Posted by William Charles on September 11, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on September 11th, 2015 | by William Charles

29

Surge Card By Celtic Bank Review – Taking Terrible Credit Card To A New Level

I’m not sure why, but some of our most popular posts are reviews of terrible credit cards (like the Verve credit card or First Premier Bank Card). I like to think that the majority of views are people with bad credit searching for information before accepting a pre-approval offer. So without further ado, I bring you the Celtic Bank Surge Card.

surge card review

Despite the sweet card design and tagline “Give Your Credit A Surge”, this card isn’t as great as it first looks. The card is issued by Celtic Bank, but it’s serviced by Continenal Financial. If that isn’t already ringing alarm bells, it should. They’re also responsible for the awful Verve card. Let’s look at some of the highlights of this card:

  • APR of 29.99%
  • Annual fee of $125 the first year, $96 thereafter
  • Monthly maintenance fee of $10 per month (billed annually and waived first year)
  • Additional card fee of $30
  • Credit limit of $500 (reduced to $375 after the annual fee is billed)
  • Card is either unsecured, secured or partially secured and as far as I’m aware does not graduate

Personally I’m not a big fan of paying $216 in fees in the second year for no benefits, but each to their own I guess. I thought it would be interesting to see if Surge is the worst card out there, so compared it to the Verve & First Premier.

 SurgeVerveFirst Premier
Annual Fee 1st Yr$125.00$185.00$150.00
Annual Fee Yr 2+$216.00$156.00$120.00
APR29.99%29.99%36.00%

I really guess it depends, if you’re going to carry a balance then First Premier will be the worst. If you’re going to hold the card for more than one year then Surge is the “winner”, if you’re going for just one year then Verve is the worst card for you.

In all seriousness, I really dislike credit card issuers that prey on people with bad credit. There are plenty of better options out there for you if you’re struggling to rebuild your credit:

If I convince just one person to not sign up for this card, I’ll be a happy man and this whole blog will be worth it from my point of view. Do you know of any cards that are worse than this? If so, let me know in the comments.

Thanks to unfortunate reader Dan who received a pre-approved mailer for this card and bringing it to my attention.



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patternseverywhere
patternseverywhere

But my immigrant grandmother loves feelin the *surge* of credit card debt!

Vic
Vic

Yet another good article about awful deal! Nice job.
I do really enjoy this category, it’s kinda like watching AVGN.

I have one question though, does Amex Prepaid Cards build credit?
Did you only include that because it’s an option for people struggling with credit to get a “credit” card.

Octavio
Octavio

A prepaid card, in and of itself, will not help you build credit as your activities are not reported to the credit bureaus. However, one could say that by using a prepaid card, you are avoiding getting into debt and living beyond your means, which “helps” your credit. Also, by not paying exorbitant fees to predatory credit card issuers, you are saving money, which could be put to better use, thus “helping” your credit.

Prepaid cards that offer a bill-pay feature, such as Amex Serve are also great for people who don’t qualify for a checking account. By making timely payments (through the bill pay feature) to your other creditors, you establish a good payment history and improve your credit.

Most prepaid debit products are marketed to the “underbanked” and are great alternatives for those who are looking to make online purchases, pay bills, buy a plane ticket, etc but can’t have a credit/debit card – but, just using the “quasi-credit cards” will not actually increase their credit scores.

Octavio
Octavio

Haha – you should add CreditOne (whose logo is VERY similar to CapitalOne’s) to the dishonorable list! The annual fee does not seem too bad ($35-$75 first year; $35-$99 second year). Heck, even the APR is not THAT terrible (17.90% – 23.90%) – so, what makes it bad?

This card offers NO grace period!!! You pay interest as soon as the purchase posts to your account, even if you pay your statement balance in full!!!! Ridick! At least, the 3 cards you mentioned have fixed fees and you can avoid paying interest, but with CreditOne you’ll pay the annual fee and interest! You can definitely end up paying more with this card than the other ones based on your spending patterns.

I thought the CARD act stipulated that CC companies had to provide a grace period…but in fact, it established a minimum period IF the company provided a grace period. If they don’t provide a grace period, then there’s no minimum number of days. Kudos to CreditOne for finding a loophole!

joE
joE

Where is the benefits section for Surge?

like
* Book 1 Night, get 1 Night free
* $1000 annual travel credit
* transfer to any of 45 partners
* 300% transfer bonus, no minimums required.
* 10 complimentary rounds of golf for you and 8 other guest
* Lifetime access to all airport lounges, regardless of brand.

I can go on and on but these are just some of the ones that come to mind 🙂

Octavio
Octavio

Hey, hey, hey – don’t make fun of them b/c it’s going to hurt their feelings!

They got their benefit section:
*Free online account access 24/7
*Use your card at locations everywhere that MasterCard® is accepted
*Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus.
*All credit types welcome to apply

Who needs access to comp nights, lounge access, transfer bonus when you get FREE online access to your account (no need to wait in line for a rep @ 3:00 am)?! And they don’t discriminate – you can only get some cards if you have stellar credit – Surge welcomes everyone, good credit, bad credit, no credit. I am sure they’ll see a “surge” of customers their 24/7 access – no need to call “Peggy” from the Discover ads.

Octavio
Octavio

*if they promote

Dave
Dave

Where’s your referral link? 😉

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losingtrader
losingtrader

Just applying for this card lowers your FICO by 150 points

SLyleK
SLyleK

And you IQ by 50 points.

Presley
Presley

I’m only getting first premier from Cardmatch offers and they require a checking account to apply

Jessie
Jessie

Thank you, save me from getting deeper.

Stacey
Stacey

I made a horrible decision and got this card. I am trying to rebuild my credit, if I pay it off and close the card will that negatively affect my credit?

Abdullh
Abdullh

I just got a pre-approved one. That’s the worst credit offer I’ve ever seen. That’s why I got online to see reviews on it and what people think. Thank you for sharing.

Bruce
Bruce

Thank you so much for the warning!I just did a chapter 7 Bankruptcy and the wolves are sending me offers with hidden insane fees for credit cards and auto loans,seems court records are privy to everyone!Breathe a little and wait a few months to a year BEFORE going for a car loan,you will get a much better interest rate,especially through your local credit union.CAPITAL ONE by far has been the best,nicest,easiest and fair company on the credit cards,LOL,and no,I don’t work for them.Bruce in Massachusetts.

Gizzy
Gizzy

Got a hard inquiry on my credit report from
Creditor Contact Details
CELTIC/CONT
121 CONTINENTAL DR 108
Newark , DE 19713
(866) 449-4514

Never heard of them, never applied, so I called them. Seems like they are a card to rebuild credit (a secure card) I never applied for it and when I disputed it they said it will take a month or more to remove it from my credit report. Meanwhile it knocked points off my credit score! From other reviews, I found out they often put an inquiry in without authorization! And if you don’t open an account the inquiry stays on your report for 2 years. Stay away from them!

Janeil S
Janeil S

I just got a offer for this card and I accepted it.. But as soon as it comes I’m gonna cancel it.. Thanks for the heads up

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