term and APY
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Same as minimum opening deposit
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • The greater of 7 days’ worth of dividends or all dividends earned to date on certificates with terms of up to 6 months;
    • 90 days’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms between 6 and 23 months;
    • 180 days’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms between 24 and 60 months;
    • 1 years’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms of 72 months.

The dividend rates on Eastman Credit Union’s Investment Certificates — which are the equivalent of certificates of deposit or CDs — are fairly competitive. It should be noted that this is especially true as you extend the term; the 72 month certificates are far more competitive than the 12 month CDs.  Further, you can add 0.05% APY to your certificate to make it a jumbo certificate with all the same terms save a minimum balance requirement of $100,000.

Also know that if you make a withdrawal that brings you below your minimum opening deposit, you’ll not only incur an early withdrawal penalty, but you’ll also see your certificate shut down. You cannot keep this account open without earning APY, and you can’t continue to earn APY without keeping your minimum opening deposit intact. The only exception to this is jumbo certificates. If you fall below the $100,000 minimum balance threshold, your certificate will just revert to normal rates.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s CDs

You can open your investment certificate online or in person.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Lifeline Savers Certificate

A low-yield certificate with an extremely low barrier to entry.
TermAPY
1 Year0.55%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ worth of dividends

In addition to the Investment Certificate, Eastman Credit Union also offers the Lifeline Savers Certificate. One unique feature compared with Eastman’s other certificate products is that you can add to the balance of this certificate at any time — even midterm. Your rate will be lower than with an Investment Certificate, but the barrier to entry is also far lower with only a $100 required deposit and balance.

That doesn’t mean that this account is competitive overall, though. At this term tier, you can find certificates from other financial institutions offering rates nearly five times higher requiring only about $400 more for a minimum opening deposit.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Lifeline Savers Certificate

You can open this account in person or via the online application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s CD rates compare

At lower rate tiers, Eastman’s certificates are barely competitive. However, as you move up through the ranks of longer term periods, its certificates rival some of the best rates out there. Those should be considered as a viable option as you compare other CDs.

Eastman Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market

A somewhat standard money market account with high minimum balance requirements for unsatisfying dividends.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$0
0.30%
$10,000
0.35%
$25,000
0.40%
$50,000
0.45%
$100,000
0.55%
$200,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0; $10,000; $25,000; $50,000; $100,000; or $200,000 depending on desired rate
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5-$30

The idea behind a credit union money market account is to pull more in from dividends than you would on your typical savings account. Traditionally, this has meant that there are larger minimum balance requirements in order to earn the higher APY.

Eastman Credit Union’s money market account does raise dividend rates as its tiered minimum balance requirements increase, but those rates are extremely low. If you have under $10,000 in your account, you’d be earning less APY than if you kept your money in a savings account at the credit union. But even at higher minimum balance requirements, the APY offered by Eastman Credit Union falls far short when compared with other options on the market.

Money market accounts are regulated by the federal government in the fashion of savings accounts, so remember that if you make more than six certain withdrawals/transfers from this account, you could be facing an $8 excessive withdrawal fee from the credit union per each instance. Beyond that, your account could even be shut down all together.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Insured Money Market account

You can open an Insured Money Market Account in person or via the online application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

As mentioned above, traditionally money market accounts have required higher minimum balances in order to earn a higher APY. However, with the advent of online-only banks, we have seen a shift in this practice. Now, many internet banks offer a high APY on money market accounts with low or even no minimum balance requirements, rendering accounts like the one offered by Eastman Credit Union fairly obsolete.

To earn a dramatically higher APY with lower minimum balance requirements, be sure to check out the best money market accounts on the web.

Eastman Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA Investment Certificate

Same rates as a certificate outside of an IRA make this account uncompetitive.
TermAPYMinimum Opening Deposit
1-3 Months0.30%
$2,500
3-6 Months0.50%
$2,500
6-12 Months0.65%
$2,500
9 Months2.25%
$2,500
12-24 Months1.25%
$1,000
18-19 Months2.50%
$1,000
24-36 Months1.30%
$1,000
36-48 Months1.35%
$1,000
48-60 Months1.40%
$1,000
60 Months1.45%
$1,000
72 Months1.50%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 or $2,500 depending on term
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Same as minimum opening deposit
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • All dividends on 1-month certificates;
    • 7 days’ worth of dividends on 3-month certificates;
    • 90 days’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms between 6 and 23 months;
    • 180 days’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms between 24 and 60 months;
    • 1 years’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms of 72 months.

Many financial institutions increase the interest rates offered on certificates when they are held within an IRA, though Eastman Credit Union keeps them static. If you have over $100,000 in an Investment Certificate, it turns into a jumbo certificate and you’ll see a rate hike of 0.05%, but it’s still not enough to compensate for the higher rates offered for lower minimum balances elsewhere.

While the early withdrawal penalties charged by Eastman Credit Union are listed above, remember that any time you take money out of an IRA, you could also owe penalties to the IRS, as well.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You cannot open IRA products with Eastman Credit Union online. Instead, you’ll have to open this account by visiting your local branch. If there is no branch local to you, call (800) 999-2328.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Accumulation Account

A competitive savings account within your IRA meant to be used before you retire.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5.00
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Accumulation Account is a savings account inside your IRA and is meant to be used before your reach retirement age. Eastman Credit Union’s offered rates are not competitive for a portfolio holding of this class. You can find rates more than six times higher elsewhere.

Because you have to come in to fill out paperwork and make withdrawals, you will not be able to accidentally overdraw this account. You should also be aware that with few exceptions, should you make withdrawals from an IRA prior to reaching retirement age, you will have to pay penalties and fees.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Accumulation Account

Because Eastman’s IRA products are not available online, you will have to either call (800) 999-2328 to set up your account, or visit your local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Access Account

A savings account within your IRA meant to be used in retirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Access Account is very similar to the Accumulation Account in its intent. It is a savings account within an IRA, though it is meant to be used as you approach retirement. When you reach retirement age, you will be able to take money out of this account — hence the name “access.”

There are higher minimum opening and balance requirements with this account, but that is because you are closer to retirement and will likely want to keep more of your retirement savings in more conservative accounts. The APY is also a little lower than the Accumulation Account, which obviously means this account does not offer a competitive APY either.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Access Account

To open any type of product within an IRA, you’ll have to either visit a branch or call (800) 999-2328.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

You can do better with your IRA certificate than accepting the low rates offered by Eastman Credit Union. Look for financial institutions that up their APY when offering certificates inside an IRA rather than keeping them static. Even if you have more than $100,000 to open a jumbo certificate and get the rate hike, the APY offered by the competitors still dwarfs the credit union’s offerings.

Overall review of Eastman Credit Union’s banking products

At the end of the day, with the potential exception of certain certificate tiers outside of an IRA, Eastman Credit Union’s products simply aren’t competitive with the best options on the market. To be sure, its savings accounts do offer a wide range of services that may help you reach your financial goals outside of APY earnings. For all other products, it’s more likely in your favor to look elsewhere.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Auto Loan, Reviews

LightStream Auto Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

If you’re in the market for a quick, affordable and hassle-free way to finance your next car, a LightStream auto loan should definitely be on your radar. It’s particularly well-suited for deal-seekers with good credit who don’t mind working with an online company when it comes to financing their cars. If you’d rather work with a local company that can offer in-person support, however, you might want to skip this lender.

How LightStream auto loans work

LightStream offers a wide range of options for financing your next ride, including:

  • Purchase of a new or used car, either from a dealer or an individual
  • Auto loan refinance (except it does not refinance its own loans)
  • Auto lease buyouts
  • Loans for motorcycles, as well as boats and RVs
  • Classic car loans

Auto loans at a glance:

  • Starting APR range: 3.49%–9.49%
  • Fees: None
  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Terms: 24–84 months
  • Credit requirements: Minimum 660 credit score
  • Mileage or vehicle restrictions: None

LightStream offers the same starting rate whether you’re buying a new or used car from a dealer, something you don’t see at other lenders. But keep in mind that the lowest rates go to those with the best credit who opt for the shortest loan terms possible and use autopay to make their car payments.

Satisfaction guarantee

If you see a lower rate elsewhere, LightStream will beat any verified offer with a rate that is .10 percentage points lower. It also promises a $100 guarantee within 30 days if you aren’t satisfied with your loan experience.

How to apply for a LightStream auto loan

The only way you can apply for a LightStream auto loan is through its online form. It is an online lender, after all, so you should be comfortable with handling your business details — including the loan application — online. You’ll need to:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of LightStream’s statement on the use of electronic records.
  2. Agree to receive electronic records.
  3. Agree to use electronic signatures to sign your loan documents.

You’ll also need to have a Visa or Mastercard credit card to apply, which LightStream uses during the verification process.

You will be asked to provide:

  • The purpose, term and amount of desired loan
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Annual income
  • Total amount of assets and equity in your home

From there, LightStream may contact you for more details and documentation. If approved, you’ll need to sign your loan documents electronically and provide LightStream with your bank account details. The money will then be deposited into your bank account, which means you’ll need to pass it along to the seller, whether that’s a dealer or private seller. LightStream will not send the money to the seller directly.

It’s important to note that LightStream doesn’t offer any preapproval options, but if you apply and are approved for a loan, you are under no obligation to accept the loan.

How to qualify for the best rates

LightStream requires good credit at a minimum, but looks for excellent credit when giving the best rates. It defines excellent credit as:

  • Five or more years of significant credit history.
  • A credit history with a variety of account types such as major credit cards (for example, Visa, MasterCard, Amex), installment debt (vehicle loans) and mortgage debt if applicable.
  • An excellent payment history with no delinquencies or other problems repaying debt obligations.
  • A proven ability to save as shown by some or all of the following: liquid assets (stocks, bonds, bank deposits, etc.), cash down payments on real estate, retirement savings and little, if any, revolving credit card debt.
  • Stable and sufficient income and assets to easily repay current debt obligations and any new loan with LightStream.

Pros and cons of LightStream auto loans

LightStream offers the convenience of an online lender with the backing of a brick-and-mortar bank as the online arm of Truist, the bank created by the merger of  SunTrust Bank and BB&T. But it’s important to weigh all of your options carefully when choosing an auto loan. It’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll make, after all.

Pros

  • Wide variety of loans: New, used, refinance and lease buyouts loans are available on a wide range of vehicles. Unlike other lenders, LightStream doesn’t place restrictions on your vehicle’s age, make, model or mileage.
  • Decent rates: We’ve seen lower starting rates at credit unions, but you’ll have to meet membership requirements. LightStream has no membership requirements and provides the same starting rates for new and used vehicles as well as refinance loans.
  • No down payment required: LightStream finances up to 100% of the car’s cost. Of course, it’s always best to put down as much as you can afford on an auto loan. This will help you save money over the life of your loan and avoid becoming underwater on that loan.
  • Quick funding: If you complete the application process and are approved by 2:30 p.m. EST, you could receive funds the same day.
  • Good reviews: LightStream auto loan reviews are generally positive.

Cons

  • Good credit required: To qualify for a LightStream auto loan you’ll need a credit score of at least 660 or better.
  • No preapproval process: Unlike many lenders, you’ll have to complete a full application in order to see your rates and terms. Still, the process is fast, and if you complete your rate shopping within a certain time period, multiple applications should not impact your credit any more than a single application.
  • No face-to-face service: If you’re the type of person who likes to seal the deal with a handshake after signing the documents, you’ll want to stick with some place local.

LightStream vs. Capital One

If you’d like a bit more of a guided approach to the car-buying process,  Capital One’s Auto Navigator loan options might be better for you. Rather than sending you cash directly that you can use on whatever car you want to buy, Capital One’s Auto Navigator service lets you first get prequalified for financing, and then shows you which dealers in your area may offer based on the type of car you want to buy and the financing you can afford.

If any of the offerings pique your interest, you can then finish the application and buy the car. It’s still a good idea to compare the offer with other new and used car loan rates.

LightStream vs. Carvana

Carvana works similarly to Capital One Auto Navigator in that you can prequalify for financing and browse real cars in your area that you may then be able to buy. It’s important to remember that Carvana only sells used cars and its financing is only available on Carvana cars. But it is possible to finance here with poor credit — Carvana requires borrowers to be 18 years old, have no active bankruptcies on their credit report and earn at least $4,000 per year.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards, Reviews

CreditStacks Mastercard Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Written By

The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a unique opportunity for individuals with little or no U.S. credit history – such as recent college graduates or professionals relocating to the U.S. for employment – to be approved for a credit card.

That’s because instead of requiring a Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) as most traditional credit cards do, the CreditStacks Mastercard allows applicants to apply using a valid passport or U.S. government-issued ID, a U.S. visa or a permanent resident “green” card (if applicable), as well as proof of income. The CreditStacks Mastercard also allows you to apply up to 60 days prior to starting your new job in the U.S.

We break down the pros and cons of the CreditStacks Mastercard, and show how it compares to the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, which is also designed to help individuals establish or rebuild credit.

CreditStacks Mastercard pros

No credit history required. With the CreditStacks Mastercard, you can apply without a Social Security number and with little or no U.S. credit history. Once you obtain your Social Security number, you must provide it within 60 days of account opening. At that point, CreditStacks will begin reporting your credit activity to the Equifax and TransUnion credit bureaus.

Note, if you have been living in the U.S. for more than one year, you will be required to provide a Social Security number when applying for the card. A credit check may also be performed.

Decent credit limit. The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a credit line of up to $5,000 – which is a generous amount for an unsecured credit card that doesn’t require credit history.

Your credit limit will be determined by the proprietary underwriting procedures of CreditStacks, which will consider your current employment situation and additional factors, instead of your credit score.

No annual fee. The CreditStacks Mastercard comes with a $0 annual fee.

Additional CreditStacks Mastercard benefits:

  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection(™). Access free identity theft resolution services, as well as Mastercard ID Theft Alerts(™).
  • Extended warranty. Receive an extended warranty of up to one year past a manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months or less.
  • Purchase protection. If you are dissatisfied with a purchase, you may be eligible to receive a full refund for up to 60 days from the date of purchase.
  • Price protection. Get reimbursed for the difference if you find a lower price for an eligible new item within 60 days of purchase using your CreditStacks Mastercard.
  • Purchase assurance. Cardholders receive coverage if an item is lost, damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
  • Travel protections. The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a MasterRental(R) collision damage waiver, lost or damaged luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance and trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. Plus, receive access to exclusive experiences and offers through Priceless Cities and special travel offers through Mastercard’s online booking tool.
  • Cellphone insurance. If you use your CreditStacks Mastercard to pay your monthly cellphone bill, you can receive coverage against theft or damage of up to $600 per claim and up to $1,000 per 12-month period.

CreditStacks Mastercard cons

No rewards program. The CreditStacks Mastercard does not offer a sign-up bonus or rewards on the purchases you make using the credit card. That said, when trying to build or rebuild credit, it’s best to focus on paying your bill on time and in full (when possible) each month, rather than racking up rewards.

No intro APR on purchases. The CreditStacks Mastercard does not offer a 0% intro APR on purchases – meaning, if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you will be subject to interest charges at a rate of 15.49% Variable APR.

That said, the card’s ongoing APR for purchases is reasonable – considering that some cards designed for individuals with little or no credit come with APRs upwards of 26.99% (variable).

Compare it to the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Similar to the CreditStacks Mastercard, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is designed for individuals with little or no credit. However, because it is a secured credit card, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® requires a refundable security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, for an initial credit line of $200.

If you deposit more money before your account opens, you may be eligible for a higher credit line, up to $1,000. Additionally, you can be given access to a higher credit line after demonstrating responsible card usage by making your first five monthly payments on time.

While the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® does not require U.S. citizenship to apply, it does require a valid SSN or ITIN, as well as a residential address in the U.S. or a U.S. military location.

See how the cards compare side-by-side in the table below.

CreditStacks Mastercard vs. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

 CreditStacks MastercardCapital One® Secured Mastercard®
Annual fee$0$0
Rewards rateN/AN/A
Credit lineUp to $5,000$200-$1,000
Deposit requiredNone$49, $99 or $200
Regular purchase APR15.49% Variable26.99% (Variable)

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® also comes with a number of benefits, including auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, extended warranty and 24-hour travel assistance services. As a Capital One member, you will also have access to virtual card numbers and account alerts from Eno, as well as access to your credit score and fraud monitoring through CreditWise.

But if you plan to carry a balance on your card, you’ll be better off with the CreditStacks Mastercard, since the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® comes with a substantially higher APR of 26.99% (Variable).

Read our: Capital One Secured Mastercard review

Which credit card is best for me?

If you haven’t yet established credit in the U.S., the CreditStacks Mastercard could be a good fit. In addition to not requiring a Social Security number for approval, the card helps build your credit by reporting to two major credit bureaus.

But if you’re in the market for a secured credit card and already have a SSN or ITIN, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a good alternative. While the card offers a much lower credit line than the CreditStacks Mastercard, it does offer a variety of useful benefits that aren’t common for a secured credit card.

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