If you have a poor or limited credit history, the Indigo Credit Card is made for you. That’s not to say that it’s the perfect card for you.

The Indigo Credit Card is designed to help consumers with poor credit, or no credit history at all, improve their credit score. But it isn’t an exciting option when compared to other cards meant to help rebuild credit due to its hefty fees and lack of rewards. You may be better off going with a top-rated secured credit card instead.

Read on to find out if the Indigo Credit Card is right for you. If it is, we’ll tell you how to get the most value from it. If it’s not, we have some other credit card recommendations that may be better.

ALSO READ: CardCruncher’s Complete Guide to Improving Your Credit Score

Indigo Credit Card Review

Here are the highlights of the Indigo Credit Card:

  • Annual Fee: $0, $59, $75, or $99 depending on which version of the card you qualify for
  • APR:
    • 23.9% variable APR for purchases
    • 29.9% variable APR for cash advances
    • 29.9% variable APR after a late payment
  • Sign-Up Bonus: None
  • Benefits:
    • Quick pre-qualification check without impacting your credit score
    • Start building credit even if you have poor credit or no credit at all
    • Customize your card design for free
  • Minimum Payment:
    • If balance is $25 or less, then the full balance
    • If balance is greater than $25, then $25 or 1% of your balance, plus interest and fees, whichever is greater
  • Other Fees:
    • $25 per authorized user
    • Up to $37 for late payments
    • Up to $37 for going over limit
    • Up to $37 for returned payments

Why to Apply for the Indigo Credit Card

The Indigo Credit Card is relatively basic, so there aren’t many features that make you want to add it to your wallet. Still, there are a couple reasons you might consider it.

You have bad credit or no credit history at all. The Indigo Credit Card is targeted towards consumers who have poor credit. You can check if you are pre-qualified  on the card’s website without affecting your credit score. Customers with worse credit will pay a higher annual fee to compensate the issuer for the additional risk. That gives the issuer the freedom to extend credit to consumers with worse credit than it otherwise would. You can qualify for the card even if you’ve recently declared bankruptcy, and making payments on time can help to rebuild your credit.

You can’t afford the security deposit on a secured credit card. Most credit cards for bad credit require a security deposit, thus they are known as secured credit cards. But not everyone can afford to pay the required deposit, which can be several hundred dollars. The Indigo Credit Card gives these users a viable alternative to help them rebuild their credit.

You want to customize your credit cards. Many credit cards these days have adopted sleek, attractive designs, but they apply the same design to every card. The Indigo Credit Card gives you the option to customize the design of your card using one of a number of pre-made designs. While it won’t affect the actual use of the card, the option to personalize your card is a nice bonus.

Indigo Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides

Because the Indigo Credit Card is designed for people with poor credit, it’s a low-frills card that has a number of drawbacks.

Hefty fees. Depending on your credit, you could be paying an annual fee of $99 just to have the card in your wallet. You also have to watch out for late payment fees, foreign transaction fees, and penalty APRs. If you miss just one of your Indigo Credit Card payments, you’ll incur a $37 fee and see your APR jump by 6%. The penalty APR applies indefinitely after a missed payment so, if you do miss a payment, you’re only hope at a lower APR is an issuer reduction.

No rewards. One of the biggest benefits of using a credit card is the rewards that you can earn. Some cards offer 5% or more in cash back. Even people with poor credit can usually find a credit card that offers some kind of rewards. The Indigo Credit Card doesn’t offer rewards or discounts of any type. Combined with the card’s fees, you’ll wind up paying to use the card and getting nothing in return.

Indigo Credit Card Alternatives

If you have poor credit and are looking for a credit card, here are a few alternatives to consider.

If you want to earn rewards for your purchases, the Discover it Secured Credit Card is a good alternative. The card carries no annual fee and gives you cash back on every purchase that you make. You get 2% at gas stations and restaurants and 1% everywhere else, and you’ll earn double rewards for your first year.

The only requirement is that you provide Discover with a security deposit of at least $200. Your credit limit will be the same as the amount of your security deposit, so you can provide a larger deposit if you need a larger limit. Once you’ve had the card for eight months, Discover will automatically begin reviewing your credit to determine when you’re eligible to move to an unsecured credit card.

Find the right card that fits your lifestyle.

2019 Indigo Credit Card Review: There Are Better Options for Poor Credit

Get your free Crunch Score

If you want a credit card with a low APR so you can take your time paying your bill off, consider the State Department Federal Credit Union Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card.

To be eligible for this card, you must be employed by the State Department or make a one-time $15 donation to the American Consumer Council. The card requires a security deposit but offers a variable APR as low as 13.49% — lower than many of the top rewards cards. As a bonus, you’ll earn 1% back on each purchase in the form of Flexpoints, which can be used towards a variety of rewards.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Indigo Credit Card?

The Indigo Credit Card is largely underwhelming compared to other cards aimed at helping people build their credit. While it does not require a security deposit, its fees are high enough that you’re probably better off trying to get a secured card, especially given the potential for cash back and other rewards.

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