2014 Review: Blaze MasterCard Isn’t a Credit Card You Want

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Applications for the Blaze credit card are being mailed to people with histories of charge-offs and bankruptcies, but what’s in the fine print?

From our research, First Savings Bank only markets this card through targeted snail mail. In fact, when visiting their website consumers are not able to access the application without providing the “reservation number” and “access code” which is included in the mailings.

step one of application

Why are they so secretive? That’s probably because they know that if their card was compared side-by-side to other credit cards for bad credit their offer wouldn’t look too good given the terms:

  • Annual Fee: $75
  • Authorized User Fee: $20 annually if applicable
  • Credit Limit: $350 minimum
  • Interest Rate: 29.9%

With bad credit, it’s to be expected that you will probably have to pay an annual fee in order to get an entry level Visa or MasterCard. But in this scenario you are paying $75 only to get a credit limit as low as $350. That’s highway robbery.

That means just the price of the annual fee alone might be over 20% of your card’s limit. Seems a bit excessive, right? In fact it gets very close to the 25% limit that was imposed by the Credit CARD Act of 2009 to curb abusive subprime lender practices.

However, it’s not as bad as the First Premier cards which charge a $100 annual fee and $95 processing fee for a measly $400 credit limit. Regardless, paying $75 for a $350 limit is still a waste of money.

Don’t apply unless you get this version…

The aforementioned sounds like it’s the most common version being sent to people, at least based on the Blaze MasterCard reviews that are out on the web. However some people do end up receiving a better offer:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 15.6%

If you received an invitation for that version, it’s a better deal for people with low credit scores than most.

But unfortunately not many people receive this offer. Their website still has the T&C’s for it online but that is probably just have it up for old accounts who were grandfathered in with those better terms.

Some even receive worse terms than the first version, as a few years ago Blaze was mailing out offers with $95 “issuance fee” and a $25 fee for the first time you increase your credit limit.

What are your other options?

Just because your credit is in the dumps, it doesn’t mean you have to pay nosebleed prices to rebuild.

Option 1: Get a partially or fully secured card
With these types of credit cards you can put up a refundable security deposit as low as $200 and pay an annual fee less than half of what the Blaze card charges. That will save you money.

Option 2: Try for entry-level unsecured
Is your credit not good enough to get “normal” cards for prime credit, but it’s not downright terrible either? Then consider these offers and see if you can get approved for something basic to begin the rebuilding process. Regardless of how bad your credit is you can turn it around without too much effort.

This review was written or last updated August 20, 2014

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

28 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Elvira Stark February 23, 2015 at 11:20AM

    I got the BLAZE card to rebuild my credit after recovering from bankruptcy due to the housing market collapse. I got the initial credit limit of $350 and my first statement charged the $75 annual fee which I paid right away to have the full credit limit. I hope that after 5 months of timely payments I will get an automatic CL increase. Sure there are better cards out there but beggars can’t be too choosy. It will build to better credit by being responsible with the BLAZE card. In fact, I found them to be better than any other card for people with good credit about ONE feature, a “cash advance”. They only charge 2% of the amount cashed whereas most other banks want 5% or $10 whichever is higher (which it usually is). Nobody mentioned this good part about BLAZE in the comments.

  2. Amazed at Blaze February 5, 2015 at 10:21PM

    I am simply amazed at how stupid these people think I am. I am still in shock-they really thought they were playing me. I got up early this morning to pay bills before going to work and I couldnt login. Site maintenance for three hours. So later on I am at work and I receive a message from someone at Blaze regarding some “strange activity” on my account. I know that I was late making a payment and whatever activity it was, it was minimal with a #350 credit limit and I had used the card as well. But, nevertheless, I logged in just to see and my minimum due had doubled and it wasn’t due for another two weeks. No activity at all except last months payment. So i called and climbed up the ladder of “real important” people and she says yes mam we are calling about a charge on your account, I said okay? “a $60.00 purchase at Payless Shoes”. I replied with boy you all really stay on top of things don’t you. the entire time I am thinking to myself-wtf “paymore shoes” would have been “strange activity” oh yeah and mam you have a balance on this account. Really? You all are amazing! as if I didnn’t know I had a balance. Pretty slick wasn’t it? yes, I will be paying this one off and closing asap!

  3. Joey January 27, 2015 at 11:28AM

    I was always under the impression that card companies did soft pulls before sending out “pre-selected” targeted offers. Today was the first time I’d heard of the blaze Mastercard, and I can’t imagine why they’d think I would want it, when I have pretty good credit (fico 730) with multiple cards from Amex, Chase, etc… Also funny that it came in the mail the same day as a Barclay rewards card offer.

  4. Zack November 30, 2014 at 9:51AM

    I had a Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year. $22,000 was discharged. After the bankruptcy I got a Credit One credit card with a $500 credit limit and $75 annual fee. After five months of making payments on time, the credit limit was increased to $700 without asking. Now I’m going to get the Blaze credit card with the offer I received in the mail. It has a $350 credit limit and a $75 annual fee. Yes I know paying $150 in annual fees in high with the two credit cards but in the long run this is the price I am willing to pay to improve my credit. After all I had $22,000 discharged from the bankruptcy. After one year from my bankruptcy, my credit score is a 565. With the Blaze credit card I’m hoping to increase my score higher. I just purchased a new $22,000 car with an APR of 3.79% without putting any money down. I contribute getting this lower rate by having a credit card and paying it one time every month. I basically used it like a debit card. Definitely stay away from credit cards with high fees if you have good credit. But if your credit is bad it’s worth paying the fee because it may save you on other loans. If I didn’t have this credit card I’m sure my 3.79% APR on the car loan may have been much higher.

  5. Bikerbuddy November 20, 2014 at 4:55PM

    I had to file chapter 7 2 years ago to ward off the wicked witch…(my ex wife). Went from an 800 plus score to the current 654. I got the better of the 2 Blaze offers, and a Legacy Visa….I pay the balances off every month and they both report to the big 3. Not a bad deal at all to rebuild credit….1500 on each card is more than enough and have not had any issues with either card.

  6. Ram October 27, 2014 at 5:54PM

    got the offer crossing the fingers to see how much will be the limit for cs of 600
    a fall from 800 because of closing a company

  7. Kev October 23, 2014 at 8:00PM

    I filed Chapter 7 in May and 4 months later I get Blaze’s offer and I will say it is not a bad deal if you are rebuilding your credit. 22% interest and a $50 fee got me a $1,000 credit line. Not bad when you consider some of the alternatives. You can not expect low cost credit when you have a history. Accept the good with the bad.

  8. Deeman September 15, 2014 at 1:59PM

    I’ve had this card for over 8 or 9 years now and I have had NO problems. I’ve had a couple of credit line increases (without asking)and was not charged. I was offered the increase because I generally pay more than my minimum required monthly payment. I actually love this card. It’s the one card that actually helped me restore my credit and get back on my feet.

  9. AJ August 17, 2014 at 5:17PM

    I got this card for 1500 with only a 50 annual fee which since I rebuilding my credit I understand. I think my interest rate is 21.9 but it doesn’t matter unless your spending more then you can afford to pay back. No one forced you to get the card so don’t whine about what you signed up for!

    • Deeman September 15, 2014 at 2:01PM

      I agree. Same with me. Love the card.

  10. george July 15, 2014 at 3:59PM


  11. djt May 24, 2014 at 7:59AM

    it seems the only negative comments are from people who have lousy credit and expect to get a great card anyways. sorry for you…not. clean up your mess and then get a good card. i recently got approved for a blaze with 1500 limit. i will pay the 75 dollars and put the card in my safe with the legacy card that was the exact same deal and amounts. i will continue to use my WF Bank and 2 Chase cards with 0% for my purchases. these other 2 cards are to make my credit use per centage better… like i say clean up “your” credit mess before complaining about cards that offer you deals based on YOUR track record.

    • jones December 4, 2014 at 9:43PM

      1500 your credit cant be all that great either!! That’s chump change!!!

  12. Adam May 2, 2014 at 5:41PM

    I got this card and have had no problems with it, started off with a $750 limit and decent interest rate. My credit is very low to boot, so i was surprised. I’ve had this card for a year with no problems.

  13. B Johnson January 29, 2014 at 1:45PM

    They are a SCAM!. I should have read this before sending them Money. They took my deposit, cancel your card “by mistake”, and keep your money for another 90 days. Dennis Miller is the Customer Service Manger and a complete ass.

  14. John January 3, 2014 at 12:53PM

    I had a couple of charge offs that should come off in a couple of months as well…If you pay off your balance every month, the 29.9% interest is irrelevant (but still higher then most most high risk cards). The forum is probably right, that you should go for Cap One first ($39 annual fee but at least you earn 1.5% cash back). I applied hoping they would give me a decent Credit Limit to help with my overall utilization. Instead they give me a measly credit line of $350. It does say on the letter that most customers get $350 CL’s but it does in clear bold letters that there are credit limits up to $1500. Kind of misleading. I would send my back too but to have a hard inquiry with no card would just lower my overall score (in the low 600′s currently). I got the pre-approval letter with for the First Savings CC as well but, I think I know what I’ll do with that letter… ChippyDo, you got very lucky with $1500 CL.

    • John June 19, 2014 at 9:30AM

      Just as an update, at around the 6th month mark I received a letter from Blaze (First Savings Bank) that I was pre-approved for a credit limit increase. I logged into my account and there was a tab where it had me input my annual income and how much I currently pay for my rent/mortgage (rent in my case). I was approved for a $250 CLI for a total of $600 CL. I’ll take it… It was just a soft inquiry on my Transunion credit profile (not a hard inquiry thank goodness)! DJT, your CS must be better then most others commenting here if you have 2 Chase cards and a Wells Fargo CC. Not sure why you would accept a card offer with an annual fee other than to decrease your credit utilization. The more well known banks usually give out higher CL’s as well…

  15. rick January 2, 2014 at 4:02PM

    RIP OFF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Knocked down November 9, 2013 at 12:35PM

    I had a chain of stores 3 to be exact and after the bubble burst business was bad and lost all 3 stores and was only able to save my home by claiming bankruptcy. I got this offer I the mail and decided needed to do it to rebuild my credit and have fore emergencies. Went through the process, read al the fine print cringing over the rate and fees. I got a 1500 limit minus 75 for the annual fee. Wasn’t expecting that much but this is good. My credit score was 650 and the credit line if I keep It clean while take me to 700 in the next 3 months. Price you pay for having bad credit. It’s worth the 75$ every year till things get better.

    • Ram October 27, 2014 at 5:50PM

      Hi I am having the same problem and I am on disability but have not filed for bankruptcy still I pay for my mortgage and it will be clear by 2018 whats your advice if you do not mind asking. Wife started a restaurant in 2008 and have to close in 2009 because of financial collapse.

  17. Will W. October 28, 2013 at 6:21AM

    I have had a Blaze Mastercard for several years and the only problem I’ve ever had with them is that they do not apply my payments to my card in a timely fashion if I mail a check. If I have a payment withdrawn from my bank and set the payment up in advance the payment goes through the next day and there is no charge for doing so.
    I am perfectly happy with this card.

    I have NEVER been charged a yearly fee or any type of user fee.

    • Will W. October 28, 2013 at 6:22AM

      The interest rate on my card is also comparable to every other credit card.

  18. Mark October 25, 2013 at 3:47PM

    All my fico scores are over 700 and I was offered this low end card, why? I feel insulted.

    • John January 3, 2014 at 1:06PM

      Don’t hate…

  19. wendy October 8, 2013 at 9:58PM

    it is good if you are desperate, cash for payday loans charge 12.00 on 100.00 for 2 weeks, so 24.00 a month.

  20. ChippyDo September 18, 2013 at 5:19PM

    While the Blaze and First Savings cards do have a $75.00 annual fee ouch. However I have had a couple of charge-offs 2 years ago and credit card companies are not all that happy to hear from me. I accepted the invite to see what kind of credit limit I would get. 2 weeks later I received both cards in the with a $1500.00 limit on each. Had it been some low number I would simply returned the cards. I don’t carry a balance month to month these days so the interest rate doesn’t matter to much to me. Some high risk cards charge interest without the grace period, these do not. Not such a bad deal all things considered.

  21. vonceal June 20, 2013 at 8:14PM

    29.9 interest rate is high. If they lower my rate & I will consider the credit.

    • fernando August 22, 2013 at 7:39PM

      Good info thanks. I also received the offer but mafia interest rates don’t appeal to me either and the $75 yearly fee is ridiculous. Will wait for a much better offer or apply for the other card above.

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