The Jasper Mastercard® (Jasper Card) is an unsecured credit card designed for first-time credit card users and those looking to build credit.
It’s not technically a student credit card. But it doesn’t require a credit history for approval thanks to an innovative underwriting process, and it’s available for foreign nationals in the United States on student or work visas. This makes it appropriate for those pursuing higher degrees or people arriving in the U.S. to take a new job.
And it’s an excellent alternative to secured credit cards, which require what’s effectively a down payment as a condition of use.
Jasper isn’t perfect. It lacks an introductory APR promotion, for example. Still, it’s an above-average choice for anyone in the process of building or rebuilding credit and one of the few issuers that makes it easy for foreign nationals (and not just permanent residents and U.S. citizens) to apply for U.S.-based credit.
Key Features of the Jasper Mastercard
The Jasper Mastercard’s most important features include:
For each friend you successfully refer to Jasper, you’ll earn an extra 1% cash back for a full year, up to 6% total cash back (5% above the usual 1% cash-back rewards rate).
Consistent with a credit card meant for building credit, Jasper uses a nontraditional underwriting process that considers noncredit factors, including sufficient proof of income, to produce a more holistic gauge of applicant risk.
Not having a credit score or having limited credit won’t necessarily disqualify your application. However, if you have good credit, your application will be considered using common credit factors and will involve a traditional credit check and credit report pull from one of the three major consumer credit reporting bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax).
Jasper’s application process is also unusual for not requiring a Social Security number upfront. You can apply for the Jasper Mastercard without providing your Social Security number, although you will eventually need to do so after your account is approved.
Credit Limit (Credit Line)
Jasper offers credit limits up to $15,000 with no security deposit required. Your actual credit limit will depend on your income, creditworthiness, and other factors.
Earning and Redeeming Rewards
All eligible Jasper purchases earn 1% cash back. Cash back doesn’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing and is automatically applied to your account balance at the end of each statement cycle.
This card has no annual fee. Other fees may apply, including a foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the United States or denominated in foreign currencies.
The Jasper Mastercard has a number of perks and benefits underwritten by Mastercard, including:
- Satisfaction Guarantee for Purchases. Select Jasper Mastercard purchases — those made in full with the card — qualify for Mastercard’s satisfaction guarantee protection for 60 days from the date of purchase.
- Extended Warranty on Select Purchases. Eligible purchases also qualify for a one-year extended warranty, for total warranty coverage (including the original manufacturer’s warranty) of 24 months or less.
- Purchase Assurance. This benefit provides reimbursement for covered theft, loss, or damage on eligible items for up to 90 days from purchase, subject to policy limits and exclusions.
- Consumer Benefits With Popular Brands. As a Jasper Mastercard user, you’ll enjoy complimentary benefits from popular brands like DoorDash, Lyft, ShopRunner, and HelloFresh. See Jasper’s guide to benefits for more.
- Mastercard Travel Benefits. Jasper’s comprehensive Mastercard-backed travel benefits include a car rental loss and damage waiver, lost or damaged luggage protection, travel accident insurance, trip interruption and cancellation insurance, and more.
- Cellphone Protection. Enjoy reimbursement for covered damages to your eligible cellular telephone device, subject to limitations and deductibles.
Jasper is appropriate for applicants with fair to excellent credit. Applicants with limited or nonexistent credit may qualify for approval, depending on income and other underwriting factors.
Jasper reports account information, including payment history, to the three major credit bureaus, so your use of the card will be reflected on your future credit score.
Advantages of the Jasper Mastercard
The Jasper Mastercard is an effective product for building and rebuilding credit. It has some other notable advantages as well.
- No Annual Fee. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee. That’s welcome news for frugal cardholders who can’t be bothered to pay a recurring levy.
- No Credit History Required for Approval. Jasper doesn’t require new credit applicants to demonstrate any particular length of credit history — or any credit history at all if their income and other underwriting factors qualify them for approval. This makes Jasper a fantastic first credit card option for younger cardholders.
- No Security Deposit Required. Unlike many other cards for people with limited or fair credit, this card doesn’t require a security deposit as a condition of account opening.
- 1% Cash Back on All Eligible Purchases. Jasper earns a 1% cash-back rate on all eligible purchases. That’s a nice rate of return for an entry-level card, as many direct competitors lack rewards programs at all.
- Nice Referral Bonus. Each successful referral earns 1% bonus cash back for a full year, up to 6% cash back (5% above the base rate).
- Impressive Mastercard Benefits. Jasper Mastercard has an impressive lineup of premium Mastercard benefits, including basic travel insurance and a slew of perks from popular brands like Lyft, HelloFresh, and ShopRunner.
- Regular Credit Bureau Reporting. Jasper regularly reports account activity to all three major consumer credit reporting bureaus. This is good news for cardholders eager to build credit and improve their credit scores with a pattern of timely repayment and responsible credit use.
- Credit Limit Up to $15,000. Jasper offers credit limits as high as $15,000 to qualified cardholders. This is much higher than many competing cards.
Disadvantages of the Jasper Mastercard
Jasper isn’t perfect. Its drawbacks include a less-generous rewards program and no introductory APR promotion.
- Cash Back Capped at 1% Unless You Refer Friends. There’s no way to earn cash back on Jasper purchases at a rate greater than 1% unless you can successfully refer friends to apply for and receive Jasper Mastercards of their own. This is a drawback for cardholders who’d like to earn a high return on everyday spending (and who qualify for more generous cash-back cards).
- No Introductory APR Promotion. Jasper has no introductory interest rates (APR) promotion, so it’s not appropriate for applicants looking to cheaply finance major purchases or pay down high-interest debt accrued elsewhere through balance transfers. Some competing cards do have intro APR rates, in some cases both for balance transfer APR and purchase APR.
How the Jasper Mastercard Stacks Up
The Jasper Mastercard is an excellent choice for applicants with limited credit or recent credit blemishes. But how does it stack up against key competitors?
Here’s how the Jasper Card looks next to another popular credit card for new-to-credit applicants and those looking to build or rebuild credit: the Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card.
|Jasper Mastercard||Petal 1 Card|
|Rewards||1% base cash back on all eligible purchases; up to 6% with successful referrals||2% to 10% cash back on eligible purchases, but no regular rewards program|
|Credit Limit||Up to $15,000||Up to $5,000|
The Jasper Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards for new-to-credit applicants and those with less-than-perfect credit, bar none.
If you’re eager to begin using a credit card but concerned about the drawbacks of secured credit cards, Jasper could be just the answer you’ve been waiting for.
Jasper does have some drawbacks, including a meager baseline cash-back rate and no introductory interest period. So if you decide after careful consideration that Jasper isn’t right for you, don’t fret. Plenty of other high-quality unsecured credit cards appeal to first-timers.