The traditional credit card is a familiar concept for most people: you submit an application, receive your card in the mail, and start making purchases.
Maybe you get some reward points when you pay off your balance or receive extra perks when you travel with certain brands. But in today’s tech-centered world, the credit card game is finally starting to change.
What you might not know is that some new players are entering the field — and they’re bringing in some drastic changes. These startups are partnering with institutional powerhouses like Visa, but with innovative features and benefits.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of our favorites. Check out their advantages to see if they add anything extra to your wallet.
Blispay Visa isn’t your typical credit card: it brings the convenience of a large bank while integrating the innovation of a financial technology company. It comes with several features for cardholders.
First, you can get 6-month special financing on purchases totaling $200 or more. You don’t have to make any payments or pay any interest during the initial six months, as long as your purchase is made at a store accepting Visa.
If you don’t pay the balance in full at the end of six months, however, you’ll be charged 19.99% APR from the time you bought the item.
Blispay also offers a straightforward rewards program, giving you 2% cash back on all purchases made with your card. So if you don’t spend heavily in one specific category (like gas or grocery rewards offered by other cards), this generalized program could be a good fit for you.
The cashback is automatically applied as a statement balance and there’s no limit to how much you can earn. Just be sure to still pay your minimum balance to keep your account on track. Blispay champions their cash back program as easy to understand and extremely user-friendly.
Applying for a Blispay Visa card is easy, and can be done directly from your phone. And once you’ve been approved, you don’t have to wait for a physical card to start using your account in stores. Instead, you can just start using your phone to make purchases.
Blispay is compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay. There are also Android and iOS apps to manage your account on the go and to use autopay and fingerprint identification.
More About Blispay
Blispay certainly provides a new approach to credit cards. The company refers to it as a hybrid of a store card and a rewards card. As such, there’s only one interest rate available to all cardholders, which is 19.99% APR.
There’s always a minimum interest rate of $2, so even if you have an extremely low balance, the percent of interest you pay could be extremely high. Blispay states that the interest amount is higher than some cards, but lower than others — basically, a happy medium. Realistically, it probably depends on your credit score.
Another interesting component is that Blispay can only approve so many new cards within a certain time frame. So if your application is denied, it may simply be because they’ve maxed out their quota.
If this happens, they encourage applicants to try again at a later time (but they don’t say how frequently a new application period opens up). There’s no annual fee once you sign up, but it has a high 3% transaction fee for purchases made abroad. If you’re a frequent international traveler, this may not be the best card choice for you.
In order to qualify for a Blispay Visa card, you’ll need to have a mobile phone. It truly is a forward-moving company, and this piece of personal technology is a must-have. Blispay also makes it a point to emphasize automatic approvals and their digital credit card.
The company partners with merchants across the country to help provide financing opportunities at the checkout counter. Since you can apply and spend right through your phone, it’s an automatic opportunity to pay for in-store purchases. Keep an eye out for Blispay at your favorite retailers.
The Final Visa Card takes the threat of credit card fraud and minimizes to a new level. It gives you incredible control over how your credit card information is used and stored by different types of merchants.
The biggest benefit is that it allows you to have countless disposable card numbers that are used for one-time purchases. So if you make a purchase at an online retailer that is later hacked, your credit account isn’t compromised because your card number has long been expired. And you can manage everything through your mobile phone app.
Recurring payments are also simplified with Final. You can assign a one-time use credit card number to recurring bills to easily cease payments on your end. Rather than trying to cancel a subscription with a pushy salesperson, you can instead just deactivate the assigned card number.
You stop getting charged and don’t have to worry about updating any of your other accounts on autopay. You can set a limit to the amount you can be charged by each recurring merchant. You’ll be notified if they attempt to charge you more so you can review the bill.
Final offers another layer of security by sending receipts to your phone in real-time. This gives you quick alerts to potential fraud, including something as simple as a restaurant server adding a bigger tip to your account than you actually authorized.
While you still get a physical card in the mail, you can use your Final account with any mobile device, so that you always have a way to pay. And if your wallet is stolen, you again simply cancel that one card number and quickly (and easily) replace it with another.
More About Final
Final doesn’t offer an aggressive rewards program, but it does give unlimited cash back on 1% of purchases, which can certainly add up over time.
In order to qualify for an account, Final reviews your credit history and confirms that you have a Social Security number, a physical U.S. address, and a working phone number.
They take applicants with good to excellent credit who exhibit the following characteristics:
- No late payments in the last year
- No bankruptcies or loans in default (past or present)
- Credit history includes one loan with on-time payments for the last year
If you’re approved for a Final card, you don’t have to worry about an annual fee. Final also doesn’t charge any fees for charging something over your credit limit. They will levy late payment fees, but offer autopay to help you avoid being charged.
As long as you stay on time with your payments, you can continue to build your credit score since payments are reported to the credit bureaus. This is added incentive to keep on track with your payments.
In addition to fraud prevention strategies, Final offers resolution help as well. They’ll help you dispute any suspicious charges on your account so that you’re not held responsible for any purchases you didn’t actually make.
Final also includes fraud monitoring on your account so that if any strange charges are made, they’ll alert you immediately. On top of that, you can use your Final card to rent a car and receive built-in (and free) collision benefits. It’s a nice cherry-on-top to a suite of other excellent benefits with a Final Visa card.
Credit Card Trends to Avoid (For Now)
One of the attempted big tech advancements of the last couple years has been to replace all the physical cards in your wallet with a single “smart” card. Several companies have tried to do this, many of which launched in 2015, including Stratos, Plastc, and Coin.
All of these companies boasted increased security and convenient Bluetooth features that connected with the user’s phone. But while some test groups received these cards, glitches were common, feedback was mixed, and ultimately, the smart card experiment failed.
All three companies have since been acquired by larger companies. But they are all on hiatus and their futures are uncertain. In the meantime, mobile payment apps like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and even Samsung Pay are becoming more and more popular.
Rather than streamlining their wallets, consumers want to forget about them altogether. These payment apps, along with digital-heavy credit cards like Final and Blispay, offer both flexibility and security, which are both extremely important in today’s financial landscape.