5 Things to Know About the Atlas Credit Card From Patriot Bank

The Atlas Card, issued by Patriot Bank, offers a way for people with no credit history to establish their credit. You aren’t able to get into debt with this card. Instead, your spending limit is set to what Atlas determines you can afford, which is based on how much money you have in your account.

The Atlas Card earns cash back in certain spending categories and offers other perks you don’t often see with starter credit cards. However, it charges a monthly membership fee (which is also payable annually), making other credit-building cards without these fees more appealing.

Here are five things to know about the Atlas Card.

🤓Nerdy Tip

This Atlas Card isn’t the same as the Atlas Card from Lead Bank, an ultra-high-fee card with luxury perks. Nor is it connected to another Atlas Card, which is a travel rewards card from India-based Axis Bank.

1. It’s designed for those with no credit history

The Atlas Card boasts high approval rates of over 95% with no credit history required. To compare, the card’s website mentions data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 2023 Consumer Credit Card Market Report stating that acceptance rates are around 20% for consumers in the subprime or deep subprime credit tiers.

There are geographic restrictions, however. As of this writing, the Atlas Card is only available to applicants who are residents of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

2. There are limits on what you can spend

The Atlas Card doesn’t assign you a credit limit the way more traditional cards do. Instead, it works with a deposit account held by Evolve Bank & Trust, which is funded by your existing bank account via Plaid, a service that connects accounts to other companies.

Your spending limit is determined by the amount of money you choose to deposit into your Atlas account, along with your income. You can’t spend more than you can afford to pay back, and you can set up autopay to ensure you pay bills on time. Atlas reports payment activity to the three main credit bureaus at the end of each month.

3. Certain purchases earn cash back

The Atlas Card earns cash back rewards that can vary based on three tiers (Gold, Blue and Platinum) you fall into depending on your ongoing spending and deposits into your Atlas account. You’ll earn:

  • Up to 3% cash back on gas, food delivery, coffee shops and more (no mention of what counts as “and more”).

  • 5% cash back on subscriptions, including Netflix and Hulu.

  • Up to 10% cash back on purchases from 50,000+ stores (those stores are unspecified).

  • Up to 100% cash back on “Lucky Swipes,” which are essentially sweepstakes where you can randomly earn additional points on a purchase.

🤓Nerdy Tip

While any credit card can change its terms and conditions at any time, cards from financial technology companies sometimes undergo major changes unexpectedly. This can dramatically alter your experience as a cardholder.

4. There’s a membership fee

Cardholders must pay a fee of $8.99 per month (you can save $18.88 on fees by paying $89 annually). Ostensibly, this grants you access to the deposit account and some of the Atlas Card’s perks, which are mentioned below.

Other credit-building cards with linked deposit accounts and choose-your-own spending limits charge no annual fee. Secured credit cards require an upfront deposit, but many also lack an annual fee.

5. The card offers additional perks

In addition to cash-back rewards, the Atlas Card offers a bill negotiation feature to help you save on phone, internet and insurance bills. You can also get access to virtual cards you can use to pay for subscriptions, making it easier to cancel them when they’re no longer needed — or when the free trial ends.

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