Credit Sesame Relaunches Sesame Credit Builder Mastercard
The credit monitoring site Credit Sesame is relaunching its credit building-debit card.
About Sesame Credit Builder:
With the Sesame Credit Builder Mastercard, users can allocate part of their Sesame Cash balance to serve as their security deposit. Then, customers can simply make purchases with their debit card, with Credit Sesame adding transactions to their line of credit and automatically paying off those purchases on time each month. Credit Sesame reports these payments to all three major credit bureaus, enabling customers to build positive credit history.
According to the Sesame Credit Builder site, there are some fees associated with the account — although there are opportunities for customers to have those waived. First, by default, there’s a $9.99 monthly fee. Those who direct deposit at least $500 per month into their Sesame Cash account or spend at least $1,000 a month with their Sesame Cash debit card can avoid this cost. Additionally, the account is also subject to a $3 per month inactivity fee. This fee will be charged for each rolling 30-day period where no money is moved into or out of a customer’s Cash account.
The Sesame Credit Builder product is similar to the feature Sesame Cash has offered since 2021. However, it’s unclear whether that version was ever officially publically available (or remained in beta) or what features may have been tweaked for this relaunch.
What they’re saying:
Announcing the Credit Builder card, Credit Sesame founder and CEO Adrian Nazari noted, “Finance plays a crucial role in everyone’s lives. However, for the nearly two-thirds of US households who are living paycheck-to-paycheck and relying on credit to manage their day-to-day expenses, a good credit history is vital to their financial health.” Nazari continued, “The new Sesame Credit Builder Mastercard brings inclusion and breaks down the barriers for everyone and especially people with low or limited credit history to build better credit history. We are making it easy for more Americans to get credit for the money they spend and the payments they make.”
To be honest, I’m still a bit confused by Credit Sesame’s announcement as the product they’re “launching” seems to be the same one they’ve had for a couple of years — perhaps with a slightly different name. Instead, the real change here seems to be the fees (which themselves have still been around for a few months). Speaking of those fees, unfortunately, those could be a deal breaker as it takes significant effort to have the $9.99 monthly fee waived while the $3 inactivity fee hitting after 30 days of no transfer seems quite aggressive. So, while I still think that this type of debit card/secured credit card product is an interesting idea, given the costs associated with it, Sesame Credit Builder doesn’t seem all that attractive.