Youth-Centric Neobank Step Launches Step Black Card
Step, a neobank that looks to appeal to younger adults, has announced the debut of a new card option.
About Step Black:
This week, Step officially launched the Step Black card. Previously, the card gained a waitlist of more than 100,000 people. Now, customers can sign up for the secured card that can help young adults (including those under 18) to build and establish credit.
The Step Black card could best be described as a premium secured credit card, sporting a metal design and offering a number of perks. However, the card doesn’t require a credit check.
Additionally, the card offers cashback rewards. Cardholders will not only be able to earn up to 8% back with purchases from select partners but will also earn rewards in some key categories. According to the site, this includes earn 3% back on dining and food delivery, 3% back on charitable donations, 2% back on entertainment and gaming, and 1% back on all other purchases.
The Step Black card does carry a $99 annual fee. However, Step states that it offers more than $500 in perks. These includes credits and offers for brands such as Classpass, Fanimal, inKind, Worn, and more.
Step Black cardmembers will also have access to the Step banking platform. This includes the ability to earn 5% APY, receive payroll funds early, and more.
What they’re saying:
Announcing the card, Step founder and CEO CJ MacDonald said, “So many young adults face barriers when it comes to accessing top-tier rewards programs, whether due to lack of established credit or concerns about incurring excessive debt. Step Black celebrates responsible spending in a way that no other rewards card does. It elevates the everyday, builds credit, and ultimately paves the way to a more promising financial future.”
Looking at the selling points of Step Black, I’m a bit confused. I suppose the idea is to create a flex-worthy card that benefits young adults by helping them build credit. On the one hand, that may be a worthy strategy — but, on the other hand, it’s not exactly clear to me whether the card’s benefits make it worth the $99 annual fee. Additionally, the “perks” may actually serve to inspire cardholders to spend more than they normally would, which is less than ideal.
Of course, $99 isn’t too steep of an annual fee and is less than some other credit-building options. Therefore, I’ll reserve judgement on the Step Black card for now.