The World's Worst Credit Card

Golb at Money, Matter, and More Musings has located the worst credit card in the world. It is designed to prey on subprime borrowers who, sadly, cannot get a better card…

Meet the Continental Finance MasterCard. After all the fees have been collected, it has a credit limit of $53. From MMMM:

  • Account setup fee: $99
  • Program participation fee: $89
  • Annual fee: $49
  • Account maintenance fee: $120 (charged @ $10/month)
  • Purchase APR: 19.92%
  • Authorized user fee: $30 (great! seems like $53 credit is a bit too much for a single person to handle)
  • Credit limit increase fee: $25 (and you don’t even have to ask for it!)
  • Internet payment fee: $4 for each authorized internet payment.

Damn. This card is shockingly awful. And to make matters worse: Golb points out that if you use this card to repair your credit history you’re stuck with it because canceling the account will shorten your credit history and drop your score. What a headache.

The Worst Credit Card I Have Ever Seen
[Money, Matter, and More Musings]


Edit Your Comment

  1. scoobydoo says:

    Best card evah.

    I thought the $53 limit was a joke. But it’s right there on their homepage.

  2. thwarted says:

    Wow, and I thought Direct Merchants Bank was bad.

  3. Cowboys_fan says:

    I can’t believe they actually advertise all that, plainly. Are people really going to get this? Don’t forget they can change those rates anytime, arbitration, and a few other fees in there too. I can’t get a decent CC either but even I know better!

  4. rmz says:

    Wow. Just…wow.

    Assuming that you got one extra authorized user, made an online payment every month, and got one credit limit increase, you would pay $435 in fees in the first year alone. For a $53-limit card. And that’s not even counting the $25 fees for the “involuntary” credit limit increases. Who wants to bet that they’d up your limit by $1 and charge you $25?


  5. rmz says:

    @rmz: Er, that is, $435 without a limit increase, and $460 with one.

  6. nursetim says:

    At least they are putting this out in the open, so at least give them credit for being honest about how badly you get to take it in the shorts.

  7. JustAGuy2 says:

    It’s not quite a $53 limit – it’s a $300 limit, but after all the upfront charges ($99+89+79) and the first 1/12 of the $120 annual acc’t maintenance fee, there’s only $53 remaining in credit line.

    As to the credit increases, it’s a $100 bump in your credit line every time you “qualify,” at which point they charge you a $25 fee.

  8. armour says:

    the $53 is the credit limit left after the first month as all the fees are charged on to the card. pay that off and the min credit limit is $300 – max $2000

    The rest sounds like it was writen by the mob and lennys loan sharking outlet.

  9. ShadowFalls says:

    Any credit card offer I get in the mail that has any fee goes right into the shredder. I will not pay someone for a shear pleasure of having their card… Even then, I would put no fee ones aside to look at later to decide if they are really worth my time or not.

    Fortunately for me, I don’t have issues getting a decent card, but it seems even people with good credit get these crappy offers in the mail.

    I find that one funny that is has all those fees, then a fee to pay them online. I’d hate to know what the check fee would be…

  10. logicology says:

    Oh my freakin god! They even charge you to make internet payments!

  11. full.tang.halo says:

    This CC is like a flipped over port-o-potty, nothing good can come of going near it and it pretty well stinks.

  12. ncboxer says:

    I want the gold card offered by them ( []). The gold card has a lower APR and lower annual fee, otherwise they are identical. Since you have a lower annual fee you end up having a $75! credit limit instead of a measly $53. Where do I sign up?

  13. zibby says:

    I’m almost inclined to admire the sheer brazenness of the terms.

  14. warf0x0r says:

    Does anyone else think this is just wrong and predatory?!?

  15. OKH says:

    “It is designed to prey on subprime borrowers who, sadly, cannot get a better card…”

    Maybe I’m just arguing with the language here, but is it really preying on people if they lay their terms out pretty plainly? This card seems to be Purgatory for people who screwed up their credit.

    Secondly, “Sadly cannot get a better card?” It’s probably a good idea that sub-prime borrowers not get credit cards until they prove that they are good credit risks. It’s almost like saying “It’s designed for cancer patients who, sadly, can’t get cigarettes”

  16. joeblevins says:

    Yeah, again, making it look like subprime borrowers are victims of some scam. This card and its terms were created for a specific demographic. If they sign up for it, they have signed up. They aren’t being ‘prey’d upon.

  17. SkyeBlue says:

    Why would ANYONE be so desperate to have a credit card they would need one with fees and terms like this one has?

  18. wring says:

    hahahah sounds like the First Premier Bank card I keep getting offered. It’s an insult to my intelligence.

  19. OKH says:

    @SkyeBlue: They thoroughly screwed up their credit and they’re willing to pay rates like that to rebuild it. It’s pretty clear what and who the card is for.

  20. mantari says:

    Only one thing prevents this from being the perfect rape card:
    Pre-paid balance. (Your credit limit will be the same as the amount you have on deposit with them.)

  21. rmz says:

    @mantari: Not only that, but the balance expires if not used within 30 days!

  22. supra606 says:

    Just one more thing that makes me say to myself, “Why didn’t I think of this?!?” Apparently there are some people that are so mindless that if you just ask them to sign something that says you are going to rob them blind, they will sign it. Then again, I would feel pretty guilty about taking advantage of someone like that – their life is probably bad enough as it is!

  23. The end of the YouTube video embedded in the article makes quite clear that there are far, far better options for people who’ve got bad or no credit records.

    This card is a straight-out scam.

    But yes, it’s all spelled out in the contract, which many applicants clearly do not read.

    I can’t help but think, though, that an honest version of the contract would start out with large red headlines informing the reader of the existence of debit cards and secured credit cards, because there is close to no reason at all why anybody who knows about those alternatives would want this awful card instead.

    Even if you’re planning to kill yourself in a week and so don’t care about fees, how much of a pre-death blowout can you have on $53?

  24. joeblevins says:

    I remember my first credit card back in College. 24.5%… I ruled…

  25. OKH says:

    @Daniel Rutter: Yes, let’s relieve the consumer of ANY responsibility. Of course, if they had any to begin with, they wouldn’t need that card.

  26. akalish says:

    Given all the fees it’s probably a better idea to invest in a secured credit card. I did this when I had no credit history in order to begin building one. Mt $300 went in their bank account, I got a card with a $300 limit, and the annual fee was minimal (something like $35/yr.). When I had a history and had acquired a few regular cards with large, unsecured limits from each of the various companies–Visa, MasterCard, etc. (since I wanted to develop a broad history), I closed my secured account and got my $300 back–with a little bit of interest. The bank that issued my card was Household Bank. It’s probably better to explore secured cards like my old one instead of wasting a lot of money and getting nothing out of it.

  27. DojiStar says:

    I’ll take 2 of them!!!

  28. lestat730 says:

    This should be illegal, it is just wrong on so many levels……

  29. humphrmi says:

    @JustAGuy2: Thanks for clarifying. Yet, it still sucks.

  30. humphrmi says:

    @joeblevins: Well…

    You can sign up for a lower fee deposit card (like Capital One) with a higher limit (due to the lower fees). Yes, this card discloses it’s fees up front. Do they also disclose that, as a subprime borrower, you have many other options besides paying all their fees? No. But I guess that’s just business.

  31. dantsea says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t go all out and call themselves Bendover Bank, N.A.

  32. SkyeBlue says:

    The credit card companies get away with all the crap they pull because they can. About 10 years ago I had terrible credit but worked to rebuild it. My credit score is close to 800 and I’ve been diligent about sending in my card payments usually a day ro two after I recieve them. A couple of months ago I sent off a payment for one card that took 9 DAYS to go from here in Arkansas to Pennsylvania! It posted to my account 1 DAY LATE and they charged me 29.00! Even after calling them they admitted I had never been late but they refused to overlook even one time my payment arriving 1 DAY LATE.

    Sometimes I really wonder if those credit card companies deliberately hold up posting payments to their customers accounts just so they can charge you the late fees?

    Once a person gets caught in theover your limit/ high balance/late fee snowball how do they ever manage to get themselves out of it?

    They end up with credit cards like this one I guess.

  33. yoyomother says:

    Does this company make money? Maybe I should set up a shitty CC company. Man, do I want to see their balance sheet.

  34. mac-phisto says:

    first premier bank has a card almost exactly like this (except i think they charge you 28.99% right off the bat).

    i also saw a SECURED credit card that was loaded with just as many fees.

    newsflash for those who have crappy credit: there’s no “quick fix” here. if you’re in the 400’s, it’s most likely b/c you don’t pay your bills. do you honestly believe taking on another one will be the magic wand that will make all those charge-offs, repos & collections go away?

  35. fashionista says:

    What’s really sad is that these sub-prime cards tack on all these fees to $200-$400 limit card, knowing that the applicant can’t/won’t pay those fees off before using the card. So they make money (interest) on charges that the owner didn’t even get a chance to make. ‘Tis truly sad what the sub-prime market does to a consumer than can ill afford to be shafted in such a manner.

  36. The Stork says:

    @SkyeBlue: 9 days…this is why all our cards are paid online.

  37. forever_knight says:

    @SkyeBlue: as said above, online bill pay is the way.

  38. @SkyeBlue: Haven’t seen the documentary, Maxed Out yet, have you? You’ll find that is actually a commen practice by credit card companies.

  39. bobjenkins says:

    I just got this card. My credit score is just 2 points under “good” and it was recommended by to get a new card with a $300 limit to raise my score. Right now, I have plenty of money and intended to get this card and pay the fees off the same day.

    However, I just wanted to point out that, if you pay your bill for this card online, it WILL NOT post for 2 weeks.

    I paid online a week before the due date and I am expecting my first late charge less than a week after I opened the account.

    I’ve read that some ppl are getting good results from this card but they are havingto jump thru hoops and micro manage every aspect of the card.

    I applied for the card but never activated it. So they activated it for me. How nice of them. I also know that you CAN NOT cancel the card. They will tell you it’s canceled, but 3 mos. later, you owe them $200 in late fees and it shows up on your credit report in collections.

    I advise all to stay away from this card unless you like a chalenge.

  40. DudeAsInCool says:

    Credit card companies are worse than the mob…and Congress is in cahoots with them.

  41. catcherintheeye says:

    @WARF0X0R: Wrong and predatory definitely come to mind, but is it really that if they very openly admit to their terms?

    Then again, I guess since they are obviously preying on the less than financially savvy, a big flashing banner on the website saying “Don’t use this card!” may not prevent people from signing up for this.

  42. kragshot says:

    Sadly, they exactly who they are targeting. There are countless of Americans who cannot get a credit card any other way, other than dealing with these thieves, and what can they do but walk willingly with their heads hung low into the meat grinder?

    The credit industry lobbyists and the companies have made it so there is little you can do today without a credit card. Have anyone here noticed that a credit card is now considered a valid form of identification?

    All you can do is to sign up, bend over and take it. You can’t even call it rape because you asked for it; all you can hope for is that they have the decency to use some lube….

    Anyone want to help me start up an Internet chapter of “Project Mayhem?”

  43. mind says:

    yes, but the important part – will they allow me, John Q Doe, to sign up for the card? i don’t have any identification, but i’m more than willing to pay $250 for $50 in credit, really! i’m a complete sucker!

  44. likes2comment says:

    Continental Finance Credit Cards: Making Subprime Home Foreclosures look great!

  45. joebednarz says:

    It gets worse… working out the numbers to get to a $2000 credit limit:

    $247 initial fees

    $425 fees to increase to $2000 ($25 per $100 increment, increase every 6 months)

    $416 yearly fee (takes 8.5 years increasing every 6 months)

    $1020 account maintenace fee (8.5 years again)

    The total? If you don’t even charge a dime on this card… to get to the $2000 limit, it would cost you:

    $247 + $425 + $416 + $1020 = $2108(!)

  46. I don’t understand how anyone, under any conceivable circumstance short of literally having a gun held to their head, would sign up for this thing. I know some of those subprime suckers are, let’s say, a tad underinformed, but — $53?

  47. timtimes says:

    This is clearly usury and quite legal.
    Thank the banking industry and Congress for allowing this to go on. This also shows exactly how much of a ‘Christian’ nation we really are.

    This biblical sin is at least as bad as the Xtians perceive homosexuality to be, yet I”VE NEVER HEARD ANY of their so-called moral leaders speak one peep about it.


  48. yellowdragon says:

    Next fees for this card:

    fee to send your statement by snail-mail: $3
    fee for receiving your payment by snail-mail: $5
    fee for opening snail-mail: $7
    fee for recycling snail-mail: $3

    I think I prefer Gary Coleman’s CashCall loan @ 99.25% interest rate… At least this one is simple interest, you’ll eventually pay it out… :)

  49. nettie says:

    Unfortunately when you’re poor and making really low wages, you’re forced to make decisions one necessarily wouldn’t if he had money. So if I need $50 to pay my electricity bill so my lights don’t get shut off..well, that’s why someone might get “suckered” into signing up for this card. America’s national saving rate is near zero (after being negative for quite a while), so a lot of people are spending more than they make or save. I do recommend “Maxed Out” at a good (though biased) look at the credit card industry.

  50. Eleo says:

    I get an offer in the mail for this credit card several times a year. In fact every time I see anything with MasterCard on it, I tear it up because it’s always this same offer.

  51. agb2000 says:

    You may wish to review the terms and conditions of the card as they have changed:

    • $99 Account Setup Fee replaced with Account Processing Fee of $200
    • Annual Fee raised from $49 to $50
    • Account maintenance fee raised from $120 to $144
    • Replacement card fee of $15 added
    • Credit Limit reduced from $53 to $50

    Fortunately the APR has remained the same!