Cerulean Credit Card Review 2021: Good Card for Poor Credit?

by Credit Cards, Manage Money

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Continental Finance offers the Cerulean Credit Card for those that have poor credit. It is an invitation-only card that can help you build up your credit over time. Whether or not this is the right card for you depends on your specific circumstances.

Let’s start with a quick summary of the pros and cons to help you see if this card is a good fit.

Cerulean Mastercard

Cerulean Mastercard® Pros and Cons

Unlike other credit cards, the Cerulean Mastercard® is only available to specific individuals. You must be pre-qualified and receive an offer letter in the mail.

According to their cardmember agreement, if you are one of the candidates, you’ll be paying a premium in interest, 25.90%. Though, if you’re in a pinch and can’t apply for other cards, here’s what you need to think about before you accept their offer.


  • No monthly maintenance fees – It has an annual fee, but there is no monthly fee
  • Card issuer reports payments to three credit bureaus – this is a big bonus to you as you build up your credit score. This reporting will work for you if you continue to make payments on time.
  • Can be approved with no security deposit – When you have poor credit, often card companies require a payment of $100-200 as a deposit, so they don’t lose money. This card allows you to keep more of your money in your pocket.
  • Initial credit limit between $300 and $1,000 – This gives you the “financial clout you need” to make purchases. Keep your balance under your limit and make on-time payments to improve your credit score!
  • Possibility of increased credit limit after six months – Getting a credit limit increase is a milestone moment if you’re rebuilding your credit. You could experience the reward of more spending power, a lower credit utilization ratio, and the potential to raise your credit score.
  • Free Online account access – Check your account at any time to see how much you have spent and when your next payment is.
  • Widely accepted – You can use this anywhere that Mastercard® is accepted.
  • Free Monthly Credit Score Report – When you enroll in e-statements, Cerulean will give you a free monthly credit score report.


  • Annual Fee – The Cerulean Mastercard® has a $99 annual fee. This is high for a card that has such a low credit limit. By comparison, Discover has zero fees on all their cards.
  • Authorized User fee – It will cost you $30 to add another authorized user to your card.
  • No rewards program – There are zero rewards of any kind: no referral bonuses, products, or cash back.
  • Invitation only – You can only apply for this card by being pre-approved.
  • Up to $39 late payment fee – If you are late on a payment, you can pay up to $39 in fees. It will also negatively affect your credit score.
  • Up to $39 returned payment fee – If you don’t have sufficient funds or go over your credit limit, this could induce an additional $39 fee.
  • Cash advance fee of $5 or 5% – This fee is waived for the first 12 months. After that, it charges $5 or 5%, whichever is greater for your cash advance. You also cannot get a cash advance for the first 95 days of owning the card.
  • 3% foreign transaction fee – If you use this outside the U.S., you can add 3% to whatever you buy. This is also waived for the first 12 months.

Who Should Apply for the Cerulean Mastercard®?

If you have bad credit or are rebuilding credit, this card might be worth it for you.

Credit card companies are hesitant to give out their cards to those with poor credit. For them, anyone with bad credit is a risk because companies want to make money. If credit issuers notice that you’re a credit risk because of past defaults, missed payments, bankruptcy, or unpaid bills, they’ll likely pass on issuing you a card.

But if you’re repairing credit and want to use a credit card wisely, Cerulean Mastercard® might be the right choice for you.

Because Cerulean reports to all three major credit bureaus, you can quickly get on your way to building your credit score so that it doesn’t limit you and your future goals in life!

Make purchases on your Cerulean Mastercard® and pay off the card each month. Don’t exceed your credit limit, and when the six months are up, apply for a credit limit increase. You could experience the reward of more spending power, a lower credit utilization ratio, and the potential to raise your credit score.

Keep in mind, if you can, it’s good to find cards that don’t have annual or monthly fees and serve the goals you have in the future. Not every card is perfect, so take time to find the one that’s right for you.

How to Apply

If you’ve received a pre-approved letter, applying is easy. Just follow the steps outlined below:

1.  Go to Cerulean’s Website

Go to the homepage of the Cerulean Mastercard® and select “Activate my Card.”

Cerulean Website Homepage
Cerulean Website Homepage

2.  Activate Your Card

This takes you to the next page, where you will enter your Last 4 digits of the Credit Card, the last 4 of your Social Security Number, and your five-digit zip code. Federal law also requires that you send this information during application.

  • Full name as it would appear on government documents,
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Physical address (no P.O. box)

According to their website:

First, Federal Law requires us to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens a Cerulean card account with us. As a result, your personal information is required and is used for those identification purposes. Secondly, we use your personal information, like your Social Security number, to pull your credit bureau data. This data is used in conjunction with other information like your monthly income to process your application.

3. Wait to Be Approved

This approval is often instant. However, some cases may require more information, and the application can take up to 30 days. If approved, you can expect to receive your brand new card in the mail in 3 business days.

Cerulean Mastercard® Reviews

We scanned various places for reviews of the Cerulean Mastercard®. Here’s what we found.

Overall, Cerulean does a good job. On Trustpilot, 94% of their 1400+ reviews are five stars, and less than 1% are three stars or less. Wallethub reveals a more balanced perspective with a smattering of stars. About half of these reviews were four stars and above, the other half, three stars and below.

One of the common themes of both sites is that Continental Finance, the card issuer parent company, has excellent customer service. They are responsive and helpful.

Others reported receiving the promised credit limit increases, which boosted their credit score!

On the other hand, there were negative reviews. Many of the poorest ones were simply a poor experience or misunderstanding, but three things came up consistently.

  • This card has a lot of fees for someone trying to build credit! The annual fee alone is a big chunk of change for someone recovering from bankruptcy.
  • Payments can take a while to post. More than one reviewer claimed to have paid before the bill was due, but the payment didn’t post until later, creating a late fee.
  • Some reported difficultly submitting different payment types from their bank or through the app.

Top Alternatives

If you decide Cerulean isn’t for you, consider the Total Visa® Credit Card or Discover It® Secured Credit Card.

You can get approved with the Total Visa® Credit Card in as little as 60 seconds for a $300 credit limit. It’s built for those with fair to bad credit. Depending on your score, an annual fee may apply as well as a setup fee. A checking account is required to own this card.

The Discover It® Secured Credit Card has no annual fee, and you earn up to 2% cashback on gas stations and restaurants, plus 1% cashback on everything else. Deposit $200 to get started after approval, and you’re on your way. Discover is accepted by 99% of the places that take cards nationwide. As a bonus, if you use this card well, you can automatically upgrade it to the Discover It card.

Cerulean FAQs

Here are a handful of the most frequently asked questions, or check out Continental Finance’s answers.

Is the Cerulean a Good Credit Card?

If you are pre-approved, you may want to consider this card can help you rebuild credit.

What Credit Score Is Needed for a Cerulean Credit Card?

This is uncertain. Cerulean doesn’t specify a number publicly, and since you must be pre-approved, we couldn’t find a clear answer.

How do I apply for the Cerulean Credit Card?

You get a pre-approved offer for it in the mail with a unique reservation number. Go to Cerulean’s website, enter your reservation number along with some personal information.

How do I pay my Cerulean Credit Card?

Sign in to your Cerulean account through the Continental Finances secure system and pay any bills that you incur.

How do I request a Cerulean Credit Card credit limit increase?

You can call customer service to request a credit limit increase or do it through your online account.

Where can I use my Cerulean Mastercard®?

Anywhere that Mastercard® is accepted, over 99% of stores!

Does the Cerulean Mastercard® Earn Rewards?

No, there are no rewards at this time.

What are the Cerulean Mastercard® Fees?

  • Annual fee – $99
  • Add authorized User fee –$30
  • Late payment fee – Up to $40
  • Returned payment fee – Up to $40
  • Cash advance fee – No cash advances are permitted in the first 95 days an account is open. After 12 months, it’s $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign transaction fee – After 12 months, it’s 3%

What is the Cerulean Mastercard® APR?

Check the Cardmember Agreement for current rates.

Does the Cerulean Mastercard® Offer an Introductory APR for Balance Transfers?

No, the Cerulean Mastercard® does not offer any introductory APR for balance transfers.

Does the Cerulean Mastercard® Offer an Introductory APR for New Purchases?

No. There are no introductory APR deals for Cerulean at this time.

Final Thoughts

If you get a Cerulean Mastercard® letter in the mail, it is worth considering. This card is for individuals who are building or repairing credit. The $99 annual fee is a steep price to pay, so think through if it’s the right choice for you.

If it’s the wrong choice, check out a secured credit card that has no annual fee. Either way, if you choose Cerulean Mastercard® or a secured card, pay off your balance in full each month to avoid paying interest and establish a solid credit score.

Alexander Newby

Alexander Newby

Alexander is a fully licensed financial advisor. His entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for the wealthy life have freed him to live a life he loves living. Though he faced plenty of obstacles along the way, he overcame. Through his struggles, Alex learned what it truly means to pursue the Wealthy Life in all the ways that matter most. He's been in pursuit ever since.

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