Sometimes rebuilding your credit can seem like a catch-22—no credit card without good credit, and no chance to rebuild credit without a credit card.

The Destiny card, issued by First Electronic Bank and serviced by Concora Credit, is a tool that can help you rebuild damaged credit, regardless of the negative items that might be lingering on a credit report.

However, with Americans owning a record $1.08 trillion in credit card debt as of the third quarter of 2023, consumers might not want to rush into any credit relationship too fast.

While the Destiny Mastercard might not come with many bells and whistles, it can be an effective credit-building tool, although it comes with several layers of fees.

For someone with an imperfect credit history, the Destiny card could be one of only a few options. But before taking the plunge, it's important to understand what you are getting yourself into.

Destiny card overview

The Destiny Mastercard is an unsecured credit card for consumers whose credit score falls in the range of poor to good.

This means that even if someone’s FICO score hovers in the low 600s, or if they have filed for bankruptcy in the past, they may still be able to qualify for the Destiny card.

Applying for the Destiny card only requires a soft credit pull, and therefore the process of pre-qualifying won’t hurt someone’s credit score. Cardholders can expect to pay a monthly minimum payment of the greater of 7% of the latest balance or $40.

Nevertheless, the Destiny card may only be in someone's destiny if they have few other options. This is because the Destiny Mastercard has a one-two punch of opaque fees and a high annual percentage rate (APR).

Destiny card fine print

The Destiny brand is behind a couple of versions of the credit card. No matter which Destiny card you are approved for, you can expect to pay an annual fee, which is basically commensurate with a borrower’s credit profile.

  • The Destiny Mastercard version 201 has an initial annual fee of $75 attached, followed by a $99 renewal fee on the anniversary of that date.
  • The Destiny Mastercard version 209 has an annual fee of $59 attached.

The initial annual fee will be deducted from the cardholder's available credit when the Destiny card arrives. Also, once the fees become clear, a person can opt to reject the card upon arrival, in which case they won’t be charged any fees.

However, canceling a credit card may still show up on a person's credit report. Consumers with damaged credit may be able to avoid annual fees by applying for secured credit cards, such as those offered by Capital One or Discover, the details of which we'll discuss in further detail below in this Destiny credit card review.

Similar to high annual fees, a borrower can anticipate their My Destiny card will have a lofty APR attached, the price to pay for access to credit with a damaged FICO score.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Destiny card’s APR for purchases is 24.9%. However, the APR for cash advances is higher, at 29.9%.

The time to pay the piper, aka the due date, comes around at least 25 days after the end of a billing cycle. Borrowers can avoid interest on purchases if they pay off the balance by the monthly due date.

Layers of fees

Consumers who are trying to rebuild their credit should understand that they will not just be given access to credit like a present with a bow tied on it. Instead, they can generally expect to pay mountains of fees, and the Destiny Mastercard is no exception.

Starting in year two of holding the Destiny Mastercard, cardholders can expect to be charged a monthly fee of $12.50, amounting to $150 per year, on top of the already high annual fee.

In addition to annual and monthly fees, there are other charges that Destiny Mastercard cardholders should watch out for, including an over-the-limit charge. Destiny Mastercard charges over-limit fees ranging from $29 to $40.

The way it works is that if a cardholder goes over the credit card for the first time in six billing cycles, they will be hit with an over-limit fee of $29. Otherwise, for cardholders who have exceeded their credit limit recently, their over-limit fee is a heftier $40.

Credit limit

The Destiny Mastercard offers a credit limit range of $300 to $700. However, the credit limit is affected by the annual fee, the latter of which is charged at the onset.

For example, someone with a credit limit of $300 and an annual fee of $75 will only have access to $225 in credit. Once the cardholder pays off the balance, they can have access to the full credit amount of $300. With the Discover card, the credit limit is set, as there is no opportunity to progress to a higher amount.

Considering the annual fee is added to the cardholder's initial balance, that individual's credit profile will be impacted even before swiping the card for the first time.

This is because the balance drives the borrower's credit utilization rate, which, in turn, affects that person's FICO score. The lower the credit utilization score, the better the borrower's credit score, and vice versa.

Silver lining

While the Destiny Mastercard is an expensive one to own, there are some benefits, chief among which is credit building.

The Destiny card reports a cardholder's payment history to the three major credit bureaus—Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. Therefore, consumers with damaged credit who pay their Destiny card bill on time can expect a positive payment history to result in an improved FICO score.

This can pave the way for them to qualify for better credit cards with more attractive terms and conditions over time.

Also, the Destiny card is unsecured in nature. This means that cardholders won't have to use some personal asset, such as their vehicle or a piece of real estate, as collateral to secure the loan.

Alternatives to the Destiny card

One way to avoid the hefty fees that are associated with the Destiny Mastercard is to apply instead for a secured credit card, such as those offered by Discover or Capital One. Here's a quick run-through of our top secured card options:

Creditnews's top picks:

  • Discover It Secured Credit Card: Discover is behind the Discover It Secured Credit Card. Considering the secured nature of the card, there's no annual fee to worry about. Applicants can see if they're approved with no hit on their credit report. Upon approval, this card requires a security deposit of at least $200. It's possible for the credit limit to exceed the amount of the security deposit. No credit history is required, and cardholders might even qualify for rewards, including cash back. This card carries a standard variable purchase APR of 28.24%.
  • Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card: Capital One helps consumers rebuild credit with the Platinum Secured Credit Card. Applicants can see if they are pre-approved with no impact on their credit score. This card has no annual fee but requires a refundable security deposit ranging from $49 to $200. There is a variable APR of 30.74%.

In addition to secured credit cards, consumers may want to consider a couple of other credit cards for credit building:

  • Avant: The Avant credit card charges an annual fee between zero and $59. There's no security deposit required, and Avant reports the cardholder's payment history to the trio of major credit bureaus. Not only is Avant's annual fee lower than that charged by the Destiny Mastercard, but cardholders have no overlimit fees to worry about because the issuer doesn't charge them.
  • Tomo: Tomo is yet another provider of a credit card for credit building. There are no hard credit checks involved, and spending power is based on factors such as a borrower's bank account activity. Tomo also reports a cardholder's payment history to the major credit bureaus. Cardholders won't be charged an APR because Tomo won't allow cardholders to carry a monthly balance. Instead, there's an automatic weekly payment feature. However, cardholders can expect to pay a monthly participation fee that amounts to nearly $36 annually.


While the Destiny Mastercard certainly isn't perfect, if used effectively, it could be an amazing tool for a person looking to rebuild damaged credit.

As long as consumers enter into the Destiny card contract with their eyes open, there shouldn't be many surprises. Once a person has built up a positive payment history, they should begin to see that positive change in their FICO score, which could lead to better offers from other credit card providers.

In that case, the cardholder might want to consider ending the contract with Destiny and moving on to less expensive and better credit cards.