Deserve is a financial tech company that uses alternative data and machine learning to analyze the risk of its applicants and provide them with fair credit products.
It aims to break away from the common practice of traditional lenders to only look at an applicant’s credit score. Instead, Deserve has created a proprietary algorithm that looks at a person’s education, future employability, current financial health, and earnings projections.
As a result, the company serves a wide range of customers, but can specifically help young adults get access to credit without their parents cosigning or sharing an account.
Here’s an in-depth review of Deserve’s credit cards.
Deserve credit card reviews
Deserve offers three credit cards which suit a range of customers. Here’s an overview of each card and who it’s designed for:
The Deserve Classic Mastercard is for applicants who haven’t yet established credit. While there are no rewards or special offers, it does not charge an annual fee. This is an excellent card to start building your credit.
- No annual fee
- $1,500 maximum credit line
- No deposit or co-signer required
This card is great for non-college students who have no credit. Often, you have to start building your credit with a secured card which requires an up-front deposit. However, with this card, many will be able to get started without a deposit or co-signer.
The Deserve Edu card is for college students. Even those with limited or no credit history may be eligible without a cosigner or deposit. Further, international students are also eligible and don’t need a social security number or an established credit history. The card offers 1% cash back on eligible purchases, up to a $5,000 credit limit, no annual fee, and an Amazon Prime Student subscription offer.
- No annual fee
- $5,000 maximum credit line
- 1% cash back on eligible purchases
- Free Amazon® Prime Student subscription ($49.99 value)
Deserve CEO and founder, Kalpesh Kapadia, says, “The Deserve Edu Mastercard, our flagship product, is designed for students who are looking to build credit history. There is no deposit, co-signer, or annual fee for the card. An SSN is also not required for international students. And since we report customers’ credit behavior to Experian and TransUnion, the customer starts to build his or her credit history immediately. Typically, students can build enough history to establish a score with the credit bureaus within six to eight months.” For international students to qualify, they will need to be 18 years old and have a U.S. bank account with a balance, a passport, student visa, and I-20 form.
The Deserve Pro is designed for applicants who have established credit. It has no annual fee, a maximum credit limit of $10,000, and cash back rewards. You can earn 3% cash back on entertainment and travel, 2% cash back at restaurants, and 1% back on other eligible purchases.
- No annual fee
- $10,000 maximum credit limit
- Cash back program: 3% on travel and entertainment, 2% at restaurants, 1% for any other purchases
- Priority Pass travel perk
Kapadia says, “The Deserve Pro Mastercard is designed for young professionals or professional immigrants who would like to reap the rewards of established credit. Unlike many other rich-rewards cards, there is no annual fee.”
All the Deserve credit cards also come with the following benefits:
- Build your credit through responsible use of the cards
- No foreign transaction fees
- Fee waiver for your first late payment
- Fraud protection
- Roadside assistance
- Travel assistance
- Car collision damage waiver
- Extended warranty
- Price protection
- ID theft protection
These benefits can help cardholders in many ways beyond building credit.
Deserve credit card application
So how do you apply? Being a tech-savvy company, it’s no surprise Deserve offers an easy and fast online application process. Here’s how it works.
- Visit the website and click “Apply” on the card you want. In this example, the application is for the Deserve Edu Mastercard.
2. Enter your personal information including your name, email, birthday, and citizenship status. Then, review the legal notices and check the box if you agree.3. Next, you will provide your contact and address information and can opt-in to automated SMS message from Deserve.
4. Lastly, you will enter your academic and financial information, and authorize a credit check. Academic information includes your level of study, school name, major, and state of your school. Financial information includes your social security number, scholarships and grants, sources of income, monthly housing expenses, and available assets.
Then, click continue to apply and find out if you qualify.
What happened to SelfScore?
Are you familiar with SelfScore and wondering where you can find SelfScore credit card reviews? The company originally offered credit cards exclusively for international students. However, some changes were made at the end of 2017.
The CEO, Kalpesh Kapadia, says everyone deserves a chance to build a positive credit history, so SelfScore was transformed into Deserve. It offers credit cards to U.S. consumers as well as international students.
All current SelfScore cardholders will still be able to use their cards until they expire, after which they will receive Deserve cards.
Is Deserve right for you? It’s definitely an option to consider. The company is changing up the game by taking risk assessment into its own hands with the use of its own proprietary algorithm. As a result, many more people can gain access to credit without a co-signer or deposit.
If you are having trouble getting approved elsewhere, the Deserve Classic or Deserve Edu may be the best option for you. However, to know for sure, apply and compare the rates and benefits to any other offers you have received.
If your credit is good and you are considering the Deserve Pro, be sure to shop around. There is a great deal of competition amongst credit card issuers to win the business of people with good credit, so it’s wise to compare offers before making a choice. By doing so, you’ll ensure you get the most for your money.
Ready to compare Deserve and other credit cards side-by-side? Click here to see real-user ratings, reviews, highlights, and more.
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.