How Does Tomo Credit Card Work? [WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW]

Shawn Manaher
Shawn Manaher
Updated on November 23, 2022
tomo credit

You heard about the Tomo credit card, but how does it work? Is it right for you? Learn more about this card to decide if you should apply.

The Tomo credit card is designed for people with no or poor credit history. It determines approval based on other factors, such as your bank account. Importantly, you can’t carry a balance with the credit card, so you won’t accumulate interest and will always pay on time. It also reports those payments to the credit bureaus.

Take a closer look at the details of the Tomo card to decide if you should apply for it.

Tomo Credit Card: Your Complete Guide

The Tomo credit card offers a unique take on a credit card. It was created by young immigrants who realized how hard it was for foreigners or anyone without a credit score to get a credit card. They created the Tomo card to offer a card even if you have no credit history. At the same time, the card is designed to help you build your credit score.

What Is A Tomo Credit Card?

As mentioned, the Tomo credit card is a card for people who don’t have the credit history necessary to be approved for a traditional credit card. It has no fees and 0% APR, as there is no interest. Instead, your balance is paid off every billing period with your linked bank account.

How Does Tomo Credit Work?

When you go to a store or shop online, you can use the Tomo credit card just like you would any other card. But the way it works behind the scenes is different from most unsecured cards, with a few key differences.

No Credit Check And No Security Deposit

One of the biggest differences with the Tomo credit card is that you don’t need to pass a credit check to be approved. It was specifically designed for people with poor or no credit. While there are some other cards that don’t require a credit check, those typically require a security deposit. Tomo does not require either.

The Approval Process

If there is no credit check, how does Tomo determine whether to approve you and set your limit? The company has proprietary technology and works with other companies like Plaid to evaluate your ability to pay based on other factors. You will get a soft approval after submitting your income, age, and bank account balances.

The final decision, as well as deciding on your limit, comes after a more thorough check. This looks at things like your email address, phone number, income stability, potential red flags, and bank account balance. During the application process, you need to connect a minimum of one bank account via Plaid. This can be one of several types of eligible accounts, such as investment, savings, or checking accounts. You are encouraged to connect more than one account to maximize your spending limit.

Tomo says you can have a limit of up to $10,000 depending on what they find. Keep in mind that it may be as low as $100. You can always increase your limit in the future by linking more bank accounts or by making on-time payments.

You Don’t Need An SSN

As mentioned, Tomo was founded by immigrants. As such, it should come as no surprise that the credit card accepts foreigners living in the United States. As such, you don’t need to have an SSN to apply. However, you will need to have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and a passport. Tomo representatives said that even if you don’t have an ITIN, you may still be able to apply with your passport.

You Don’t Carry A Balance

Another major difference of the Tomo credit card compared to traditional ones is that you won’t carry a balance. This means you will pay your balance in full every single month. In fact, Tomo sets up automatic payments for you via your linked bank account.

Keep in mind that when you first get your Tomo card, you will have seven-day cycles with automatic payments. After three months or so, you can switch this to one payment a month.

Why The Frequent Payments?

Making the initial payment cycle in just seven days benefits both you and Tomo. For you, it helps keep your credit utilization ratio low, which boosts your credit score. For Tomo, it reduces their risk.

What If You Don’t Pay The Balance?

Even with automatic payments, it’s theoretically possible that you will miss a payment on your Tomo card. If this happens, Tomo freezes your card until the balance is paid in full. This may also potentially affect your credit score.

No Fees

In addition to 0% APR because you can’t carry a balance, Tomo doesn’t have any fees associated with your account. Instead, Tomo makes money by charging merchants small fees with every purchase you make.

Tomo Reports To The Credit Bureaus

Because of the automatic payments set up with Tomo, you will always pay on time. On top of that, Tomo reports your payments to all three major credit bureaus. This will help boost your credit score more quickly.

It Comes With Rewards

One of the big selling points of the Tomo card is that it gives you access to rewards as part of the World Elite MasterCard program. The following are some of the rewards and benefits. These are in addition to the 1% cashback mentioned in many reviews.


Sign up for DashPass from DoorDash and get three months free. On top of that, you get $5 off every month. This is a $90 value.


When you spend $20 on either streaming or movie tickets, you receive $5 off on your next purchase.


Your first five boxes from HelloFresh come with discounts, and you get free shipping as a Tomo benefit. This has a $90 value.


The Lyft benefit has a $60 value. When you take three rides with Lyft, you earn a $5 credit.

Priceless Cities

This benefit gives you access to travel rewards in more than 40 cities around the world.

Priceless Golf

This benefit gives you access to more than 1,000 private clubs and exclusive PGA Tour experiences.


Tomo clients get a free ShopRunner membership, along with free two-day shipping and free returns. This is a $79 value.

World Elite Concierge

The Tomo card gives you access to a 24/7 concierge service to help you find sold-out shows and other hard-to-find items.

Benefits For Peace Of Mind

Being a World Elite MasterCard also gives you several benefits that deliver peace of mind.

Cell Phone Protection

You get $1,000 of cell phone protection for damaged or stolen phones.

Global Emergency

Enjoy emergency assistance at any time and anywhere in the language of your choice.

MasterCard ID Theft

You will receive alerts for suspicious activity. There are also specialists available 24/7/365.

Zero Liability

If there are unauthorized purchases, you are not responsible for them.

Tomo Credit Card Reviews

Tomo tends to have good reviews, both from clients and from third parties. It is a popular option among people with no credit history or poor credit. Many people appreciate the fact that it doesn’t run a credit check at all and instead relies on other factors. This makes Tomo accessible to a wider range of people.

Clients and third parties agree that the card is straightforward to use and accepted wherever a MasterCard is accepted. Reviews praise things like the lack of credit checks, the lack of annual fees, the lack of APR charges, and the fact that it uses autopay and boosts your credit score.

The Only Downsides

Most reviews of Tomo are overwhelmingly positive, but some mention a few caveats to be aware of.

  • Not everyone wants to link a bank account. If you don’t want to, consider another card.
  • Some banks are harder to link for approval.
  • You can’t carry a balance, which can limit your purchasing power.
  • You can get better rewards and benefits from other cards.
  • The application process involves an extra “preapproval” step.

Is Tomo Credit Legit?

Yes, the Tomo credit is legit. As a MasterCard, you get all the security associated with MasterCard. Additionally, it is issued by Community Federal Saving Bank, which is a legitimate bank. Of course, the number of good reviews and ratings from clients and in-depth reviews from third parties should give you extra peace of mind.


The Tomo card is one of the many credit cards on the market catering to people with no credit history or poor credit, but it is unique in several ways. Instead of running a credit check, it looks at other factors, such as your bank accounts, to determine your approval and your limit. Additionally, you can’t carry a balance and will initially pay off your balance every seven days. If you are willing to link a bank account and don’t mind not being able to carry a balance, this is definitely a card worth considering.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author.

He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.

He loves to share his personal finance tips and money management wisdom with others to help them find financial freedom.
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